Riding the Train
BMT Q Car Number 1612C (1908, rebuilt 1938), New York Transit Museum

Riding the Train

BMT Q Car Number 1612C (1908, rebuilt 1938), New York Transit Museum Riding the train is one of the great joys for my three-year old grandson.   Specifically, he likes to ride the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (MTA) F train, although the G train might do in a pinch.  The F train runs from Jamaica, Queens to Coney Island, Brooklyn, and my grandson is familiar with every Brooklyn stop.  As he pushes his toy trains across the table or floor, he mimics the automated train voice that intones, “Stand clear of the closing doors, please.” …

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The Art of the Stamp
EllsworthKelly2019-Block10-v2

The Art of the Stamp

EllsworthKelly2019-Block10-v2 For those of us who write and mail letters, consider the art of the stamp.  Gone are the days of simply buying a roll of one hundred flag stamps.  Today, there are many options of Forever First Class stamps to coordinate with the mood or theme of your letter or note. Perhaps you are a lover of modern art.  If so, you will enjoy the recent issue of stamps highlighting the abstract art of Ellsworth Kelley.  A set of 20 of the new stamps feature ten beautiful paintings. “Ellsworth Kelly honed his artistic voice as…

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A Box of Old Letters

One day, while in my mid-teens, I came across my mother looking through a box of old letters. This box, always on the top shelf of her closet, had followed us from house to house and from town to town, but this is perhaps the first time I expressed curiosity. The letters, it seemed, were written during World War II, letters that my parents exchanged with one another during those war years. Most likely, some of them would have pre-dated their marriage in 1943, while others may have been written later. I wanted to read them, but my mother said that they were personal, and she did not want to share them.

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More About Books: Mystery and Suspense

Books and reading are among the most satisfying pleasures in life, and this year’s offerings are an inspiration to write more about books. Starting with Gillian Flynn’s wildly successful novel, Gone Girl (Crown Publishing, 2012), psychological suspense has grown as a popular book genre.  As an early fan of the works of Daphne du Maurier, including the classic, Rebecca, I am drawn to the genre, but have been disappointed by many of the contemporary novels. There is nothing disappointing, however, about novels written by Jane Harper.   Most recently I read The Lost Man (Macmillan, Flatiron Books,…

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The Room Where it Happens

Live theater is the room where it happens, where stories come to life and leave you enchanted and spellbound.   Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton is such a show, where the music, lyrics, and staging linger on long after the performance is over. Hamilton the Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter We were latecomers to the extraordinary phenomenon of Hamilton, despite the early urging of our New York cousins.  When the show first opened on Broadway, Michael and Amy suggested facetiously (I think) that even if we had to take out a second mortgage on our house, it…

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Never Too Young

An expression of gratitude is always welcome. An expression of gratitude is always welcome, and one is never too young to write that all important thank you note.  As an added bonus, children who are taught to write thank you notes tend to craft more creative and thoughtful notes when they become adults The act of hand writing a thank you note has the added benefit of becoming a learning experience for a child.  It is an exercise in manual dexterity, helps teach spelling, and encourages creativity.  For this reason, some schools sponsor letter-writing exercises, such…

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About Books and Reading
Bedside reading

About Books and Reading

Each year, I look forward to the fall months for news about books and reading.  Magazines, newspapers and trade organizations choose the fall to announce their selections for “best books” of the year.  It is a good time to compare our favorite books with these lists, hoping to add undiscovered gems to our reading lists. Many prestigious book awards also are announced in the fall.  The National Book Awards were unveiled in November; the Man Booker Prize was announced in October.  The publication of outstanding books and the awarding of prestigious prizes, however, are by no…

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Resolutions

Another year has arrived, and I am reminded that it is time to update my New Year’s resolutions! Most likely, some of mine are similar to or overlap with yours. Resolutions: Fitness First off, there is that pesky weight gain that coincides with fall celebrations. Whether they come from too much partying, excessive sweets, calorie-laden holiday meals, or simple inactivity, daily walks and other forms of exercise are part of the antidote. My father, gone now for 25 years, would have been 99 years old this coming May. He had a sense of humor about my…

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National Letter Writing Day

National Letter Writing Day is Friday, Dec. 7. The date is timely because it serves as a reminder to reconnect with the people you care about during the holiday season. The history and origin of National Letter Writing Day is unclear, but it is perpetrated by a website, National Today, which endeavors to find a reason to celebrate every day of the year.   National Today is the inspiration of PR Hacker, a broad-based San Francisco public relations firm specializing in technology and health. National Letter Writing Day is different from World Letter Writing Day, an endeavor…

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Too Many Note Cards?

Can a person have too many note cards?  A recent home renovation project required that I pack and move the contents of one large closet, four bookshelves, a lateral file cabinet, and two writing desks.  Along the way, I rediscovered more than a few boxes of stationery and note cards, as well as holiday cards, postcards, and assorted greeting cards for all occasions. A move can be a very effective way to discover things that are no longer needed.  While downsizing, I donated several boxes of books to the Friends of the Library for the Annual…

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