Category: New York

  • some poetic shock of intensity

    some poetic shock of intensity

    Mid-September, my husband falls from the lowest branch of the hemlock tree beside the kitchen – twenty feet! – and breaks his leg. Beastly tree! Beastly ladder. The latter splayed where it has fallen, the unnatural diagonal, the beastly orange of it all – until my brother in law disposes of it. The ladder is chekhov’s gun where suburban dads are concerned, a truth so predictable it became something of a joke. At night, I tell the boys scary stories. I make them up on the spot, or weave spooky elements to existing skeins of stories. Once upon a time, there were two boys who lived with their parents in an old white house on the top of a hill. Perry, ever the anticipator, writhes, twists his blanket, tenses, moans. “Should I stop?”  “Keep going.” “The house overlooked a lake – ” “What does overlooked mean?” “The house was at the top of the hill; at the bottom lay a large lake that was always exactly the color of the sky above.”

  • Put the circle back

    Put the circle back

    I was in New York this week; I had gone for a run along the Hudson, a run in which I surprised myself by holding onto a sub-8 minute pace for eight miles, double the distance I’d done since my aborted half-marathon training last fall; I was hobbling into the dim lobby of the hotel, […]

  • It’s only afternoon, there’s a lot ahead.

    It’s only afternoon, there’s a lot ahead.

    Brady said we ought to keep a journal of this time, so when people ask, ten or thirty or fifty years from now, “what was it like,” we’ll be able to say: it was like [x].  Assume a susceptibility rate of y, and a transmission rate of n. Solve for x.  It was like the […]

  • Unreal Cities, or Love in the Time of Corona

    Unreal Cities, or Love in the Time of Corona

    A month ago, there was a murder on our block. The memory of the incident feels very fresh, still, and surreal in the way that events that you haven’t conceived of happening do.  Our block is a longish one, but the murder happened only a few doors down, across the street from the playground where […]

  • Still in the Published City, or Revisiting My New York Canon after the Birth of My Second Son

    Still in the Published City, or Revisiting My New York Canon after the Birth of My Second Son

    We arrived home after our annual Northeast Regional Christmas late last Friday. We were overladen with gifts (Our car, which had seemed quite a nice size a year ago, struggled mightily to hold two car seats and their respective occupants, a small dog, all said respective occupants’ lounging and sleeping gear, four suitcases, many, many […]

  • How to Love New York: Spectating (or Running) the New York Marathon

    How to Love New York: Spectating (or Running) the New York Marathon

    It occurs to me, on this Saturday before Marathon Sunday, that this date has not come up in my scattered set of posts on loving this city. Ridiculous oversight, now remedied. Marathon Sunday is my favorite day of the year to be in New York. As the promotional posters avow, It Will Move You — […]

  • I wait for the click

    I wait for the click

    By the time I publish this post, New York will probably be out of this heat wave, but right now we are in it. The air above the sidewalks shimmers, and the sidewalks have quasi-emptied out. The oldtimers who peddle the wares they find from newercomers’ discard piles have retreated into their favorite bodega; the […]

  • The Eight-Bodega Problem

    The Eight-Bodega Problem

    I’ve been re-re-reading Adam Gopnik’s wonderful memoirs of life as an expat and young father in Paris at the turn of the past century. Oh, the Clinton years (said as a person who experienced them as a child), when America and its capitalist forces were viewed as, ultimately, unstoppable and logical, if a bit gauche. […]

  • 6:07, with Milk Chin

    6:07, with Milk Chin

    The light, at 6:07, has gone opal, where just last week it was oyster and the week before that, a furry, caterpillar grey. I don’t know if my son notices the difference; he is up at 6, or 6:05, or 6:17 regardless of pitch. Only when it rains does he sleep longer. We all do. […]

  • Some Notes on Ron Swanson and the Church of Minimalism

    Some Notes on Ron Swanson and the Church of Minimalism

    A number of threads have been floating around my head of late, and I don’t know whether I’m forcing something by connecting them, but here goes. When I worked in the entertainment division of Conde Nast, the walls of our floor were adorned in machismo inspirational quotes. “Don’t half-ass two things; whole ass one thing” […]