Today is Labor Day in the United States, the unofficial end of the summer season. Beneath the barbecues, furniture sales and endless traffic home from the long weekend is the meaning of the day: to honor the working people who make stuff happen. Continue reading A Critical View of Labor Day
Right in the heart of New York City’s newest up-and-coming neighborhood is a 7-acre green roof, on the fourth level of the Jacob Javits Convention Center. And on a rainy Tuesday in August, I got to tour that roof. Continue reading Greenery Atop A Renowned NYC Structure
Here’s a quick photo share for the WordPress Photo Challenge: Continue reading Black and White in Color: The Bike in the Corner
I have a love-hate relationship with the modern way of doing business.
Companies are increasingly assigning tasks to non-staff freelancers, creating a flexibility that allows them to pay only for work that needs to get done. It allows industry to sidestep the requirements to offer health insurance to these project workers, since the assignments are not long enough to qualify the workers for benefits. (And in the uniquely American view, healthcare is in the same category as savings plans and gym discounts.) Continue reading The New American Workplace
I like pretty things. I don’t like unruly clutter.
Periodically, I have to decide what stays and what goes to maintain some sort of order in my apartment. This is one of those times. Continue reading One Last Time With Some Textiles
Manhattan browsing can be a treat for the eyes, like this collage of costume jewelry and scarves for sale at the Theatre District Shopping Court near Times Square. The prices weren’t as excessive as I would have expected, given the popular location.
Like any other travel destination, New York has abundant opportunities to overpay for silly things. I would suggest that, in general, you shop where the locals shop. Continue reading Shopping Collages
New York is a city of five counties divided by water. We rely on our bridges and tunnels to get out of our home boroughs to, well, everywhere else. Continue reading My New York: Bridges
I just learned that “delta” means, according to Merriam-Webster, “a piece of land shaped like a triangle that is formed when a river splits into smaller rivers before it flows into the ocean.” I’m picturing a lazy river spilling into the Pacific Ocean, gentle waters turned wild.
Or a playful winter weekend with a dear pal in balmy Florida, then returning to the cold and seriousness of New York City. Continue reading The Delta Musings
When Jeromus Remsen went off to fight in the Revolutionary War, could he have imagined his remains would rest in what would become a busy little urban triangle, in sight of Trader Joe’s, Staples, Bob’s Discount Furniture and a car wash ? Continue reading Remsen Cemetery: A Reminder Of Our Transience
Although I grew up minutes away from the Belmont Racetrack, I’d never been inside until yesterday. I joined Oldest Niece, her friends and my daughter as we celebrated my niece’s birthday, at her request, at the Belmont Stakes horse race.
It was quite the education: Continue reading Seven Things I Learned at the Belmont Stakes (In No Particular Order)
The inevitable happened: my one-and-only is engaged, soon to be a bride. Her intended is a good guy, loves her madly, works hard and looks like he will be a good son-in-law.
I just spent the night with my daughter at the house she will live in. He’s away on business so it was just us, like old times: on the couch watching tv, listening to music, cleaning and doing loads of laundry. Continue reading I’ll Always See Her As My Little Girl (Says the Mother of the Bride)
New York City is my birthplace and my home. I live in the neighborhood I dreamed of living in back when I was in college. It is fun and friendly, safe and pretty by New York standards. Continue reading New York In My Rear View Mirror?
But I jumped at the opportunity to tie in the season with Jelmar’s silver cleaning product, since I wanted to resuscitate some old jewelry to wear with my happy colors. Continue reading Shiny Accessories for Spring: A Sponsored Post
A brief subway ride under the East River from what we call “The City” takes you to Gantry Plaza State Park, a strip of shoreline facing Manhattan’s East Side. I rarely go to the neighborhood without a visit to this park. The sensible, walkable design and the beauty it presents remind me why I still live here. Continue reading The Dense Lights of the New York Skyline
The blizzard that was forecast for New York City turned out to be strong winds, some snow and icy rain. Whew! I used this stay-inside day to complete a final exam and to block a newly-discovered air leak in the apartment. Strong winds will do that. In one class we had to copyedit a tomato recipe that looked so good that I plan to make it for tonight’s dinner. Continue reading A Wish for Spring on a Raw Day
Happy International Women’s Day 2017!
Women’s Day is not widely celebrated in the United States. However, 2017 dawned with the inauguration of an American leader who bragged that he can grab vaginas, ogle near-naked teenage beauty pageant contestants, publicly humiliate a Miss Universe.
We have been asked to wear red in solidarity, something I probably would have done anyway. I like red tones. But the uniform wearing of red reminds me of The Handmaid’s Tale and The Scarlet Letter, neither of which presented good lives for fertile women. Continue reading Holding On To My Power: International Women’s Day
One of the small, fun benefits of taking classes is the implied permission to collect supplies. Promotional pens and pencils, colorful clips, happy highlighters and a pencil sharpener that I forgot I even owned! Continue reading A Good Match for New Life
While book lovers all over the Internet are comparing modern times to George Orwell’s 1984, I was compelled to reread 2009’s The Return by Victoria Hislop. It’s a novel about Englishwoman Sonia, who is drawn to a cafe in Grenada, Spain. Through that, she learns much about herself and about Spain’s Civil War.
Sonia, our modern-day protagonist, leaves her stuffed-shirt husband at home to celebrate her best friend’s birthday in Spain for a few days. They book salsa classes in advance of the trip but Sonia is also drawn to flamenco. She is enraptured by some old flamenco posters at a cafe she happens upon. Miguel, the elderly cafe owner, takes a liking to Sonia, and she to him. Dance and the cafe become central to her visit. In the course of the novel it all ties together, even Miguel’s youthful involvement. Continue reading Returning To A Beloved Novel And Learning About Fascism
The mile-long path borders marshland in the Marina District, crosstown from the Boardwalk that we usually associate with AC. On one side of the path is beautiful shoreline, which is desolate in the winter. The paved path undulates like the shoreline it follows. Continue reading Shoreline Solitude in Atlantic City
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
That’s the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. It’s straightforward and apparently so important, our forefathers made it the first one. Continue reading Introducing: The American Constitution
In honor of Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day, here are two bottles of wine gift wrapped with repurposed bubble-wrap. Continue reading Repurposing and Presenting Bubble Wrap
I attended the Women’s March on New York City with a friend and the Center for the Women of New York. We assembled in a midtown hotel lobby where I bought a commemorative pin and sash from the Center; they need the money and I wanted a memento that I can use again. I helped myself to complimentary coffee as added fuel. Continue reading Not Being Silent: The March on New York City
I wanted to show how I used a combination of tealight candles, battery-operated candles and battery-operated Christmas lights to transform the dark end of my living room. I wrapped bright lights around the top of my decorative lighthouse and I like it so much, it will stay that way all year long. It seemed appropriate to create my own personal beacon. Light is safety; it prevents bumps and bruises. Light shows what things really look like; a truly lit object will show its details and flaws. Continue reading The Light At The End…
There is a pattern in social media political discourse: abrasive comments using “snowflake and “safe space” as pejorative terms in an attempt to weaken opponents. Continue reading The Rise of the Snowflakes
It’s been a mild winter so far here in New York, but we all know the snow is inevitable. Continue reading Winter Resilience And Fun
Christmas is eagerly anticipated worldwide right now. In my corner of the planet, I am also looking forward to the results of renovations on my apartment building.
The modernization started about a year ago and I see beautiful new workmanship every day. Dated pink wallpaper was replaced with serene, sensible beige. Moldings were added with drops a few inches from the ceiling to hide cable wires. The elevators were replaced with taller, safer ones. Marble flooring is being installed, which actually worries me: the inevitable icy winter weather will cause wet, slick floors. And you really don’t want to slip on marble. Continue reading Anticipating Christmas and The End Of Renovations
Midlife is a strange and exciting time to be job-eliminated.
I had a lifetime of caring for other people (I am the oldest of five so the responsibilities started early.) I can now sensibly think of shifting gears and earning a living at work that I love. But what? Continue reading New Horizons: Things Are Looking Up
The bank or retailer is holding on to your money until the card is redeemed. Not only are you lending them your cash for free, but banks actually charge you for the privilege. Hey, at least throw in some nice packaging! So as a public service, I visited local retailers and gathered some helpful intel: Continue reading Which Gift Cards Are Worth Buying?
The calendar and political climate have caused New York’s Union Square to make dramatic changes in just the past two weeks. Politics and the holiday shopping season collide.
Many gathered at the park to speak of their discomfort with the presidential election results. It was a friendly scene; I thanked one speaker for urging protesters to select one thing to be activist about rather than be overwhelmed by the big picture. This turned into a casual conversation between two people who were, clearly, older than most of the rest of the attendees. This is Union Square at 14th Street on November 10: Continue reading Union Square’s Seasonal Transformation
The sheer amount of food on the holiday can be overwhelming, especially if you are hosting and have to figure out where to put ALL THAT FOOD. Continue reading Bonding Over Thanksgiving Leftovers
President-elect Reality Show Host has shown open disdain for Hispanics, and that doesn’t bode well for me. Long ago it was preferable to “pass” for an another ethnic group rather than look Spanish. I can but have enough self-respect to answer honestly. “What is your heritage?” “What is your ethnic group?” “Are you [fill in locally acceptable nationality here.]?” Hispanic. Continue reading It’s No Longer Enough To Be Born In America: A Midlife Hispanic View of the American Presidential Election
The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.
That’s the simple beauty of the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, granting women the right to vote. It was ratified in 1920, meaning that there are women alive today who were born before they had that right.
Each family member over high school age buys one gift valued at up to $50.00 and brings it wrapped. Each recipient will be assigned a number. Number one selects first, number two second, and so on. You get the gift associated with that number or you can “steal” a gift that has already been opened. I’m not sure if that would be funny or cause some sore feelings, but I’ll go with the flow.
Our family members in the scheme will range from college age up to, well, me. Boys and girls. We are neither fancy nor cute, mostly suburban working class. And after some retail research, here are some ideas: Continue reading Holiday Gift Shopping Made Easy
On a bright day with shiny blue skies, an ordinary office building becomes a grid for the surrounding trees and parking lot.
From the third floor, those cars look like art:
In Midtown Manhattan it’s so easy to forget that New York is a city of active rivers, with shipping and ferries, sightseeing boats and sights to see. This is the view at sunset near where I currently work in New York City. Continue reading The Hudson River at Dusk