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My back pages

Architecture, My back pages, New York

Disappearing Acts

Before:  Thirty years ago I thought, This is too good to be true the first time I laid eyes on the view from my living room window.  The overcast day could not disguise the miles and miles of sky that unfurled.  That, combined with the space of 5 rooms sold me. My spouse at the time hadn’t…

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Current Affairs, My back pages, New York

Did she jump or was she pushed?

It’s every commuter’s nightmare.  Though actually there are several: the train stops just outside the station and sits for what seems like hours.  Someone pulls the emergency cord.  You discover that you’re trapped in a car from 125th to Columbus Circle with a religious zealot spewing a bottomless pit of bigotry laced with profound stupidity….

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Current Affairs, My back pages, New York

Manhattan on the Rocks

Looks like we survived the week.  What an advantage we have living on top of a hill; still, it’s tree-heavy here.  A stroll through our neighborhood revealed the carnage of both broken limbs and major uprootings.  Meanwhile New York rises from the ashes.  The trick for them: drain the tunnels, get the subway and buses…

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Fashion, My back pages, New York

Finding a suit, and myself

Like all great romances it started slowly.  First it was underwear; later I graduated to socks and ties, little wardrobe resuscitators for a single guy on a budget.  I found myself returning, a little shy, but intrigued, wondering if this was the way out of my J. Crew-Gap-Thrift Shop-Army-Navy fashion esthetic.  After all I’d become…

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Current Affairs, My back pages, New York, Vespers, Writing

Summer’s Lease

The giveaway happened this morning.  It came in the form of a sneeze—several, actually, all so forceful that my coffee flew out of my cup into my face.  No burns, only embarrassed, accompanied by NY1’s confirmation of my suspicions: ragweed had launched its ugly spores into the air.  Zyrtec, take me away. In this way…

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Film, Music, My back pages, Vespers

Dory Previn, Lyricist, 1925-2012

  All ten year-old tragedians need a soundtrack.  Mine was the Theme from Valley of the Dolls, that heartbreaking ballad from the film that starred Barbara Parkins, Sharon Tate and Patty Duke.  I had no idea that the song was meant to underscore the film heroine’s descent into pill addiction (I thought Parkins, Tate and…

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Film, My back pages, Television, Theater, Vespers

Alan Sues, Comic Actor 1926-2011

There was Liberace, Paul Lynde, Charles Nelson Reilly and on Rowan and Martin’s Laugh In, Alan Sues.  What a quartet of flamboyant personalities who blazed on prime time when I was coming of age.   In the 70s their very names were punchlines, code for every euphemism of that other f-word even as the longhaired hippies and…

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