Tag: Chappaqua

A Tale of Two Snowballs

I grew up in Chappaqua, New York, which is 20 miles northwest of New Rochelle. Both towns are in Westchester County, but they’re different. Chappaqua’s population is 81% white, 12% Asian, and 2% black. Its median household income is $100,000. Its poverty rate is less than 4%. New Rochelle’s population is 47% white, 19% black, and 28% Latino/a. Its poverty rate is more than 12%. Its median household income is $67,000. But here’s how I really know the difference between the two towns. When I was growing up, my friend Mario, who’s no longer alive, came over to play. It was a snowy day. We decided to throw snowballs at cars. Our position protected by a tall hedge, we packed the snowballs tight and started […]

Going to My College Reunion

Tomorrow, I’m heading down to Princeton for my 25th year college reunion. It’s a four-day extravaganza, which prompted Moustafa Bayoumi to say to me, “I didn’t know Princeton folk could limit listing their accomplishments to four days only. I admire the restraint.” I’m only going for a day. I know that writing about one’s reunion has become a literary genre in its own right. But where I was excited to go to my high school reunion, my college reunion doesn’t awaken much in me. We’ll see how I feel tomorrow, but for now I’ve been wondering why. It’s not that I had better friends in, or memories of, high school. I’ve been lucky in both cases to have had very […]

Why Do People Hate Teachers Unions? Because They Hate Teachers.

Like Doug Henwood, I’ve spent the last few days trying to figure out why people—particularly liberals and pseudo-liberals in the chattering classes—hate teachers unions. One could of course take these people at their word—they care about the kids, they worry that strikes hurt the kids, and so on—but since we never hear a peep out of them about the fact that students have to swelter through 98-degree weather in jam-packed classes without air conditioning, I’m not so inclined. Forgive me then if I essay an admittedly more impressionistic analysis drawn from my own experience. Like many of these journalists, I hail from an upper middle class background. I grew up in Chappaqua, an affluent suburb of New York. My parents moved […]