I can't see Alaska from my apartment, but better still, there's Harlem.
Today the mailman brought me a check for three days of jury duty. You probably know how it goes, hours and hours of waiting, hoping they won't select you, but okay with it if they do. It's an interesting experience, either way.
On the first day, an officer of the court addresses the assembled prospects and explains the procedure. This one had a nice sense of humor and he ended his welcoming routine with a warning: "Please don't forget that this is Criminal Court. so mind your belongings." Come to think of it, that wasn't a joke.
Funny that they don't allow cameras—one has to check them downstairs—however, cellphones are no problem, even when camera-equipped. Laptop computers, many of which also have a camera, are also allowed, and the court even provides Wii web access. So not only can one take pictures in the court house, one can just as easily send them to YouTube, or any other place! There were quite a few laptops in the room on the first day, and even more on the second. I was pleased to see that Apples outnumbered the other kind, but that's a bias I have harbored since Steve Jobs hit a key and the first Mac said "hello"—25 years ago.
The Manhattan Courts are adjacent to Chinatown, so lunch was nice—I had a pizza on the first day and went noodle on the second. On the third, I was dismissed when I raised my hand in response to the prosecuting attorney's question: "How many of you have watched The Wire on TV?"
About ten of us had, and we were all set free within the hour!
Thank you, HBO.