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Hurricane Sandy and Midtown Manhattan

Grand Central Station, one of the busiest terminals in the world, is locked and completely empty. Sandy hammered New York City Monday night. Midtown Manhattan was spared of the worst. We don’t have flooding like other parts of the city, but 39th Street has emerged as the dividing line of the have and have-nots. Of electricity that is. I’m straddling both worlds because while I don’t have power at home, I do at work! Here are some pics from my morning commute. A loss of power doesn’t stop the Korean greengrocer from staying open while nearly all chain groceries and drug stores are closed.   One of my favorite burger joints remains closed, but they prepared as most other businesses...

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Black-People Toothpaste!

The former “Darkie” name is gone and the smiling minstrel face is replaced with a man of an uncertain race in a top hat, but the toothpaste is still literally called “black people” (黑人, pronounced “hei ren” in Mandarin). Black-people toothpaste is still sold in many Asian countries (we found this our first night in Taipei at a 7-11 two weeks ago). The parent company, Hawley & Hazel Group, is 50%-owned by Colgate-Palmolive. On their site, Colgate says that while they replaced the “Darkie” English name with “Darlie” in 1990, they kept the “hei ren” characters because “Hawley & Hazel’s research shows that Chinese consumers perceive the ‘Hei ren’ toothpaste brand to be trustworthy, international and modern.” If that’s the...

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