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Park Avenue’s Nichibei Exchange – and Japanese Flute

James Nyoraku Schlefer, shakuhachi grand master. James plays the Japanese bamboo flute. Brilliantly. Haunting melodies crossed the conference table, like fog rolling down the mountainside and across the rice paddies of central Honshu. The flute came to Japan from China in the eighth century. Used originally by Zen Buddhist priests, the music creates a heightened […]

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U.S. Border Policy: How To Fix What’s Broken

How are we doing on sealing our long, long border with Mexico, all 1,952 miles of it? The Secure Fence Act of 2006 calls for 670 miles of new fencing, running along one-third of the border. As of last fall, 370 miles had been installed — at a cost of some $5 million per mile. […]

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Lesbian and Gay Musical Ambassadors Play Carnegie Hall

New York, N.Y. As Harvey Milk, a transplanted New Yorker, pulled the gay and lesbian community of San Francisco together in the mid-1970s, like-minded musicians there formed the world’s first gay and lesbian marching band. New Yorkers took notice and a sister band was born the next year in Manhattan. They marched down Fifth Avenue […]

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Remembering Cultural Icon Mary Hartman (1976)

Marietta, Ohio. “It’s just incredible. The Fernwood flasher, mass murders, chickens, goats”¦ and my floor has a yellow waxy build-up.”   To those of you who are new fans of Norman Lear’s soap opera, this quote makes perfect sense.   It is Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman as she ponders a new turn of events in the mystical […]

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Franketienne: Haiti’s First Nobel Laureate – Hopefully

New York, N.Y.  As a cultural area studies graduate, seldom do I feel over my head culturally. Standing in the home of possibly the next Nobel Prize recipient for Literature in Port-au-Prince recently, I found myself way out of my league. One ambassador had cautioned me to “have an intellectual translate” for me. Luckily, when […]

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Chef Big Shake Debuts New Online Store, Offers Deep-Fried Turkey for the Holidays

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