Hopscotch board drawn at the Unity Rally 2/26/17Macdonald Park, Forest Hills

Holding On To My Power: International Women’s 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

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Returning To A Beloved Novel And Learning About Fascism

Coffee with cream in a clear demitasse cup with a fan behind itBook life comes full circle.

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

Shoreline Solitude in Atlantic City

Atlantic City nature path in the Marina DistrictAtlantic City ‘s  Art Walk is well worth a visit.

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

Introducing: The American Constitution

household-flag-decorationCongress 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

Not Being Silent: The March on New York City

Gridlocked crowd at Second Avenue and 48 Street at Womens March 1-21-17

About 399,999 protesters and I shut down Midtown.

Marchers with the Center for the Women of New York assemble before marching on 1-21-17I 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

The Light At The End…

Indoor wooden decorative lighthouse decorated with battery operated Christmas lightsI’ve been trying to write a sweet post about decorating with light for the past week. But the inauguration had me too sad for pretty word pictures.

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…

The Rise of the Snowflakes

Snowflake pinThere 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

Anticipating Christmas and The End Of Renovations

Wreaths, poinsettia and building renovation suppliesChristmas 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

New Horizons: Things Are Looking Up

12-12-16 Sixth Avenue NYC facing north

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

Which Gift Cards Are Worth Buying?

#Sephora #giftcard signI have a love/hate relationship with gift cards. Yes, they are convenient and show the recipient some consideration.

But…

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?

Union Square’s Seasonal Transformation

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

Bonding Over Thanksgiving Leftovers

cooked turkey on a platterI suspect every American knows that the best thing about Thanksgiving is the leftovers.

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

It’s No Longer Enough To Be Born In America: A Midlife Hispanic View of the American Presidential Election

cropped-manhattan-from-queens-august-20151.jpgPresident-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

Breaking Fashion Rules to Celebrate My Right to Vote

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.

Continue reading Breaking Fashion Rules to Celebrate My Right to Vote