info 02.9.04

What Goes Around

Here's one of the best uses of the web we've seen in a long time. WhatGoesAround.org is a non-profit site with a wonderfully simple idea. You create a list of causes and organizations that are important to you. Then, instead of someone sending you a gift for a particular occasion, you ask them to make a contribution to one of the charities on your list. What Goes Around's mission is to make philanthropy a more integral part of our every-day lives.

A few additional points:

· What Goes Around takes nothing from your contributions to fund itself. They're funded by foundations, corporations, and individuals separately.

· There is a 3% transaction fee, which covers the cost of the credit card transaction — it does not go to What Goes Around costs or overhead.

· They don't share any of your private information to the organizations on your list.

· If you do all your giving through What Goes Around, your charitable contributions are all neatly organized for the IRS.

· Registering with What Goes Around is free.
Thanks for all your comments about our article on the Shops at Columbus Circle. The general tone was one of disappointment with the place. One dissenting reader, though, wrote:

"…I feel that you are way off the mark regarding TimeWarner. I just visited this morning and liked it quite a bit more than I was prepared to. Is it perfect? No, but what it brings to a sadly overlooked yet important intersection of NY is significant. I loved the view out the large front window on a cloudy, rainy day: urban, distinctly New York, a bit of the park and the statue. The view was even better from the second floor…What solidified my positive, thoughrelative, impressions of this new building were reinforced when I departed Time Warner and looked around…Looking back at theHuntington Hartford, a building I never cared for, even that building looked pretty darned good in its new context."

Finally, one reader wondered if perhaps we didn't want to like it. The fact is, we did want to like it. As we wrote, we see no inherent reason why a mall can't work in New York since so much else of our orientation is vertical. We just don't think the planners have delivered any compelling reasons to visit stores here, since they're duplicates of stores throughout the city (and the world) in a dispiritingly wan setting.


Merry Xmas

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