Archive for the ‘Observations and Commentary’ Category

Fall 1979

Fall 1979

No matter how hard you try, you will never forget that day. You will never forget how the news emerged one piece at a time, slowly at first, and then with a rapidity which was impossible to digest. You will never forget the faces and reactions of the people you were with, disbelief which turned to gasps then to tears then to sobs. You will never forget that the world you occupied, the one a few miles north of the horror, stood absolutely still. You will never forget how (more…)

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Late morning I arrived on the northbound train at Penn Station. The goal was to wander wherever and take photos. I walked the Highline from 30th St. to 14th St., then meandered (cause that what I was doing, serious meandering) through the gentrified old meat packing district and West Village. Here and there I took some lackluster shots. But the day was gorgeous, temps in the low 80’s with (more…)

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Man, the nominating conventions have come a long way from the smoky backroom deal-making days. Those old timey gatherings were ugly, contentious, and vicious. Negotiations were fierce private battles among political bosses and, for those paying attention, intrigue was high. But most Americans – and by “most” I mean everyone not physically at the convention – paid no attention. Communication channels were (more…)

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We all know Donald Trump will slap his name on anything to make a buck. And if you give him enough bucks he will let you slap his name on your stuff. We endlessly hear about his steaks, airline, vodka, bottled water, magazine, and university. His resorts peddle (more…)

holdenWilliam Holden was an “A List” movie star in the mid-20th century. He appeared in 75 films, many of them good, a few even great. At his best his acting was engaging and affecting. His work in the classic Sunset Boulevard is sometimes shuttled aside because Gloria Swanson’s mesmerizing Norma Desmond character is impossible to ignore. Swanson may steal the scenes, but Holden holds the story together. During his career he was nominated for three Best Actor Oscars and won for Stalag 17. His movie legacy is secure. Yet whenever I think of Bill Holden the absolute first thought is how he died. He was drunk and alone when he slipped on a rug and smashed his forehead into a side table. It was a stupid way to go, but it had a certain memorable flair. If he survived (more…)

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Of all the hours in a day, the Magic Hour is the one to savor. It is the hour preceding dawn, before your part of the world fully stirs and gets on with business. Streets are empty, traffic light, neighboring houses dark and snug. The sky is a curious mixture of (more…)

During a recent episode of Chopped, that sadistic show on The Food Network where accomplished chefs attempt to cook elegant meals out of disparate ingredients, one of the contestants was asked why he chose the restaurant business. He said he always (more…)

After Sunday morning’s carnage in Orlando Donald Trump took to Twitter. His first two tweets were somewhat in the hazy vicinity of what you might expect from someone running for President of the United States.

“Really bad shooting in Orlando. Police investigating possible terrorism. Many people dead and wounded.” – 5:07 AM – 12 Jun 2016

“Horrific incident in FL. Praying for all the victims & their families. When will this stop? When will we get tough, smart & vigilant?” – 8:45 AM – 12 Jun 2016

But, unsurprisingly, he could not (more…)

today

Posted: September 11, 2013 in Observations and Commentary
Tags: , , , ,

Church bells tolled throughout the morning.

For America this is a day of remembrance and solemn ceremony, a day swimming with emotion. Today these emotions clash, tumble and spill together with heightened (more…)

Deeds in court

I re-watched Mr. Deeds Goes to Town a few days ago, Frank Capra’s 1936 fanciful tale of Longfellow Deeds, an everyman from rural Vermont who inherits a vast fortune. It contains many hallmark Capra elements: a good person forced to confront a whirlwind of greed and/or corruption, a sentimental and idealized view of small town life, a smart, savvy female lead, and snappy, intelligent dialogue. It is by all accounts very Capraesque.

The first time viewer may think the movie horribly dated, one that shows every wrinkle and crease of its 77 years. We no longer tolerate plot advancement through (more…)