06 May 2009


"A great city has two hallmarks: tolerance for strangers and intolerance for mediocrity."

Bonnie Menes Kahn, Cosmopolitan City


Anonymous said...

Since you invite intolerance for mediocrity, you'll welcome knowing your citation is mediocre due to its inaccuracy.

Bonnie Menes Kahn did not write a book called "Cosmopolitan City". Perhaps you errantly relied on others' similarly flawed references?

The book she did write in 1987, given a less than stellar review by the Library Journal, provided as its first example of tolerance to strangers that of Babylon, requiring all its women to prostitute themselves to strangers.

The publishing house, Atheneum, transitioned at some point thereafter to solely children's literature.

Anonymous said...


I hope making your comment helped you sleep easier last night, because then at least one person got something of value from it.

Alan said...

Maybe he was refering to Cosmopolitian Culture, Simon and Schuster, June 2002. Now as for mediocrity: I always thought that mean averageness or second rate, not making a mistake. I wonder if the quote was more to challenge us to think on what could make Columbia better as we come up to Friday's summit. I chose to intrepret the quote that I should be open to my neighbors and folks that I meet and make them not strangers. Further we should challenge ourselves not to accept just knowing the person/s who live directly next to us (mediocrity), but also those down the street, those who serve on our village boards, the folks who ring up our groceries, and those who try to make a positive difference in the world. The challenge would be to embrace the community. Well that is at least what I get out of it.

B. Santos said...


I was thinking along those lines, but you said it much better!