American Notes: Comforts of Crisis

The rail strike was only a part of New Yorkers' troubles last week. For out-of-town visitors, for the aged and for expectant mothers in their ninth month, there was the additional labor pain of a taxi strike. It seemed that the complex urban understanding was going through another periodic fit, obeying the logic of a self-destroying machine by Sculptor Jean Tinguely. Titled, perhaps, Immobility.

But many of the 800,000 New Yorkers who daily travel by cab were like ex-smokers who find that they can savor food again. Among other things, they rediscovered the...

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