A Christmas Star

With the emergence of a worrisome new COVID-19 variant, nightmarish climate forecasts, and the full embrace of unscientific and undemocratic thinking by a substantive percentage of the American voting public, this Christmas season feels more emotionally challenging than last year. “Normal” life resembles a distant memory more than an object just in sight.

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Providence: Walking with H.P. Lovecraft

Earlier this autumn, I visited Providence, Rhode Island for a long-awaited trip to the John Hay Library at Brown University. For a full workweek, I spent the majority of my waking hours sifting through the papers of author H.P. Lovecraft and several of his associates for material for my biography on the weird fiction writer and his New York City years. As with any research project, a new question arose for each one answered.

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Small Green Spaces

A few months ago when the country appeared to be moving away from pandemic life (or, at least, could realistically hope for such a transition in the foreseeable future), I began to re-introduce myself to New York City. Losing myself in a bookstore. Relaxing outside a cafe. Even braving a sparsely attended movie. After living in cities all my adult life, I found myself needing to learn how to be an urbanite again — the expected aftershock following a year and many months of effective hibernation.

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