Kudos, David Nasaw! What a wonderful and insightful analysis, albeit a scary one.
Living on the late-nineteenth-century female muckraker journalist Ida Tarbell’s island– Roosevelt Island — which is under the 59th Street Bridge (as those in Manhattan call it, as opposed to the Queensboro Bridge, as those from Queens call it, though it was relatively recently renamed the Ed Koch Bridge after the late former New York City Mayor), gives one a lot of APP (American Political Perspectives).
The wet, dirty muck that Ida raked occurred after she checked herself into what was known as “Damnation Island” due to its appalling conditions and the way inmates from the all-male prison on the island took “care” of some of the women along with white male priests.
While now it remains Roosevelt Island, Cornell Tech dominates it. Former Mayor Mike (or Michael) Bloomberg awarded approximately 37 acres to Cornell, the only private-public Ivy League institution of higher learning.
So, I think I can speculate that Elon has been here at least once, if not more, and who knows? I might bump into him on the street.
I can envision Elon rallying or the bolstering the idea of creating Cornell Tech given its unique location, being controlled by New York State though operated by New York City and technically part of Manhattan. Perhaps he supported getting all tech, especially “tech” education, off the “left” coast and in the financial capital of the world — New York City in New York State, rather than any land mass “down under.”
As Cornell Tech changes Roosevelt Island, I’m glad to know I can count on insightful analysis by a CUNY Graduate Center historian, now retired, since I know his work on Hearst as well as Mellon and can rest assured that his historical analysis will include astute comments or make culturally appropriate comparisons to Robber Barons from one and two centuries ago, and how they dominated the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.