East New York

As a teenager, I proudly told my first black friends that I was color blind. I thought I was saying the right thing, telling them that race doesn't matter to me. I now realize how sickeningly smug that sounds. I know they weren't colorblind.
When I spoke to Nicholas Heyward Sr. the morning that the news of Akai Gurley's fatal shooting broke, neither of us could believe it. Gurley, like Heyward's son, Nicholas Jr., was shot by a cop in a Brooklyn housing staircase.
I realize that many factors play a role in the examples I cite above, including the judicial system itself; official versus real life police attitudes, not to mention the law and recent questionable policing techniques implemented in New York City and elsewhere.
Two thoughts strike her -- he's the handsomest straphanger she's ever seen, and she knows him from somewhere. But where?
When Bill de Blasio moved into Gracie Mansion, he became mayor of 59 community districts that constitute New York City. As he eloquently described during his campaign, these districts comprise two distinct cities that have very little in common.
A dozen African masks. A baby grand. And a bouquet. If we are the sum of our possessions, these tell us most of what we need to know about Milton "Mickey" Wilner.