David Rakoff tells the story of the day that used to hold the record as the worst disaster in New York history: June 15th, 1904, when the steamship The General Slocum, caught fire and sank in the Hudson river, killing 1,031 passengers. Almost everyone aboard was from one neighborhood in New York, and by all accounts, that neighborhood was never the same again.
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David Rakoff tells a story about an actual pursuit—a scavenger hunt—that takes hundreds of hours to create ... done for the sheer pleasure of it.
Because of a shortage of math and science teachers, New York City decided to import instructors from Austria. Then the Austrians started to see things about this country that few Americans ever get to see.
David Rakoff on how he tried to pass as a local once he moved from Toronto to New York. He claims that there must be a chip in his head — or something like it — that automatically tells him when someone or something famous is Canadian.