Analog Memories

Much like many people penned up in their homes and attempting to behave responsibly during the pandemic, I’ve been streaming an inordinate amount of television shows and films over the past year. Such programs provide me with more than entertainment and distraction: they allow me to travel to places and enjoy experiences impossible at the moment. Simply put, stories on the screen grant me an escape.

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A Dispatch from the Study

Quiet solitude is the natural environment for most writers. However, the grinding isolation and stress of the ongoing pandemic tests everyone’s psychological mettle. Then came the Capitol insurrection last month. The future remains, at best, unsettled. Most days, frightening.

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Trees and Traditions

Late last year, I read an article detailing the prominent place fig trees hold in the cultural imagination of Italian-Americans and, of course, their backyard gardens. A demographer can trace the path of Italian migration in the United States by simply tracking the fig trees. They can be found in neighborhoods throughout New York City and New Jersey, including my own in Jersey City. This recent article prompted me to think differently about the conception and discourse of urban history.

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