What’s Wrong with Model UN

The Model United Nations is all the rage these days in high schools across the United States. School clubs compete at conferences, most held at universities, in committee sessions modeled after the United Nations. harvardEach school team is assigned a specific country and topic and then¬†debate other schools (acting as other countries) to come up with resolutions on world matters. For example, a school might be assigned India and the World Health Organization and be given the topic of International Aid for Syrian Refugees. yaleIt looks good on paper – many students use it as a tool for college applications – but it’s not as solid in practice. The problem is that students come from a place of privilege and thus have little genuine understanding of the issues, and more importantly, lack empathy. unlogoInstead of solving problems, the delegates strive for personal gain, aiming for the title of Best Delegate, and in the end model not the aims of the United Nations, but its practice at its worst.

Overlooked New York Part I: Tunnel Approach and Tunnel Exit

Forget Wall Street, Park Avenue and Broadway. 20140414_105838Tunnel Approach and Tunnel Exit Streets, perhaps the most heavily traveled thoroughfares in the city, remain the least visited.20140414_110853Only a few blocks from Grand Central Station, Bryant Park and the United Nations, to say nothing of the Midtown Tunnel, these aptly named streets give access to the city for some 70,000 cars per day.  20140414_105729It is true the Tunnel Street sidewalks are narrow.20140414_110603However there is an abundance of artwork 20140414_110449Plenty of street food20140414_110415Even a few wildlife specimens. 20140414_110745One only has to look beyond changing lanes to see.20140414_110355