2008年11月27日 星期四

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Upper West Side

They Loved a Parade

Todd Heisler/The New York Times

The 2007 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on the Upper West Side.

Published: November 21, 2008

LAST year, on the morning of Thanksgiving, Lisa Alpert walked from her apartment on West 75th Street and Amsterdam Avenue to Central Park West and 68th Street, as she’d done every year since 1990. As usual, she planned to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with her 9-year-old son, her 7-year-old daughter and her husband.

Skip to next paragraph
Todd Heisler/The New York Times

The end of the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade passes along Central Park West on Manhattan's Upper West Side in 2007.

Then she arrived at the parade route, and her heart sank. On the east side of Central Park West, a row of bleachers protected by metal barricades stretched as far as she could see in either direction. When she tried to cross the street, a security guard asked to see her tickets. She didn’t have any. “Please,” she said. “We love this parade.”

He refused.

According to Gale Brewer, the councilwoman representing the Upper West Side, Ms. Alpert is one of a growing number of parents who have complained that a recent increase in grandstand seating along the parade route has spoiled their Thanksgiving Day outings.

Although Macy’s has been putting up bleachers between West 77th and 72nd Streets since 1945, recent years have seen a new crop of bleachers, erected partly by Macy’s and partly by the city, on the east side of Central Park West between 72nd and 66th Streets. In order to cross to that side, you need a ticket.

Aggravating the problem, residents say, is that the crowds on the west side of the street have been much deeper in recent years than in the past, perhaps because the bleachers take up space previously filled with paradegoers.

Many bleacher tickets are reserved for employees and guests of Macy’s. They’re not for sale. Orlando Veras, a spokesman for Macy’s, said that the company’s employees deserved a good view. “Over 5,000 Macy’s employees give up their holiday to put on the show for New Yorkers and the nation,” Mr. Veras said.

The general public, he added, can view the procession “not only from street level, but also from rooftops, balconies, windows and office buildings.”

For many Upper West Side residents, however, the idea of climbing onto a rooftop to watch the floats roll by a dozen stories below is decidedly unappealing. The east side of Central Park West is not just an ideal place from which to view the parade, they say; like the rest of the neighborhood, it’s home.

Jesse Bodine, a spokesman for Ms. Brewer’s office, referred to the street as “our backyard.” He said, “We want to be able to play.”

Sarah Worthington, a resident of West 72nd Street, is among those who blame the bleachers for destroying a cherished family tradition. For years, Ms. Worthington and her two children watched the parade from their favorite spot on the east side of Central Park West, by 68th Street. “When we were waiting for the parade to start, they could go use the playground and all that good stuff,” she said.

Not anymore. “It’s sort of a bummer,” she said.

Slide Show: Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade - N.Y.

If it’s Thanksgiving, it must be time for a parade in New York City.

2008年11月23日 星期日

Chain of Grief for the University of Iowa

owa City Journal

Chain of Grief for a Flagship University

Published: November 22, 2008

IOWA CITY — Famous as a literary powerhouse, with its Writers’ Workshop and award-winning newspaper, the University of Iowa has been the gloomy setting of more trouble and tragedy lately than could fit in a single book.

Skip to next paragraph
Amy Andrews/Daily Iowan

A professor, Mark Weiger, was found dead in his garage on Nov. 12. He had been named in a sexual harassment lawsuit.

University of Iowa

Mr. Weiger taught chamber orchestra and oboe and had played at Carnegie Hall.

In the latest chapter of grief, Mark Weiger, a renowned music professor named recently in a sexual harassment suit, was found dead in his garage on Nov. 12, apparently a suicide. It was the second suicide this semester of a university professor accused of sexual misconduct. In August, Arthur Miller, a highly regarded political science professor, shot himself after being criminally charged with trading grades for sexual favors.

The university has also been embroiled in recriminations over the handling of a reported sexual assault of a woman last year by two football players in a dormitory, a case that led to the dismissal of two top university administrators.

All the while, the university, with an enrollment of 30,000, is struggling to recover from this summer’s devastating floods, which caused $230 million in damage and left some buildings in ruin. Art students, for example, are taking classes in an old Menards store. Some houses near the campus sit unoccupied, and some parks are a muddy mess.

“It’s just eerie,” said Vanessa Veiock, 22, the managing editor of the student magazine. “Your heart kind of plummets. It’s never-ending.”

The death of Professor Weiger, who taught chamber music and oboe, came a week after a former graduate student filed a federal suit against him and the university, accusing him of sexually harassing her on a daily basis in 2006-7. In the suit, she said he had made crude sexual comments and also inappropriately touched another female student in class. The suit also claims that the university did nothing to stop the harassment. The former student, who was a teaching assistant, said the harassment caused her to withdraw from school.

Steve Parrott, a university spokesman, said officials had met with Professor Weiger after the accusations were first made and had reached a “resolution.” But Mr. Parrott declined to specify the terms of any agreement.

He said the university was writing new policies to set out what kinds of behavior were considered harmful, as well as to “make it easier for complainants to know where they can go” to register claims of misconduct.

Austin Langel, a freshman walking to class past the gold-domed Old Capitol building on campus, simply shook his head in dismay.

“When I came for a visit a year ago, everything seemed nice,” said Mr. Langel, 18, from Le Mars, a small town in the western part of the state. “It’s still a great university, but you worry about how all this is going to affect its reputation.”

In August, Professor Miller’s body was found in Hickory Park, where the police say he shot himself with a rifle. Days earlier, he was charged in state court with four counts of accepting a bribe. The police said he had offered to give higher grades to female students who would show him their breasts or let him fondle them.

In the sexual assault case against the two football players, both of whom have since left the team, some members of the Board of Regents complained that the university had not properly investigated the accusation. An internal inquiry led to the dismissal of the university’s chief legal counsel, Marcus Mills, and the vice president for student services, Phillip Jones. The case is awaiting trial.

Some Iowa alumni voiced outrage four years ago when Steve Alford, then the Hawkeyes’ basketball coach, stood behind a player charged with sexual assault. The player, Pierre Pierce, was later convicted in another sexual assault case and sent to prison.

After the death of Professor Weiger, the university provided grief counselors for faculty and staff members and students. Hours after his body was found, about 100 students gathered at a vigil at Trinity Episcopal Church.

“This is a sad day, and obviously a very hard time,” Sam Cochran, the director of university counseling, told the gathering. “Allow yourselves to grieve. Take it one step at a time.”

Professor Weiger was on sabbatical this semester. According to his university biography, he held degrees from the New England Conservatory of Music and the Juilliard School and had performed at Carnegie Hall. A review in The New York Times praised his “mellifluous, haunting oboe playing.”

Arthur Rowe, a friend and former colleague, told a reporter at The Daily Iowan, the college paper, that accusations of sexual harassment can turn out to be false and that publicizing them can “be devastating to people.”

“He had no family,” Mr. Rowe said of Professor Weiger, who was single and had no children. “I don’t know how much support he had.”

The harassment accusations, though, provoked anger among some students. The Daily Iowan’s Web site removed reader comments from the article about the professor’s suicide after some readers made postings containing profanity and making “personal attacks” aimed at him, said Bill Casey, the newspaper’s publisher.

Despite the university’s troubles, students are quick to note its many achievements. A few weeks ago, The Daily Iowan won a National Pacemaker Award, the highest honor for a college newspaper, and the university is acclaimed for its Writers’ Workshop, with alumni that include the writers Jane Smiley and John Irving, the actor Gene Wilder and the jazz vocalist Al Jarreau.

As prospective students and their parents toured the campus last Friday morning, a few people spoke in hushed tones about the pall that seems to be hanging over the university. But Ed Smith, a hospital administrator whose daughter is considering attending, said the problems besetting Iowa were not that unusual these days.

“The sad fact,” Mr. Smith said, “is we can find examples of sexual harassment all throughout our society.”

2008年11月18日 星期二

"National Mall"

Can Mall Be Filled For an Inauguration? 4 Million May Try It.

Washington Post Staff Writers
Tuesday, November 18, 2008; Page A01

District and federal officials are preparing for as many as 4 million people for the inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama, a crowd that would be three or four times larger than previous big events on the Mall.

Wikipedia article "National Mall".

2008年11月14日 星期五

Schönbrunn Palace near Vienna

UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Schönbrunn Palace near Vienna

Arriving in Vienna from the west, either by road or by train, one of the first major attractions no visitor can miss is Schönbrunn Palace, the former residence of Habsburg rulers.

Schönbrunn Palace is the finest example of a baroque palace and gardens in Austria. The palace and gardens served as the centre of a huge empire for more than 300 years; in the 18th century Empress Maria Theresa had 16 children, 12 of whom reached adulthood and needed their own apartment so the palace underwent several phases of rebuilding and extension. The organisation of life at Schönbrunn was the biggest service industry in the monarchy. Now, it is a major magnet in cultural tourism and even on a cold, damp day in the middle of winter about one thousand people make their way to visit Schönbrunn Palace to find out about Austria’s imperial history; in the summer that figure increases to about eight thousand a day. Schönbrunn Palace has been on the World Heritage List since 1996.

Report: Elizabeth Mortimer

2008年11月11日 星期二

An Ancient Roman theatre below Florence’s Palazzo Vecchio

Arts on the Air | 12.11.2008 | 05:30

Scientists discover ancient Roman theatre below Florence’s Palazzo Vecchio

Florence is lifting the veil on an archaeological dig under one of its most important buildings, the Palazzo Vecchio, the centuries-old seat of local government.

A lucky few visitors to Florence in Italy will be able to take a tour back to its origins. Scientists have unearthed the remains of an ancient Roman theatre, in the process revealing the city’s evolution over the past two thousand years. The number of people allowed in will be strictly limited. Only around fifty can visit on the first Sunday of every month and last week the site opened for the first time.

Report: Jean di Marino

2008年11月9日 星期日


德语媒体 | 2008.11.08




"中国需要八亿农民成为新的消费者。2020年之前,党要使农村居民的收入翻一番,看起来似乎是要扭转乾坤。显然正因为如此,北京一直不向人民透露 准备进行的改革细节。中国的专家认为,这样拖延是因为胡锦涛没有预料到,这一计划会在党内受到部分相当强烈的反对。北京的战略家们一直把农民看作是廉价民 工的庞大后备军。


"而小岗村的农民利用政府补助盖了一幢漂亮的行政办公楼、一个铺了石块的广场和一座歌颂他们改革热情的博物馆。但他们如果想分享党向全体臣民许诺的 '小康生活'的话,他们同样要把自己的子女送到大城市的工厂打工。中国的经济发展越快,上海和深圳等光鲜城市中上升的中产阶层与本国农民的差距就愈行愈 远。"



With GPS, Tourists Can Find the Berlin Wall

EuroVox | 10.11.2008 | 05:30

With GPS, Tourists Can Find the Berlin Wall

Tourists to Berlin often search for traces of the infamous Berlin Wall in vain. Now technology will help virtually rebuild the wall that the Berliners tore down.

The wall that divided East and West Berlin is probably the most important edifice of the Cold War -- and recent history. People still associate the city with the Berlin Wall and tourists to the city want to visit and see where it stood with their own eyes.

Today, however, there is little left of the former cold war concrete structure that separated the Eastern and Western halves of the city. And sometimes it is difficult to find any bits at all outside of museums.

Now a satellite based multimedia gadget can give tourists everything they ever wanted to know about the Berlin Wall -- right in the palm of their hands.

Report: Hardy Graupner

Ian Fleming’s Jamaica

Winter in the Sun

Ian Fleming’s Jamaica

Alex Quesada for The New York Times

Strawberry Hill is an 18th-century plantation turned resort.

Published: November 9, 2008

“THE first law for a secret agent is to get his geography right,” Ian Fleming wrote in “The Man With the Golden Gun.” And so it is for anyone following the trail of the man who created the world’s most famous secret agent through his adopted island of Jamaica, a journey that starts near Kingston on the tiny spit of beach called the Palisadoes that connects the city to Norman Manley International Airport.

Most of the traffic heads into the capital, but if you steer westward, snaking around the contours of dunes on the poorly paved street toward the peninsula’s dead end, you’ll find Morgan’s Harbour Hotel in Port Royal.

Only five miles from the airport, you are already deep into Ian Fleming’s Jamaica.

Fleming, the British intelligence officer turned newspaper man turned spy novelist born 100 years ago this year, spent winters on his Caribbean getaway for almost two decades. The airport and the Palisadoes both feature in James Bond novels; the hotel is where Bond chose to lay his head in “Golden Gun.” It was on Jamaica that Fleming wrote more than a dozen novels and short stories featuring Agent 007. Of these once best-selling volumes of action pulp, “Dr. No,” “Live and Let Die,” “The Man With the Golden Gun” and the short story “Octopussy” are largely or partly set in Jamaica, and the films based on the first two were also shot there.

The island was Fleming’s retreat, artist colony and passion, and he repeatedly sent Bond, an incarnation of Walter Mitty-esque wish fulfillment, on assignment there. The legendary spy experienced the island as Fleming did — beautiful and underdeveloped with enough exoticism, history and potential for danger to justify it as a backdrop for postwar espionage adventure.

Fleming’s Jamaica is a Venn diagram of three overlapping spheres: the author’s actual Jamaica of the 1950s and early ’60s (when the island was a British colony rapidly becoming a hot spot for the rich and famous); the semi-fictional Jamaica as seen through James Bond; and Jamaica as a location for the 007 film franchise.

While the rural interior of the country has changed little in the last 50 years, the huge, buffet-to-beach inclusive resorts and a blighted downtown Kingston, once high on the jet-setters’ dance cards, would now discourage Fleming. He lived in Jamaica when you could get there by banana boat, and he described Negril on the west coast as a “five-mile crescent of unbroken, soft, white gold sand, fringed for all its dazzling length with leaning palm trees.”

In 1947 Fleming wrote a portrait of his adopted home in Horizon magazine, influential enough to fuel a postwar tourist boomlet among well-heeled Britons and Americans. “I have examined a large part of the world,” he wrote. “After looking at all these, I spent four days in Jamaica in July 1943. July is the beginning of the hot season and it rained in rods everyday at noon, yet I swore that if I survived the contest I would go back to Jamaica, buy a piece of land, build a house and live in it as much as my job would allow.” He did just that, as foreign manager for Kemsley Newspapers.

The Palisadoes at night is still as Fleming described it in “Dr. No,” a “long cactus-fringed road” with “the steady zing of the crickets, the rush of warm, scented air ... the necklace of yellow lights shimmering across the harbour.” Not so Morgan’s Harbour Hotel, now an estranged and shabbily furnished cousin of the “romantic little hotel” from “Golden Gun.”

Kingston, reached by the road used in the first car chase in “Dr. No,” sits beside bright blue waters and beaches littered with broken boats and the rusting remains of bygone industry. It feels like an early Bond film — vibrant, colorful and a bit disconcerting. What Kingston does not resemble, for the most part, is itself from the Fleming days. Justine Henzell, a Kingston native whose father, Perry, was a writer of the reggae-fueled movie “The Harder They Come,” was my guide to the city. As we wandered downtown, Ms. Henzell pointed out the urban shadows of former elegance, including an empty lot by the water where the Myrtle Bank Hotel, once one of the Caribbean’s most glamorous, had stood. The vacant space now borders a parking lot where hundreds of young people reveled to loud dancehall beats in the middle of a Sunday afternoon.

When Fleming made his first visit to the island 65 years to the month when I was there, he chose to stay in the cooler climes of the Blue Mountains. I followed his lead that evening and took the B1 road, which curls itself up into the mountains. My destination was Strawberry Hill, an 18th-century coffee plantation turned resort owned by Chris Blackwell, the founder of Island Records. A Jamaican native, Mr. Blackwell is part of Fleming lore himself, thanks to his mother, Blanche Blackwell, who was, depending on your source, either the writer’s close friend or his mistress and muse. That connection helped Mr. Blackwell, at age 24, land a gig as a location manager for “Dr. No” (you can spot him dancing in a bar scene filmed at Morgan’s Harbour), and his resort franchise includes the Fleming home on the North Coast.

Over a breakfast of scrambled eggs and Blue Mountain coffee (the same morning fare Fleming preferred and Bond nearly always enjoyed) on the balcony of a private bungalow, guests overlook the same vista Bond did in “Live and Let Die,” where he “had his breakfast on the veranda and gazed down on the sunlit panorama of Kingston and Port Royal.”

Most of Fleming’s days in Jamaica, though, were spent on the northern coast, best reached by the A3, or Junction Road, “that runs across the thin waist of Jamaica.” Bond and his local sidekick Quarrel travel the same route in “Live and Let Die” to get to the secret island lair of the villainous genius Mr. Big.

The mountainous interior of the island, “like the central ridges of a crocodile’s armour” as Fleming put it in “Live and Let Die,” is a constant pull on the steering wheel, back and forth, through little villages, past cliffside sundries shops and on numerous detours into rutted, gravel-spattered dirt roads. It’s a relief to reach the other side and spill into the ramshackle town of Port Maria, its pristine aquiline bay punctuated by the diminutive and uninhabited Cabarita Island, which inspired Surprise Island, the fictional hideout of Mr. Big.

Fleming and his wife, Ann, were married in Port Maria’s town hall, which still stands. She didn’t share her husband’s love of Jamaica, never staying as long as he did. But his best man and local neighbor, Noël Coward, was equally smitten with the place. Coward was a year-round island resident and a tax exile who died there in 1973. The home he built, Blue Harbour, is a compound of seaside bungalows overlooking Port Maria’s bay. Guests can now stay there if they can find it. The only marker is a small, faded sign pointing down a heavily potholed road leading to a rusty white gate.

Judging by the décor and electrical wiring, Blue Harbour has pretty much been left untouched. But despite its rough edges, provincial food and generally musty condition, it has three things going for it: a stunning perch over the sea, a cliffside saltwater pool and a rich history. You can imagine a rotating cast of celebrities like Errol Flynn (who also lived on the North Coast), Katharine Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, James Mason and Laurence Olivier, all lounging poolside. The living room is hung with pictures of celebrities like Sean Connery, Alec Guinness clowning in the pool in Arabian headdress and a group shot that included the Flemings.

The scene became too much for Coward, who relocated to a higher perch above Blue Harbour. His retreat from his retreat, Firefly, is now a museum and his grave site. His friends gave their homes colorful names as well. Fleming’s haven, about 10 miles west, was Goldeneye, named for a wartime operation he was involved in, and now one of the most exclusive resorts on the island. Between the two writers lived Blanche Blackwell, at Bolt.

Of his mother’s relationship with Fleming, Chris Blackwell simply told me that she was a good friend of his and was very fond of him. As a thank you gift for a stay at Goldeneye, Ms. Blackwell gave Fleming a small boat she had christened Octopussy. She may have also been an inspiration for Honeychile Rider, the Bond girl from “Dr. No,” who, like Ms. Blackwell, was the Jamaica-born child of an old island family and a passionate student of sea life.

Situated in the small town of Oracabessa, once a banana port, Goldeneye is an unassuming patch of land with stone paths and trees planted by former famous guests. Handwritten signs mark the mango planted by Pierce Brosnan, the lime tree by Harrison Ford, the royal palms by the Clintons. Set among them are three villas that, with Fleming’s original house and a restaurant overlooking the ocean, make up the current property. Where the restaurant sits, a gazebo once stood. Fleming liked to take notes in it, and it once served as a command station when Prime Minister Anthony Eden of Britain visited Goldeneye in 1956 (another boon for Jamaican public relations).

The Honeychile villa, just over a small fence from Fleming’s house, is nicely appointed with a plush bed draped in mosquito netting, a claw foot tub and an outdoor shower built into a large banyan tree. The bedroom is flanked by a second house with a patio overlooking the sea and a bookshelf housing a nearly complete set of the Bond stories (written a hundred feet away). It is hard to imagine the resort retaining that kind of casual intimacy when Goldeneye’s 100-acre residential development currently under construction is finished in the coming years.

Establishing his life in Jamaica was a necessary precursor to Fleming’s pursuit of fiction. “One of the first essentials is to create a vacuum in my life which can only be satisfactorily filled by some form of creative work,” he wrote in the Evening Standard of London. His training as a Reuters correspondent was another ingredient in this equation, allowing him to write with a don’t-look-back, free-flow technique. Six weeks later you have a novel, he wrote, and “if you sell the serial rights and film rights, you do very well.” Indeed.

Before mass-market guides like Frommer’s and Lonely Planet, travelogues were tourists’ main resources outside Europe. For the 1950s Caribbean, Patrick Leigh Fermor’s “The Traveler’s Tree” was the bible. Mr. Fermor visited Goldeneye and glowingly wrote that “it might serve as a model for new houses in the tropics ... great windows capture every breeze, to cool, even on the hottest day, the large white rooms.” His description is apt. The small house’s windows are still without glass. Past the sunken garden is the private beach to which Fleming often trod — fins, mask and spear in hand. The small rock pool Fleming built for his son, Casper, is still standing. Black crabs crawl along its walls, recalling the swarm of them that Dr. No uses to try to torture Honeychile to death. This perch out to the reef that shielded the snorkeling writer from sharks and barracuda directly inspired Fleming’s work.

Of the entire 007 cannon, the short story “Octopussy,” written in 1962, best captures his island lifestyle. The story is about Major Dexter Smythe, a Briton “irretrievably tied to Jamaica,” attracted to the “paradise of sunshine, good food, cheap drink, a glorious haven from the gloom ... of postwar England” but later bored from consorting with the “international riffraff” of the north shore. His one joy is exploring the local sea life, including the eponymous octopus to which he feeds conch.

Fleming’s gardener, Ramsey Dacosta, who still works at Goldeneye (now in guest relations) and invariably referred to Fleming as the Commander, told me that his old employer would bring conch to an octopus at the reef, and, as in the short story, “the octopus would return the shell.” Bond makes a brief appearance in “Octopussy” to arrest Smythe for a wartime theft, but Smythe takes his own life, with help from the octopus. Fleming died a much less dramatic death from a heart attack in 1964 in England, where he is buried.

Goldeneye is the mecca of any Fleming pilgrimage, but not the heart of it. In Horizon, he wrote about the other elements that made his life in Jamaica fulfilling, from the food (“delicious and limitless”) to the weather, calypso and, most importantly, the people. Fleming wrote that the locals “will surprise and charm you,” which they often did during my time there.

But even in Fleming’s lifetime, Jamaica was evolving. By the time he wrote his final Bond novel, “Golden Gun,” in 1964, the island had gained independence from Britain, and Fleming’s nostalgia for the colonial era is channeled into his spy. Waiting in the Kingston airport for a flight to Havana, the secret agent recalls his “many assignments in Jamaica and many adventures on the island ... the oldest and most romantic of former British possessions.” As he reflected on his escapades in “Dr. No” and his love affair with Honeychile Rider, “James Bond smiled to himself,” Fleming wrote, “as the dusty pictures clicked across his brain.”


Air Jamaica flies from Kennedy Airport in New York to Kingston and Montego Bay. According to a recent online search, flights for travel next month start at about $500.


Ashanti Oasis (Hope Gardens, Kingston; 876-970-2079) is an open-air vegetarian restaurant in the middle of the peaceful botanical gardens. The menu varies daily, but you can’t go wrong with a combination platter of the day’s tropically inspired dishes and a fresh juice. Lunch for two is around $1,300 Jamaican dollars, about $17 at 75.8 Jamaican dollars to the U.S. dollar.

The Seaside Terrace at Round Hill Hotel and Villas (John Pringle Drive, Montego Bay; 876-956-7050; www.roundhill.com) feels as if you’ve gone back 50 years when Jamaica catered to the rich and famous. The enormous bar is lined with black-and-white photos of celebrities from that era, and you can enjoy hearty à la carte fare like escovich snapper sandwiches on coco bread ($18; American currency is widely accepted for payment) under umbrellas by the water.



Other than its proximity to the Kingston airport, the only reason to stay at the underfurnished Morgan’s Harbour Hotel & Marina (Palisadoes Road, Port Royal; 876-967-8040; www.morgansharbour.com; about $140 for a standard double room) is its association with James Bond lore. The famous secret agent stayed there in the novel “The Man With the Golden Gun” and the first 007 film, “Dr. No,” used the hotel’s grounds as a shooting location.

A former coffee plantation turned luxury resort, Strawberry Hill (New Castle Road, Irish Town; 876-944-8400; www.islandoutpost.com; starting at $395) is high in the Blue Mountains outside Kingston. Some individual bungalows include private kitchens and four-poster beds.

Goldeneye (Oracabessa; 876-975-3354; www.islandoutpost.com; the one-bedroom villa starts at $660), Ian Fleming’s former home, has been transformed into one of the most exclusive resorts in Jamaica, complete with private beach and a restaurant. Staying the night in the three-bedroom villa where Fleming wrote the James Bond novels can cost up to $3,400, but the three villas are a plush and intimate consolation.

Judging by the condition of the rooms, Blue Harbour (Port Maria; 575-586-1244; www.blueharb.com; $200) has changed little since Noël Coward made his home there. The stunning views of the ocean and the cliffside saltwater pool help guests overlook the mustiness.

DAVID G. ALLAN is Travel & Styles editor for NYTimes.com.

2008年11月4日 星期二


500){this.resized=true;this.style.width=500;}" border="0">







2008年11月2日 星期日

A Babylonian panel depicting a lion from the Louvre Imagining Babylon

A Babylonian panel depicting a lion from the Louvre

Imagining Babylon

A major collaboration between museums in Paris, Berlin and London examines the myths and realities of ancient Babylon. Located in present-day Iraq, the city has long fascinated artists and historians. Our audio slideshow takes you on a tour.



所示書教及詩賦雜文,觀之熟矣。大略如行雲流水,初無定質,但常行於所當行,常止於所不可不止,文理自然,姿態橫生。孔子曰:“言之不文,行而不遠。”又 曰:“辭達而已矣。”夫言止于達意,即疑若不文,是大不然。求物之妙,如系風捕影,能使是物了然於心者,蓋千萬人而不一遇也,而況能使了然於口與手者乎? 是之謂辭達。辭至於能達,則文不可勝用矣。揚雄好為艱深之辭,以文淺易之說,若正言之,則人人知之矣。此正所謂雕蟲篆刻者,其《太玄》、《法言》,皆是類也。而獨悔于賦,何哉?終身雕篆,而獨變其音節,便謂之經,可乎?屈原作《離騷經》,蓋《風》、《雅》之再變者,雖與日月爭光可也。可以其似賦而謂之雕蟲乎?使賈誼見孔子,升堂有餘矣;而乃以賦鄙之,至與司馬相如同科。雄之陋如此比者甚眾,可與知者道,難與俗人言也。因論文偶及之耳。歐陽文忠公言:“文章 如精金美玉,市有定價,非人所能以口舌定貴賤也。”紛紛多言,豈能有益於左右,愧悚不已。


最 近我倆分別之後,多次承你來信問候,詳知你日常起居安好,十分欣慰。我稟性剛直簡慢,學問迂闊,才質駑鈍,因事連年被摘,不敢再自居于士大夫行列。自從回 到海北,見到舊日親友,也已經漠然如同隔代之人,何況與您平素沒有交往,還敢與您訂交嗎?您數次屈尊光臨,立談之間一見如故,使我萬分欣幸,意想不到,無 法用言辭來形容。 您 給我看的書啟、詩賦、雜文,我已讀了多遍。大作猶如行雲流水,原本無一定的形式,飄蕩流動,當行則行,當止則止,文理毫不做作,千姿百態,舒卷自如。孔子 說:“說話不講究文采,流傳就不會廣遠。”又說:“言辭只求能表達意思就行了。”言辭僅要求能達意,好象是不講究文采,這是很不對的。要把握住事物的微妙 處,真象拴風捉影那樣難。心中能把事物徹底弄清楚的,大概在千萬人中也找不到一個,而何況是要用口說和手寫把事物表達清楚呢?表達清楚的,這就叫“辭達 ”。言辭要做到能夠達意,那麼文采就運用不盡了。揚雄喜歡用艱深的辭藻來文飾淺顯易懂的意思,假如直捷了當地說出來,就人人都能明白了。這種寫作方法正是 揚雄自己所批評的“雕蟲篆刻”那一套。他的《太玄》、《法言》都屬於這一類。而他偏偏只對作賦追悔,這是為什麼呢?終身經營雕蟲小技,而寫作《太玄》、 《法言》時僅僅變有韻之文為無韻之文,便稱之為經,這可以嗎?屈原作的《離騷》,是《風》、《雅》傳統的再發展,即使與日月爭輝也不遜色。難道我們可以因 為它象賦而稱之為雕蟲小技嗎?如果賈誼趕上了作孔子的學生,那麼他的學行已經足以“入室”了。而揚雄卻因他作過辭賦而貶低他,以至與司馬相如等同。象這樣 淺陋的見解,在揚雄身上是很多的。這些話可以同明白人說,不能同一般人講,我因為議論文章,所以偶然談到。歐陽修先生說:“文章象赤金美玉,市上本有定 價,不是憑誰的一句話就能論定價格的貴賤。”我囉裏囉索講了一大堆,對您未必有什麼好處吧,真是慚愧惶恐不已。
您 索要惠力寺法雨堂的題字,我本來不善於書寫大字,勉強寫來終究不好,又加上船上地方狹窄難以書寫,所以未能遵命寫好。但是我將路過臨江,理當前去遊覽。或 者寺僧要我寫一點什麼,我會寫上幾句留在寺院內,以安慰您的鄉土之思。今天到達峽山寺,稍作逗留後就離開。相距越來越遠,希望你千萬隨時珍重。(丁如明)

惠力寺位于硤石西山南麓,東晉寧康年間(373─375)尚書張延光舍宅始造,稱志願寺。唐末毀于兵燹。北宋乾德二年(964)複建。宋大中祥符二年 (1009)賜額惠力寺。當時山門樓殿禪堂都稱宏敞,環繞西山上下有72僧房。元、明、清三代幾經修葺。1926年清明,寺毀于火,僅剩大殿。80年代初 重修大殿,保留了往昔梵字的一點氣象。

相關知識:魏 晉南北朝時期,佛教得到帝王保護,達官貴人舍宅造寺成為時尚,釋迦牟尼因之大盛。嘉興市境內自公元214年至519年的二三百年中,就有精嚴寺、淨相寺、 興善寺(嘉興),金粟寺、法喜寺、資聖寺(海鹽),惠力寺(海寧硤石),密印寺、崇福寺、祗園寺、福嚴寺(桐鄉),慈雲寺(嘉善魏塘)和長福寺(平湖)等 著名寺院。這些寺院大多早已毀廢,而現存的惠力寺則為歷史最久的晉代舊址遺構。

2008年11月1日 星期六

A Proposition San Francisco Prostitutes Back

A Proposition San Francisco Prostitutes Back
Jim Wilson/The New York Times
A Proposition San Francisco Prostitutes Back
Sex-related businesses have expanded in the North Beach neighborhood of San Francisco. A ballot measure in the city would decriminalize trading sex for money.