Archive | Essays

A Tourist in My Own Town

Central Perky

One of the many, many things I love about NYC is that when one neighborhood proves wearying (Williamsburg houses far too many of my exes), you can dip into a whole new world just by traveling a few miles. This holiday season I have been a tourist in my own city and have found real December magic, even when the adventures have left something to be desired.

Last Sunday I traveled to an unusually demure Midtown to ogle the big-hearted precision of the Alvin Ailey dancers at the New York City Center. Continue Reading →

Love Lost, Love Laureate: Noel Visitations

I woke thinking of Donald Hall, who died last June at the age of 89 after living a very fine life as a poet and a New Englander. There are details of his biography that make me wince–especially the string of young girls, including the poet Jane Kenyon, his second wife who was decades his junior and whom he met when she was still his student.

But I also know that God is not always concerned with such details, and that their love helped them develop as humans and writers. That he was unseasonably proud of his wife’s artistic development. That she professionally outstripped him before succumbing to a voracious cancer a few weeks shy of her 48th birthday. Continue Reading →

December’s Bittersweet Magic

This time of year is always bittersweet for me. When I was a girl, unspoken battles raged between my Episcopalian mother and Jewish father over how much Christmas was going to make it into our house. Since then, I’ve felt guilty if I’ve leaned too far into the pageantry, deprived of magic if I haven’t.

It got more complicated as the years passed and I grew more devoutly alone–do you really get a tree just for yourself? Drag out the ornaments you’ve quietly collected over the years? Continue Reading →

"All, everything I understand, I understand only because I love."
― Leo Tolstoy