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Former Buddhist Monk Opens His Own Bhutanese Restaurant in Queens, New York

Former Buddhist Monk Opens His Own Bhutanese Restaurant in Queens, New York

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A monk-turned-sandwich-maker has now opened his very own restaurant dedicated to the food of the tiny kingdom of Bhutan

Lekay Drakpa trained as a Buddhist monk and a Subway sandwich maker, and is now a fledging restaurateur.

A former Buddhist monk named Lekay Drakpa is the owner of a new Bhutanese restaurant in Queens, New York that opened on Monday, December 15, reports DNAInfo. Drakpa had previously spent six years as a Subway sandwich maker and before that, dedicated 12 years studying to be a monk in India.

Drakpa told DNAInfo that his menu of Bhutanese cuisine is mostly dedicated to food that is “very simple, mostly really spicy.” The restaurant also features Indian and Tibetan options.

Drakpa also claims his newly opened restaurant, Bhutanese Ema Datsi, is the only New York City establishment that focuses on food from the small kingdom of Bhutan, though there is at least one other Himalayan restaurant in Queens.

The restaurant is named for ema datshi, one of Bhutan’s national dishes, which is made from chile peppers and cheese.

The new restaurateur told the publication that he hopes to create a home for Bhutanese immigrants and others interested in the culture and food of Bhutan.

A Rare Buddhist Ceremony in Queens, Paid for With a Life’s Savings

Dayangji Sherpa lives with her 25-year-old daughter, Nima, in a one-bedroom apartment in Woodside, Queens, where they sleep in the same bed to save money. But on Sunday, they stood on a dais before an altar of glittering gold Buddhas while some of the highest-ranked Buddhist monks from around the region bowed their heads to the women and showered them with benedictions. It was the culmination of a rare ceremony where every single text of their Buddhist canon is read from morning until night by monks, who are fed, housed and paid by a sponsor until all 108 books are read.

It took more than a month. And it cost more than $50,000 — the elder Ms. Sherpa’s life savings.

Completing the Kangyur, the Tibetan-language version of the sacred Buddhist texts, is done as a form of prayer for peace for all sentient beings, several monks explained. For nearly 40 days, ending last week, about a dozen monks called from around the region read eight hours a day, aloud and simultaneously, seated cross-legged in a converted brick church in Elmhurst.

There had never been such a reading in New York, according to Urgen Sherpa, 41, a former general secretary of Sherpa Kyidug, which represents Sherpas in the United States, including an estimated 2,000 to 2,500 in New York. (Mr. Sherpa is not related to Ms. Sherpa: many Sherpas, who are an ethnic group from high in the Himalayas in eastern Nepal, use the surname.) Kangyur readings are rarely commissioned even in Nepal, Mr. Sherpa said, because of the high cost.

Ms. Sherpa, 54, a home health aide, estimates she paid about $111 per monk per day. It included twice-daily meals of Nepalese and Tibetan comfort food at Himalayan Yak restaurant on Roosevelt Avenue and an attendant to provide an endless supply of traditional salted butter tea. Other members of the community also made donations.

“People can do this, but nobody does it,” Ms. Sherpa said. “I’m not rich. I wanted a do a good thing.”

Our Team

Aeshah brings her love of culture, international migration, public health equity, and advocacy. Born in Queens and raised by Guyanese immigrants, she holds a B.A. in Hispanic Studies with backgrounds in public health and economics. Aeshah is fluent in Guyanese Creole and Spanish she is on her way to becoming proficient in Turkish.

For two decades, Annetta has championed positive change locally and internationally. Her leadership roles include Director for Policy and Advocacy at United Neighborhood Houses and Executive Director of South Asian Youth Action (SAYA!). A Guyanese immigrant to New York City, Annetta holds an M.A. in International Political Economy and Development from Fordham University, a B.A. in Political Science from Manhattanville College, and executive management certificates from Columbia Business School and Harvard Business School. She serves on the board of the New York Immigration Coalition.

As a first generation child of Guyanese immigrants, Dana grew up in Queens, NY. She holds a B.A. in Communication Studies and freelances as a journalist with a focus on Caribbean stories. In her role at Chhaya, Dana is responsible for managing press relations and facilitating all aspects of Chhaya's internal and external communications.

Farzana manages Chhaya’s Naturalization Program, assisting Legal Permanent Residents in becoming citizens. She started as a summer intern at Chhaya, and then completed a fellowship program through Public Allies, where she worked on housing advocacy and volunteer management. She holds a B.A. in Psychology from Fordham University.

Jose brings to Chhaya a passion for social justice and over 13 years of experience in the personal finance and nonprofit sectors. As Program Director for Trusted Advisor, he was responsible for the design, implementation, and management of a program designed to sustainably scale financial counseling services nationally.

With a background in higher education and community organizing, Mahfuzul brings forth a tenacity for helping. He founded the social entrepreneurship venture, Jhal NYC. Mahfuzul is the son of Bengali immigrants and a lifelong resident of Queens Village who is fluent in Bangla.

As a first-generation immigrant who grew up in Queens, NY, Mahrin aims to help her fellow immigrant New Yorkers feel safe and supported by assisting with immigration services. With years of experience in various charitable organizations, she is passionate about helping people in her community. Mahrin is a proud Bengali-American fluent in Bangla.

Prior to joining Chhaya in 2019, Noor worked with Grameen America, Grameen PrimaCare, UNFPA, UN World Food Program, and the office of Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus. She holds a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University and speaks Bengali, Hindi, and Urdu, and basic Russian and Arabic.

Phoolmaya has broad experience in community leadership as a business owner, past President of the Manang Samaj of New York, and active member of the Himalayan Buddhist Community of Nepal. She first joined Chhaya as a CNL Apprentice in 2017 assisting the housing preservation team and holds a Diploma in Fashion Design from the New York School of Design.

Rima applies her clinical skills to engage clients and help tenants understand how policies affect them. Her work to combat oppression has enabled her to work with people of diverse racial, socio-economic, and gender backgrounds. She holds a Master of Social Work from Hunter College and in 2018 was Social Worker of Queens Honoree. She is fluent in Bangla.

Samantha has taught English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) at Chhaya since 2018. An MA TESOL candidate at The New School for Public Engagement, Samantha views her role as an ESOL practitioner as a tool for social justice. Her teaching at Chhaya is energized by a love of learning about language and people. She is fluent in Spanish.

Tenying has more than five years of experience working for nonprofits serving immigrants. Raised in India, Nepal, and New York City, she understands the value of having a space where people feel welcomed and heard. Fluent in Tibetan, Hindi, Nepali and Sharchokpa (Bhutanese dialect), she holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology.

Born and raised in Queens, New York. I graduated with a B/S in Economics from Saint John’s University. It was through my coursework that I discovered my passion for helping those who were less fortunate than me. I bring a passion for problem solving and helping people get on the right track to achieve their financial goals.

Yangchen manages Chhaya’s homeownership education and counseling and financial empowerment program. Since 2010, she has counseled 500+ clients, helping over 100 become first-time homeowners. A NeighborWorks certified counselor in Housing Counseling, Yanghen speaks Nepali, Hindi, Urdu and is proficient in Bengali and Tibetan.

Book Reviews 2002

The Foundations of Tibetan Buddhism: The Gem Ornament of Manifold Oral Instructions Which Benefits Each and Everyone Accordingly. By H. E. Kalu Rinpoche. Ithaca. NY Snow Lion, 1987, c1999. Paperback. xlv + 193 pages.

Kalu Rinpoche, born in 1905, after many years teaching in Tibet became senior lama of the Karma Kagyu lineage. In 1955 he was sent to India and Bhutan to prepare for the anticipated exodus of Tibetan refugees. In 1971, he began visiting the West to teach. The teachings in this book were delivered at a meditation retreat in Marcola, Oregon, in 1982, and present an overview of Tibetan Buddhism.

The author explains the three ways of Buddhism--Hinayana, Mahayana, and Vajrayana--and the ordinary preliminary practices of contemplating the "four thoughts that turn the mind." These are appreciation of the precious opportunity human birth provides the fact of impermanence and change the karmic causality between actions and experience and an awareness of suffering. He gives an explanation of taking refuge in the Dharma (teachings), Sangha (Buddhist community, especially enlightened bodhisattvas), and Buddha, and of the difference between lay vows, the Bodhisattva vow, and the Vajrayana commitment.

The book provides a "big picture" view of Tibetan Buddhism accessible to those with only passing familiarity with the subject. A helpful glossary ends the book.

Freud, Jung, and Spiritual Psychology By Rudolf Steiner. Intro. Robert Sardello. Great Barrington, MA: Anthroposophical Press, 2001. Paperback. 141 pages.

In five lectures, delivered between 1912 and 1921, Steiner takes on the founding fathers of psychoanalysis, first through a reworking of some of their famous case studies and second through a remodeling of this material in terms d his own spiritual psychology. He critiques Freud for his focus on the sexual etiology of psychic illness and critiques both Freud and Jung for stressing the hothouse experience of "transference" as the touchstone of the analytic process. The problem with transference, with its intense activation of childhood Oedipal material that gets projected onto the analyst, is that it allows the analyst to enter psychically into and thus alter the karma of the analysand. Transference is thus an alien power.

Steiner proposes instead a procedure that allows us to distinguish between unconscious (pathological) projections and genuine clairvoyant visions by using the individual will to see if the particular vision or symptom can be dissolved by a concerted mental action. If it cannot be expunged, then it is not a symptom or projection, but objective and a product of higher dimensions of reality than those admitted by psychoanalysis.

Steiner's anthroposophic framework reverses the psychoanalytic understanding of the causal relation of external wound to internal symptom by arguing that we are self-causal before an external symptom is manifest. Only clairvoyant consciousness, not free association combined with libidinal cathexis, can open out the driving forces of the unconscious and liberate them for growth. To accomplish this opening and liberation, we are asked to envision an internal "artificial human being" who stands for the deeper causality behind our triumphs and failures. Once we see that this higher being has actually directed our lives, we can grasp the roles of karma and self-causality, which this artificial human being represents, in making us well and ill. That is, things do not just happen to us we have directed (caused) them.

Steiner gives a fairly good account of the post-life realms of kamaloka and devachan. The former realm is the first that the soul encounters after the loss of the physical shell and is actually an externalization of our unprocessed internal projections, which are seen in kamaloka (the desire realm) as having objective reality. The subsequent realm of heaven (devachan) allows us to shed our projections and become immersed in the deeper reality beyond projection. In our clairvoyant consciousness, we can allow aspects of these realms into our psyche in the physical realm and thereby gain a more objective understanding of our current, past, and even future lives.

In a deeper and more genuine dialogue between spiritual psychology and psychoanalysis, we must go far beyond Steiner's caricatures of the founders and find room for phenomena he seems to he afraid of, namely, denial, negative transference (like his toward Leadbeater and Krishnamurti>, sexual stasis, and even esoteric projection. His lectures represent a one-sided approach that refuses to engage in the often distasteful work of probing into the shadow and the other non-self-caused aspects of the almost infinite unconscious. In this book, Steiner is as much a polemicist as a genuine explorer. I wish he had been fairer to his honored interlocutors, yet this is a beginning, and one that should be acknowledged for what it has accomplished.

Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of World Religions. Ed. Wendy Doniger. Springfield. MA: Merriam-Webster, 1999. Hardback, xviii + 1181 pages.

One-volume encyclopedias of religion appear to be a new growth industry. This addition to the field is of a quality associated with the distinguished Merriam-Webster imprint. It has a list of 37 scholarly advisors and authors. It is extensively illustrated with black-and-white pictures, two-color maps, and inserts of full-color plates. It consists of two kinds of articles. Approximately 3500 basic articles vary in length from a few lines to a few pages each 30 major articles on principal religious traditions and themes run from four to thirty pages. Variant names, spellings, and pronunciations are given, including both those favored by scholars and popular Anglicized ones when they exist.

The entries are readable, informative, clear, engaging, and impartial, although inevitably not always thorough. An instance is the article on "Theosophy." It surveys Western theosophical traditions from Pythagoras to the Romantic philosopher Friedrich Schelling and Eastern ones from the Vedas to Sufism, giving an accurate overview of some of the characteristics those traditions have in common.

The article's description of the early days of the modern Theosophical Society is fair but has a major lacuna at the time of the .Judge split. Its account of the Society in America thereafter deals solely with the Judge branch, overlooking the reestablishment of Adyar lodges throughout the United States and thus failing to give an adequate picture of American Theosophy after 1895.

The article gives, however, an accurate assessment of the influence of Theosophy on religious thought, which has been far greater than is often recognized, although it overlooks Theosophy's effect on literature, art, and music. It begins by saying that the Theosophical philosophy "has been of catalytic significance in religious thought in the 19th and 20th centuries" and concludes:

The influence of the Theosophical Society has been significant, despite its small following. The movement has been a catalytic force in the 20th-century Asian revival of Buddhism and Hinduism and a pioneering agency in the promotion of greater Western acquaintance with Eastern thought. In the United States it has influenced a whole series of religious movements.

This encyclopedia is a good one-volume source for information about general religious topics and compares favorably with its chief competitors: The HarperCollins Dictionary of Religion (1995), The Oxford Dictionary of World Religions (1997), and The Perennial Dictionary of World Religions (originally Abingdon Dictionary of Living Religions, 1981).

When Oracles Speak: Understanding the Signs and Symbols All around Us. By Dianne Skafte. Wheaton. IL: Theosophical Publishing House, Quest Books, 2000. Paperback, viii + 279 pages.

We tend to believe what we believe. But when we suspend belief and disbelief and become open-minded, then we may hear when oracles speak. Dianne Skafte invites us, in her beautifully written book When Oracles Speak, to rediscover some of the myriad gifts of open-mindedness, some ancient and archetypal, others intimate, affirming, guiding, and inspiring. Being open-minded, we are openhearted. Being openhearted we become more vulnerable, yet also more empathic, caring, and therefore wise.

When our hearts and minds are open to the world, we become present in our being to all beings. This is when we can hear the oracles. As Skafte writes, "Oracles are more awesome than everyday events but far less awesome than mystical raptures. Perhaps they form a contact point between heaven and earth."

She goes on to show how we can make this connection between heaven and earth through the oracles, for our own good and for the good of all. But if the good of others does not eventually become foremost in our lives, we will mistake the voice of the oracles for our own.

This is a providential book in these chaotic and troubling times, giving comfort and security to many and guidance toward spiritual affirmation and rediscovery of the gifts of life that are transformative of us as individuals and as a species.

For over 90 percent of human existence, we were gatherer-hunters, intimately connected with the powers of the phenomenal, natural world. This included the kingdoms of mineral, plant, and animal, as well as other kingdoms that shaped our psyches as we evolved. We are all disoriented in an increasingly dysfunctional society that severing our sacred connections with these Powers, and destroying the natural world-our ground of being and becoming.

This book is an antidote to the extinction of much of what has made us human and what it means to be human. To Western rational materialists, this book will be incomprehensible nonsense rather than a well-researched psycho-historical cross-cultural treatise on the subject of oracular communication, divination, and communion.

A book like this, that advances our development and evolution by facilitating our "understanding the signs and symbols all around us," is one antidote that I would prescribe for all.

Visitations from the Afterlife: True Stories of Love and Healing. By Lee Lawson. New York: HarperCollins, 2000. Hardback, xviii + 233 pages.

Lee Lawson is a West Coast artist, some of whose paintings are used on the dust jacket and to preface the book's 82 anecdotes. Those anecdotes are from the hundreds friends have shared with her, as well as five of her own experiences, about visits from deceased loved ones. She says, "People from all over the world, of every age and of every walk of life, have contributed to the following stories of visitations from the afterlife" (17). The stories are classified under 14 different headings such as "Stories of Love and Healing," "Saying Good-bye for Now," and "Making Peace: Forgiveness and Reconciliation."

The final chapter has stories of symbolic, but highly unusual and personally significant, visitations. Some might be explained in terms of the Jungian concept of synchronicity, but some seem to suggest that a dead animal somehow managed to influence another animal of a very different species to convey a feeling of continuity and love to its owner.

Although many of the stories do not accord with Theosophical theories about survival, found for example in The Mahatma Letters or the writings of H. B Blavatsky, C. W. Leadbeater, and Annie Besant, there is a tone of sincerity about them that calls upon the reader to think more deeply about the adequacy of theories. It is obvious that the author has reworded some of the stories that people have told her, since her style is evident in their retelling, but many of the stories have quite different styles and undoubtedly were written by the people to whom they are credited. In any event, they are all worth reading.

The author summarizes the point of the stories as follows: "The greater message of every visitation is that life continues after the death of the body and that we will be together again. You can trust that separation is temporary. A visitation from the afterlife tells us all that, for those who live, good-bye means good-bye for now, until we meet again" (46). Curiously, however, she repeatedly talks about "inconsolable feelings of loss" (xv) and "a tear in the very fabric of your being [when a friend or loved animal dies], a wound that, I believe, never fully heals" (23). This is certainly at odds with the experiences of most of the narrators of her stories, as well as those of Phoebe Bendit (in This World and That), myself, and others who have experienced such visitations. It is also at odds with her advice about letting go of departed loved one. (46).

The introduction to the book is by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, a Jungian psychologist and author of Women Who Run with the Wolves, who mentions J. B. Rhine, John Lilly, Raymond Moody, and "the Theosophists," bur doesn't seem personally familiar with the literature of those sources herself. Despite these few flaws, I found the book very interesting and reassuring. As the author writes, "A visitation gives me the knowledge that even though I understand little about why and how life goes on, it does go on for all of us. Existence is a safe place for me and the people I love. I cannot lose my life, and I cannot lose other souls who are dear to me. Our survival is assured" (221).

Budo Secrets: Teachings of the Martial Arts Masters. Ed. John Stevens. Boston, MA: Shambhala, 2001. Hardback, xii + 109 pages.

Budo Secrets is not a picture gallery of bearded septuagenarians gracefully launching their opponents airborne from one side of the dojo to the other, nor is it a recipe book of 101 ways to slice and dice your opponent before he can say "ginsu knife." John Stevens, who lives and teaches in Japan, has compiled an eclectic assortment of texts on the martial arts- including philosophies, principles, and instructive stories meant not only for the practitioner of the arts but for the layman with an interest in the Martial Way, called Budo.

Stevens has culled this admirable collection from a diversity of training manuals, transmission scrolls, and modern texts, many of which are available only in the original Japanese. Stevens keeps his own commentary sparse and economical, preferring to let the precepts and teachings speak for themselves. His Spartan use of commentary, however, is enhanced by the inclusion of elegant brush calligraphy attributed to the hands of various martial arts masters.

Just as learning the technique of playing the piano or the violin does not in itself elevate a musician to the level of the artist, so too, the mastery of wrist locks, arm throws, and flying side kicks does not make a warrior. One can be a technician without understanding the meaning of the Martial Way. There is an ethos that must be learned and lived. Being a warrior has nothing to do with belligerence, intimidation, and vulgar displays of self-promotion. It has everything to do with self-control, respect, and intelligent use of force. This is made clear by the number of injunctions and precepts listed here, which form a universal warrior ethos, regardless of whether one's discipline is judo, karate, aikido, or jujitsu.

Legendary figures quoted include Kyuzo Mifune, a modern-era judo master who could easily defeat opponents twice his size, although he was only 5 feet-4-inches tall and weighed less than 140 pounds. One of Mifune's tenets &ldquothe soft controls the hard") has a distinct Taoist flavor. His favorite teaching principle was that of the sphere: a sphere never loses its center and moves swiftly without strain. Another luminary is the famed sixteenth-century swordsman, Miyamoto Mushashi, whose austere code of conduct shows striking similarities with Buddhist thought. Mushashi's life was brilliantly depicted by the incomparable Toshiro Mifune in Hiroshi Inagaki's 1955 cinematic classic, Samurai Trilogy.

In an age of culture wars that has seen the erosion of traditional male role models to the point where even feminists such as Pulizer-Prize-winner Susan Faludi (Stiffed: The Betrayal of the American Man) become alarmed, there is much to be said for the study of the mental and moral disciplines of the martial arts tradition. Both men and women can, of course, excel in any of these disciplines, but the tradition is based on qualities generally considered masculine in nature, such as strength, courage, restraint, and perseverance. According to Budo, the warrior is not one who is ready to throw a knockout punch at" the drop of an insult, nor is he the weepy-eyed effusive type who sobs at the slightest hint of pain or suffering. Those who faithfully follow the ways of Budo will find that, at the highest level, martial arts and spirituality converge. But that culmination is based on years of hard physical work, tolerance of or indifference to pain, and practice, practice, practice.

So what is the secret of Budo? In the words of twentieth-century karate master Kanken Toyama, "Secret techniques begin with basic techniques basic techniques end as secret techniques. There are no secrets at the beginning, but there are secrets at the end."

A New Religious America: How a "Christian Country" Has Now Become the World's Most Religiously Diverse Nation. By Diana L. Eck. New York: HarperCollins, HarperSanFrancisco, 2001. Hardback, xli + 404 pages.

As Professor of Comparative Religion and Indian Studies and Director of the well-known Pluralism Project at Harvard University, Diana Eck dispensed students into countless communities scattered across the United States, where they studied our proliferating religious pluralism. These youthful researchers and their professor discovered that the United States harbors more American Muslims than American Episcopalians, Jews, or Presbyterians and that at present Los Angeles has more than three hundred Buddhist temples and the world's most varied Buddhist communities.

Eck presents this extensive diversity as a present-day Main Street phenomenon, although many Americans are unaware of this profound change. Eck depicts this submerged or concealed culture by describing Muslims worshipping in a former mattress showroom in Northridge, California, and Hindus gathering in a warehouse in Queens, New York. She identifies the growing religious diversity in America as a great challenge in the twenty-first century. Eck's study probes religious diversity in the United Stares by showing both the tragedies that develop through ignorance and misunderstanding and the hope for cultivating new spiritual communities.

The Odyssey of a New Religion: The Holy Order of MANS from New Age to Orthodoxy. By Phillip Charles Lucas. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1995. Hardback, viii + 312 pages.

Every now and then a worthwhile book comes out but never gets the recognition it deserves. The Odyssey of a New Religion is one such book. This is a book that many Theosophists should read because of its Theosophical overtones.

Why did the Holy Order of MANS (HOOM) exist for only about 22 years, whereas the Theosophical Society is still in existence more than 125 years after its founding? Both the Theosophical Society and HOOM had similar beginnings. Yet the small esoteric Christian community continued only by changing its mission and joining the larger Orthodox Christian community. Lucas's book tells the story of HOOM with skill, scholarship, and such grace that his sociological insights never get in the way of the unfolding story.

The Holy Order of MANS was founded by Earl Blighton (known as Father Paul) in 1968 in the San Francisco Bay area. The core group actually started two years earlier when Blighton taught a type of "esoteric Christianity." His message borrowed heavily from many alternative religions, but, as Lucas continually reminds us, it was primarily Rosicrucian and Theosophical in nature. Any Theosophist reading this book will recognize much of the Order's structure and teaching.

The group had a monastic image and its members wore clerical garb. Much of their early mission was service, charity, and missionary work, "for example, for homeless families and single mothers in shelters called 'Raphael House.'" The members, dressed in their clerical garb, would walk around crime-filled neighborhoods and visualize a ray of healing light. Blighton, judging from antidotal evidence, was a gifted psychic, like H. P. Blavatsky in the formative years of the Theosophical Society. Blighton wrote a "Tree of Life" series around which the "ancient Christian mysteries" were studied. About half of Lucas&rsquos book explains the details of this early history.

Following Earl Blighton's death in 1974, the group's history became turbulent. After the usual power struggles that occur with the death of a charismatic leader, Andrew Rossi rook over and about 1978 began to lead the group from its Rosicrucian-Theosophical roots toward a more mainstream Christian identity. From a peak of about 3000 members in 1977, the membership began dropping. In 1988 Rossi led a mass conversion of 750 HOOM members into the Eastern Orthodox Church and changed the group's name to Christ the Savior Brotherhood.

In response to the question of why the Theosophical Society has lasted more than 125 years whereas HOOM had a 22-year existence, one of the relevant factors may be that the Society elects its officers on a regular schedule. The believers in the Holy Order of MANS did not have that option. One recalls Winston Churchill's observation that "democracy is the worst form of government' except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time."

Circling the Sacred Mountain: A Spiritual Adventure through the Himalayas. By Robert Thurman and Tad Wise. New York: Bantam, 2000. Paperback, 353 pages.

This is a book of a genre that happens to be a favorite of mine, as I suspect it is for many readers of the Quest as well: a chronicle of travel combining the exploration of exotic realms on both physical and spiritual planes. In this case, the two authors, together with a handful of other companions, journey to remote western Tibet to perform the traditional Vajrayana (Tibetan) Buddhist pilgrimage-circumambulation of the sacred Mount Kailas, and in the process learn much about Buddhism and themselves. Robert Thurman, a practicing Vajrayana Buddhist and former monk, now a professor at Columbia University, is perhaps the best-known Western scholar of Tibetan Buddhism today. Tad Wise, a much younger former student of his, has practiced several trades including stonemasonry and writing: he has published one novel.

The two writers alternate in presenting the narrative Wise provides the day-by-day account of the journey, and Thurman (under his Buddhist name Tenzin) offers virtually daily sermons on their exercises and experiences. In the process, the two are uninhibited in displaying themselves as they are. Wise comes across as a voluble, witty, irreverent, and sensual, but very likable, young man only half-convinced of the Dharma, he nonetheless felt a strange compulsion to leave his life behind for a month to join his old pedagogue on this expedition. Thurman is a learned, sagacious, but occasionally overbearing guide to the mysteries. But the real star of the story is Mount Kailas- -the silent, towering, oddly-shaped, yet unimaginably numinous presence always kept to their right as the foreign party, together with countless devout Tibetans, circles the slow trail round her widespread base, stopping for traditional devotions at ancient shrines and temples. The journey is not entirely out of time, however there arealso unpleasant encounters with Tibet's heavy-handed Chinese overlords.

Circling the Sacred Mountain is sometimes a bit verbose introspective surveys of other persons' (the two writers') inward sins and salvations can eventually become tiresome. At those moments I would have preferred more cultural description of Tibet's temples, Buddhas, rites, priests, and pilgrims instead, or else a few cuts. But overall the book moves and is a good read, highly recommended to all who enjoy the more adventurous kind of spirituality.

Riding Windhorses: A Journey into the Heart of Mongolian Shamanism. By Sarangerel. Rochester, VT: Destiny Books, 2000. Paperback, xiv + 210 pages.

Shamanism is among the oldest and most universal forms of religious expression. It is a tradition that was, and to a certain extent still is, found in both the Old and New Worlds. Its influence upon the so-called higher religions is also quite obvious when one knows what to look for. Sarangerel is a practicing shaman of Siberian descent who has studied with several Central Asian shamans and who presents to us in readable and interesting form a fine description of Mongolian belief and practice.

Unlike works by such scholars as Mircea Eliade and Michael Harner, she writes from a practitioner's perspective, often attesting to her own experiences. She also seeks to present, not shamanism in general, but the special forms of Mongolian shamanism. For her, this shamanism is not just an exotic tradition to be studied at arm's length, but a viable spiritual option today. While she is thoroughly conversant with modern scholarship about shamanism, she can also attest, for instance, to her own experiences of out-of-body travel. At the conclusion of each chapter, therefore, she provides rituals of visualization techniques for the reader to use. Moreover, she provides useful information about where to go in Mongolia to see shamanistic holy places. Useful web site addresses, a bibliography, and glossary of terms are also provided.

In a word, this is a very valuable and useful work that brings the reader much closer to the realities of shamanism than most other scholarly works. Whether a belief in the spirit world, which shamanism presupposes, is possible in today's post-modern world is a question only individual readers can answer for themselves. Clearly, however, the development of "windhorse," that is, psychic power, is something that will be attractive for many to contemplate. This work merits study by anyone interested in either the history of religions or the exploration of the possibilities of human spirituality.

Emerson in His Sermons: A Man-Made Self. By Susan L. Roberson. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1995. Hardcover, xii + 223 pages.

Emersonian Circles: Essays in Honor of Joel Myerson. Ed. Wesley T. Moll and Robert E. Burkholder. Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press, 1997. Hardcover, xi + 284 pages.

The Spiritual Teachings of Ralph Waldo Emerson.By Richard G. Geldard. Great Barrington, MA: Lindisfarne, 2001. Paperback, x + 196 pages.

Susan Roberson examines Emerson's career and intellectual development as a Unitarian preacher between 1826 and 1832, including Emerson's concept, of self-reliance, his introduction of a new hero suited for a new age, and his merging of his identity with this ideal.

Wesley Mort and Robert Burkholder present fourteen new essays on Emerson, his philosophy, and his colleagues, connecting Transcendentalism to persistent currents in American thought. Among the contributors, Robert D. Richardson, Jr., describes Emerson as an editor Ronald A. Bosco probes Emerson's teaching of the "Somewhat Spheral and Infinite" existing in every person and Albert J. von Frank analyzes Emerson's construction of the" Intimate Sphere." This academic anthology enriches our understanding of Emerson and his closest colleagues.

Published in 1993 as The Esoteric Emerson, the new edition of Richard Geldard's book describes the Concord sage as a poet and essayist who inspired a spiritual literature and inaugurated an enduring philosophical movement outside Unitarianism. Geldard describes Emerson as a New England Socrates. Previous generations, Emerson emphasized, "beheld God and nature face to face." His contemporaries seemed content to comprehend spirituality through historic writing bequeathed from earlier generations. However Emerson observed that poetry and philosophy issue from "an original relation to the universe" rather than from history, tradition, or "religion of revelation."

The Zen of Listening: Mindful Communication in the Age of Distraction. By Rebecca Z. Shafir. Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, Quest Books, 2000. Hardback, viii + 255 pages.

Drawing on its author's experience as a speech and language pathologist and a student of the martial arts and Zen meditation, The Zen of Listening is an illuminating workshop on the art of listening well. Rebecca Shafir writes that the foundation of good listening goes deeper than techniques such as maintaining eye contact and nodding often. To listen truly well, she says, we must" dismantle the barriers to communication rooted in our prejudices and self-absorption.

Shafir says we often judge who is worth listening to (and who isn't) by their status, age, physical appearance, sex, race, our past experiences with them, and how well what they say fits with our own beliefs. Furthermore, communication with those who get by our elaborate screening process is impeded by our personal agendas, the jangle of our often negative self-talk and poor concentration skills.

Shafir offers a number of ways to counter these barriers, such as meditation, pointedly opening our minds to people and ideas that don't fit into our belief systems, and attempting to "set aside your evaluative self" and simply" be a witness" to the ideas of others.

Creating a memorable analogy, Shafir invites readers to listen to others "with the same self-abandonment as we do at the movies." "You go to the movies," she tells us, "to satisfy your curiosity, to be informed, to be entertained, to get another point of view, to experience something outside yourself." To listen in this way is to receive "the gift of another's vision of life."

Shafir offers many helpful suggestions for shaping our listening styles: being silent to encourage communication (whereas advice-giving usually shuts it down), listening under stress, and improving memory. She also gives readers a short but lucid introduction to Zen philosophy.

This is a practical book with tools for handling everyday transactions in work, school, and relationships. It is also a spiritual book, promising that: "any verbal encounter could contain a golden nugget of experience, information, or insight," and thus a portal to spiritual growth.

Ethics for the New Millennium. By the Dalai Lama. New York: Riverhead Books, 2001. Paperback, xiv + 237 pages.

On July 21,1981, the fourteenth Dalai Lama came to Olcott, headquarters of the Theosophical Society in America, in Wheaton, Illinois. This was a very large and significant event for the Society. The audience was approximately four hundred people, and we began with the mayor of Wheaton presenting to the Dalai Lama an honorary Citizenship to the city. Considering the very large fundamentalist Christian community in Wheaton at the time, this was indeed a momentous event. I was in the crowd that day, and I still remember this humble man walking through the many trees of Olcott to the small outdoor stage, with the people standing and paying silent respect.

At: that time, the Dalai Lama was not as well known in the United States as he is now, and his travels were not nearly as extensive. He is still a humble and simple man, but in 1989 he won the Nobel Peace Prize. Since that time the whole world has heard his profound message that the cultivation of compassion is the path to world peace.

In 1981, few books by the Dalai Lama were readily available, and those that were seemed written for a college-level introductory course on Tibetan Buddhism. Most of what I had read were scripts from his talks. Before I went to Olcott for his talk, I had read as many of his articles as I could find. His title that day was "The Buddha Nature," but I quickly noticed that what he said sounded very much like what I had read in the articles. In other words, the message was simple: compassion, happiness (inner peace), and world peace are what we should be thinking about.

In this book, Ethics for the New Millennium, the Dalai Lama continues that: same theme. He gives us a moral system based, not on religious principles, but on universal principles irrespective of religious belief. It is written more as if he and I were having a serious talk over lunch, and he is giving me all of these important points. If I were taking notes, they might look like the following:

"Unfortunately, many have unrealistic expectations, supposing that I have healing powers or that I can give some sort of blessing. But I am only an ordinary human being. The best I can do is try to help them by sharing in their suffering."

"Despite the fact that millions live in close proximity to one another, it seems that many people, especially among the old, have no one to talk to but their pets."

"In replacing religion as the final source of knowledge in popular estimation, science begins to look a bit like another religion itself."

And then we have some real eye-openers: "My own experience of life as a refugee has helped me realize that the endless protocol, which was such an important part of my life in Tibet, was quite unnecessary."

Toward the end of the book, the Dalai Lama concludes, "I cannot, therefore, say that Buddhism is best for everyone," because from the perspective of human society at large, we must accept the concept of "many truths, many religions." Then he says, "In my own case, for example, my meetings with the late Thomas Merton, a Catholic monk of the Cistercian order, were deeply inspiring."

The Dalai Lama now has a large number of books in print. He says very little in this book that is new or original. But what he says still sounds fresh and worth rereading.

Spiritual Marketplace: Baby Boomers and the Remaking of American Religion. By Wade Clark Roof. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1999. Paperback. x + 367 pages.

What is really going on in American religion? Indicators today seem to be pointing in all directions at once as one tries to assess the spiritual environment with which Theosophy, and each of us as an individual, must live and work. Look at it one way, and (as certain alarmists insist) rampant secularism is taking over. Look at it another way, and religion- -conservative religion at that--appears to be gaining almost unprecedented political and social power. All that is sure is that American religion is getting more pluralistic all the time, and styles of religious life are changing nearly everywhere.

Now here comes an authoritative guidebook to this incredibly complex picture by one of the nation's most eminent sociologists of religion. Wade Clark Roof first divides the current religious world into four segments: Born-again Christians, Mainstream Believers, Metaphysical Believers and Seekers (a sector Theosophy is given due credit for helping construct), and Dogmatists and Secularists. The last, dogmatism and secularism, are interestingly put together as representing a comparable kind of mentality, though at opposites ends of the continuum. But most religionists today, deep down, do not have whatever it takes either to believe completely or doubt fully, and that's why the scene is so fluid and at the same time so vigorous.

For what is overall most- characteristic of American religion today, according to Roof is not the variety it has long possessed so much as the flexible spirit, the sense of being on a never-ending quest, that seems to shape all but its most extreme ends. Whatever faith one has landed in is likely to be viewed only as the vessel within which one is continuing the journey for now, and its charter always open to revision. Even traditionally rigid churches may be held in a light, searching, and open kind of way that is comfortable with doubt or unconventionality in some areas. In such a situation, boundaries are inevitably fluid more and more people are not in the religion in which they were raised, and may hold unexpected beliefs. Remarkably, in Roof's poll-data no less that 27 percent of those who said they were Born-again Christians also believed in reincarnation.

Indeed, combining faith with doubt and ongoing search was a common response in place of the old hard attitude toward religion, "Take it [belief] or leave it: [religion]," there was a third option, put memorably by Jack Miles in a passage quoted by Roof: "If I may doubt the practice of medicine from the operating table, if I may doubt the political system from the voting booth, if I may doubt the institution of marriage from the conjugal bed, why may I not doubt religion from the pew?"

Is this just the yuppie "I want to have it all" mentality, or something radically new and different" emerging from the spiritual marketplace? Only time will tell. But Theosophists, who also like to see their worldview as a third option alongside dogmatic science and religion, should pay close attention to what is going on over there behind the scenes as well as in the foreground, so they can speak effectively to those born-again believers, seekers, and doubters. Spiritual Marketplace is a serious work of sociology and not light reading, but it is very well written and unfailingly interesting and illuminating. In a scene so fluid, it can hardly be called the last word, bur readers will not: lay it down without a much richer sense of the religious world in which we live, a world that, as Roof makes clear, is seldom what it seems.

Blake, Jung, and the Collective Unconscious: The Conflict between Reason and Imagination. By June Singer. York Beach, MN: Nicholas-Hays, 2000. Paperback, xx + 272 pages.

William Blake, poet, printer, and mystic, prophet, experienced his first vision about the age of eight. Thereafter, he balanced his connection to the practical outer world with the inner world of his visions. Like many of our contemporaries, he believed and experienced-that the boundless infinite is accessed by intuition and imagination, rather than by intellect or senses.

In this new and retitled edition of her earlier work, The Unholy Bible, June Singer studies Blake from the perspective of depth psychology. With clarity and detail, she leads us through Blake's later prophetic works, especially The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, which consists of twenty-four plates of text and illustrations engraved by Blake. In this study of good and evil, he asserts that the codes of convention and morality taught by the law and the churches are repressively deadening. Only the exercise of the psyche's unique desires and perceptions provides experiences that are enlivening and spiritually transforming.

Singer compares Blake's understanding of individual freedom and creativity with similar Jungian theories. For example, both affirm the union of opposites. All dualities, such as heaven and hell, male and female, reason and imagination, soul and body, must be conjoined. According to Blake, without the contraries there is no progression. Both speak of this process of reconciliation in symbolic language. For Blake it is the marriage, and for Jung the conjunction, which joins the conscious and the unconscious. Combining the characteristics of the opposing dualities begets wholeness and integrity.

Blake was willing to look honestly at the beauties and the terrors of the unconscious. As Singer tells us, "Heaven only becomes available to the man who has dared to venture into hell." Blake's visions were not spontaneous, but' the result of intense concentration on a single object or idea, until the unconscious stimulated his ego and "something would appear out of the nothingness." The device Blake used to communicate the realties of the unconscious was the copper plate on which he engraved them, "the symbol of the threshold between his consciousness and the mystery." Moreover, his ego involvement in this creative process, Singer believes, kept him from going mad. For "by writing down what he heard and drawing pictures of what he saw . the visions then became manageable creations of his own mind."

June Singer's insightful meditation on the symbolic words and images contained on those plates is an invaluable guide to all Blake readers.

The Crystal and the Way of Light: Sutra, Tantra, and Dzogchen. By Chogyal Namkhai Norbu. Ed. John Shane. Ithaca, NY: Snow Lion, 2000. Paperback, 215 pages.

The author, born in Tibet in 1938, was recognized at the age of two as the reincarnation of a spiritual leader of the Nyingmapa school. Forced to leave Tibet because of the Chinese invasion, he became a professor at the Oriental Institute in Naples, Italy.

The Crystal and the Way of Light contains autobiography, theory, and practice- -all centered on Dzogchen, which can be translated as "Great Perfection," which is our natural state prior to all conditioning. The author writes: "To enter this state is to experience oneself as one is, as the center of the universe though not in the ordinary ego sense. The ordinary ego-centered consciousness is precisely the limited cage of dualistic vision that closes off the experience of one's own true nature."

Requiring commitment, discipline, understanding, and practice, Dzogchen is said to lead to enlightenment in a single lifetime. The author notes that "nothing need be renounced, purified, or transformed" and quotes a Tibetan master, "It's not the circumstances which arise as one's karmic vision that conditions a person into the dualistic state it's a person's own attachment that enables what arises to condition him." Whatever arises in a practitioner's experience is simply allowed to arise just as it is, without any judgment concerning good or bad, beautiful or ugly, desirable or undesirable. The aim is to be comfortably harmonious with whatever is, as it is. This practice is based on the realization that our ordinary and deeply conditioned likes and dislikes are precisely what keep us imprisoned within the boundaries of our egos.

Dzogchen is a structured program of personal transformation. Practice centers on working with three categories: Base, Path, and Fruit. "Base" is the fundamental ground of existence at both the cosmic and individual levels, the nondual primordial nature. "Path" consists of views and practices designed to lead out of dualistic entrapment and suffering. And "Fruit" is the fully realized state as it is in itself (Dharmakaya), as it operates energetically (Sambhogakaya), and as it manifests in form (Nirmanakaya).

The author distinguishes between Dzogchen exposition and instruction the former is what books do the latter requires the direct teaching of a master. Instruction entails actual transmission of the primordial state from the master to the student. The student's task is then to engage in practices that enable direct access to that state---and eventually to abide uninterruptedly in the primordial state, even while living an ordinary life.

The Atlantis Blueprint: Unlocking the Ancient Mysteries of a Long-Lost Civilization. By Colin Wilson and Rand Flem-Ath. New York: Random House, Delacorte Press, 2001. Hardback, xxvi + 415 pages.

How well does the content of this book reflect its title and subtitle?

Not well. Imagine a book advertised as describing restaurants within your city. The book actually dwells heavily on the restaurants of one ethnic group, ignores most others, describes only one meal out of each menu, includes a small number of restaurants long since dosed down, and sneaks in a restaurant from another city. Not a useful book for most diners. Something similar can be said about this book, which is generally a retelling of mysteries already examined at greater length in other books.

A thread running throughout this book is spelled out in the preface (xxiv) by Flem-Ath:

Today we assume that sacred sites such as the Egyptian, Chinese and South American pyramids were built by local people (or local reasons, but The Atlantis Blueprint will reveal that there is a single global pattern that ties these monuments together. This in turn implies the existence of an advanced civilization that existed before the flood and managed to communicate important geodesic, geological and geometric information to people who became ancient mariners and recharted the globe.

The two authors have each independently written several books. The collaboration of these two experienced and skilled authors does not save this book from flaws, however. It is a work that satisfies one of the definitions of fiction: that it contains just enough facts to be believable.

One of the book's flaws is that it presents the stone spheres of Central America as a mystery, indicative of a previous civilization that worshiped the form of a sphere, making hundreds of them, some quite large, scattering them at random over the landscape, and then most inconveniently disappearing, leaving no trace of their tools, their intents, or their culture. This "mystery," however, was solved long ago by the National Geographic Society, when it commissioned a forensic geologist" to explore the situation. After his visit, he described quite clearly the geologic processes that created the stone spheres totally without the help of human hands or civilization: "Solving the Mystery of Mexico's Great Stone Spheres," National Geographic (August 1969), pp. 295-300.

Another flaw is the concept that the megalithic monuments of western Europe were all made more than 20,000 years ago and are due to the precocious abilities of the Atlanteans. The fact is that some of the megalithic monuments have been dated, using the carbon-14 method on bits of plant matter found beneath or within the constructions. The evidence so far indicates that the megalithic walls, tombs, temples, and pyramids were all constructed during the time period of 4000 to 2000 years ago and, furthermore, that the earliest ones are found in Great Britain and Brittany, on the coast of France facing Great Britain. If the megalithic construction is to be attributed to Atlantis, then it would appear that Atlantis was in the English Channel, 4000 years ago.

The treatment of the magnetic poles and their frequent shifts in recent ages fails to make a clear distinction between the magnetic poles and the physical poles of the earth. A movement of the physical poles would prove a disaster to much of earth's life, whereas a similar movement of the magnetic poles is invisible to all but a few animals, and is never harmful to any. The discussion for the evidence of pole shift shifts back and forth between the magnetic and the physical poles without dearly differentiating between them.

Charles Hapgood's discussion of ancient maps and his contention that they indicate an early and advanced culture are well represented in this book. But no attention is given to several telling criticisms of Hapgood's thesis. A clear discussion of those criticisms would do much to establish the credibility of this book and possibly to support Hapgood's arguments.

Much space is given to a contrived geography by which the ancients are said to have determined where they would place their holy sites. With no clear reason given for why the ancients should find it desirable to place their holy sites at these locations and not others, the reasoning is less than compelling. A remarkably long list has been compiled of the ancient holy places that meet the criteria. However, there is an equally large number of holy places that are not on the list. A reader may wonder why the authors cite the ones that fit and ignore the ones that don't. Of some interest to Theosophists, however, is that one of the holy places is Ojai, California (342): &ldquoAlthough there are no megalithic structures here, Ojai joins a select number of sites around the world that are linked by Golden Section divisions of the earth's dimensions."

An entire chapter is a retelling of the story of the Templars. This interesting story, fairly well though too briefly told here, has its own unsolved mystery. The authors provide a novel solution, which will he appreciated by fans of the Templar story. But this chapter has nothing to do with the rest of the book. Furthermore, the story of the Templars is told better and more completely elsewhere.

Readers who have read widely in the field of crypto-archaeology will appreciate the stories of introductions, chance meetings, and serendipitous discoveries. In this sense the book is an entertaining travelogue and autobiography. This book by two experienced and skilled authors is entertaining but not up to the authors' normally high standard of work.

Wandering Joy: Meister Eckhart's Mystical Philosophy. Trans. Reiner Schurmann. Great Barrington, MA: Lindisfarne Books, 2001. Paperback, xxi + 264 pages.

No history of mysticism or compilation of the writings of the great mystics through the ages would be complete without reference to that brilliant and original teacher, the Dominican friar and mystical theologian, Meister Eckhart. Born Johannes Eckhart in 1260, he acquired the title "Meister" after receiving his master's degree in theology from the University of Paris in 1302. As Richard Tarnas points out in The Passion of the Western Mind, the late thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries in Europe witnessed an extraordinary wave of mystical fervor. Eckhart was not only part of that wave but was central to it-often called the "founder" of the Rhineland mystics. It was Eckhart who gave to the mysticism of the period an intellectual subtlety based on the Platonic and Neoplatonic traditions, as well as the philosophical views of Thomas Aquinas and Aquinas's teacher Albertus Magnus, who may well have also been Eckhart's teacher when he studied at Cologne on his entrance into the Dominican order.

Beyond the numerous philosophical views current during the tare Middle Ages, which inevitably had their influence on the thought of Eckhart, his formulations were original. And it is to this originality in formulating the mystical experience by translating "an ineffable experience . into daily language so as to become communicable," that- the present book directs our attention. Reiner Schurmann, who was Professor of Philosophy at the New School for Social Research in New York City prior to his death in 1993, uses Eckhart's German sermons to illustrate both his originality of thought and "the creative genius of his language." Schurmann, who was also convinced of the contemporaneity of Eckhart's speculative mysticism, points up the ways in which Eckhart adapted or interpreted Augustinian, Thomistic, Albertian, and Neoplatonic doctrines, and in fact the entire doctrinal lineage to which he was heir (including the views of the Church Fathers such as Clement of Alexandria, Hippolytus, and Origen), stretching back to pre-Christian Stoicism.

This is not an easy book to read, but for anyone who would understand Eckhart's thought, his mystical philosophy, his unique formulation of the mystic via negative, there could be no better text than Schurmann's. As David Appelbaum stares in the foreword to the book, Schurmann introduces us &ldquoto Eckhart's single-pointed concern with the mystery of birth," that is, "theogenesis, the birth of God . in a human being." Appelbaum then adds, "There is much perception in the scheme Schurmann provides as a first course in Eckhart's teaching. The birthing process . is not described as an ascent by degrees . But it has three distinct phases: detachment, releasement, and (to use Shurmann&rsquos slightly archaic term) dehiscence&hellipthe bursting forth&hellipof the fruit&rdquo Because the process is a rigorous one as well as one without end, he adds:

Releasement only approaches, but does not enter, that virginal terrain of the Godhead. It wanders outside the wilderness, growing in relation with each step. We in our winding itinerary experience an aimless joy, a joy that uplifts us in our worldly ways. At this high pitch of Eckhart's leaching, the searing intensity of wakefulness carries its own feeling. Schurmann entitled the original French edition of 1972 Maitre Eckhart ou la joie errante. The joy of divine birth is a wandering joy. [xiv]

To achieve his purpose of opening up Eckhart's mystical philosophy for contemporary readers, Schurmann has concentrated on Eckhart's German sermons, which he addressed to the nuns and laity of the Rhineland in his native tongue and in which, as Schurmann says, "he was more original and more personal . without the confining apparatus of late scholasticism," which we find in his Latin works "written for academic purposes." As Schurmann point's out, however, "Meister Eckhart teaches basically the same thing in both languages. The Latin work constitutes the doctrinal basis for the understanding of his thought. . The Latin works mark the road, but the German works invite us on the journey." Wandering Joy consists, then, of Schurmann's own translations (from Middle High German) of eight of Eckhart's German sermons, three of the eight being followed by a careful analysis of the argument and then by a useful but solidly packed commentary on the main themes in the sermons.

Schurmann also points up how perilously close Eckhart came to heresy in many of his affirmative statements concerning God, the Godhead (or the God beyond God), the birth of God within the "soul" or "mind," and so on. It was, of course, because of many of these arguments that finally, in 1326, Eckhart was accused by the Archbishop of Cologne of spreading dangerous doctrines among the common people. Hailed before three inquisitors, two of whom were Franciscans (as was the archbishop), Eckhart declared he was not a heretic though he conceded that many of his teachings had been distorted or misunderstood. Censured at the Cologne trial, Eckhart appealed to the Pope, and a second trial was convened at Avignon. Schurmann deals in comprehensive endnotes with several of the "propositions" that had been declared "heretical." He also points out that a papal bull issued by Pope John XXII a year after Eckhart's death declared seventeen of the twenty-eight articles heretical and the remainder "dangerous and suspect of heresy."

Two of Schurmann's translations of the Middle High German words are particularly felicitous, as coming closer to Eckhart's thought than the customary renderings. First is the term sele, interpreted by many writers as "soul," but by Schurmann as "mind." Schurmann defends this by pointing out that "Eckhart's vocabulary in this case is Augustinian. Sele mostly stands for Augustine's mens or animus, both of which are usually translated as 'mind'." Later, in commenting on one of the sermons, Schurmann refers to the Greek term, nous, probably as also meaning sele. The other term is even more revealing of Eckhart's essential thought. Schurmann suggests that the Middle High German word gelazenheit (modern German Gelassenheit) is the "authentic core of Meister Eckhart's thinking." As he says early in the text, this "key term" has been translated as "serenity," "letting go," or "abandonment," but he believes the translation "releasement" is more appropriate. In one of the best of Schurmann's exegeses of Eckhart's sermons, he emphasizes the relevance of releasement and what he calls the four "intensities of releasement" (dissimilarity, similarity, identity, and "dehiscence") as road markers on the way to that place "where absolute stillness, utter silence and unity reign," to union with "the unknown one." Schurmann says:

Eckhart announces a simple message his doctrine has nothing esoteric or extraordinary about it. It concerns what is most ordinary in an existence. It deals with experiences that the majority of men have. It responds to elementary questions in the apprenticeship of life: What about my original liberty, and how can it be regained? How can I come back to myself? Where can 1find joy that does not tarnish? [81] The single thought around which [Eckhart's] message is articulated is expressed in verbs that speak of deliverance: "to rid oneself of something," "to become free," "to be a virgin," "to let be." These words indicate a road. [81]

And that road, says Schurmann, is "detachment" or "renunciation":

Detachment not only reveals man's condition and the condition of the ground, but also God's own condition. God is not God is nothing as long as man lacks the breakthrough to the Godhead. If you do not consent to detachment, God will miss his Godhead, and man will miss himself. [80]

Nevertheless, the crux of the matter according to Schurmann is that "detachment turns progressively into releasement. The lower intensities of releasement require an effort of the will the higher intensities. exclude every voluntary determination&hellip The intensities of releasement result from the actualization of the center, or ground, in man" (82). Schurmann has prepared us for this development by his statement in the introduction (xx): &quo

Atlas Obscura's Guide to Secrets of NYC’s Five Boroughs

Few cities on Earth are as well-trodden as New York–but as any intrepid traveler knows, the more you explore a place, the more wonders you find. You may not be able to discover all of these spots in a single trip, but that could be a good thing. No matter how many times you return, the city that never sleeps never ceases to surprise.

Visit NYCGo to uncover more of the city’s secret spots.

1. Hidden Gems of the New York Public Library

The New York Public Library’s Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, on the edge of Bryant Park, may seem like an odd place to begin—after all, Patience and Fortitude, the majestic stone lions out front, are one of Manhattan’s most iconic duos. But just inside, in the Children’s Center, you’ll find some smaller critters that are every bit as enchanting: the stuffed tiger, piglet, donkey, kangaroo, and bear that inspired the author A. A. Milne to write the Winnie the Pooh series.

Deeper underground are the Milstein Research Stacks, a climate-controlled, 55,600-square-foot repository that houses over one million books. To navigate the shelves, staff members rely on a 24-car “book train” that swiftly delivers items from the stacks to the upper floors. Cherry-red and emblazoned with the library’s logo, each car can carry up to 30 pounds of material at speeds of up to 75 feet per minute. Though the stacks are closed to the public, you can catch glimpses of the book trains in the Rose Main Reading Room.

The new book train system is just one of the library's advancements made necessary by its ever-expanding collection. Keep your eyes peeled for older innovations too, such as the pneumatic tubing system—no longer in use, but still plainly visible in the Bill Blass Catalog Room.

476 5th Ave, New York, NY 10018

2. A Loft That Brings the Outside In

It’s easy to miss the entrance to The New York Earth Room . You'll need to press a buzzer to gain access to the second-floor space in a Soho office building. Once you're inside, the white-walled, light-filled space is a bit surreal, and rattles the mind and the senses.

Simply put, The New York Earth Room is a 22-inch-deep layer of dirt spread across a 3,600-square-foot gallery. Created by the American artist Walter De Maria in 1977, it has been an unlikely respite for three decades. The soil still smells fresh, because the gallery continues to water it and add fresh deliveries of dirt. Though it’s a pleasure to breathe in the scent and marvel at the stark environs, The New York Earth Room ’s greatest draw might be that, after four decades of rising rents in Soho, it still exists at all.

141 Wooster St, New York, NY 10012

The New York Earth Room

3. A Miniature Museum in a Surprising Place

If your taste in art veers toward the eccentric, venture to Tribeca. Tucked into an elevator shaft in a nondescript alleyway, the minuscule Mmuseumm —which can hold only three visitors at a time—is dedicated to " exploring modern humanity and current events through objects from around the world.” (Think: A replica of the infamous shoe thrown at George W. Bush during an Iraqi press conference in 2008, or Venezuelan counterfeits of American products.)

Though the museum is closed for the winter season (a new collection of ephemeral artifacts will debut in the spring), Mmuseumm will remain open for private tours. It’s also always visible through small viewing windows, which add to its sense of secrecy.

4 Cortlandt Alley, New York, NY 10013


4. Posh Cocktails Inside a Hot Dog Joint

At just 11 years old, Please Don’t Tell is one of the oldest in the new wave of New York City’s clandestine watering holes. To enter, guests must dial in from a retro phone booth in Crif Dogs, a fast-casual joint dedicated to hot dogs. Then again, knowing the code might not be enough get you in. The bar is pretty popular, and reservations are suggested. A casual drop-in could cost you upwards of four hours’ wait time. The elevated cocktail menu, elegant atmosphere, and tongue-in-cheek inaccessibility all contribute to the bar’s appeal.


Native American history Edit

The tribes in what is now New York were predominantly Haudenosaunee and Algonquian. [28] Long Island was divided roughly in half between the Wampanoag and Lenape. The Lenape also controlled most of the region surrounding New York Harbor. [42] North of the Lenape was a third Algonquian nation, the Mohicans. Starting north of them, from east to west, were three Iroquoian nations: the Mohawk, the original Iroquois and the Petun. South of them, divided roughly along Appalachia, were the Susquehannock and the Erie. [43] [44] [45] [46]

Many of the Wampanoag and Mohican peoples were caught up in King Philip's War, a joint effort of many New England tribes to push Europeans off their land. After the death of their leader, Chief Philip Metacomet, most of those peoples fled inland, splitting into the Abenaki and the Schaghticoke. Many of the Mohicans remained in the region until the 1800s, [47] however, a small group known as the Ouabano migrated southwest into West Virginia at an earlier time. They may have merged with the Shawnee. [48] [49]

The Mohawk and Susquehannock were the most militaristic. Trying to corner trade with the Europeans, they targeted other tribes. The Mohawk were also known for refusing white settlement on their land and discriminating any of their people who converted to Christianity. [50] They posed a major threat to the Abenaki and Mohicans, while the Susquehannock briefly conquered the Lenape in the 1600s. The most devastating event of the century, however, was the Beaver Wars.

From approximately 1640–1680, Iroquoian peoples waged campaigns which extended from modern-day Michigan to Virginia against Algonquian and Siouan tribes, as well as each other. The aim was to control more land for animal trapping, [51] a career most natives had turned to in hopes of trading with whites first. This completely changed the ethnography of the region, and most large game was hunted out before whites ever fully explored the land. Still, afterward, the Iroquois Confederacy offered shelter to refugees of the Mascouten, Erie, Chonnonton, Tutelo, Saponi, and Tuscarora nations.

In the 1700s, they would also merge with the Mohawk during the French-Indian War and take in the remaining Susquehannock of Pennsylvania after they were decimated in war. [52] Most of these other groups blended in until they ceased to exist. Then, after the American Revolution, a large group of them split off and returned to Ohio, becoming known as the Mingo Seneca. The current six tribes of the Iroquois Confederacy are the Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida, Tuscarora and Mohawk. The Iroquois fought for both sides during the Revolutionary War afterwards many pro-British Iroquois migrated to Canada. Today, the Iroquois still live in several reservations in Upstate New York. [53] [54] [55] [56]

Meanwhile, the Lenape formed a close relationship with William Penn. However, upon Penn's death, his sons managed to take over much of their lands and banish them to Ohio. [57] When the U.S. drafted the Indian Removal Act, the Lenape were further moved to Missouri, whereas their cousins, the Mohicans, were sent to Wisconsin.

Also, in 1778, the United States relocated the Nanticoke from the Delmarva Peninsula to the former Iroquois lands south of Lake Ontario, though they did not stay long. Mostly, they chose to migrate into Canada and merge with the Iroquois, although some moved west and merged with the Lenape. [58]

16th century Edit

In 1524, Giovanni da Verrazzano, an Italian explorer in the service of the French crown, explored the Atlantic coast of North America between the Carolinas and Newfoundland, including New York Harbor and Narragansett Bay. On April 17, 1524, Verrazzano entered New York Bay, [59] [60] by way of the strait now called the Narrows into the northern bay which he named Santa Margherita, in honor of the King of France's sister. Verrazzano described it as "a vast coastline with a deep delta in which every kind of ship could pass" and he adds: "that it extends inland for a league and opens up to form a beautiful lake. This vast sheet of water swarmed with native boats." He landed on the tip of Manhattan and possibly on the furthest point of Long Island. Verrazzano's stay was interrupted by a storm which pushed him north towards Martha's Vineyard. [61]

In 1540, French traders from New France built a chateau on Castle Island, within present-day Albany it was abandoned the following year due to flooding. In 1614, the Dutch, under the command of Hendrick Corstiaensen, rebuilt the French chateau, which they called Fort Nassau. [30] Fort Nassau was the first Dutch settlement in North America, and was located along the Hudson River, also within present-day Albany. The small fort served as a trading post and warehouse. Located on the Hudson River flood plain, the rudimentary "fort" was washed away by flooding in 1617, [62] and abandoned for good after Fort Orange (New Netherland) was built nearby in 1623. [63]

17th century Edit

Henry Hudson's 1609 voyage marked the beginning of European involvement with the area. Sailing for the Dutch East India Company and looking for a passage to Asia, he entered the Upper New York Bay on September 11 of that year. [64] Word of his findings encouraged Dutch merchants to explore the coast in search for profitable fur trading with local Native American tribes.

During the 17th century, Dutch trading posts established for the trade of pelts from the Lenape, Iroquois, and other tribes were founded in the colony of New Netherland. The first of these trading posts were Fort Nassau (1614, near present-day Albany) Fort Orange (1624, on the Hudson River just south of the current city of Albany and created to replace Fort Nassau), developing into settlement Beverwijck (1647), and into what became Albany Fort Amsterdam (1625, to develop into the town New Amsterdam which is present-day New York City) and Esopus, (1653, now Kingston). The success of the patroonship of Rensselaerswyck (1630), which surrounded Albany and lasted until the mid-19th century, was also a key factor in the early success of the colony. The English captured the colony during the Second Anglo-Dutch War and governed it as the Province of New York. The city of New York was recaptured by the Dutch in 1673 during the Third Anglo-Dutch War (1672–1674) and renamed New Orange. It was returned to the English under the terms of the Treaty of Westminster a year later. [65]

18th century, the American Revolution, and statehood Edit

The Sons of Liberty were organized in New York City during the 1760s, largely in response to the oppressive Stamp Act passed by the British Parliament in 1765. [66] The Stamp Act Congress met in the city on October 19 of that year, composed of representatives from across the Thirteen Colonies who set the stage for the Continental Congress to follow. The Stamp Act Congress resulted in the Declaration of Rights and Grievances, which was the first written expression by representatives of the Americans of many of the rights and complaints later expressed in the United States Declaration of Independence. This included the right to representative government. At the same time, given strong commercial, personal and sentimental links to Britain, many New York residents were Loyalists. The Capture of Fort Ticonderoga provided the cannon and gunpowder necessary to force a British withdrawal from the Siege of Boston in 1775.

New York was the only colony not to vote for independence, as the delegates were not authorized to do so. New York then endorsed the Declaration of Independence on July 9, 1776. [67] The New York State Constitution was framed by a convention which assembled at White Plains on July 10, 1776, and after repeated adjournments and changes of location, finished its work at Kingston on Sunday evening, April 20, 1777, when the new constitution drafted by John Jay was adopted with but one dissenting vote. It was not submitted to the people for ratification. On July 30, 1777, George Clinton was inaugurated as the first Governor of New York at Kingston. [68]

About a third of the battles of the American Revolutionary War took place in New York the first major one (and largest of the entire war) was the Battle of Long Island, a.k.a. Battle of Brooklyn, in August 1776. After their victory, the British occupied New York City, making it their military and political base of operations in North America for the duration of the conflict, and consequently the focus of General George Washington's intelligence network. On the notorious British prison ships of Wallabout Bay, more American combatants died of intentional neglect than were killed in combat in every battle of the war combined. Both sides of combatants lost more soldiers to disease than to outright wounds. The first of two major British armies were captured by the Continental Army at the Battle of Saratoga in 1777, [69] a success that influenced France to ally with the revolutionaries. The state constitution was enacted in 1777. New York became the 11th state to ratify the United States Constitution, on July 26, 1788.

In an attempt to retain their sovereignty and remain an independent nation positioned between the new United States and British North America, four of the Iroquois Nations fought on the side of the British only the Oneida and their dependents, the Tuscarora, allied themselves with the Americans. [70] In retaliation for attacks on the frontier led by Joseph Brant and Loyalist Mohawk forces, the Sullivan Expedition of 1779 destroyed nearly 50 Iroquois villages, adjacent croplands and winter stores, forcing many refugees to British-held Niagara. [71]

As allies of the British, the Iroquois were forced out of New York, although they had not been part of treaty negotiations. They resettled in Canada after the war and were given land grants by the Crown. In the treaty settlement, the British ceded most Indian lands to the new United States. Because New York made treaty with the Iroquois without getting Congressional approval, some of the land purchases have been subject to land claim suits since the late 20th century by the federally recognized tribes. New York put up more than 5 million acres (20,000 km 2 ) of former Iroquois territory for sale in the years after the Revolutionary War, leading to rapid development in Upstate New York. [72] As per the Treaty of Paris, the last vestige of British authority in the former Thirteen Colonies—their troops in New York City—departed in 1783, which was long afterward celebrated as Evacuation Day. [73]

New York City was the national capital under the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, the first national government. That organization was found to be insufficient, and prominent New Yorker Alexander Hamilton advocated a new government that would include an executive, national courts, and the power to tax. Hamilton led the Annapolis Convention (1786) that called for the Philadelphia Convention, which drafted the United States Constitution, in which he also took part. The new government was to be a strong federal national government to replace the relatively weaker confederation of individual states. Following heated debate, which included the publication of the now quintessential constitutional interpretation—The Federalist Papers—as a series of installments in New York City newspapers, New York was the 11th state to ratify the United States Constitution, on July 26, 1788. [74] New York remained the national capital under the new constitution until 1790, [75] and was the site of the inauguration of President George Washington, [76] the drafting of the United States Bill of Rights, and the first session of the United States Supreme Court.

Both the Dutch and the British imported African slaves as laborers to the city and colony New York had the second-highest population of slaves after Charleston, South Carolina. Slavery was extensive in New York City and some agricultural areas. The state passed a law for the gradual abolition of slavery soon after the Revolutionary War, but the last slave in New York was not freed until 1827. [77]

19th century Edit

Transportation in Western New York was by expensive wagons on muddy roads before canals opened up the rich farm lands to long-distance traffic. Governor DeWitt Clinton promoted the Erie Canal, which connected New York City to the Great Lakes by the Hudson River, the new canal, and the rivers and lakes. Work commenced in 1817, and the Erie Canal opened in 1825. Packet boats pulled by horses on tow paths traveled slowly over the canal carrying passengers and freight. [78] Farm products came in from the Midwest, and finished manufactured goods moved west. It was an engineering marvel which opened up vast areas of New York to commerce and settlement. It enabled Great Lakes port cities such as Buffalo and Rochester to grow and prosper. It also connected the burgeoning agricultural production of the Midwest and shipping on the Great Lakes, with the port of New York City. Improving transportation, it enabled additional population migration to territories west of New York. After 1850, railroads largely replaced the canal. [79]

New York City was a major ocean port and had extensive traffic importing cotton from the South and exporting manufacturing goods. Nearly half of the state's exports were related to cotton. Southern cotton factors, planters and bankers visited so often that they had favorite hotels. [80] At the same time, activism for abolitionism was strong upstate, where some communities provided stops on the Underground Railroad. Upstate, and New York City, gave strong support for the American Civil War, in terms of finances, volunteer soldiers, and supplies. The state provided more than 370,000 soldiers to the Union armies. Over 53,000 New Yorkers died in service, roughly one of every seven who served. However, Irish draft riots in 1862 were a significant embarrassment. [81] [82]

Immigration Edit

Since the early 19th century, New York City has been the largest port of entry for legal immigration into the United States. In the United States, the federal government did not assume direct jurisdiction for immigration until 1890. Prior to this time, the matter was delegated to the individual states, then via contract between the states and the federal government. Most immigrants to New York would disembark at the bustling docks along the Hudson and East Rivers, in the eventual Lower Manhattan. On May 4, 1847, the New York State Legislature created the Board of Commissioners of Immigration to regulate immigration. [83]

The first permanent immigration depot in New York was established in 1855 at Castle Garden, a converted War of 1812 era fort located within what is now Battery Park, at the tip of Lower Manhattan. The first immigrants to arrive at the new depot were aboard three ships that had just been released from quarantine. Castle Garden served as New York's immigrant depot until it closed on April 18, 1890, when the federal government assumed control over immigration. During that period, more than eight million immigrants passed through its doors (two of every three U.S. immigrants). [84]

When the federal government assumed control, it established the Bureau of Immigration, which chose the three-acre Ellis Island in Upper New York Harbor for an entry depot. Already federally controlled, the island had served as an ammunition depot. It was chosen due its relative isolation with proximity to New York City and the rail lines of Jersey City, New Jersey, via a short ferry ride. While the island was being developed and expanded via land reclamation, the federal government operated a temporary depot at the Barge Office at the Battery. [85]

Ellis Island opened on January 1, 1892, and operated as a central immigration center until the National Origins Act was passed in 1924, reducing immigration. After that date, the only immigrants to pass through were displaced persons or war refugees. The island ceased all immigration processing on November 12, 1954, when the last person detained on the island, Norwegian seaman Arne Peterssen, was released. He had overstayed his shore leave and left on the 10:15 a.m. Manhattan-bound ferry to return to his ship.

More than twelve million immigrants passed through Ellis Island between 1892 and 1954. More than a hundred million Americans across the United States can trace their ancestry to these immigrants. Ellis Island was the subject of a contentious and long-running border and jurisdictional dispute between New York State and the State of New Jersey, as both claimed it. The issue was settled in 1998 by the U.S. Supreme Court which ruled that the original 3.3-acre (1.3 ha) island was New York State territory and that the balance of the 27.5 acres (11 ha) added after 1834 by landfill was in New Jersey. [86] The island was added to the National Park Service system in May 1965 by President Lyndon B. Johnson and is still owned by the federal government as part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument. Ellis Island was opened to the public as a museum of immigration in 1990. [87]

September 11, 2001 Edit

On September 11, 2001, two of four hijacked planes were flown into the Twin Towers of the original World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan, and the towers collapsed. 7 World Trade Center also collapsed due to damage from fires. The other buildings of the World Trade Center complex were damaged beyond repair and demolished soon thereafter. The collapse of the Twin Towers caused extensive damage and resulted in the deaths of 2,753 victims, including 147 aboard the two planes. Since September 11, most of Lower Manhattan has been restored. In the years since, over 7,000 rescue workers and residents of the area have developed several life-threatening illnesses, and some have died. [88] [89]

A memorial at the site, the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, was opened to the public on September 11, 2011. A permanent museum later opened at the site on March 21, 2014. Upon its completion in 2014, the new One World Trade Center became the tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere, at 1,776 feet (541 m), meant to symbolize the year America gained its independence, 1776. [90] From 2006 to 2018, 3 World Trade Center, 4 World Trade Center, 7 World Trade Center, the World Trade Center Transportation Hub, Liberty Park, and Fiterman Hall were completed. St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and Ronald O. Perelman Performing Arts Center are under construction at the World Trade Center site.

Hurricane Sandy, 2012 Edit

On October 29 and 30, 2012, Hurricane Sandy caused extensive destruction of the state's shorelines, ravaging portions of New York City, Long Island, and southern Westchester with record-high storm surge, with severe flooding and high winds causing power outages for hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers, and leading to gasoline shortages and disruption of mass transit systems. The storm and its profound effects have prompted the discussion of constructing seawalls and other coastal barriers around the shorelines of New York City and Long Island to minimize the risk from another such future event. Such risk is considered highly probable due to global warming and rising sea levels. [91] [92]

COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 Edit

On March 1, 2020, New York had its first confirmed case of COVID-19. [93] Since March 28, New York had the highest number of confirmed cases of any state in the United States California and Texas outpaced the state as of February 1, 2021. [94] Nearly 50 percent of known national cases were in the state as of March 2020, [95] with one-third of total known U.S. cases being in New York City. [96] From May 19–20, Western New York and the Capital Region entered Phase 1 of reopening. [97] [98] On May 26, the Hudson Valley began Phase 1, [99] and New York City partially reopened on June 8. [100]

During July 2020, a federal judge ruled Cuomo and De Blasio exceeded authority by limiting religious gatherings to 25% when others operated at 50% capacity. [101] [102] [103] On Thanksgiving Eve, the U.S. Supreme Court blocked additional religious restrictions imposed by Cuomo for areas with high infection rates. [104] New York's government released a new seal, coat of arms, and flag in April during the pandemic, adding "E pluribus unum" below the state's motto. [105] [106] A bill utilizing newly designed flag, arms and seal went into effect in September. [107]

The state of New York covers a total area of 54,556 square miles (141,300 km 2 ) and ranks as the 27th largest state by size. [2] The highest elevation in New York is Mount Marcy in the Adirondacks (Upstate New York), at 5,344 feet (1,629 meters) above sea level while the state's lowest point is at sea level, on the Atlantic Ocean in Downstate New York. [108]

In contrast with New York City's urban landscape, the vast majority of the state's geographic area is dominated by meadows, forests, rivers, farms, mountains, and lakes. Most of the southern part of the state rests on the Allegheny Plateau, which extends from the southeastern United States to the Catskill Mountains the section in New York State is known as the Southern Tier. The rugged Adirondack Mountains, with vast tracts of wilderness, lie west of the Lake Champlain Valley. The Great Appalachian Valley dominates eastern New York and contains Lake Champlain Valley as its northern half and the Hudson Valley as its southern half within the state. The Tug Hill region arises as a cuesta east of Lake Ontario. [109] The state of New York contains a part of the Marcellus shale, which extends into Ohio and Pennsylvania. [110]

Upstate and Downstate are often used informally to distinguish New York City or its greater metropolitan area from the rest of New York State. The placement of a boundary between the two is a matter of great contention. [111] Unofficial and loosely defined regions of Upstate New York include the Southern Tier, which often includes the counties along the border with Pennsylvania, [112] and the North Country, which can mean anything from the strip along the Canada–U.S. border to everything north of the Mohawk River. [113]

Water Edit

Borders Edit

Of New York State's total area, 13.6% consists of water. [114] Much of New York's boundaries are in water, as is true for New York City: four of its five boroughs are situated on three islands at the mouth of the Hudson River: Manhattan Island Staten Island and Long Island, which contains Brooklyn and Queens at its western end. The state's borders include a water boundary in (clockwise from the west) two Great Lakes (Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, which are connected by the Niagara River) the provinces of Ontario and Quebec in Canada, with New York and Ontario sharing the Thousand Islands archipelago within the Saint Lawrence River, while most of its border with Quebec is on land it shares Lake Champlain with the New England state of Vermont the New England state of Massachusetts has mostly a land border New York extends into Long Island Sound and the Atlantic Ocean, sharing a water border with Rhode Island, while Connecticut has land and sea borders. Except for areas near the New York Harbor and the Upper Delaware River, New York has a mostly land border with two Mid-Atlantic states, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. New York is the only state that includes within its borders parts of the Great Lakes and the Atlantic Ocean.

Drainage Edit

The Hudson River begins near Lake Tear of the Clouds and flows south through the eastern part of the state, without draining Lakes George or Champlain. Lake George empties at its north end into Lake Champlain, whose northern end extends into Canada, where it drains into the Richelieu River and then ultimately the Saint Lawrence River. The western section of the state is drained by the Allegheny River and rivers of the Susquehanna and Delaware River systems. Niagara Falls is shared between New York and Ontario as it flows on the Niagara River from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario. The Delaware River Basin Compact, signed in 1961 by New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and the federal government, regulates the utilization of water of the Delaware system. [115]

Climate Edit

In general, New York has a humid continental climate, though under the Köppen climate classification, New York City has a humid subtropical climate. [116] Weather in New York is heavily influenced by two continental air masses: a warm, humid one from the southwest and a cold, dry one from the northwest. Downstate New York, comprising New York City, Long Island, and lower portions of the Hudson Valley, has rather hot summers with some periods of high humidity and cold, damp winters which are relatively mild compared to temperatures in Upstate New York due to the downstate region's lower elevation, proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, and relatively lower latitude.

Upstate New York experiences warm summers, marred by only occasional, brief intervals of sultry conditions, with long and cold winters. Western New York, particularly the Tug Hill region, receives heavy lake-effect snows, especially during the earlier portions of winter, before the surface of Lake Ontario itself is covered by ice. The summer climate is cool in the Adirondacks, Catskills, and at higher elevations of the Southern Tier. Buffalo and its metropolitan area are described as climate change havens for their weather pattern in Western New York. [117] [118] [119] [120]

Summer daytime temperatures range from the high 70s to low 80s (25 to 28 °C), over most of the state. In the majority of winter seasons, a temperature of −13 °F (−25 °C) or lower can be expected in the northern highlands (Northern Plateau) and 5 °F (−15 °C) or colder in the southwestern and east-central highlands of the Southern Tier. New York had a record-high temperature of 108 °F (42.2 °C) on July 22, 1926. [121] Its record-lowest temperature during the winter was −52 °F (−46.7 °C) in 1979. [121]

Climate change Edit

Climate change in New York encompasses the effects of climate change, attributed to man-made increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide, in the U.S. state of New York. It is of concern due to its impact on the people, ecosystem, and economy of the state. Many parts of the state are already experiencing weather changes, and sea-level rise, and threatening local communities.

New York State ranks 46th among the 50 states in the amount of greenhouse gases generated per person. This relative efficient energy usage is primarily due to the dense, compact settlement in the New York City metropolitan area, and the high rate of mass transit use in this area and between major cities. [122] The main sources of greenhouse gases per the state government are transportation, buildings, electricity generation, waste, refrigerants, and agriculture. [123] In 2019 the state pledged to eliminate net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. [124]

Flora and fauna Edit

Some species that can be found in this state are american ginseng, starry stonewort, waterthyme, water chestnut, eastern poison ivy, poison sumac, giant hogweed, cow parsnip and common nettle. [125] There are more than 20 mammal species, more than 20 bird species, some species of amphibians, and several reptile species.

Birds of prey that are present in the state are great horned owls, bald eagles, red-tailed hawks, American kestrels, and northern harriers. Waterfowl like mallards, wood ducks, canvasbacks, American black ducks, Canada geese, and blue-winged teals can be found in the region. Maritime or shore birds of New York are great blue heron, killdeers, northern cardinals, American herring gulls, and common terns. [127] Reptiles species that can be seen in land areas of New York are queen snake, massasauga, hellbender, diamondback terrapin, spotted turtle, and Blanding's turtle. Species of turtles that can be found in the sea are green sea turtle, loggerhead sea turtle, leatherback sea turtle and Kemp's ridley sea turtle. [128] New York Harbor and the Hudson River constitute an estuary, making New York state home to a rich array of marine life including shellfish—such as oysters and clams—as well as fish, microorganisms, and sea-birds.

Regions Edit

Due to its long history, New York has several overlapping and often conflicting definitions of regions within the state. The regions are also not fully definable due to colloquial use of regional labels. The New York State Department of Economic Development provides two distinct definitions of these regions. It divides the state into ten economic regions, [129] which approximately correspond to terminology used by residents:

The department also groups the counties into eleven regions for tourism purposes: [130]

State parks Edit

New York has many state parks and two major forest preserves. Niagara Falls State Park, established in 1885, is the oldest state park in the United States and the first to be created via eminent domain. [131] [132] In 1892, Adirondack Park, roughly the size of the state of Vermont and the largest state park in the United States, [133] was established and given state constitutional protection to remain "forever wild" in 1894. The park is larger than Yellowstone, Everglades, Glacier, and Grand Canyon national parks combined. [133] It is larger than the Yellowstone, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Glacier, and Olympic National Parks combined. [134] The Catskill Park was protected in legislation passed in 1885, [135] which declared that its land was to be conserved and never put up for sale or lease. Consisting of 700,000 acres (2,800 km 2 ) of land, [135] the park is a habitat for deer, minks, and fishers. There are some 400 black bears living in the region. [136] The state operates numerous campgrounds, and there are over 300 miles (480 km) of multi-use trails in the Park.

The 1797 Montauk Lighthouse, commissioned under President George Washington, is a major tourist attraction in Montauk State Park at the easternmost tip of Long Island. Hither Hills State Park, also on the South Fork of Long Island, offers camping and is a popular destination with surfcasting sport fishermen.

National parks, monuments, and historic landmarks Edit

New York State is well represented in the National Park System with 22 national parks, which received 16,349,381 visitors in 2011. In addition, there are four national heritage areas, 27 national natural landmarks, 262 national historic landmarks, and 5,379 listings on the National Register of Historic Places. Some major areas, landmarks, and monuments are listed below.

  • The Statue of Liberty National Monument includes Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. The statue, designed by Frédéric Bartholdi and formally named Liberty Enlightening the World, was a gift from France to the United States to mark the Centennial of the American Declaration of Independence it was dedicated in New York Harbor on October 28, 1886. It has since become an icon of the United States and the concepts of democracy and freedom.
  • The African Burial Ground National Monument in Lower Manhattan is the only national monument dedicated to Americans of African ancestry. It preserves a site containing the remains of more than 400 Africans buried during the late 17th and 18th centuries in a portion of what was the largest colonial-era cemetery for people of African descent, both free and enslaved, with an estimated tens of thousands of remains interred. The site's excavation and study were called "the most important historic urban archeological project in the United States". [138] is a United Statesnational seashore that protects a 26-mile (42 km) section of Fire Island, an approximately 30-mile (48 km) long barrier island separated from the mainland of Long Island by the Great South Bay. The island is part of Suffolk County. [139] is more than 26,000 acres (10,522 ha) of water, salt marsh, wetlands, islands, and shoreline at the entrance to New York Harbor, [140] the majority of which lies within New York. Including areas on Long Island and in New Jersey, it covers more area than that of two Manhattan islands. is the final resting place of President Ulysses S. Grant and is the largest mausoleum in North America. preserves the home of Alexander Hamilton, Caribbean immigrant and orphan who rose to be a United States founding father and associate of George Washington.
  • The Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site, established in 1945, preserves the Springwood estate in Hyde Park, New York. Springwood was the birthplace, lifelong home, and burial place of the 32nd President of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt. was designated by the U.S. Congress in 2008 it stretches from the western boundary of Wheatfield, New York to the mouth of the Niagara River on Lake Ontario, including the communities of Niagara Falls, Youngstown, and Lewiston. It includes Niagara Falls State Park and Colonial Niagara Historic District. It is managed in collaboration with the state. preserves the site of the Battles of Saratoga, the first significant American military victory of the American Revolutionary War. In 1777, American forces defeated a major British Army, [69] which led France to recognize the independence of the United States, and enter the war as a decisive military ally of the struggling Americans. , in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Lower Manhattan, is the first U.S. national monument dedicated to LGBTQ rights, designated on June 24, 2016. The monument comprises the Stonewall Inn, commonly recognized to be the cradle of the gay liberation movement as the site of the 1969 Stonewall Riots the adjacent Christopher Park and surrounding streets and sidewalks. [141][142][143]
  • Manhattan's Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site is also the childhood home of President Theodore Roosevelt, the only president born in New York City until Donald Trump.

Administrative divisions Edit

New York is divided into 62 counties. Aside from the five counties of New York City, each of these counties is subdivided into towns and cities, incorporated under state law. Towns can contain incorporated villages or unincorporated hamlets. New York City is divided into five boroughs, each coterminous with a county. The major cities of the state developed along the key transportation and trade routes of the early 19th century, including the Erie Canal and railroads paralleling it. Today, the New York Thruway acts as a modern counterpart to commercial water routes. [144] Downstate New York (New York City, Long Island, and the southern portion of the Hudson Valley) can be considered to form the central core of the Northeast megalopolis, an urbanized region stretching from New Hampshire to Virginia.

Cities and towns Edit

There are 62 cities in New York. The largest city in the state and the most populous city in the United States is New York City, which comprises five counties (each coextensive with a borough): Bronx, New York County (Manhattan), Queens, Kings County (Brooklyn), and Richmond County (Staten Island). New York City is home to more than two-fifths of the state's population. Albany, the state capital, is the sixth-largest city in New York State. The smallest city is Sherrill, New York, in Oneida County. Hempstead is the most populous town in the state if it were a city, it would be the second largest in New York State, with more than 700,000 residents. New York contains 13 metropolitan areas, as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau. [145] Major metro areas include New York City, Buffalo, Rochester, the Capital District (Albany, Schenectady, and Troy), Poughkeepsie, Syracuse, Utica, and Binghamton.

Population Edit

Historical population
Census Pop.
1800589,051 73.2%
1810959,049 62.8%
18201,372,812 43.1%
18301,918,608 39.8%
18402,428,921 26.6%
18503,097,394 27.5%
18603,880,735 25.3%
18704,382,759 12.9%
18805,082,871 16.0%
18906,003,174 18.1%
19007,268,894 21.1%
19109,113,614 25.4%
192010,385,227 14.0%
193012,588,066 21.2%
194013,479,142 7.1%
195014,830,192 10.0%
196016,782,304 13.2%
197018,236,967 8.7%
198017,558,072 −3.7%
199017,990,455 2.5%
200018,976,457 5.5%
201019,378,102 2.1%
202020,201,249 4.2%
Sources: 1910–2020 [147]

The U.S.'s most populous state until the 1960s, New York is now the fourth most-populous state, behind, California, Texas, and Florida. The distribution of change in population growth is uneven in New York State the New York City metropolitan area is growing, along with Saratoga County, while cities such as Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse, among others, have been losing population for decades. [148] New York City gained more residents between April 2010 and July 2018 (223,615) than any other U.S. city. [149] Conversely, outside of the Ithaca area, population growth in much of Western New York is nearly stagnant. [148]

According to immigration statistics, the state is a leading recipient of migrants from around the globe. In 2008 New York State had the second-largest international immigrant population in the country among the American states, at 4.2 million most reside in and around New York City, due to its size, high profile, vibrant economy, and cosmopolitan culture. New York has a pro-sanctuary city law. [150]

The United States Census Bureau tabulated in the 2020 United States census that the population of New York was 20,215,751 on April 1, 2020, a 4.3% increase since the 2010 United States census. [6] [151] Despite the open land in the state, New York State's population is very urban, with 92% of residents living in an urban area, [152] predominantly in the New York City metropolitan area.

Two-thirds of New York State's population resides in the New York City metropolitan area. New York City is the most populous city in the United States, [153] with an estimated record high population of 8,622,698 in 2017, [11] incorporating more immigration into the city than emigration since the 2010 United States census. [154] At least twice as many people live in New York City as in the second-most populous U.S. city (Los Angeles), [155] and within a smaller area. Long Island alone accounted for a census-estimated 7,838,722 residents in 2015, representing 39.6% of New York State's population. [11] [156] [157] [158] [159] Of the total statewide population, 6.5% of New Yorkers were under five years of age, 24.7% under 18, and 12.9% were 65 or older.

Race and ethnicity Edit

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, New York had a racial and ethnic makeup of 55.1% non-Hispanic whites, 14.2% Blacks or African Americans, 0.2% American Indians or Alaska Natives, 8.6% Asians, 0.6% from some other race, 2.1% from two or more races, and 19.3% Hispanics or Latin Americans of any race. There were an estimated 3,725 Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders in the state in 2019. [160] Hispanics or Latin Americans of any race were 17.6% of the population in 2010 5.5% Puerto Rican, 4.4% Dominican, 2.4% were of Mexican, 0.4% Cuban, and 9.4% other Hispanic or Latin American origin. According to the American Community Survey, the largest ancestry White American groups were Italian (13.0%), Irish (12.1%), German (10.3%), American (5.4%), and English (5.2%). [161] [162]

The state's most populous racial group, non-Hispanic white, declined as a proportion of the state population from 94.6% in 1940 to 58.3% in 2010. [163] [164] As of 2011 [update] , 55.6% of New York's population younger than age 1 were minorities. [165] New York's robustly increasing Jewish population, the largest outside of Israel, [166] was the highest among states both by percentage and by absolute number in 2012. [167] It is driven by the high reproductive rate of Orthodox Jewish families, [168] particularly in Brooklyn and communities of the Hudson Valley.

New York is home to the second-largest Asian American population and the fourth-largest Black or African American population in the United States. New York's Black and African population increased by 2.0% between 2000 and 2010, to 3,073,800. [169] In 2019, the Black and African American population increased to an estimated 3,424,002. The Black or African American population is in a state of flux, as New York is the largest recipient of immigrants from Africa, [170] while established Blacks and African Americans are migrating out of New York to the southern United States. [171] The New York City neighborhood of Harlem has historically been a major cultural capital for Blacks and African Americans of sub-Saharan descent, and Bedford-Stuyvesant in Brooklyn has the largest such population in the United States. Meanwhile, New York's Asian population increased by a notable 36% from 2000 to 2010, to 1,420,244 [169] in 2019, its population grew to an estimated 1,579,494. Queens, in New York City, is home to the state's largest Asian American population and is the most ethnically diverse county in the United States and the most ethnically diverse urban area in the world. [172] [173]

New York's growing Hispanic and Latin American population numbered 3,416,922 in 2010, [174] a 19% increase from the 2,867,583 enumerated in 2000. [175] In 2020, it numbered an estimated 3,811,000. [176] Queens is home to the largest Andean (Colombian, Ecuadorian, Peruvian, and Bolivian) populations in the United States. In addition, New York has the largest Puerto Rican, Dominican, and Jamaican American populations in the continental United States. The Chinese population constitutes the fastest-growing nationality in New York State, which is the top destination for new Chinese immigrants, and large-scale Chinese immigration continues into the state. [170] [177] [178] [179] [180] Multiple satellites of the original Manhattan Chinatown, in Brooklyn, and around Flushing, Queens, are thriving as traditionally urban enclaves, while also expanding rapidly eastward into suburban Nassau County, [181] on Long Island. [182] Long Island, including Queens and Nassau County, is also home to several Little Indias and a large Koreatown, with large and growing attendant populations of Indian Americans and Korean Americans, respectively. Brooklyn has been a destination for West Indian immigrants of African descent, as well as Asian Indian immigrants. The annual New York City India Day Parade, held on or approximately every August 15 since 1981, is the world's largest Indian Independence Day parade outside of India. [183]

In the 2000 U.S. census, New York had the largest Italian American population, composing the largest self-identified ancestral group in Staten Island and Long Island, followed by Irish Americans. Albany and the Mohawk Valley also have large communities of ethnic Italians and Irish Americans, reflecting 19th and early 20th-century immigration. According to the American Community Survey, New York had the largest Greek American population too, which counts 148,637 people (0.7% of the state). [162] In Buffalo and Western New York, German Americans comprise the largest ancestry. In the North Country of New York, French Canadians represent the leading ethnicity, given the area's proximity to Quebec. Americans of English ancestry are present throughout all of upstate New York, reflecting early colonial and later immigrants.

Languages Edit

Most common non-English languages (2010) [187]
Language Population
Spanish 14.44%
Chinese (incl. Cantonese and Mandarin) 2.61%
Russian 1.20%
Italian 1.18%
French Creole 0.79%
French 0.75%
Yiddish 0.67%
Korean 0.63%
Polish 0.53%
Bengali 0.43%

In 2019, the U.S. Census Bureau reported 69.5% of New York's population aged 5 years and older only spoke English, with 30.6% speaking a language other than English. Spanish remained the second most spoken non-English language with 2,758,925 speakers. Other Indo-European languages were spoken by 1,587,798 residents, and Asian and Pacific Islander languages were spoken by 948,959 people. [188]

At the American Community Survey's 2017 estimates, nearly six million residents spoke a language other than English. Approximately 1,249,541 New York residents spoke Spanish, 386,290 Chinese, 122,150 Russian, 63,615 Haitian Creole, 62,219 Bengali, and 60,405 Korean. [189] [187] In 2018, 12,756,975 aged 5 years and older spoke English alone and 10,415,395 aged 18 and older only spoke English. Spanish-speaking households by majority were not limited English-speaking. [190] An estimated 2.7 million households with residents aged 5 and older spoke Spanish. Chinese, Slavic, and French languages were the following largest household languages spoken in 2018. [191]

In 2010, 70.72% (12,788,233) of New York residents aged five and older reported speaking only English at home, while 14.44% (2,611,903) spoke Spanish, 2.61% (472,955) Chinese (which includes Cantonese and Mandarin), 1.20% (216,468) Russian, 1.18% (213,785) Italian, 0.79% (142,169) French Creole, 0.75% (135,789) French, 0.67% (121,917) Yiddish, 0.63% (114,574) Korean, and Polish was spoken by 0.53% (95,413) of the population over the age of five. In total, 29.28% (5,295,016) of New York's population aged five and older reported speaking a language other than English. [187]

In 2010, the most common American English dialects spoken in New York, besides General American English, were the New York City area dialect (including New York Latino English and North Jersey English), the Western New England accent around Albany, and Inland Northern American English in Buffalo and western New York State. As many as 800 languages are spoken in New York City, [192] [193] [194] making it the most linguistically diverse city in the world. [195]

Sexual orientation and gender identity Edit

Roughly 3.8 percent of the state's adult population self-identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. This constitutes a total LGBT adult population of 570,388 individuals. [197] In 2010, the number of same-sex couple households stood at roughly 48,932. [198] New York was the fifth state to license same-sex marriages, after New Hampshire. Michael Bloomberg, the Mayor of New York City, said "same-sex marriages in New York City have generated an estimated $259 million in economic impact and $16 million in City revenues" in the first year after enactment of the Marriage Equality Act. [199] Same-sex marriages in New York were legalized on June 24, 2011, and were authorized to take place beginning thirty days thereafter. [200] New York City is also home to the largest transgender population in the United States, estimated at 25,000 in 2016. [201] The annual New York City Pride March (or gay pride parade) traverses southward down Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, ending at Greenwich Village, and rivals the Sao Paulo Gay Pride Parade as the largest pride parade in the world, attracting tens of thousands of participants and millions of sidewalk spectators each June. [202]

The Stonewall riots were a series of spontaneous, violent demonstrations by members of the gay community against a police raid that took place in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village neighborhood within Lower Manhattan. They are widely considered to constitute the single most important event leading to the gay liberation movement, [196] [203] [204] [205] and the modern fight for LGBT rights. [206] [207] In June 2017, plans were announced for the first official monument to LGBT individuals commissioned by the State of New York, in contrast to the Stonewall National Monument, which was commissioned by the U.S. federal government. The state monument was planned to be built in Hudson River Park in Manhattan, near the waterfront Hudson River piers which have served as historically significant symbols of New York's central role as a meeting place and a safe haven for LGBT communities. [208] [209]

Also as of 2017, plans were advancing by the State of New York to host the largest international LGBT pride celebration in 2019, known as Stonewall 50 – WorldPride NYC 2019, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. [210] In New York City, the Stonewall 50–WorldPride NYC 2019 events produced by Heritage of Pride were enhanced through a partnership made with the I LOVE NY program's LGBT division and included a welcome center during the weeks surrounding the Stonewall 50 / WorldPride events that was open to all. Additional commemorative arts, cultural, and educational programing to mark the 50th anniversary of the rebellion at the Stonewall Inn took place throughout the city and the world Stonewall 50 – WorldPride NYC 2019 was the largest LGBT pride celebration held in history, drawing an estimated five million people. [211] Brooklyn Liberation March, the largest transgender-rights demonstration in LGBTQ history, took place on June 14, 2020 stretching from Grand Army Plaza to Fort Greene, Brooklyn, focused on supporting Black transgender lives, drawing an estimated 15,000 to 20,000 participants. [212] [213]

Religion Edit

The majority of New York's religious population are Christian (60%), followed by the irreligious (27%), Judaism (7%), Islam (2%), Buddhism and Hinduism (1% each), and other faiths (0.5%). [215] Before the 1800s, Protestant sects dominated the religious life of New York, although religion did not play as large a role in the public life of New Netherland as it did in New England, with its Puritan population. [216] Historically, New York served as the foundation for new Christian denominations in the Second Great Awakening. Non-Western Christian traditions and non-Christian religions did not grow for much of the state's history because immigration was predominantly from Western Europe (which at the time was dominated by Western Christianity and favored by the quotas in federal immigration law). The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 removed the quotas, allowing for the growth of other religious groups.

The Roman Catholic Church is the largest Christian denomination in New York (31%). The largest Roman Catholic diocese is the Latin Church's Archdiocese of New York. The largest Eastern Catholic diocese is the Ruthenian Catholic Eparchy of Passaic of the Ruthenian Greek Catholic Church. The United Methodist Church is the largest Mainline Protestant denomination and second largest overall, followed by the Episcopal Church in the U.S. and other Continuing Anglican bodies. The Presbyterian Church (USA), Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and American Baptist Churches USA were the following largest Mainline denominations. Mainline Protestants together make up 11% of Christians in the state as of 2014. [215] In Evangelical Protestantism the Baptists, non-denominational Protestants, and Pentecostals were the largest groups. The National Baptist Convention (USA) and Progressive National Baptist Convention were the largest historically-black Protestant churches in New York. Roughly 10% of Christians in New York are Evangelical Protestants. [215] The Eastern and Oriental Orthodox collectively comprised 1% of the religious demographic alongside Jehovah's Witnesses and other Christians.

Non-Christian faiths accounted for 12% of the religious population. [215] Judaism is the second largest religion as of 2014. In 2010, 588,500 practiced Orthodox Judaism. [217] A little over 392,953 professed Islam. The Powers Street Mosque in New York City was the first Muslim organization in the state. [218] New York is also home to the oldest Zoroastrian fire temple in the United States. Less than 1% of New York's population practice New Age and contemporary paganism. Native American religions are also a prominent minority. [215] The irreligious are a growing community in the New York City metropolitan area. Statewide, 17% practice nothing in particular and 5% each are atheists and agnostic.

New York's gross state product in 2018 was US$1.7 trillion. [219] If New York State were an independent nation, it would rank as the 11th largest economy in the world. [220] However, in 2019, the multi-state, New York City-centered metropolitan statistical area produced a gross metropolitan product (GMP) of $US2 trillion, ranking first nationally by a wide margin and behind the GDP of only nine nations.

Wall Street Edit

Anchored by Wall Street in the Financial District of Lower Manhattan, New York City has been called both the most economically powerful city and the leading financial center of the world. [22] [26] [222] [223] [224] Lower Manhattan is the third-largest central business district in the United States and is home to the New York Stock Exchange, on Wall Street, and the NASDAQ, at 165 Broadway, representing the world's largest and second largest stock exchanges, respectively, as measured both by overall average daily trading volume and by total market capitalization of their listed companies in 2013. [221] [225] Investment banking fees on Wall Street totaled approximately $40 billion in 2012, [226] while in 2013, senior New York City bank officers who manage risk and compliance functions earned as much as $324,000 annually. [227] In fiscal year 2013–14, Wall Street's securities industry generated 19% of New York State's tax revenue. [228] New York City remains the largest global center for trading in public equity and debt capital markets, driven in part by the size and financial development of the U.S. economy. [229] : 31–32 [230] New York also leads in hedge fund management private equity and the monetary volume of mergers and acquisitions. Several investment banks and investment managers headquartered in Manhattan are important participants in other global financial centers. [229] : 34–35 New York is also the principal commercial banking center of the United States. [231]

Many of the world's largest media conglomerates are also based in the city. Manhattan contained approximately 520 million square feet (48.1 million m 2 ) of office space in 2013, [232] making it the largest office market in the United States, [233] while Midtown Manhattan is the largest central business district in the nation. [234]

Silicon Alley Edit

Silicon Alley, centered in New York City, has evolved into a metonym for the sphere encompassing the New York City metropolitan region's high technology and entrepreneurship ecosystem in 2015, Silicon Alley generated over $7.3 billion in venture capital investment. [35] High tech industries including digital media, biotechnology, software development, game design, and other fields in information technology are growing, bolstered by New York City's position at the terminus of several transatlantic fiber optic trunk lines, [235] its intellectual capital, as well as its growing outdoor wireless connectivity. [236] In December 2014, New York State announced a $50 million venture-capital fund to encourage enterprises working in biotechnology and advanced materials according to Governor Andrew Cuomo, the seed money would facilitate entrepreneurs in bringing their research into the marketplace. [237] On December 19, 2011, then Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced his choice of Cornell University and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology to build a two billion dollar graduate school of applied sciences on Roosevelt Island in Manhattan, with the goal of transforming New York City into the world's premier technology capital. [238] [239]

Tech Valley Edit

Albany, [240] Saratoga County, [241] [242] Rensselaer County, and the Hudson Valley, collectively recognized as eastern New York's Tech Valley, have experienced significant growth in the computer hardware side of the high-technology industry, with great strides in the nanotechnology sector, digital electronics design, and water- and electricity-dependent integrated microchip circuit manufacturing, [241] involving companies including IBM and its Thomas J. Watson Research Center, [243] and the three foreign-owned firms, GlobalFoundries, Samsung, and Taiwan Semiconductor, among others. [240] [244] The area's high technology ecosystem is supported by technologically focused academic institutions including Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the SUNY Polytechnic Institute. [240] In 2015, Tech Valley, straddling both sides of the Adirondack Northway and the New York Thruway, generated over $163 million in venture capital investment. [35] The Rochester area is important in the field of photographic processing and imaging as well as incubating an increasingly diverse high technology sphere encompassing STEM fields, similarly in part the result of private startup enterprises collaborating with major academic institutions, including the University of Rochester and Cornell University. [245] Westchester County has developed a burgeoning biotechnology sector in the 21st century, with over a billion dollars in planned private investment as of 2016. [246] [247] In April 2021, GlobalFoundries, a company specializing in the semiconductor industry, moved its headquarters from Silicon Valley, California to its most advanced semiconductor-chip manufacturing facility in Saratoga County near a section of the Adirondack Northway, in Malta, New York. [248]

Media and entertainment Edit

Creative industries, which are concerned with generating and distributing knowledge and information, such as new media, digital media, film and television production, advertising, fashion, design, and architecture, account for a growing share of employment, with New York City possessing a strong competitive advantage in these industries. [249] As of 2014 [update] , New York State was offering tax incentives of up to $420 million annually for filmmaking within the state, the most generous such tax rebate among the U.S. states. New York has also attracted higher-wage visual-effects employment by further augmenting its tax credit to a maximum of 35% for performing post-film production work in Upstate New York. [250] The filmed entertainment industry has been growing in New York, contributing nearly $9 billion to the New York City economy alone as of 2015. [251]

Tourism Edit

I Love New York (stylized I ❤ NY) is a slogan, a logo and state song that are the basis of an advertising campaign and has been used since 1977 to promote tourism in the state of New York, [252] including New York City. [253] [254] The trademarked logo is owned by New York State Empire State Development. [255] The Broadway League reported that Broadway shows sold approximately $1.27 billion worth of tickets in the 2013–2014 season, an 11.4% increase from $1.139 billion in the 2012–2013 season. Attendance in 2013–2014 stood at 12.21 million, representing a 5.5% increase from the 2012–2013 season's 11.57 million. [256]

Exports Edit

New York exports a wide variety of goods such as prepared foods, computers and electronics, cut diamonds, and other commodities. In 2007, the state exported a total of $71.1 billion worth of goods, with the five largest foreign export markets being Canada ($15 billion), the United Kingdom ($6 billion), Switzerland ($5.9 billion), Israel ($4.9 billion), and Hong Kong ($3.4 billion). New York's largest imports are oil, gold, aluminum, natural gas, electricity, rough diamonds, and lumber. The state also has a large manufacturing sector that includes printing and the production of garments, mainly in New York City and furs, railroad equipment, automobile parts, and bus line vehicles, concentrated in Upstate regions.

New York is the nation's third-largest grape producing state, and second-largest wine producer by volume, behind California. The southern Finger Lakes hillsides, the Hudson Valley, the North Fork of Long Island, and the southern shore of Lake Erie are the primary grape- and wine-growing regions in New York, with many vineyards. In 2012, New York had 320 wineries and 37,000 grape bearing acres, generating full-time employment for nearly 25,000 and annual wages over $1.1 billion, and yielding $4.8 billion in direct economic impact from New York grapes, grape juice, and wine and grape products. [257]

Agriculture Edit

The New York agriculture industry is a major producer overall, ranking among the top five states for agricultural products including maple syrup, apples, cherries, cabbage, dairy products, onions, and potatoes. The state is the largest producer of cabbage in the U.S. The state has about a quarter of its land in farms and produced $3.4 billion in agricultural products in 2001. The south shore of Lake Ontario provides the right mix of soils and microclimate for many apple, cherry, plum, pear and peach orchards. Apples are also grown in the Hudson Valley and near Lake Champlain. A moderately sized saltwater commercial fishery is located along the Atlantic side of Long Island. The principal catches by value are clams, lobsters, squid, and flounder.

Energy Edit

In 2017, New York State consumed 156,370-gigawatthours (GWh) of electrical energy. Downstate regions (Hudson Valley, New York City, and Long Island) consumed 66% of that amount. Upstate regions produced 50% of that amount. The peak load in 2017 was 29,699 MW. The resource capability in 2017 was 42,839 MW. [258] [259] The NYISO's market monitor described the average all-in wholesale electric price as a range (a single value was not provided) from $25 per MWh to $53 per MWh for 2017. [260]

At the level of post-secondary education, the statewide public university system is the State University of New York (SUNY). The SUNY system consists of 64 community colleges, technical colleges, undergraduate colleges, and doctoral-granting institutions. [261] The SUNY system has four "university centers": Albany (1844), Buffalo (1846), Binghamton (1946), and Stony Brook (1957). The SUNY system is home to three academic medical centers: Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University in Long Island, SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, and SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn.

Columbia University, Cornell University, New York University are among the most prominent of the larger higher education institutions in New York, all of them leading, world-renowned private universities and members of the Association of American Universities, the pre-eminent group of research universities in the United States.

Other notable large private universities include Syracuse University and Fordham University. Smaller notable private institutions of higher education include University of Rochester, Rockefeller University, Mercy College, New York Institute of Technology, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Yeshiva University, and Hofstra University. There are also a multitude of postgraduate-level schools in New York State, including medical, law, and engineering schools.

West Point, the service academy of the U.S. Army, is located just south of Newburgh, on the west bank of the Hudson River. The federal Merchant Marine Academy is at Kings Point on Long Island.

A number of selective private liberal arts institutions are located in New York. Among them are Bard College, Barnard College, Colgate University, Hamilton College, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Marist College, Sarah Lawrence College, Skidmore College, Union College, and Vassar College. Two of these schools, Barnard and Vassar, are members of the elite Seven Sisters, originally all women's colleges with ties to the Ivy League. Barnard is affiliated with Columbia University, its Manhattan neighbor, and Vassar became coeducational in 1969 after declining an offer to merge with Yale University.

New York is also home to what are widely regarded as the best performing arts schools in the world. The Juilliard School, located in the Upper West Side of Manhattan, is one of the world's leading music and dance schools. [262] [263] [264] The Eastman School of Music, a professional school within the University of Rochester, was ranked first among U.S. music schools by U.S. News & World Report for five consecutive years. [265]

The University of the State of New York accredits and sets standards for elementary, middle-level, and secondary education in the state, while the New York State Education Department oversees public schools and controls their standardized tests. The New York City Department of Education manages the New York City Public Schools system. In 1894, reflecting general racial discrimination then, the state passed a law that allowed communities to set up separate schools for children of African-American descent. In 1900, the state passed another law requiring integrated schools. [266] During the 2013 fiscal year, New York spent more on public education per pupil than any other state, according to U.S. Census Bureau statistics. [267]

New York has one of the most extensive and one of the oldest transportation infrastructures in the country. Engineering challenges posed by the complex terrain of the state and the unique infrastructural issues of New York City brought on by urban crowding have had to be overcome perennially. Population expansion of the state has followed the path of the early waterways, first the Hudson River and Mohawk River, then the Erie Canal. In the 19th century, railroads were constructed along the river valleys, followed by the New York State Thruway in the 20th century.

The New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) is the department of the government of New York responsible for the development and operation of highways, railroads, mass transit systems, ports, waterways, and aviation facilities within New York State. [268] The NYSDOT is headquartered at 50 Wolf Road in Colonie, Albany County. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) is a joint venture between the states of New York and New Jersey and authorized by the U.S. Congress, established in 1921 through an interstate compact, that oversees much of the regional transportation infrastructure, including bridges, tunnels, airports, and seaports, within the geographical jurisdiction of the Port of New York and New Jersey. This 1,500 sq mi (3,900 km 2 ) port district is generally encompassed within a 25 mi (40 km) radius of the Statue of Liberty National Monument. [269] The Port Authority is headquartered at 4 World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan.

In addition to the well known New York City Subway system—which is confined within New York City—four suburban commuter railroad systems enter and leave the city: the Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North Railroad, Port Authority Trans-Hudson, and five of New Jersey Transit's rail lines. The New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) is the agency of the government of New York City responsible for the management of much of New York City's own transportation infrastructure. [270] Other cities and towns in New York have urban and regional public transportation. In Buffalo, the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority runs the Buffalo Metro Rail light-rail system in Rochester, the Rochester Subway operated from 1927 until 1956, but fell into disuse as state and federal investment went to highways.

The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (NYSDMV or DMV) is the governmental agency responsible for registering and inspecting automobiles and other motor vehicles, as well as licensing drivers in the State of New York. As of 2008 [update] , the NYSDMV has 11,284,546 drivers licenses on file and 10,697,644 vehicle registrations in force. [271] [272] All gasoline-powered vehicles registered in New York State are required to have an emissions inspection every 12 months, in order to ensure that environmental quality controls are working to prevent air pollution. Diesel-powered vehicles with a gross weight rating over 8,500 pounds that are registered in most Downstate New York counties must get an annual emissions inspection. All vehicles registered in New York State must get an annual safety inspection.

Portions of the transportation system are intermodal, allowing travelers to switch easily from one mode of transportation to another. One of the most notable examples is AirTrain JFK which allows rail passengers to travel directly to terminals at John F. Kennedy International Airport as well as to the underground New York City Subway system.

The Government of New York embodies the governmental structure of the State of New York as established by the New York State Constitution. It is composed of three branches: executive, legislative, and judicial.

The governor is the state's chief executive and is assisted by the lieutenant governor. Both are elected on the same ticket. Additional elected officers include the attorney general and the comptroller. The secretary of state, formerly an elected officer, is currently appointed by the governor.

The New York State Legislature is bicameral and consists of the New York State Senate and the New York State Assembly. The state assembly consists of 150 members, while the state senate varies in its number of members, currently having 63. The legislature is empowered to make laws, subject to the governor's power to veto a bill. However, the veto may be overridden by the legislature if there is a two-thirds majority in favor of overriding in each house. The permanent laws of a general nature are codified in the Consolidated Laws of New York.

The highest court of appeal in the Unified Court System is the Court of Appeals whereas the primary felony trial court is the County Court (or the Supreme Court in New York City). The New York Supreme Court also acts as the intermediate appellate court for many cases, and the local courts handle a variety of other matters including small claims, traffic ticket cases, and local zoning matters, and are the starting point for all criminal cases. The New York City courts make up the largest local court system.

The state is divided into counties, cities, towns, and villages, all of which are municipal corporations with respect to their own governments, as well as various corporate entities that serve single purposes that are also local governments, such as school districts, fire districts, and New York state public-benefit corporations, frequently known as authorities or development corporations. Each municipal corporation is granted varying home rule powers as provided by the New York Constitution. The state also has 10 Indian reservations. There have been several movements regarding secession from the state of New York. Proposals have included a state of Long Island, consisting of everything on the island outside New York City a state called Niagara, the western counties of New York state the northern counties of New York state called Upstate New York making the city of New York a state a proposal for a new Peconic County on eastern Long Island and for the borough of Staten Island to secede from New York City. [273] [274]

Capital punishment Edit

Capital punishment was reintroduced in 1995 under the Pataki administration, but the statute was declared unconstitutional in 2004, when the New York Court of Appeals ruled in People v. LaValle that it violated the state constitution. The remaining death sentence was commuted by the court to life imprisonment in 2007, in People v. John Taylor, and the death row was disestablished in 2008, under executive order from Governor David Paterson. No execution has taken place in New York since 1963. Legislative efforts to amend the statute have failed, and death sentences are no longer sought at the state level, though certain crimes that fall under the jurisdiction of the federal government are subject to the federal death penalty. [275] [276] [277]

Federal representation Edit

New York is represented by Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand in the United States Senate. There are twenty-seven congressional districts, the nation's third equal highest number of congressional districts, equal with Florida and behind California's 53 and Texas's 36. [278] As of 2021, nineteen districts are represented by members of the Democratic Party, while eight are represented by Republicans. Representation was reduced from 29 in 2013 due to the state's slower overall population growth relative to the overall national population growth. [279] New York has 29 electoral votes in national presidential elections, a drop from its peak of 47 votes from 1933 to 1953.

The state has a strong imbalance of payments with the federal government. According to the Office of the New York State Comptroller, New York State received 91 cents in services for every $1 it sent in taxes to the U.S. federal government in the 2013 fiscal year New York ranked in 46th place in the federal balance of payments to the state on a per capita basis. [280]

As of April 2016, Democrats represented a plurality of voters in New York State, constituting more than twice as many registered voters as any other political party affiliation or lack thereof. [281] Since the second half of the 20th century, New York has generally supported candidates belonging to the Democratic Party in national elections. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama won New York State by over 25 percentage points in both 2012 and 2008. New York City, as well as the state's other major urban locales, including Albany, Buffalo, Rochester, Yonkers, and Syracuse, are significant Democratic strongholds, with liberal politics. Rural portions of upstate New York, however, are generally more conservative than the cities and tend to favor Republicans. Heavily populated suburban areas downstate, such as Westchester County and Long Island, have swung between the major parties since the 1980s, but more often than not support Democrats.

New York City is the most important source of political fundraising in the United States for both major parties. Four of the top five zip codes in the nation for political contributions are in Manhattan. The top zip code, 10021 on the Upper East Side, generated the most money for the 2000 presidential campaigns of both George W. Bush and Al Gore. [282]

New York State has the distinction of being the home state for both major-party nominees in three presidential elections. The 1904 presidential election saw former New York Governor and incumbent President Theodore Roosevelt face Alton B. Parker, chief judge of the New York Court of Appeals. The 1944 presidential election had Franklin D. Roosevelt, following in his cousin Theodore's footsteps as former New York Governor and incumbent president running for re-election against then-current New York Governor Thomas E. Dewey. In the 2016 presidential election, former United States Senator from New York Hillary Clinton, a resident of Chappaqua, was the Democratic Party nominee. The Republican Party nominee was businessman Donald Trump, a resident of Manhattan and a native of Queens. [283]

New York City is an important center for international diplomacy. [284] The United Nations Headquarters has been situated on the East Side of Midtown Manhattan since 1952.

New York State is geographically home to one National Football League team, the Buffalo Bills, based in the Buffalo suburb of Orchard Park. Although the New York Giants and New York Jets represent the New York City metropolitan area and were previously located in New York City, they play in MetLife Stadium, located in East Rutherford, New Jersey. New York also has two Major League Baseball teams, the New York Yankees (based in the Bronx) and the New York Mets (based in Queens). Minor league baseball teams also play in the State of New York, including the Long Island Ducks, and the Brooklyn Cyclones, downstate, and the Rochester Red Wings, the Binghamton Rumble Ponies, the Syracuse Mets, the Auburn Doubledays, the Batavia Muckdogs, the Hudson Valley Renegades and the Buffalo Bisons upstate. New York is home to three National Hockey League franchises: the New York Rangers in Manhattan, the New York Islanders in Brooklyn and Nassau County in Long Island, and the Buffalo Sabres in Buffalo. New York has two National Basketball Association teams, the New York Knicks in Manhattan, and the Brooklyn Nets in Brooklyn. New York is the home of a Major League Soccer franchise, New York City FC, currently playing in the Bronx. Although the New York Red Bulls represent the New York City metropolitan area, they play in Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey.

New York hosted the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics at Lake Placid. The 1980 Games are known for the USA–USSR ice hockey match dubbed the "Miracle on Ice", in which a group of American college students and amateurs defeated the heavily favored Soviet national ice hockey team 4–3 and went on to win the gold medal against Finland. Along with St. Moritz, Switzerland and Innsbruck, Austria, Lake Placid is one of the three cities to have hosted the Winter Olympic Games twice. New York City bid for the 2012 Summer Olympics but lost to London.

Several U.S. national sports halls of fame are or have been situated in New York. The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is located in Cooperstown, Otsego County. The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs, Saratoga County, honors achievements in the sport of thoroughbred horse racing. The physical facility of the National Soccer Hall of Fame in Oneonta, also in Otsego County, closed in 2010, although the organization itself has continued inductions. The annual United States Open Tennis Championships is one of the world's four Grand Slam tennis tournaments and is held at the National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows–Corona Park in the New York City borough of Queens. [285]

New York state is also home to many intercollegiate division 1 sports programs. The State University of New York's flagship University at Buffalo are the Buffalo Bulls. Syracuse University's intercollegiate teams are the Syracuse Orange.

The dark side of the Dalai Lama in his own words

The unelected God King of Tibet

The Dalai Lama was enthroned age 5 in Lhasa, Tibet in February 1940. Since then there has been over 70 years of unelected rule in which the Tibetan (and since 1959 the Tibetan exile community) has had ONE political and religious leader whose decisions can never be questioned.

By Daily Mail Reporter
Updated: 17:38 BST, 8 August 2011

A housekeeper has accused her former employers, a Korean Buddhist monk and his family, of keeping her as a prisoner in their homes in Queens, New York, for 12 years and forcing her to work as their 'slave' under a threat of death.

The housekeeper, Oak-Jin Oh, 60, alleges that the family forced her to work long hours without pay, deprived her of medical care when she was sick and 'usually' refused to give her a bedroom or a bed to sleep in.

The family allowed her to go out to buy groceries from time to time but they used threats to dissuade her from reporting her situation to the authorities, according to the lawsuit filed last week in federal court in Manhattan.

Secret world: A Korean Buddhist monk walking in New York. Another monk, Soo Bok Choi, is accused of keeping a Korean immigrant as a slave for 12 years

Miss Oh 'was threatened with reputational harm, physical harm and death,' the lawsuit says.

The suit names the family patriarch, Soo Bok Choi, a Buddhist monk, as a defendant, as well as two of Mr Choi’s brothers, his son and daughter, a niece and the personal representative of the estate of his mother, who died in 2009.

Miss Oh's lawyers said court papers have been served to three of the defendants, but they have been unable to locate the others.

Miss Oh is a Korean immigrant and is being represented by the Asian American Legal Defence and Education Fund and the New York law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell.

According to the lawsuit, Ms. Oh was introduced to the Choi family in 1998 by an employment placement agency in South Korea.

Mr Choi said he was looking for someone to work in his family’s home and in his temple in New York, the complaint says.

Miss Oh agreed to travel to the United States to work for the family in exchange for a monthly wage of 1.3 million Korean won, equivalent to about $1,200 at current exchange rates.

Mr Choi flew with Miss Oh to Toronto, the lawsuit says, then smuggled her across the border into New York 'under the cover of night' in a small boat, the New York Times reports.

Over the next 12 years, the Choi family 'harboured' Miss Oh in homes around Queens, including in Elmhurst, Little Neck, Bayside, Flushing and Whitestone, according to the complaint.

She said she never had a day off, often working 14 hours a day or more.

Miss Oh was also forced to work at the family’s Buddhist temple, which operated out of the family’s house in Little Neck until about 2001, the complaint says.

The lawsuit claims that the Choi family intimidated Miss Oh into remaining quiet about her situation and made her completely dependent on them by taking her passport, withholding her pay, limiting her contact with others, monitoring her telephone calls and generally isolating her from the rest of society.

Mr Choi 'also told Ms. Oh that he could easily pay to have someone kill her,' and frequently threatened to report her to immigration authorities and have her deported, the lawsuit says.

She was finally able to escape “with the assistance of a Good Samaritan,” a friend of the family who visited the Choi home and took pity on the woman, said one of Ms. Oh’s lawyers, Ivy Suriyopas.

Through an interpreter, Miss Oh said: 'This man calls himself a monk, but to me, he is a criminal.

'He stole 12 years of my life even though I worked hard for him and his family.

'It's not right to look down on the weak and cause them damage just because you have power and status.'

Joni Mitchell – Now

Joni Mitchell has been a huge influence on many artists today including Ellie Goulding, Katy Perry, and Corrine Bailey Rae due to her incredible talent. In 2003, Rolling Stone labeled Joni the “72nd greatest guitarist of all time,” but by 2007, Joni released her last studio album titled Shine. Sadly, in 2010 Joni admitted she has Morgellons syndrome, an “incurable disease” as she called it, and in 2015, Joni suffered an aneurysm at home but after being hospitalized, she healed at home and gained strength.

Joni Mitchell – Now

Watching ‘Law & Order’ Doesn’t Make You A Professional

Gawker – There’s a specific kind of person who thinks, after watching tons of procedural justice TV shows, that he could commit the perfect crime. And there’s an even more specific kind of person who actually can. Enacting an elaborate plot to frame his ex-girlfriend for armed robbery, Queens resident Jerry Ramrattan almost became the latter.

According to the New York Times, Seemona Sumasar says Ramrattan “cornered her, taped her mouth shut, and raped her” while they were in a relationship. Apparently Sumasar, a former Morgan Stanley analyst and restaurateur, had realized that Ramrattan was a compulsive liar. A Law & Order and CSI fanatic, he pretended to be employed as a police investigator for the duration of their relationship. Sumasar pressed charges for the rape. Ramrattan made bail. Soon thereafter, he launched his alleged revenge plot:

They said he coached the supposed victims, driving them past Ms. Sumasar’s house so that they could describe her Jeep Grand Cherokee and showing them her photo so they could pick her out of a police lineup.

The setup began in September 2009, prosecutors said. An illegal immigrant from Trinidad told the police that he had been handcuffed and robbed of $700 by an Indian woman who was disguised as a police officer and had a gun, according to court documents.

Prosecutors said Mr. Ramrattan had persuaded the immigrant to lie, telling him that he could receive a special visa for victims of violent crimes.

Other “victims” came forward with similar stories. Some clues made it look like Sumasar had been covering her tracks. So, even though Sumasar had an alibi and phone records to back it up, she ended up with a $1 million bail after her arrest, forcing her to languish behind bars while Ramrattan went free. Eventually an “informant” blew the whistle now Sumasar is in the clear and Ramrattan is awaiting trial for rape and conspiracy. His defense: She framed him. Double frame job!

Sumasar is planning lawsuits against the police departments of New York City and Nassau County. The Queen District Attorney marveled, “in the collective memory, no one has ever seen anything like this before.”

Watch the video: Γιατί ο Ιησούς και ο Βούδας απέτυχαν να σώσουν τον κόσμο