Cutting to the chase, the Goose is ok after the flooding. Bill went out and checked yesterday, and while the water came well up, it didn't get in—to his river house or mine. Below are two videos I made of the flooding in 2011. The really big one (that DID get into the Goose) was in, I believe, 92 or 93. Anyway, when I leave next year I am going to stash some handy sandbags.
Most of my friends and family can't believe I went along as the native guide.
Well, one former classmate of Hannah's at Hunter did the musical of the year, Hamilton, and the other is the scumbag who buys drugs and raises their prices. I think he might be crazy, as you can read here about his recent arrest for fraud.
Another Hunter alum—who did not go to the dark side—Hannah's best hs bud Mira Silverman, has a child's herbal reader, Angelica to Zingiber for sale.
And speaking of A to Z, here's a guide to food in Rhode Island from Allie's Donuts to Zeppoles
Speaking of childhood friends, bluegrass musician Paul Brown (you may recognize his voice as NPR's news reader from Washington), has a show Across the Blue Ridge being aired January 2 and 3 and via podcast on West Virginia station WFDD. Supposed to be fab.
Chien-Chi Chang's Jet Lag was selected as one of the year's top photo books by Time.
And speaking of photo books, Jamie's new best friend in France, Louis Stettner, has a book out of vintage pictures of the old Penn Station.
Speaking of magazines—you didn't know there were any left, did you?—here is a selection of the covers of the year.
Speaking of photographers, Christina Amanpour CNN series called Conflict features Donna Ferrato. You can watch the series on the Atlantic. Also, if you are in Venice, you can catch her work in "Through Women's Eyes," along with that of Yoko Ono. Here is a NYT review of the show.
And speaking of old friends, my college bf, filmmaker Wesley Strick, and his wife made a short film about a Planned Parenthood clinic which won some awards. They put it up on line after the Planned Parenthood bombing in Colorado, and you can see Watching, Waiting here. He is also a writer for Amazon's series The Man in the High Castle, which has been renewed.
And speaking of violence, here is a map How Many People Have Been Shot Near You? And another, How Many Hate Groups Are Based Near You? And while we're at it, you are seven times more likely to be killed by a conservative extremist than a Muslim terrorist. I am just being nice not to say that most of them call themselves Christians. I know, Merry Christmas!
However, in better holiday news, Robert Bobrow's last Huffington Post column explains why low fat diets are bad for you. So enjoy the festive boards!
As for the rest of my roundup, I can't even. . .
|98 in its glory|
|Presents to wrap|
|The Chef at work; Peter in the trenches|
|The Jewel in the Lotus, August 15, 2015|
This is not the Facebook version. I am not telling my faithful readers (all 20 of you) anything y’all don’t know. But to recap.
It has been an awful year.
My father died. I got depressed for the first time ever.
Seeking reassurance from my lover, I got dumped.
Since the “I have to be free” speech my heart pounds so loudly it wakes me up.
And the dreams.
My hair fell out and came in white.
And don’t even start with me about the news!
I am no longer depressed.
No one else has died or fallen ill this year.
My amour propre (conceit) has protected me from believing I am as repugnant as charged.
I have many people to love—friends to crack me up, family to share the little things, grandchildren to jump on me, exes to adore me (since they no longer have to live with me).
Thank you all! 65 promises to be a much better year.
Though, um, the presidential race.
I know what the jewel in the lotus, endlessly reflected, really is. And so do you. Thank you. What I'd like to say is in this poem by Naomi Shihab Nye called "Kindness."
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.
Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness,
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.
Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.
Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to mail letters and
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
it is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you every where
like a shadow or a friend.
|The Jewel in the Lotus, December 13, 2015|
A fine time was had by all, mostly on Ed and CC's tab, including Kathleen and the bartender (left).
144 Union Street in Brooklyn. (For how that venue got its name, see this NYT article.) So it seemed only appropriate, Ed thought, that the lobster go to Ed's friend Neil, the patron and chef of flying lobster fame who had agreed to host Chien-Chi in his mission to sell a few collectors' copies. Just don't attempt to take CCC's picture if you go. Photographers don't like that much. Lobsters, however, don't mind.
|Chien-Chi hopes that no one will attempt to read his palm.|
People were thinking about what to put on their plate.
Toby had made the latkes with care
(Though of course way too soon, she said, I dare swear)
The family had gathered on the sixteenth floor
And as soon as Matt had come in the door [from parking the car]
Deb lit the candles, and we all sang the prayer
And thought of some others we wished could be there.
And then—oh the pancakes, the meatloaf, the gelt
We left quite replete. I had to loosen my belt.
|Fom Time magazine's "office," the Chrismas-ready Freedom Tower and 9/11 memorial.|
|Otra Rubia in one of Time Inc's lobbies.|
|Miriam and her admirer, back in the day|
She had blown through Turkey on the back of the motorcycle of some chance-met man, when she decided to take passage to India through the Suez Canal. On board ship, the crown prince of a small country set up a serious flirtation with her. So serious that he wrote asking for her hand in marriage—although, he said, he realized that American women didn't care for multiple marriages and he already had a wife. But, he assured Miriam, his other marriage was obligatory and Miriam would be the wife of his heart.
"What did you say?" I asked.
"Well I said no, of course!"
Years later she saw that his father had been assassinated and that her suitor had become sheikh, and then that he had been assassinated and his son had assumed the title.
Now, at 80-something, she regards the picture of herself with the sheikh on her computer and tries to convince herself to write about the experience. I surely hope she does. She could straighten out my facts.
|Frankie and Johnny prep the Salami Lobby for the upcoming holidays.|
|Lulu and Milla await Thanksgiving dinner.|
There is something to be said for continuity, however, and the tips do help with that. A third generation is now celebrating holidays at 98, coming through what Milla observantly calls "the salami lobby" to observe festivities in their grandmothers' houses.