The Man at the Next Table

The plan is to hang out with my son, helping him with his second-grade homework, before picking up his brother at an after-school program. We find a neighborhood diner – small, clean and as one would expect for a mid-weekday afternoon, almost empty. We sit in a booth, unpack his work materials, negotiate what he can eat (either chicken fingers or French fries, not both), and begin. Read more [...]

Any Idiot Can’t Do This. Only Some Idiots.

Recently, in the space of three days, two different people said to me – in the course of an otherwise unexceptional conversation, apropos of nothing – that they had dreams of being a writer. Both of them are in their fifties, which meant they’ve been doing something else for the better part of three decades (but hey, no one remains with the same company anymore, so why stick with the same profession?). Those of you who are writers probably know what came next: the questions. Those questions. Read more [...]

Shape-Up on Bedford

Around 7:30 a.m., the men gather in the chilling December air at the corner of South 5th Street and Bedford Avenue, next to the Williamsburg Bridge overpass, as they do every morning. There are about 30 of them, ranging in age from twentysomething to early fifties. Some stand alone; others cluster in small groups, chatting, making jokes. But everyone keeps an eye on the street, watching the cars, vans, and pickup trucks that pass by -- and waiting for the occasional vehicle that slows down. Read more [...]

Dr. Valentin Fuster: “I Want to Be On the Frontline”

Dr. Valentin Fuster’s workday begins at 5:00 am – but for the first fifteen minutes, he does absolutely nothing except think about the hours ahead of him. “Basically I program the day in terms of priorities,” he says, “to be sure that when I start, I know exactly where I am.” Read more [...]

Balancing Act

Laparoscopic surgery pioneer, educator, researcher – Dr. Celia Divino wears many hats, but still keeps her equilibrium.   By P.H.I.Berroll While chatting with a visitor in her office, Celia Divino picks up a tiny plastic rake and slowly pulls it back and forth across a miniature sandbox on her desk. “It's a Japanese garden,” Dr. Divino explains. “When you're stressed out, you rake it and it relaxes you. It's kind of Zen.” It’s easy to see how Dr. Divino would be interested Read more [...]

Compassion and Commitment

“A sense of shared humanity” motivates Dr. David Nichols. By P.H.I.Berroll In the course of his career, David Nichols, M.D., has had no shortage of honors and acclaim. Still, upon hearing that he would receive Mount Sinai’s Saul Horowitz, Jr. Memorial Award, Dr. Nichols says he reacted with “a combination of tremendous thrill and total disbelief – because I did not expect to win.” For all his modesty, it’s easy to see why Dr. Nichols, who is vice dean for education and professor Read more [...]

Yesterday’s Breakthrough – Today’s Common Practice

By P.H.I.Berroll It’s one thing to research and develop a new surgical procedure. It’s quite another to put it into practice, over and over again. The surgeons of Mount Sinai have been leaders in the use of the DaVinci robotic system and other minimally invasive techniques. Here, three of them talk about how those innovations have impacted their work. Dr. Eric M. Genden is no stranger to innovative surgical procedures – he was the first surgeon in the United States to perform a jaw Read more [...]

This Is Spinal Surgery: Safe and Effective

Drs. Andrew Hecht and Sean McCance work on the cutting edge of minimally invasive back surgery.   By P.H.I.Berroll For Sean McCance, one of the biggest innovations in his field, spinal surgery, over the last ten years has been the XLIF cage. XLIF, or lateral lumbar interbody fusion, is a minimally invasive surgical procedure performed through the patient's side, in order to avoid the major back muscles. The cage, a small rectangular-shaped device, is inserted between the patient’s vertebrae Read more [...]

The New B&Bs: Low-Cost Lodging for the Price-Conscious Traveler

Say you’re a New Yorker whose friends or relatives from outside the U.S. are planning to visit. You’d love to put them up in your Manhattan apartment, but unfortunately, like many Manhattanites you barely have enough space for your own family. Read more [...]

Across the Dirty River: Sustainable Farming in Costa Rica

As we reach the outskirts of San José, I look out the window of our tour bus to see a majestic mountain range, its peaks literally touching the clouds… and in the foreground, an ugly strip of fast-food joints and used car lots that wouldn't be out of place in northern New Jersey. Read more [...]

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