Last week, Mayor Eric Adams delivered his annual State of The City address (apparently it’s in a very good state), and so I thought it fitting that we take up the matter here. But rather than take a deep dive into the details and lack thereof of the Mayor’s speech, I wanted to zoom out for a somewhat wider perspective on the condition of the city and some of the issues that it is currently facing. To do so, I invited the New York-based writer Ross Barkan to join me. Ross is not only a prolific writer, but one of tremendous breadth. He is a contributing writer at the New York Times Magazine, authors a weekly political column for Crain’s New York Business, and his work appears frequently in New York, The Atlantic, The Nation, among other outlets. He has authored three books, among them the novel The Night Burns Bright, and a book that Publisher’s Weekly described as “an excoriating takedown” of New York’s former governor entitled The Prince: Andrew Cuomo, Coronavirus, and the Fall of New York. He is the author of a Substack newsletter on New York and national affairs called “Political Currents by Ross Barkan.”

Discussed in this episode:

The Zeitgeist is Changing. A Strange, Romantic Backlash to the Tech Era Looms” by Ross Barkan

The Three Segments of American Culture,” by Ross Barkan

26 Empire State Buildings Could Fit Into New York’s Empty Office Space. That’s a Sign.” by Edward L. Glaeser and Carlo Ratti