Saturday, October 31, 2009

Welcome to Port Jefferson Station, NY

After living in Philadelphia for the better part of the 00s, Carla and Mike have picked up and moved out to Suffolk County, Long Island. This is a strange new world for us. Carla finds that much here reminds her of the countryside she grew up in, but with a twist. Mike has never been anywhere quite like this before. Suburban Ohio certainly had its charms, although we have had the opportunity to photograph comparatively little of it - and that mostly on holiday breaks. Long Islanders hold their secrets pretty close to be breast - the best place I've found to meet new folks is the Tara Restaurant and Bar in Port Jefferson Station. This is a local institution offering cheap meals and legendary happy hour specials. Everyone hangs out there, including a generous sprinkling of college students, sailors, Harley riders and evangelical Christians looking for potential converts. I think I may head over there this breezy fall afternoon, so we will have to see what tales we can tell at at the other end of college football and general mayhem. All the best, Mike

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Philadelphia streets may still be mean, but now are also GREEN

Philadelphia is undergoing a green makeover under the leadership of Mayor Nutter's new Office of Sustainability. Although employees of the City have been taking advantage of PhillyCarShare for several years, the Office of Sustainability is forging new partnerships - facebook. In this blog post, I would like to feature two new initiatives being advanced by our community's excellent universities.

Penn Current: the University of Pennsylvania unveiling its new Climate Action Plan Wednesday, detailing green practices and policies.

Temple News: Taking advantage of incentives to bike to campus, including additional bike racks and a new bicycle maintenance facility, Temple University students are reducing their carbon footprint. These are only a few of the campus-wide developments featured University's Office of Sustainability.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

St. Thomas, 114 years ago

The National Library of Jamaica has recently joined the elite group of museums of are sharing some of their valued map collections with the general public. This is one of my favorites so far - a closeup of the parish of St. Thomas from a 1895 map of the island.

Getting a sense of the political landscape on Long Island

I have recently moved from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, heavily Democratic, to more conservative Suffolk County, Long Island. Although Carla and I certainly aren't fully moved in yet, I am taking the opportunity to become acquainted with some of the local communities. One thing that disturbs me is the xenophobic orientation of many residents. I see this particularly strongly in the organized resistance to President Barak Obama's efforts to reform our health care system. Although I was unable to attend any of the town meetings because of the move, I have heard a great deal about them through the local media. Up close analysis becomes available through YouTube clips such as the following, shot before and during a town meeting in Setauket, Long Island. On the other side of Stony Brook University from Port Jefferson Station, this is an old community - one of the beauty spots of Long Island. But as you can see, it is also becoming politically polarized over the issue of health care reform.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The psychology of Caribbean people at home and abroad

Carla and I were lucky enough to be invited to present on work in progress to a supportive audience at the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus. The closing performance by Sharon-ann Gopaul McNicol was fitting the the setting, the Old Dramatic Theatre. Dr. Gopaul-McNicol spoke about the need for psychologists to consider the field of politics as an arena of activity, and the still too evident challenges of addressing the colonial mindset far after the political independence of Caribbean states. In all, a thoroughly enjoyable presentation with its mixture of exhortation and evangelism. We all left with a renewed sense of purpose.