Friday, January 11, 2008

Variations on a Theme

Lo these many months I've seen his banner as the 1 train emerges from its Broadway tunnel for a breath of air north of 125th street. Today, I've met the man who put it there.

In the Metro section of today's "New York Times" Robin Finn profiles Nicholas Sprayregen in a piece titled Pushing Back as Columbia Moves to Spread Out. Mr. Sprayregen is the well-heeled underdog of this story as he puts his money where his mouth is to protect his property and stand up for a principle.

Interesting quote:

“This is about the powerful growing more powerful at the expense of those who have less. Columbia is not a public university; what they’re doing by threatening to use eminent domain is as unethical from a business perspective as anything I’ve ever come across. Property rights abuse is running rampant, but what’s unique in this instance is that eminent domain always seems to be used against the down-and-out, people who can’t afford to fight back in a meaningful way. I can. But I think it’s anti-American that I’m probably on the losing side.”

"An intelligent person fights for lost causes, realizing that others are merely effects."

-e e cummings

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