The Nation: Turning the Urban Cheek

A new neighborhood newspaper called Wisdom's Child, published on Manhattan's Upper West Side, begins by noting that life there "can be a delightful thing." That said, the editors offer a cutout page of emergency telephone numbers—for firemen, police, suicide prevention, addict assistance, a 24-hour locksmith, air pollution, a poison-control center and dial-a-prayer. The recorded prayer: "Oh Lord, I am very aware that I live in a world of muggers and purse snatchers. I earnestly pray for help to keep my perspective . . . and even if I am a victim of a crime, that I might pray for those who...

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