Santa Clara County, Calif., is home to Google, Apple and eBay. So, it's no surprise that the median household income was $91,000 a year in 2012, one of the highest in the country. Yet fully a third of the households in the county don't earn enough for basic living expenses, even when they work at some of those big tech companies.
The streets outside Avalon Bakery in Detroit's Midtown are a snowy, slushy, mostly unplowed mess, and all these customers want to do is pay for their loaf of Motown Multigrain or Poletown Rye.
But Detroiters are a gracious, if weary, bunch. So when they see yet another reporter sticking a microphone in their faces, asking, "What do they think of all this media attention?" they answer politely.
And even if they're not always crazy about the way their city is portrayed, no one argues with the fact that Detroit had a newsworthy year.
As a young woman, I had an attack of nostalgia for a possibly imaginary cookie. It was prompted by a walk up New York's Third Avenue, where I saw in the bakery case of a local delicatessen a stack of small round cookies, covered in the tiny rainbow sprinkles known as nonpareils. Instantly, I was ambushed by a flashback to the tiny Italian pastry shop of the small riverside town just north of Manhattan where I grew up and where, I felt sure, I had been given star-shaped sprinkle cookies of a similar kind as a reward for my excellent behavior.
If your holiday shopping trip includes a stop at the bookstore, you might consider adding audiobooks to your gift list. And this year, as you slip on headphones to sample the offerings, what you hear might surprise you.
According to Robin Whitten, the founder and editor of AudioFile magazine, the genre has far surpassed the conventions of the taped readings of yore.
Political innocent I may be, but I find great irony in that while everybody agrees that there is massive inequality in the United States today, it's now in sports where the American dream still lives — more than ever.