It was the last day of a conference in Indianapolis and I was starting to crack. Three days of breakfasting and lunching with strangers, cheerful collaboration during workshops, and shoptalk between sessions were getting to me (see the name of this website). That morning I unintentionally shut down the conversation at a table when I wasContinue reading “Down and out in Naptown”
When the good people at Make the Road put out a call for volunteers to register voters, I knew I should sign up. It had been too long since I had done something charitable. Plus it was in Queens! On a Sunday! How could I say no? I had a brief moment of panic when IContinue reading “My Sunday making America great again”
Scene: Two men dressed in business casual sitting at an East Village bar on a Friday night, ’70s punk rock playing in the background. Friend: What have you been up to since Sabine’s been out of town? Me: Uh… I went to The Strand for a couple of hours. Friend: Lingered in the erotic artContinue reading “Rage against the dying of the light”
I was making my way back to work after lunch with a friend at La Loteria, one of the few Mexican restaurants I like in Manhattan. I don’t like to walk around in Greenwich Village because I always get lost, but I do it because, as anyone will tell you, it’s rare to find goodContinue reading “Not quite white”
It won’t come as a surprise to learn that I’m not comfortable dancing. That’s exactly why last year, for my wife’s birthday, I signed us up for dance classes. The gift was not me learning to dance, it was my willingness to put up with the humiliation of taking dance classes.
As I do most nights (and as she described in this lovely article), I was reading to my wife in bed. This time, it was a very strange story about a community of people who believe a ’90s children’s movie starring Sinbad has disappeared, possibly due to a crossover with other dimensions, a glitch in theContinue reading “A glitch in the matrix”
I guess the Washington Square Institute thought they were making up for my previous therapist when they assigned me a new one who looked like Jay Leno. I wasn’t a fan of the TV show but found it encouraging that my new shrink seemed more amused than concerned by my problems. Things went well enoughContinue reading “Shrinked, part 3: Civilization and its discontent”
Not long after moving to Brooklyn I was introduced to two women at an art opening–a blonde and a brunette. They asked why I had come to New York. Embarrassed to say, “to be an artist,” I jokingly answered, “to be a poet.” The brunette pointed to the blonde: “She’s a poet!” “I’m sorry, I was kidding,” IContinue reading “Shrinked, part 2: Breaking up is hard to do”
This morning I crossed paths with the elderly Indian gentleman I see most mornings on my way to work. We went through our usual routine: I smile and say good morning, and he smiles back, performs an elegant flourish with his hand, and responds, “and a very good day to you.” Not only is hisContinue reading “The five lessons I learned from strangers”
I’m meeting an old friend for dinner at Angelica Kitchen (yes, no possessive) and arrive early. I ask for a table for two, and the hostess tells me I have to wait for the rest of my party.