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Category Archives: New York City

Hannah and Her Sisters.


Three years ago, for Valentine’s Day, the Fox Theater in Tucson was showing Annie Hall, which gave me the privilege of seeing it in a theater. It had been twenty years since I had seen it last, and it amazed me: its inventiveness, its consistently good humor, the truly impressive way that it brings you […]

The Paideia Living Latin in New York Conference, 2015.


I think it was last year, at Rusticatio Virginiana, when I really felt that something was happening with the Classics. Something felt different: for so long, Classics had felt for me like a lone pursuit, and, fundamentally, a struggle: a struggle to learn, a struggle to teach, a struggle to find books and materials for, […]

Gardening for Life.


A nice piece on Doug Tallamy and the new gardening.  “We have to raise the bar on our landscapes. In the past, we have asked one thing of our gardens: that they be pretty. Now they have to support life, sequester carbon, feed pollinators, and manage water.”  Real life always works this way: something always […]

Something Is Happening.


A very nice article by Tony Grafton which testifies to the work of the Paideia Institute, a not-for-profit cultural institution inspired by Fr. Reginald Foster with a focus on linking a classical, humanistic education with the joy of being human.  I have spent much of my life with the people mentioned in the article, and […]

Against The Queen of Pentacles.


Suzanne Vega put an album out in 2014, “Tales from the Realm of the Queen of Pentacles,” which is at least one (and probably two) too many prepositional phrases, but the concept of the album is intriguing: Pentacles, she explains, in the Tarot deck are the suit of the material world; of comforts, the earth […]

The Silent Majority Against Justice.


The term “right wing” comes from the Estates-General of France: the king would sit in the middle of parliament, with the nobles and bishops on his right, while the representatives of the people would sit on the king’s left. As a Christian I still scratch my head about this: “What were the bishops doing over […]

A Long Time Ago In a Galaxy Far, Far Away…


This morning I was starting my fire with bits of newspaper, and it so happened that a copy of The New York Times from some months ago contributed to these pyrogenics.  No headlines are quite so interesting as old headlines – I sometimes find that it takes me a few extra minutes to get the […]

When the Primitive Way of Thinking Is Truer.


Ancient societies typically did not distinguish between various types of human-caused human death in times of peace.  The distinctions we have (first degree, second degree, and third degree murder, as well as manslaughter, negligent homicide, wrongful death, justifiable homicide, etc.) did not apply then.  The killer incurred some kind of guilt, simply because he had […]

Trick-or-treating on Thanksgiving.


My father used to talk about this, that in his day they used to Trick-or-treat on Thanksgiving, not Halloween.  I never disbelieved him, but here is confirmation of what he used to say.  It’s odd to think of traditions changing so quickly – within a single generation, the notion of Thanksgiving being used for trick-or-treating […]



A friend recently introduced me to the work of Sebastiao Salgado, who I think can lay claim to being the greatest photographer who has ever lived.  I can say that the show I just saw at the International Center for Photography, Genesis, is the best photography show I’ve ever seen.  In fact, in my mind […]