Posts Tagged ‘mercenary’

here, swans

The swans of Sheepshead Bay have to put up with murky water and trash floating nearby. For entertainment they beg. As soon as someone stands overlooking the water, six swans swim over and wait for treats. After a minute or so, if nothing is forthcoming, they are off. If you want to have a close look at these beautiful birds, you have to pay.

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de kalb subway stop

I wouldn’t give DeKalb Avenue or the subway stop much thought, but the train conductors have come up with about six ways of pronouncing DeKalb, as if to keep the name fresh in my head.

dekalbThere are dozens of counties, cities, roadways, and other places called DeKalb across the US, from Missouri to Georgia and Fort Greene, Brooklyn. All can be traced back to Alsatian-born Johann DeKalb, who first came to North America as a spy for the French, then returned with Lafayette as a Revolutionary soldier of fortune in 1777. Appointed a general, DeKalb served under George Washington at Valley Forge and Brandywine and was killed in battle in South Carolina at age 59.

(portrait by Charles Willson Peale)

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