Funny What a Little Humidity Can Do for the Imagination

When I stepped outside yesterday morning, the air was heavy and warm, like a washcloth recently wrung. I hesitated on my stoop. I was, firmly, in Brooklyn, brownstoned and magnolia’ed, rust-painted steps beneath my feet, and across the street sprawled Lafayette Avenue Presbytarian, that giant ochre pile. In Brooklyn and then, without straining, I caught a whiff of […]

Exhaust, Water Buffalo, and Ye Olde Lakeside Gentility: Stories of Running in Vietnam

Vietnam was my first really far-flung trip, and my bravest one – not because of the near-antipodal distance or the language barrier or the constant ribboning rush of motorbikes, but because it threatened, and sometimes succeeded, to fuck with my daily exercise. In the fall and early winter of 2007, I lived in Paris. If […]

Lime for Days, and More Layers than a 10 Generation Matryoshka (or, What We Ate in Vietnam)

Vietnamese food is typified by bright, fresh flavors and an abundance of textures, jumbled like a yardsale or neatly layered, depending on the dish and the eater’s predilection for stirring. The lightness and price point – $1-3 per meal – is conducive to experimentation: we tended to order by sight or smell or queue size, […]