Ready for Halloween? When all the girls are superheroes and reality is twisted just enough. When the veils are thin between the worlds and the witches are no threat.
I remember hangin' with the coven in Salem one year. I remember the Halloween my parents told me they were getting divorced. But my favorite was on Block Island, visiting the graveyard in the fog and chasing a ghostly white horse through the silent night. That was epic.


the rowdy sea

The rowdy sea has subsided to a degree. The rowdy friends, not so much.
I feel a roundup coming on. . .
And, yes, home improvements are underway.



This is right out front. The moon is full, and the tide is very high, splashing up above the"dune." The ferry hasn't been running, but apparently will resume by midday.


what happened back then

This has nothing to do with this picture, which I took on the way to school yesterday. Not my school, thank heavens. I don't have to go any more. (Dear Hannah, I am sorry to tell you this, but your little Virgo daughter is exactly the type to love school and reward-system structure. Sorry. Sincerely, Your Mom)

Any way, about ze French connection.
In 1997 Ed and I were having lunch, as was so often the case, and he brought along an "exchange journalist" from Le Monde, who was working at Time for three months. She had left her kids and husband in Paris and was missing them. Plus she had sublet an apartment in a bad part of New York (back when there was such a thing and everything wasn't yet gentrified). She was joking about it.
  "I order sushi, but when someone comes to the door they are delivering crack!"
   But every time she got into the elevator with a man she felt threatened.
   "You better move in with me," I said. "I have a spare bedroom." (Hannah was living in the living room at the time.)
   "Okay," she said. "When?"
   So she did. And we became friends. Slowly. Because the French are not as quickly intimate as the Americans.


the french connection

They blew into town on the midnight bus from Montreal and stayed for a day before heading back. We had time for a lot of fun and two wonderful meals by our personal chef. If I have time later, I will tell the story of how we all met. But for now, I'm heading north to Block Island for the last hurrah.



In memorium
Some words from Elaine posted up on this site on Valentine's Day 2005 that I send back to her today, the second anniversary of her death. It feels like she's about to walk in or else she left us a thousand years ago.

  "Ay dios mio, how can you talk about having A Valentine's Day without love? What about zee chocolates, zee flowers, my leetle petunia, zee moments listening to Freddy Fender ("I will be there until the last teardrop falls") and zee magnificent Diana Ross and the "Stop in the Name of Love" Supremes? And you, my dahling, showing up with zee roses and zee wonnerful leetle Valentine's Day card that I will fohever treasure in my heart....Oh, Ms. Surf City, you have zee most love then you can ever eeemagine.....As Edith Piaf seengs in A Hymn to Love: "If the sky should fall into the sea and the stars played all around me, all the time that we have known thee, we will sing a hymn to love....We have lived and dreamed we could do it all ...in a world that seemed our very own ...with its memory forever grateful...just for you we will seeeng a hymn to love...." Ok, it goes something like that. Love you lots."
    Back to you, Elaine.


body work

Seventy-five years they've been in business. Have they had this Coke machine the whole time? This is a family auto repair shop. A dog wanders around. There is a picnic table outside (where you can drink those Cokes if the day is fine). There are many men working in the garages, and women at the desk. The men are fat, and the women are beautiful. They have Rhode Island accents. My bill for getting undented was $30.


the attic

It's that time of year, when things go up to the attic and come down, when things go to the dump and come home from the dump, when we all take a giant spoon and stir our things around until they come to rest in a new place.
Sort of like dreaming.
Sort of like life.


get your butt in the truck

Somehow I missed this one. There was a lot of illegal touring in the back of the pickup. And it was fun!


brrrr wah!

With temps in the 30s, we huddle together over chili and soup and warm ourselves at the fires of friendship—and the propane stove. And we admire the amazing and wonderful fall skies.



 The compound known by some as Gasner City (and less kindly to some island residents as the Gaza Strip) is now bounded by million-dollar mansions. Tasteful, no doubt, but not in the old Block island style that has made our piece of heaven the much photographed beauty spot that it is. What it may do to our property taxes, I don't even want to contemplate. The amount of money spent building next to the rising sea does give some of our number comfort, however. Maybe the neighbors are Fox News watchers.


family affair

Ok, so there we were on the family compound: the ex-sister-and brother-in-law, the wife, the husband, the former girlfriend. If you can parse this you must know my family fairly well. And it was a beautiful evening of sunset and clams with the interactions flowing every which way, old times and new, art and greed, island gossip.
And here's a bit of a roundup.
Speaking of family, Hannah's Calm-A-Mama products are soon to be on the shelves at New ngland While Foods stores. Demand them in your local emporium. And she tried to calm a famous mama suffering postpartum depression here.
Speaking of Hannah, her friend Rachel Hulin continues to get great press for the First Instagram Novel, here in the Washington Post and Wired.
And speaking of ex brothers-in-law, John's friend Jeffrey Millstein has a big photo exhibition of aerials.
And speaking of photographer friends,  Chien-Chi Chang is giving a talk in Bangalore, if you happen to be there; David Burnett is interviewed about his astonishing career; Maggie Steber's pictures of New Orleans 10 years after Katrina are featured in a new book (Donnaa Ferrato is also featured, but more on that later).


desert island

Taking defunct porch furniture to the dump. Doing wash. Paying the lawn service. Putting away the chaise lounges. Turning off telephone service. You know, like that.
   And starting to book for next summer! It hasn't even gotten cold yet! The seasons are starting to bleed into one another like a sunset and the sea.


why i haven't posted

. . . and then some! Yes, it was a gala last-gasp weekend with Donna and family and Ali and family and me and family. Six kids under five. We had mostly gorgeous weather and great food. And today the island is dead silent. Empty. The stores are closing. This is the end of season.


happy birthday!

. . . to Ed. May tout va bien!


Seduced by Jamie (and her niece Maggie, aka Gallery Girl), I acquired some kultcha at the new Whitney. Beautiful day, beautiful building, beautiful people and a surprisingly beautiful collection of awt.
No regrets.


island bound

On an island the weather seems like a bigger deal than elsewhere. The days when the ferries don't run mean no mail and milk, no dentist visits or hospitalizations. You're very much on your own.
   The tides were high and the swells were swelling, but I made it across the sound and to the mainland, the last car to get on the boat of the hoards lining up. I left my tenants with trepidation, but apparently they are rugged sorts—their adult children made it over for the weekend on the last boat. I arrived, providentially, in Providence.
   Tomorrow I plan to head south, with a stop at South County Hospital, where a Block Island friend (Edie, for those who know her) is stuck until her missing gall bladder and the weather cooperate to allow her to get back home to the cottage her grandfather built well more than a century ago. Speaking of rugged.