CNY Leaders Meeting, Mon., 8 pm, following “If You Were Mayor…”

Please make every effort to join us for this premier session at our new location, as we forge exciting plans for CNY’s summer and fall initiatives (see below). Your energy and counsel will add to our strength!

IF YOU WERE MAYOR… Socratic Conversation with Ron Gross

Monday, May 11, 6:00 – 7:45 pm & Conversations New York (CNY) Team Meeting 8:00 – 9:30 PM



CNY meetup: 

NEW LOCATION: Adelphi University’s Manhattan Center 75 Varick Street — Room 260-261 on the Second Floor
(75 Varick is between Watts and Grand Streets)

Subways: #1 to Canal, or  A, C. or E to Canal, exit next to the building.
J, N, Q, R, W, Z or #6 to Canal, are about 5 blocks southeast at Broadway and Canal.
Bus: M20 stops at the front door.
Note: This Center is state-of-the-art,
and excellent take-out food can be purchased at The Mill ( which is part of the same building,

and brought to the meeting.

  • What are your ideas for helping all of us New Yorkers to live together more happily, healthfully, safely, and enjoyably?
  • What bugs you about  the City, that you think could be improved?
  • What do you like about other cities you know, that could make New York better?
  • What changes would you like to see in  our cultural activities, streets, parks, schools and colleges, healthcare, local businesses, housing, environment, law enforcement, rules, regulations, and priorities for spending public funds?

Let’s advance our ideas for improving our city, in the run-up to the international Ideas City Festival at the New Museum and throughout the Bowery on May 28-30 ( “If You Were Mayor…” is a month-long, city-wide array of conversations which will complement the Idea City Festival’s wondrous offerings of ideas from throughout the world, with ideas from New Yorkers themselves.We’re inspired by Mayor DeBlasio’s words:

‘If you give people a chance to offer their ideas,
you’ll find an extraordinary number of New Yorkers who have positive, productive ideas.’”
Suggested Readings (optional): If Mayors Ruled the World, by Benjamin Barber; Happy City by Charles Montgomery; Who’s Your City? by Richard Florida; Urban Acupuncture: Celebrating Pinpricks of Change that Enrich City Life, by Jaime Lerner.

Conversations New York (starts at 8:00 PM)

Our exciting Action Agenda will be  highlighted by:

  • planning for our 2nd Annual CONVERSATION DAY in Bryant Park on Sat., July 18th in collaboration with our trans-Atlantic partner Talk to Me London;
  • launching our Conversation-Friendly Restaurants Project to recognize eateries where we can hear each other talk;
  • considering  a Fall symposium on “Reclaiming Conversation” with Sherry Turkel of MIT;
  • impelling new city-wide/month-long gatherings on provocative topics in June and July;
  • expanding our website and presence on the Internet; and
  • honoring outstanding contributors with our prestigious Plato Awards (“…and this month’s award goes to….”)





SHARING OUR SPIRITUALITY: Conversations Throughout NYC in April


Conversations Throughout NYC in April


SPIRITUALITY will be the subject of conversations throughout New York City

during the month of April, as many of us observe Easter and Passover, in a

project sponsored by Conversations New York (CNY) and listed on its calendar at and .


“Lively-minded New Yorkers will gather to share their ideas, experiences, and feelings

about this compellinig subject,” says Ron Gross, founder of CNY, who conducts Socratic

Conversations at Columbia University. “Spirituality is one of the most powerful forces in

our lives. Some people contend that it’s too hot a topic for conversation. But we believe

that thinking about it together, in a spirit of mutual respect, can help us understand

ourselves and each other more deeply.”


Throughout the month, individuals, organizations and institutions will explore the subject

from diverse perspectives, ranging from the personal to the political, from the literary to the



Why not host such a conversation yourself – with whomever you like, wherever and

whenever you like — to explore SPIRITUALITY from your perspective. It’s a great way to

nurture rapport and understanding!

Among the topics to be discussed at these conversations will be:

What does spirituality mean, to you?

How do you appraise the impact of Spirituality on our society and culture?

Do you feel that religious convictions bring us together or pull us apart?

How have your spiritual principles and practices changed in the course of your life?

Could religious and spiritual leaders and institutions do more to build a better world?


Offerings will be listed on the CNY calendar at They

will take place in a myriad of public venues, ranging from the Jung Society, the New York

Society for Ethical Culture, and Columbia University, as well as at warmly welcoming cafes

and restaurants, to the atriums of business buildings like CitiGroup, IBM, and SONY.


Suggested Basic Reading: An excellent article on Spirituality on Wikipedia includes

definitions, historical development, major traditions, contemporary schools, scientific

responses, and further readings.


Conversations New York ( is a community of

volunteers devoted to enhancing the quality of life in NYC by promoting more and better

conversations. CNY’s projects have included the first national conference on THE

POWER OF CONVERSATION at Columbia University, the first CONVERSATION DAY

in Bryant Park, and promoting 1,000 conversation per year on its on-line calendar.