Monday, July 28, 2014
Monday, July 21, 2014
Monday, July 14, 2014
Malala Yousafzai is the teenage girl from Pakistan’s Swat Valley who not only continued going to school after the Taliban forbid girls from doing so, but (along with her feminist father) became known as a girls’ education activist, when it would have been safer and easier to put up and shut up. Like many others (from East to West), the Taliban finds strong women deeply threatening, so one day in 2012 they shot Malala in the head (where the mind is located) while she rode the bus home from school. She survived, now lives in England with her parents and younger brothers, and still speaks out. She turned 17 the day before yesterday, spending her birthday weekend in Nigeria, comforting schoolgirls who escaped from their April 15th kidnappers and the parents of schoolgirls who remain missing.
Today is the second annual Malala Day. How can you celebrate? How about by showing more consideration toward people who don’t live like you; developing more self-awareness; supporting universal preschool and an increased minimum wage; contributing something useful to the society that exists beyond your own insular group; thinking of passivity as your worst enemy but thinking carefully before you act.
Photo source: www.malala.org
Monday, July 7, 2014
You can walk down the main drag to the sound of Jerry Garcia’s voice drifting out a front door, a few buildings down from some Jamaican patties. Although Hudson’s main drag is (blessedly) named something other than Main Street, it does include a hair salon that could not resist.
This time of year, the main drag is a flag-happy strip.
Those low-flying flags look charming until the wind gets gusting and, one by one, they start furling and unfurling, slapping you upside the head as you stroll.
Monday, June 30, 2014
Good feng shui: fresh flowers
Although the ones displayed above are on their last legs, they’ve stayed alive for 9 days and have really had it good. I’ve run way behind schedule at least 3 times to clean their vases, feed them (homemade flower food: 2 tblps sugar, 2 tblps vinegar, 4 cups water), and tend to their other needs before leaving them on their own for the day. Can’t wait to replace them with sunflowers.
I stared and made flustered faces at the unexpected pile of parts that came with the camera for several weeks before unexpectedly getting my first iphone, which soon became all the camera I need. I now have no use for a Nikon and neither does anyone in my circle - they have iphones too. When people stop me on the street to take a picture of them, they hand me an iphone. I haven’t handled a real camera in years.
Monday, June 23, 2014
One afternoon a couple of years ago, I returned home
to find a supremely strung-out dude buzzing up the intercom panel on my building’s
front porch. He asked if I knew a guy on the sixth floor whose name I didn’t
recognize but I’m pretty sure I know who he meant; he’s really nice, possibly
around 70 years old. The person pacing the porch worked with this sixth-floor
neighbor, who has a heart problem, and said no one in their workplace had seen
or heard anything from or about him in a week, so this co-worker came by to
check on him. On the elevator ride up, he mentioned how nervous he was about
what he might smell when he reached the apartment’s door. I haven’t run into that
Last night, I caught up with an elderly one who has survived breast cancer, uterine cancer, horrible seasonal allergies. She’s recovering from a major surgery and has deep relationships with many people, old and young, near and far. When she said she’s tired of them constantly calling and visiting her, in sickness and in health, I couldn’t feel sorry for her.
Monday, June 16, 2014
Growing up in a bagel-loving household, 460 miles west of New York City, bagels were always around. Friday nights, on her way home from work, my mom brought back a dozen from a stall in Cleveland’s West Side Market that, until last month, I assumed were authentic New York City bagels, considering the degree of glorification they received. Turns out they came from Canada and just “tasted more like New York bagels” than other availabilities in our parts.
As soon as the cream cheese gets spread on, they all taste the same to me. I like doughnuts.
My dad sometimes won’t spread anything onto one. He’ll eat them like apples. One birthday or Father’s Day I sent him a dozen from H&H Bagels, when I lived an avenue away from its Upper West Side location, and he said he’d never chewed better. It’s what most people said when they tried one. Years ago, when that H&H went out of business, I thought it meant the entire H&H empire erupted.