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October 02, 2014
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Letters Home

Slave to the Fitbit

I set out from work with an unusual mission. I was not headed to the subway. No no, there would be none of that wimpy stuff for me on this late summer evening. I was going to walk the 50-plus blocks home.

The sun was setting in the distance, and it was a lovely evening. But that wasn’t why I was going to walk. Truth is, I needed the steps. Desperately. You see, I was (am) deep in a step counting contest with my father and I am losing. Badly.  Read more

The flood of 2014

When the water started to fall, my first thought was that it was raining. But the downpour seemed much closer and not muffled by the windows of our apartment.

My second thought was that I had foolishly left the water running in the bathroom. I checked; I had not.

As I walked into the kitchen, the sound got louder, and I realized that something was very wrong; water poured down through a light socket and splashed loudly to the floor.  Read more

Wedding update Part I

A few weeks after I proposed to Emily last August we set a date for our wedding: November 22, 2014. At the time this was 14 months away, which obviously felt like an eternity.
Emily came home with a wedding-planning book, which included a very helpful checklist of things to do based on how far away from the wedding we were—figure out the wedding venue, choose bridesmaids and groomsmen, pick an officiant, send out “save the dates,” design invites, shop for wedding rings. Gradually we began to check things off the list.  Read more

Returning to the Playhouse

As I drove through Eldred on my way to the Forestburgh Playhouse, I wondered if I would remember how to get there. It’s a drive I have done close to a hundred times, but not in many years. In high school, I spent three summers working in the kitchen and acting in bit parts at the playhouse, but I’ve been back only a handful of times since.  Read more

Shoe man

I met Charles, the shoe man, under slightly peculiar circumstances. It was a Wednesday afternoon and I was going to lunch at the new restaurant around the corner from my office. After three years of lunches in the neighborhood, I was excited to have a new option in the mix.

It was a nice lunch in a spacious, bright and shiny restaurant. (I had a salad, not important to the story, but it makes me feel better about myself so worth including.)  Read more

Catfish: noun…

I remember learning about catfish from my grandmother. She lived on Route 97 between Narrowsburg and Callicoon and had a small pond in her backyard. When I was a boy, we would sit out by the pond and throw pieces of bread in for the catfish. I loved watching these strange prehistoric creatures nibble the bread up quickly.

“Those are catfish,” my grandmother explained while pointing out their whiskers.

Defined in the dictionary (a word since 1612) catfish are “any of an order (Siluriformes) of chiefly freshwater stout-bodied scaleless bony fishes having long tactile barbels.”  Read more

Lucky

Despite my best efforts, I’m close to an hour late to meet Alex at his place in Brooklyn for my ride out to Sag Harbor for a long Memorial Day weekend with friends. As if to add insult to injury, Emily has traveled out earlier in the day and accomplished the more difficult trip of taking both of our dogs and all of her kitchen supplies.

Needless to say we arrive later than expected.  Read more

The outburst

It had been one of those days when nothing really goes right. My bad mood swirled around my head like a dark mist as I trudged slowly home. Every step was a bother and even the warm reds and yellows of a beautiful setting sun in the distance didn’t cheer me up.  Read more

Memphis

They’ve kept the outside of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis in basically the same condition as it was the night Martin Luther King Jr. was shot on April 4, 1968. The same dingy neon sign still hangs (though I’m certain it’s been redone), and the old motel facade stretches down the length of the street. There are even a few period cars parked perfectly, which definitely help sell the time travel vibe.

It’s kind of a strange idea for a Civil Rights Museum, but the effect is absolutely stunning. You feel it. History happened here.  Read more

Spring ahead

I find myself back in the city in time for spring, and not just technically spring; I’m talking about actual warm weather, bare legs, iced coffees, sunglasses and smiles. It’s been so long I barely recognize it, and I still feel like I’m getting away with something nefarious when I venture out in only a sweatshirt.  Read more

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