Elaine, with Ed at a Time magazine event.
Today would have been Elaine's birthday. We still miss her, though she died almost two years ago. Here is what I wrote about her then. And coincidentally, today her apartment in her beloved Bronx goes on sale for a lot more than she paid for it. Here is the link.



The truck patiently awaits my departure, which is yet uncertain.


back to the garden?

I have set up temporary shop in the garden, as I try to avoid the incipient 8 percent vacation rental tax to be imposed in Rhode Island on July 1 of this year! And remind me to tell you about the one where two ex girlfriends of one set up the marital bed of the newly cohabiting wives in the former bedroom of yet another ex girlfriend. As some kind of sociological study it would make a fascinating, if complicated, graph.


art and architecture

We went to The Fence, a Photoville exhibit, to see Lynn Johnson's pictures of blast force injuries—even though we had to travel all the way to Brooklyn. Fortunately, we had a native guide. I had never seen the fab waterfront park before or its fab view, and a fine time was had by all despite the weather.


farewell jimmy's

Cutler heads back to the coast of his youth, hitting East Coast bucket list items before he departs. One of them was Jimmy's Corner, a boxers' bar on 44th St. with atmosphere up the wazoo.


heart in the ozarks

A little bit of old home in the Hudson Valley, NY
There's a little bit of the Ozarks everywhere, if you know where to look for it—there's just more of it in the Ozarks. As you can see from the picture above, I am looking forward to the portion of my seasonal rounds in which I head west and back in time. It seems suitable that I work on my memoirs in the area of my childhood, right? Though I'm not actually writing about my childhood. Can't remember shit.


summer roundup

There is a lot of action in Providence these days. Hannah and her cousin Will have launched omstacks, a jewelry company that uses rocks as necklaces. In addition, Hannah's herbal concoctions for parents, Calm-A-Mama, will soon be sold at Whole Foods in selected stores in the Northeast. Please ask for them and buy them out! She is also selling a wild rose elixer as a sideline.
   And speaking of herbs, check out Lynn Johnson's National Geographic cover story on weed. No stoner, she relates how she has become a believer in plant medicine.  She also has pictures in The Fence, now up in Brooklyn Bridge Park as well as in Boston, Atlanta and Houston.


old home week

Jed regards his old stomping grounds

The Marrying Men
So Jed and I headed off to old stomping grouds in the Hudson River Valley—past Briarcliffe, where I used to live, to Poughkeepsie, where I went to college and a childhood friend of his was getting married, to Saugerties, where he and wife Jane used to live (and Ivy used to visit), to Kingston where he ran the local newspaper before heading for NOLA and the Times-Picayune, and back to NYC, where we met in the early 70s at People.


mouse room

One of those cases where the reality pales next to the Knapp.


by dawn's early light

Just when it was getting nice—I'm outta here!


summer day

It feels like the first day of summer on Block Island. But for me it's the last day of summer. I leave tomorrow on the 8:15 boat.

All is almost readied for the Guests Them. Lawn is mowed, railings nailed, soap dispensers filled, windows washed, drawers arranged. All that's missing is Ana's scrubup. Awaiting her at any moment.

See you in September!


trying out the new safa

It's not hard to entertain Alan. Just give him a book and a couch and he's good to go—and gone.


i know, i know

Yeah, sunset pictures are trite. But still. . .


i can't even

Having totally lost my mind and agreed to go look at yet another safa that someone was giving away, I was led past this exquisite landscape. I haven't been down this road for years, and I was just staggered by how beautiful it was in the late afternoon.
Given the surroundings, how could I but agree to take the couch? And that brings this year's total couches transported in the short-bed truck I bought so that I wouldn't be tempted to transport such items to: four.


the best shower redux

It was very sad to see the collection of woven beach rope and railing that was once the best shower in the world tangled and collapsed on the ground after the winter. But with some help from my sister and son-in-law, it is back in service. We rebuilt the porch railing, repainted and reattached it, built a new wall for the shower and rehung the door. We even have a new clothesline and new clothespins (do you know what these are?).
And the privet looks like it will finally live up to its name and provide some privacy.
 So the best shower in  the world is better than ever—though the views can't really be improved upon.
Ready for summer—if temps cooperate.


knapp is back

The Artist at Work

The Mouse Bedroom
 It was a dark and stormy day. Until Kate Knapp dropped by and brightened it up. Had it been fair, she would have been painting outside. Oh, the colors! Why is this woman, though much collected, not famous throughout the land? Every day for all of these years, she has painted landscapes, people, cows, tractors, rocks, waves, flowers, roadkill, food—you name it. And yesterday she put my house, Claudia's Surf City, through her filter and cheered up the day—and all of our lives.
The Room Where Living is Done in View of The Sea



Jamie tours her magical Block Island cottage.

Edie tours her gardens and  displays her tree peony.
It's always fun to see what the other Block Islanders are up to—mostly the same thing as me. Before it started storming (which it still is—it's in the 40s F and I have had the stove on for two days), I visited a Littlefield (left),  a direct descendent of the original European settlers on the island. She showed me her garden of old roses, not yet in bloom, and her peonies. And she told hair raising tales of winter rescues at sea and picking up coals on the beach for a Christmas Day fire, the one warm day of the season, that make us seem like a lesser race.
  I also visited a high school friend who married,  into the DuPont family, old school summer residents who, generations on, still own a classic Block Island summer cottage.
  And they, of course, visited me.


a storm rolls in

Clouds over Corn Neck

Clouds in 109 Corn Neck
Given the weather map, looks like the next couple days will be a good time to take care of the piles of mattress pads, pillow covers, duvet covers, curtains, bathmats and etc that must be readied for the season. Should probably reshelve some books, too.