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I met again with a group of academics from around the country last week. Putatively interested in the love of wisdom, we gathered in a hotel outside of New York. We considered what were generally some inadequate tests of thought falling short of a serious ideal but few enough fortunately to allow our taking in New York's cultural scene. For me that meant Art, Opera, Theater, and Ballet. Even philosophers decend into the city's cave to pass judgment on its shadows on the wall.

Beyond subterranean rides on the subway, my added adventures included Mark Adamo's Little Women at the New York City Opera, Richard Greenberg's Take Me Out at the Walter Kerr Theater, and Boris Eifman's Who's Who ballet at the City Center Theater. I also ventured north to the Natural History and Metropolitan Museums and south to NYU and Grenwich Village, seeking in NYU's Stern School my friend Katya for some needed Russian translation at the ballet. Her cell phone was unfortunately disconnected. Let it be said that my one week away was exhausting, coming hard on the heels of quarter finals and preceding three new classes this spring. But my sense of style has at least been liberated.

Big-city "liberation" is, after all, the past week's other, more substantive news.

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