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Ian Jackman

Ian Jackman lives in New York.

Killer SUVs

Ian Jackman, 7 October 2004

The Long Island Expressway is the clogged main artery from New York to the Hamptons. When my family went on holiday in Britain in the 1970s, taking to the M1 in our M-reg Mini, car-spotting was something I did to pass the time. Now, when I drive my family along the LIE in our Volvo, I still keep an eye out for the unusual. I was pleased to score a Maybach, the $300,000-plus Mercedes saloon....

Joe DiMaggio

Ian Jackman, 10 May 2001

In the closing stages of Richard Ben Cramer’s biography of Joe DiMaggio there is an exchange between the baseball legend and a man called Cappy Harada for whom DiMaggio had done a bit of business. The episode is undated in the book, but took place some time before the San Francisco earthquake of 1989, at which time DiMaggio was 74. Cappy showed up at the bank that Joe used as a personal...

Cracker Culture

Ian Jackman, 7 September 2000

Before he became Senator for New York, Daniel Patrick Moynihan was an academic and the author, with Nathan Glazer, of Beyond the Melting Pot: The Negroes, Puerto Ricans, Jews, Italians and Irish of New York City, published in 1963. Moynihan’s chief contribution was the chapter on the New York Irish, a lament which begins: ‘New York used to be an Irish city. Or so it seemed. There were sixty or seventy years when the Irish were everywhere. They felt it was their town. It is no longer, and they know it. That is one of the things bothering them,’ The great Irish achievements, he said, had been the American Catholic Church and the Democratic machine, but the Church was cautious and backward-looking and drained the people’s resources, while the Irish knew how to get political power, but not how to use it, and were interested only in climbing to the next rung of the ladder. Weakened by booze, softened by Catholicism, enervated by politics, Irish culture in America was in decline. Its major celebration, the St Patrick’s Day parade in New York City, served only to embarrass Irish people visiting America by its ‘Top o’ the Mornin’ sensibility. For their part, Irish Americans were embarrassed by the conditions they found when they visited Ireland.‘

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