We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Thanks for identifying that tree yesterday. It indeed does turn out to be an Ashe Magnolia, a wild magnolia seen mostly in southern woodlands but which can be found as far north as Ohio. They seem quite happy in NYC.
Don't know about ash magnolias, but the traditional southern variety, magnolia grandiflora, is a mixed blessing. Grows fast and is admittedly a beauty, but can make grandiose messes of fallen leaves and rotting blossoms around where it lives (e.g. one of my side yards).