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Zoos or Lose

In 1828, when Andrew Jackson was running for president, his opponents were fond of referring to him as a jackass (if only such candid discourse were permissible today). Emboldened by his detractors, Jackson embraced the image as the symbol of his campaign, re-branding the donkey as steadfast, determined, and willful, instead of wrong-headed, slow, and obstinate. Throughout his presidency, the symbol remained associated with Jackson and, to a lesser extent, the Democratic party 

In 1874, cartoonist Thomas Nast, represented the Democratic press as a donkey in lion’s clothing (though the party itself is shown as a shy fox), expressing the cartoonist’s belief that the media were acting as fear mongers, propagating the idea of Ulysses S. Grant as a potential American dictator. In Nast’s donkey-in-lion’s-clothing cartoon, the elephant –representing the Republican vote– was running scared toward a pit of chaos and inflation. The rationale behind the choice of the elephant is unclear, but Nast may have chosen it as the embodiment of a large and powerful creature, though one that tends to be dangerously careless when frightened. Alternately, the political pachyderm may have been inspired by the now little-used phrase “seeing the elephant,” a reference to war and a possible reminder of the Union victory. Whatever the reason, Nast’s popularity and consistent use of the elephant ensured that it would remain in the American consciousness as a Republican symbol

[Political Animals: Republican Elephants and Democratic Donkeys]

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Flat Out Amazing

The Flatiron by Edward Steichen, 1904

just one of a zillion buildings me and the crew saw when we walked the entirety of Manhattan’s Broadway!!

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Spic and Spannning

Golden Gate Bridge, viewing North, circa 1940

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Ascent From Heaven

On May 26, 1977, a Queens mountain climber became a New York folk hero by scaling the 1,350-foot South Tower of the World Trade Center. Wearing jeans and using equipment he tested in secret at night,” the 27-year-old made the ascent “to the delight of thousands of pedestrians who watched his 3-and-a-half-hour effort,” The New York Times reported. The man, George H. Willig, was arrested by the Port Authority police and given 3 summonses. He was later served with a $250,000 suit by New York City. “But to the people on the street he was a hero,” The Times reported

Even the officers assigned to climb up with him congratulated him on his achievement. “Officer Allen, who as a member of Emergency Service Squad 1 has rescued potential suicides and been as high as the top of the George Washington Bridge towers in his work, seemed elated after his assignment yesterday — and full of admiration for Mr. Willig, who, he said, ‘was in fantastic shape,’” The Times noted. Our staff photographer Tyrone Dukes took this photo of George climbing as 2 police officers followed in a window washer’s scaffold. Why did he do it? “It was a personal challenge, a challenge to my ingenuity,” George told the paper

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I’ll See You In Zeptember

I’m leaving for Hawaii today.  I know, crazy, but hurricanes cannot stop me from going to where I’ve longed to go

be back soon

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