head em up and move em in

Cowboy Garrison rode into town yesterday on her stick horse to make pies. So if my posts are less than satisfactory you'll know the reason why. Meanwhile we can play Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? A game that even I don't know the answer to.


dinosaurs bearing wreaths

I guess the season has begun. Evergreen T Rexes (?) are guarding the doors at the Museum of Natural History, and the reviewing stand for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade is already set up across the street. However, high winds are predicted. What are they going to do about the balloons? Should ask Fitz, whose full time job is the parade.

UPDATE: "Parade will happen no matter what, they may have to ground the balloons, ( I think they will still walk them, they would be more at ground level.. but still don't know for sure) as wind is suppose to be better on Thurs than Wed. so... let's see.  He will know more tomorrow. "



The artist above (Kate Knapp) says she was pointing out the sheep, not the savior, in this Tiffany window at the New York Historical Society. We met her at one of the five shows she visited on a truly whirlwind tour of the metropolis. It was a reprise of the 1913 Armory Show that introduced New York to the burgeoning modernist movement. Both European and American artists were shown, from Impressionists to Cubists, and many viewers were outraged—outraged!—by Duchamp's Nude Descending a Staircase (left), which one (outraged) critic compared to a pile of shingles. See the range of work in this tour of the original show. Or check out the Historical Society Show itself, where some of the original works have been collected.
   Oh, and speaking of impressionists, we were very impressed this ayem with the work of one Camilla.


50 years ago

Dick Stolley, my former boss (hired me three times—at People, which he founded, at People again and at Life) is the man of the hour. He's all over the docs as the Life staffer who bought the Zapruder film of the assassination and thereby launched a thousand conspiracy stories. You can hear him talk about it (above) and you can hear something about the conspiracy stories at this NYT link.


heart ny

Have been gadding about town a lot what with Life reunions etc. And whenever I come back, I feel very fortunate to live in such a great place in such a great part of such a great city. Having a visitor who remembers how derelict the city was back when we moved here and sees how much it has changed makes me appreciate it all the more.


past blasting

So the movie wasn't great. But it made me sad, because it was set at a time when LIFE magazine was shutting down. And we were all there when it did. Great to see old friends, including the younger set above—one still a journalist, one a children's book writer, and one a shrink.Thank you, Graydon Carter and Vanity Fair.


our secret LIFE

So this Walter Mitty movie is based on the story of a picture researcher at LIFE, as the magazine publishes its last issue. The people on the last staff of LIFE have been invited to a screening. About 90 are showing up. It's a Christmas release, and you can watch the trailer here.


let the good old times roll

Back in the day, when Linda and I started working together at LIFE, some quality time was spent in this very living room cutting lines of coke.
   Jeez, that was another life!
   We traveled to Uruguay to do a story about the fellows from Alive 25 years after their plane crashed in the Andes and they lived by eating their (dead) fellow passengers. LIFE sent two of us! Now, as I was saying to Dada the other day, magazines wouldn't send anyone out into the field. You'd just write the story off the interweb and maybe e mail a couple of questions. As it was I got to go to South America for a couple weeks and then write my favorite first sentence ever:
 "They ate them."
    Anyway, this comes up because a bunch of LIFEers are flying in for a screening/reunion tomorrow. Linda's here from California, and others are coming in from far flung places. Me, I just gotta take the No. 1 to TriBeCa.


tnx for the eyeballs

    The main thing that keeps me going on this blog is knowing that you're looking at it. (Reading is too much to hope for these days.) Most of you are friends, though I have made new friends through CSC as well. There are, of course, the spammers. Though they are not that interested in blogs with a following as small as mine.
    Shoutout: You guys are loyal! Love you, mean it!
    And it's been a long time; I am what is known as an early adopter. However, my site visitor counter just reset at 200,000 and ditched my stats, and now I have no idea who's reading. Unless you comment.
     Thank you, O faithful ones! I am ever grateful for your support. But if I don't get modest feedback—I just can't go on.
     At least until Hannah installs some new spyware on my site. . .


new york sunset

 This is the view from an upstairs neighbor's place. He died recently, in his 90s, and his apartment is about to be gutted. It is melancholy to see all of his erudite life headed for a dumpster. There is no one left to care for the cans of film, the books he wrote, the sheet music, the record collection, his wife's photographs. His daughter-in-law, too, is old and has no time to go through the trash looking for treasures.
  That, along with Elaine's death, makes me think about how much too much stuff I have. I have been going through the old story files, the old Life and People magazines with the thousands of words I have written (many I can't even remember!), the notebooks in my handwriting I can't read, the audio tapes of interviews with Presidents I don't have a way to listen to, the videotapes of my old TV shows I can't play, the book proposals on floppy discs from long ago computers, the portable Olivetti typewriter version of a novel. The detritus of life, and Life. Enough already, as they used to say in New York.


hints of winter

photo by Douglas Gasner
On Block Island, there was a frosting of snow the other day, and here in New York we had a fleeting, sleeting flurry. Now, of course, we're headed back to the 60s. Go figure.
 And speaking of the sixties, I have some little stories about them days to be shared soon.
  Meanwhile, here's the roundup I usually do on Mondays.
  Last week's Boomer column ( a deplorable name) in the NYT featured old friend (and college boyfriend) Wesley Strick and his long-time bride. And there were a couple of the great maps 'n' stats things the Internet does so well going around. Dada sent in one about sandwiches. Someone else sent me a collection of numbers of things like world population and crime. Here's a new book with studies showing that being in and near water is good for you (we knew that). And a high school student's two minute history of the world. Enjoy!


the more things change

Every time I come back to the city after an absence, there are new stores. For some reason, the new store erases my memory of the previous one until I go specifically looking for whatever was there before. Anyway, one of the new stores, Treat House, is clearly going for the gut of the nostalgia market by selling nothing but rice krispie treats in many revolting-looking flavors like bubble gum, pretzel and mint chocolate. I had a plain one for $2.25. Tasted like the ones I used to make as a teenager—rice krispie treats, toll house cookies or fudge were all that was on the dessert menu chez moi. But, dang, still can't remember what was in that space before. The Thai restaurant? The card shop? Something.


who am i?

I am Isaac Bright. I will be three months old pretty soon, and I am developing teeth and a personality. I can sleep in a crib, and I can roll over. I'm getting pretty big. For a kid my age, I mean. A week ago or so I moved to a new house. I was just getting used to the old one! But this one is better, because I get to go on a lot more walks. Also, it has a bigger yard. Not that I can walk yet. Soon. People are discussing who I look like in the family. No one seems sure. I really just look like myself.


here we go again

It seems like the season is just over, and it's time to begin all over again. Here is the letter I will send to previous tenants after Thanksgiving. If you see any gaps or errors or cuts (it is too long) or problems with tone, please let me know. Many of my returnees are people I have never met in person, but know only through email.
Honored Guests,
I don’t know what happened to Block Island, but it has become super popular. I had people asking me to reserve for the 2014 season back in the spring! I told them I needed to see which of my long-time guests wanted to return.
   Please let me know soonest your ideal and second choice weeks for next summer, and I will try to make it work for you, with people who have been coming the longest getting preference. And let me know which house, too, as some of you have been switching or taking both! Flexibility is appreciated. As of January 1, if I do not have secure reservations (ie, paid for) I will throw the remaining weeks open to new people.
    The prices next season, from Friday June 23 to Friday September 5, are $4900/week for Hannah’s and $4700/week for Claudia’s. There is also the $49 damage insurance charge. I thank those of you who reported damage to me this year: Insurance paid all claims. The good news is twice-weekly garbage pickup will be included next year.  
    Offseason prices are $1000 less. Linens will not be supplied even offseason in 2014, and I am not booking partial weeks, but Friday to Friday, as during season.
     Have a great holiday season and—as if you don’t have enough to do—let me know when you’d like to come next year. You are great guests or I wouldn’t be hoping you come back.



Dallas, Alice

Above the back roads
I went to Taos but not Tucumcari, and now it's back to ground zero, with its bills, memorial services, time changes and thin, pale sunlight. On the bright side, there's the gym, the friends, the bed, the food. And, of course, the culture. Can't wait to hit those museums! The shows! Times Square! Rock Center!


goodbye to all this

We had rain and sleet and snow and hail and mostly sun here in the southwest, and you could see it all from my brother's porch looking out across the arroyo. It's another world, the wild west. Headed back today to the tamed east.


local color

Plaza, Santa Fe

Professor Tony O'Brien
In addition to my brother, Santa Fe contains a fair number of Time Inc. retirees. I feel somewhat guilty about not looking them up, but I did get in touch with a photographer friend, Tony. The last time I was in Santa Fe was for his wedding twenty years ago. Now he has three kids headed to college.
    We got to know each other on Everest. He was the photographer and I was the writer for a Life magazine story. Have I ever mentioned that I climbed part of Everest? I thought not. You get to know one another pretty darn well in an extreme situation. And that was one. I notice that I am somewhat affected by the altitude here at 7,000 feet or so. Try 22,000, where Tony and I bonded.


name that car!

Similar, @1960

Off the road 2013

Owner still road worthy November 3, 2013
The problem with the car was the mechanic, who kept on calling for bail money from jail. So first and last it took a helluva chunk of cold cash to keep the thing on the road. Now serving as a lawn ornament, the Car To Be Identified (center) retains its original charm, as do the Ray-Bans, still in use.



All my siblings (and my husband): Ben, Erin, Chris, July 1978
Erin, Ben, Chris, November 2013
In Santa Fe to celebrate Chris's 60th, siblings bond. We came from Boston area, New York and  Los Angeles. And we're having a good time!


skies are not cloudy

It's a clear day in new Mexico, as is usual, and tonight the stars are bright. But tonight there is an unusual eclipse. You may be able to see it right about dawn tomorrow, on my brother's birthday. And here is what those stars have to say.
  Scorpio ushers in the dark, dying season in the northern hemisphere.   Symbol of death, taxes, ghosts, high finance, taboos, sexuality, intimacy and rebirth, Scorpio has a big reputation to fill--dark, powerful and sexy, strong, mysterious and transformative as well as nasty, destructive and selfish.    Never doubt that you have a bit of Scorpio energy lurking somewhere in you.   We all have a share of this energy. 
     The Scorpio Solar Eclipse occurs on November 3rd, 2013 at 4:50 am PST/ 7:50am EST/ 12:50pm GMT.   A solar eclipse disrupts the energy flow between the Sun and Earth and helps establish new energy channels for new possibilities.   There was a solar eclipse 19 years ago on November 3, 1994.   What did you begin then?   How have you found completion since then?   What is calling to you now?


Is this what one does at a hot-sheet motel?

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Location:Santa Fe