Signs of the Times

| 11 May 2020 | 11:52

And the EMMY goes to - The pandemic didn't stop this year's EMMY awards ceremony although neither the red carpet nor the gala venue made the cut. Instead NYC newscasters acted as presenters and read the nominees and announced the winners.

And Doug Davis's "Imported from Brooklyn," directed by Josh Kapusinski , was the winner in the Education category. It's a documentary about the 50-year career journey of distinguished professor, graphic designer and typographer Tony Di Spigna. Tony, himself an import from south Brooklyn via south Italy, saw a client's request for a Spencerian design as the perfect way to represent Brooklyn and to create a timeless vision using graphic design and typography. Davis's documentary is the extraordinary story of how Di Spigna, first a student at City Tech in the early 60's, went on to Pratt Institute, and then worked with masters in the field of design, graphics and typography.

Davis was a student of Di Spigna's at Pratt and is now an associate professor and the chairman of the Communication Design Department at New York City College of Technology. "Imported from Brooklyn" presents the digital generation with the chance to appreciate the power, purpose and precision of putting pencil to paper. Di Spigna donated his archive to City Tech where "Imported from Brooklyn" has been on display at The Grace Gallery. Since retiring last year, Tony has been designing new and exclusive typefaces with Bill Hilson, a friend and colleague, and their newest typefaces will soon be released to the international market. Among Di Spigna's most recent graphic designs were in response to the UN's call for graphic designers to help with messaging on how to prevent spread of the coronavirus. Some of Di Spigna's graphics are on his website,

Virtual courts, real decisions - Election law cases are having their day in court. In the 73rd AD, incumbent Assemblyman Dan Quart challenged Democrat Cameron Koffman's right to seek the Assembly seat because Koffman was not a New York resident in the five year period prior to the June 2020 Primary. In the 76th AD, Republican candidate for Assembly in the November election, Louis Puliafito, challenged incumbent Democrat Assemblywoman Seawright's petitions claiming that their defects made her ineligible to seek re-election. In both cases, Judge Carol Edmead ruled in favor of the incumbent. So Koffman's off the June ballot and Seawright's on the November ballot. Koffman and Puliafito are appealing the decisions. The Manhattan Republican County Committee issued a statement declaring the decision "outrageous and shocking" and is seeking contributions to support their efforts to keep Seawright off the ballot. COVID or not, the fights go on.

Bus abuse - No excuses for the driver on the southbound M15 who refused to open the front door of an almost empty bus for a man with a walker so he could use the ramp. The man kept motioning for the driver to open the door as she motioned back for him to use the back door. As the man and his walker shuffled to the back door, riders asked the driver to open the front door and let down the ramp because the man wouldn't be able to lift the walker onto the bus. And that when he did, the step up would be too high for him to get on the bus. Unimpressed, the driver sat there, taking it all in. Lucky she didn't start moving the bus. Masked riders rushed to the rescue as they helped the man and his walker onto the bus. Masks, no social distancing, a lazy, nasty bus driver in a pandemic world. Was this the MTA's new normal? Not that I could tell. On other buses, at other times, front bus access was still available for riders with walkers and wheelchairs. As for other lazy, nasty drivers? To be continued.