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Salt, pepper, mustard, vinegar

Early one sunday morning in the middle of the 1950s, my parents piled us kids (there were three of us at the time) into the back seat of our second hand two-tone green and white Nash Rambler. We set off for Jones Beach. A small mountain of Tuna salad sandwiches had been prepared and wrapped with wax paper; carrots(…)

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In the dark, on the conch

It was pitch black outside when we woke at four. I made coffee while my guest from Santa Fe dressed, finished packing. We sat together on the conch (couch) sipping from our mugs – mine was the Tower of London, my guest’s, Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre. Fifteen minutes before the arranged appointment, the driver rang to say (in an almost(…)

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the smell of young tomato vines

I’ve got a patch in a communal garden across the street. In it is a rose bush that came from a small cutting taken off an aromatic climbing rose belonging to my friend Lily (now dead) that flourished for years on her terrace on the Isle of Hydra in Greece. It’s miraculous annual flowering reminds the olfactory me of the many(…)

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Banging heads against the wall

What I was told to do by my mother when I was a child: Geh shlog dein kup en cant! (Go bang your head against the wall!) I didn’t know if she was kidding so I’d study the off-white wall, or the striped wallpaper. Did she mean my forehead? Or the crown of my head? At other times I heard her say about(…)

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Calm

Memorial Day Weekend about to kick off. Recollections prickle, musical first, icons like Come On Baby Light My Fire, (the Doors summer of 1967) and (much later), Every Time We Say Goodbye (Annie Lennox, 1990, from Cole Porter’s lyrics), reminders of buoyant times long gone. As pre-summer peeks around the corner, that familiar wave (as always) rolls in. It’s book-ended by(…)

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New addiction

I’ve a new addiction. It crept in quietly, relaxed my mind; now it’s got me by the throat. And: Yes, I never thought it could/would happen to me. It’s a ‘match three’ game like (but not) ‘Candy Crush Saga’ accessed on my iPhone. My main game is ‘Fruits Mania’ but sometimes I also play ‘Lollipop’ or ‘Honey(…)

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Iceland

It was dark when we arrived, and the fields of black lava were covered with snow from the largest snowfall ever recorded there. My two sisters and I had discussed taking a holiday together for years. With the clock ticking faster now, we figured we’d better do it soon and chose Iceland in February/early March. We drank coffee(…)

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In a pickle

Glad you’re in this pickle jar with me, old friend. You too, new friend; and you over there and there and there and across the sea and over (also under) the rainbow. In a Pickle We’re in a pickle We are, we are And what’s worse is The pickle’s in a jam   And then we wonder(…)

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Playing hooky

Last night I spoke at an event inside grand old St. Bart’s on 50th and Park. Afterwards I began meandering and (though I hadn’t planned to) eventually walked the entire way home, about four miles. It was winter, a bit blustery, stimulating; the streets weren’t crowded, late-working folks were leaving work or heading somewhere, hurrying decisively, criss-crossing to and fro(…)

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