Groom’s Letter to Parents, Remembered After Fatal Hit and Run

The young groom took some moments on his wedding day to write a letter thanking his parents for never sparing time or money if he needed, say, a tutor or an eye doctor, and for sending him to yeshiva “to learn your values, religious and worldly, until I reached to this current lucky moment.”

Children, Nathan Glauber wrote, often do not understand what parents do for them until they mature and have their own children, so he asked them to forgive him for any pain he may have caused them.

“I feel a sting in my heart that I’m already leaving your warm home,” he wrote.

The letter, in Yiddish, has a haunting quality because Mr. Glauber and his pregnant wife, Raizy, were killed Sunday morning by a speeding driver in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, as they rode in a livery cab to see a doctor about the health of their fetus. The baby was delivered three months premature but died the next day. The episode has deeply upset the Satmar Hasidic community that they were a part of, if not much of New York.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, Hasidim were sending BlackBerry messages to one another with photographs of the Yiddish letter, which is signed with the name Nachman, Nathan Glauber’s Hebrew name. The Glauber family is in mourning and could not confirm the letter’s authenticity, but associates of the family say the handwriting is Nathan Glauber’s.

Nathan and Raizy Glauber, both 21, were married roughly a year ago and a photograph shows them smiling in their wedding garb, with Mr. Glauber in a long belted ceremonial coat, his head crowned with a round fur shtreimel. Hasidim do not customarily write such letters to their parents before a wedding, said Rabbi David Niederman, executive director of the United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburg.

Here is the text of a translation provided by a reader:

To my dear parents:

In these imminent joyous and highly spiritual moments of my life, when I’m heading to my chupa to begin my own family, I feel a sting in my heart that I’m already leaving your warm home.

I feel an obligation to thank you for everything you did for me since I was a small child. You did not spare time, energy and money, whether it was when I needed a private tutor to learn or an eye doctor or general encouragement. Also, later on, you helped me to succeed in my Torah studies, you sent me to yeshiva to learn your values, religious and worldly, until I reached to this current lucky moment.

Even though I’m leaving your home (actually I’m not leaving, I’m bringing in an additional family member) I want to tell you that all the education and values you taught me I’ll – with God’s help — take along with me in my new home, and continue to plant the same education in my home and kids that God will grant me.

But since kids do not grasp what parents are, and how much they do for them, and only when he matures and – with God’s help — have their own kids, they could realize it. And unfortunately I may have caused you a lot of pain; I am asking you to please forgive me.

I’m asking you, I’m dependent on your prayers, pray for me and my bride, and I will pray for you.

I pray to God that Daddy and Mommy should see lots of pride and delight from me and my special bride, until the final redemption of the Messiah.

From your son who admires and thanks you and will always love you.

Nachman.

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Fondly Recalling a Paper That ‘Punched The Times in the Nose’

Ghostly vestiges of the gothic Herald Tribune logo still survive on the eastern facade of 230 West 41st Street in Midtown Manhattan, camouflaged by a faded Group Health Insurance emblem, and, more recently, dwarfed by the towering headquarters of The New York Times next door.

This fall, when The International Herald Tribune is rebranded as The International New York Times, that pallid logo atop the fabled Trib’s former home may become the most visible remaining legacy of one of the great names of American journalism.

The New York Herald Tribune was born in 1924, which means that it has been dead – since 1966 — longer than it was alive.

But it was not for nothing that Richard Kluger titled his 1986 biography of The Herald Tribune “The Paper” – as if there were no other – and that so many journalists craved a job writing for a scrappy paper that proclaimed, its thumb defiantly planted in The Times’s eye, that a good newspaper didn’t have to be dull. (Among those actually hired were Tom Wolfe, Jimmy Breslin, Dick Schaap, Red Smith and Pete Hamill.)

I cherish a pay stub I saved (it must be all of $20) from my days as a campus correspondent for The Trib. My dreams of working there after college were dashed, though, when I witnessed the lintel bearing the words “The Tribune” being dismantled from the paper’s former headquarters in Printing House Square in Lower Manhattan on what I remember was the very same day that The Trib’s new owners declared it dead.

The Herald was a gossip-guzzling penny paper founded in 1835 by James Gordon Bennett, an eccentric Scot, Democrat and populist. The Tribune was first published by Horace Greeley, a Republican, onetime presidential candidate and promoter of Abraham Lincoln. The papers were so distinct that placing a hyphen in the combined name would have been presumptuous. (The Tribune acquired the Herald, but for some reason, the merged paper was not named the Tribune Herald).

Beginning under Stanley Walker, a city editor in the 1920s and ’30s, “it used to be said that The Trib was a writer’s paper and The Times was an editor’s paper,” said Richard C. Wald, The Herald Tribune’s last managing editor.

“It was the first paper to have a separate Book Review section (started by Irita Van Doren) or review paperbacks (you could look it up),” Mr. Wald recalled. “It had the most vivid serious sports page (you could look it up). Walter Kerr redefined how you could write about the theater. It was a knowing New Yorker’s daily look at the city, with some smart reporting on national and international events.”

Donald H. Forst, a former assistant managing editor, remembered that as the underdog, The Trib “fought harder, had wackier, brighter ideas, had great passion and therefore was more creative. You attracted people who were not yet buffed by rejection or molded into conventional ways of doing things. You weren’t afraid to make a mistake.”

Perhaps its greatest legacy, Mr. Forst said, was “it punched The Times in the nose, which made The Times a better paper.”

One Trib alumnus, Maurice Carroll, recalled that even a dozen years after he joined The Times his complaints about changes in his copy would invariably be met by an editor’s lament: “Oh, you Trib guys.”

When Homer Bigart, a famous World War II correspondent and another Trib alumnus who joined The Times, died in 1991, Clifton Daniel, a former Times managing editor, recalled: “It seemed to me that he always looked down on The Times, even when he worked there. Its main fault, in his eyes, was that it wasn’t The Trib.”

If it was so good, why did it succumb?

“By the time we came out of the Second World War, The Trib was arguably a better paper than The Times in the sense of being better edited, better written, graphically more pleasing,” Mr. Kluger said. “But it just didn’t have the depth. It got overwhelmed by its failure to invest in itself for wider coverage and more space. It was in last place in the morning and couldn’t command the advertising. And it was a Republican paper, a Protestant paper and a paper more representative of the suburbs than the ethnic mix of the city.”

The headquarters building itself suffered from neglect. “Homer, how can we make The Times more like The Tribune?” Mr. Bigart was asked by Arthur Gelb, one of his new colleagues at The Times. Mr. Bigart replied, “Turn off the air-conditioning.”

And when John Hay Whitney toured the place as The Trib’s new owner in 1958, he couldn’t help but notice the despair and decrepitude. Then he repaired to the Artist and Writers restaurant at 213 West 40th Street, which was bustling with bonhomie (and now houses a Hale and Hearty restaurant) and where Mr. Whitney memorably declared: “I should have bought the bar.”

A half-century later, New York still has Herald Square (and Greeley Square). New York magazine, originally a Sunday supplement in The Trib, was reincarnated as a free-standing weekly. (And there are hyphenated Herald-Tribunes in Sarasota, Fla., and Batesville, Ind.)

The International Herald Tribune is the current incarnation of what began publishing in 1887 (as a European edition of the New York Herald) and became known as the Paris Herald and later the I.H.T.

The quirky paper based in Paris reflected James Gordon Bennet Jr.’s eccentricities (printing for 6,718 consecutive issues a bogus letter signed “Old Philadelphia Lady” that explained how to convert Celsius into Fahrenheit and vice versa). It was immortalized by Hemingway and Fitzgerald (Jake Barnes and Dick Diver read it) and in “Breathless,” the 1960 film in which Jean-Paul Belmondo’s girlfriend, Jean Seberg, plays an aspiring journalist who gets by hawking The Trib on Paris streets.

Beginning in 1967, the paper was operated jointly by the Whitney family, The Times and The Washington Post (The Times came first on the nameplate as a result of a coin toss). The Times became the sole owner in 2002. Within a few years, the handwriting was on the wall: The International Herald Tribune unceremoniously scrapped the hand-drawn “dingbat” that had squatted between “Herald” and “Tribune” on its front page since 1966 and that originated in the New York Tribune on April 10, 1866.

Even Mr. Kluger’s 801-page book was unable to resolve an enduring mystery: Why the clock in the logo was set at 6:12.

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Starbucks Barista Gets Creative With a New Yorker

Dear Diary:

On a recent trip from New York to Washington, I went into a Starbucks and ordered my usual venti nonfat decaf cappuccino, and a tall “cawfee” for my husband.

The barista asked my name to properly identify my drinks. I replied Melissa, and without missing a beat, he wrote “MelissaFromNewYork,” all one word.

I guess it really is true — you can take the girl out of New York, but you can’t take the Noo Yawk out of the girl.


Read all recent entries and our updated submissions guidelines. Reach us via e-mail: [email protected]. Follow @NYTMetro on Twitter using the hashtag #MetDiary.

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Federal Budget Cuts Will Hit J.F.K. Passengers, Home Security Secretary Warns

With the federal Department of Homeland Security facing a 5 percent budget cut in the budget battle, passengers at Kennedy International Airport might have to schedule extra hours for travel, the homeland security secretary, Janet Napolitano, said on Tuesday.

She added that in the summer, the daily wait times could exceed four hours. Ms. Napolitano was speaking in New York at a counterterrorism conference.

On Monday, Ms. Napolitano told reporters that while passengers at New York’s airports had not yet felt the effects of spending cuts that went into effect on Friday, security lines at airports in other cities, including Los Angeles and Chicago, were already more than twice as long as they had been before.

Ms. Napolitano said on Tuesday that Homeland Security’s partnership with the New York Police Department would be more crucial than ever. “We are just beginning to see impacts of the sequestration that came into effect last Friday,” she said. “The Coast Guard has to curtail maritime operations in the waters off the coast of New York by 24 percent.”

At the same time, Ms. Napolitano added, overtime pay reductions and furloughs of Customs and Border Protection officers will mean that in the approaching summer season, “the wait time at the J.F.K. International Airport will increase by up to 50 percent, and peak daily wait times could exceed four hours.”

“We do not want this,” she said. “We will work hard to fulfill our security missions to the best of our ability.”

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Custom Colors for a School, New Opportunities for Students

Students and volunteers painted the Bronx Design and Construction Academy as part of a project overseen by a nonprofit organization. In addition to gaining painting skills, many of the students also receive academic tutoring.Suzanne DeChillo/The New York Times Students and volunteers painted the Bronx Design and Construction Academy as part of a project overseen by a nonprofit organization. In addition to gaining painting skills, many of the students also receive academic tutoring.

Massimo Vignelli, the well-known designer, provided colors for the Bronx school. Suzanne DeChillo/The New York Times Massimo Vignelli, the well-known designer, provided colors for the Bronx school.

John Flores was the one who spotted the spot. “Somebody painted red on the blue door,” he said.

John, a 14-year-old ninth grader, had a paint brush and a mission: to bring a bright new color scheme to his school, the Bronx Design and Construction Academy on East 151st Street in the Melrose section of the South Bronx. And the color on his brush was “Rocky Mountain sky,” an arresting color that blended easily with a palette created by the renowned designer Massimo Vignelli.

He was part of a painting crew of students and volunteers (and the principal, Matthew Williams) involved with Publicolor, a nonprofit group that has spruced up 155 schools and 175 homeless shelters, health clinics and other community buildings in New York City since the 1990s. But the construction academy is the first to get specially designed colors from an outside designer like Mr. Vignelli, who is famous for his 1970s-era map of the New York subway system and his shopping bags for Bloomingdale’s, among other things.

The school opened in 2011 in the building that had long housed the Alfred E. Smith Career and Technical Education High School. Smith had a turbulent history that included a city proposal to close it for poor performance in 2009. While it won a reprieve and improved, according to the city’s Education Department, it now shares the building with the construction academy and a smaller school, Bronx Haven High School.  But the building remained as drab as ever.

In came Publicolor, which has a $520,000 two-year contract with the Education Department to paint 10 schools a year. (Publicolor says that covers about $26,000 for each school; the organization raises another $50,000 to $60,000 a school for expenses like insurance and supplies, although the paint is donated. It paints all of the public spaces — hallways, stairways, cafeterias and, in some schools, parts of the classrooms.)

The Education Department says that, like many nonprofit groups that work with students in schools, Publicolor offers “support programs” that help at-risk pupils. “Our maintenance program is separate and apart from our work with nonprofits,” said Marge Feinberg, a spokeswoman for the department. “The maintenance program has its own budget to cover the cost of painting our 1,200 school buildings.”

Publicolor’s founder, Ruth Lande Shuman, saw painting as a way to prepare students for the world of work, and developed “a multiyear continuum” of academic tutoring and after-school workshops that sharpen skills that teenagers may not learn in class.

Cara Spitzer, a Publicolor staff member, said almost 70 percent of the students used commercial painting skills they picked up with Publicolor to earn money in part-time or summer jobs as painters once they went to college. (Students at the beginner level in the program are not paid — they receive prizes. Students who advance to higher levels can earn $30 a week for a three-day-a-week commitment that includes tutoring sessions in addition to painting; the most advanced students are paid by the hour.)

Ms. Shuman said Publicolor programs paid long-term dividends as well: 100 percent of the students in Pubicolor programs went from 8th grade to 9th grade on time, and 100 percent from 9th grade to 10th grade on time. She said 90 percent of the high school seniors in Publicolor programs had graduated on time, compared with 63 percent over all at their schools, and 81 percent had gone on to two- or four-year colleges, compared with 49 percent of their classmates who were not involved with Publicolor. The Publicolor students tended to stay in college, she said, and 67 percent eventually graduated.

When a school is about to be painted, there is usually a vote, and the students decide on the colors. But Ms. Shuman and Mr. Vignelli are old friends, and he made the choices for the construction academy, expanding the Publicolor palette with new colors, like “hot lips,” “orange sky,” “apple crisp,” “lucky charm green” and “salsa.”

“You can see how it was, how drab it was,” Mr. Vignelli said, walking down a hall that was still the old institutional tan.

Jade Williams, 18, was painting “desert sunset” on a bulletin board. “These colors make you be productive,” she said. “I wouldn’t want to come to a school that looks like a jailhouse.”

Mr. Williams, the principal, echoed that idea as he painted “apple crisp” above the door to a stairway. “It’s easier to foster a student-friendly culture when the building is friendly to students,” he said.

He said the student painters were disciplined and detail-oriented. (“They’re all better than me,” Mr. Williams said. “I should just fill the buckets.”) He also said he liked the school’s new look.

“There were a few people who said, ‘Pink, huh?’” he recalled. “I said, ‘It looks great, doesn’t it?’”

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