Dancing with chronic illness, or when a mouse is your role model

Another cross-post, but of  work dear to me: a personal essay I first wrote a couple years back, when asked for something in the category “strange bedfellows.” You get to decide who the bedfellows are. (And if you click on the second page, you find out who the mouse is – with video!) A blastContinue reading “Dancing with chronic illness, or when a mouse is your role model”

The XX factor in Obama's transition

On my way to New York today, where I plan on seeing Jeffrey Renard Allen give a reading in my old ‘hood and cover tomorrow’s hearing for the Iraq vets that make up the Hempstead 15. But to wrap up the election thread for this week, here’s the news blog I wrote for WVFC, sinceContinue reading “The XX factor in Obama's transition”

swing state notes: election day edition

_ The door of the house where I live now has a hand-drawn sign, drawn by my father-in-law: NO POLITICAL SOLICITATIONS. GO AWAY. It’s been a little brutal, here in the 58th Ward: the commercials are relentless, the mail, the phone calls even more so. No matter your sympathies, the cacophony is hard to take.Continue reading “swing state notes: election day edition”

Notes from a swing state

Walking along this suburban-ish street today, I kept seeing young people with clipboards. Using cell phones. I giggled; this is what democracy looks like. Those who know me well, or even knew my old blog shop, might feel puzzled that I almost never blog about electoral politics  – especially since I moved this summer toContinue reading “Notes from a swing state”

NYPIRG in 1984 – me and the president

Aaah, the commonalities of activism, at least in the 80’s. If you were in New York, you worked for NYPIRG at some point in your life. If I’d had political ambitions, I should have stayed: the guy who ran the Binghamton office, where I did some work on defense conversion before it was chic, wentContinue reading “NYPIRG in 1984 – me and the president”

older cities of dreams

Which of these venerable, beloved by artists (and thus too costly for most), old streets came first? Philly’s Old City, where I sit now (in a cafe I already love)? Or its jealous cousin in my hometown? I suspect the latter, due to the Dutch assault on the Lenape land predating the days of WilliamContinue reading “older cities of dreams”

paralyzed by constant motion

Those who know me best know one of the reasons I’ve not posted in a week: this new gig I’ve taken on, on top of everything else, is making my already-overcrowded brain call out: APPROACHING MAXIMUM CAPACITY — even as it brings me back to my starting point as a NY journalist. Now, before movingContinue reading “paralyzed by constant motion”

my cousin, my doppelganger

Warning: this one’s personal, mostly. It’s as if time had collapsed. Thirty years ago, I was finishing up 10th grade at this strange school, where  my cousin and I were both on staff at its literary magazine, Argus. We also lived in the same two-family house in the Bronx, and I was the classic youngerContinue reading “my cousin, my doppelganger”

is that an organizer's hand I see behind the curtain?

I should have realized last month, when I noticed that stream of articles about private equity and affordable housing, that some serious organizing had taken place to get their attention. Though god knows any reporter would have noticed the trend if s/he looked,it appears probable that behind that curtain were two fearless and dedicated advocacyContinue reading “is that an organizer's hand I see behind the curtain?”

count us as the foul, fetid, fuming, foggy filthy 2.7

Why 2.7? That’s how many New Yorkers move every day to Philadelphia. We count Scout, our middle-aged kitten-sized black cat, as the .7, though she’d likely object to such a characterization if she could. Remember my reference last month to “some other, little-engine-that-could town?” I meant my fiancee’s home town, which was one of theContinue reading “count us as the foul, fetid, fuming, foggy filthy 2.7”