Category Archive for 'Travel'

The Critical Mass

Dead Skunk in the middle of the 21st century Loudon Wainwright III was nearing the end of his show when someone in the audience shouted out a request: “Dead Skunk!” “I need more money for ‘Dead Skunk,’ ” Wainwright said, shaking his head with mock disapproval. No, he rarely plays his novelty hit from 1972, […]

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The Critical Mass

How James McMurtry and Mitt Romney see, and don’t see, the poor Here’s how much Sunday’s John Prine show got to me: Monday morning at breakfast I was assembling a fist-sized pile of smoked salmon at the breakfast buffet while singing to myself, “I am an old woman….” It’s now Wednesday, Day Four of the […]

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The Critical Mass

Young American Wanderlust From Rochester west to Chicago, and then south to Austin, the railroad tracks wind through the backyards of America. It’s as though the country’s turned its back on Amtrak. We’re traveling to the South by Southwest Music Festival. I can hear Scott plucking on his new ukulele in the sleeper car across […]

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I read The Sunday New York Times, so you don’t have to: Oct. 24 This morning’s coffee is an excellent Mexican. First music of the day, a continued obsession with the jazz saxophonist Ben Webster. Other pertinent noise: The dog sprawled on the couch next to me, snoring heavily. I’m smoking salmon this morning, a […]

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I read The Sunday New York Times, so you don’t have to: Oct. 17 It was such a stunningly beautiful morning that, rather than read The Times first thing, I chose to follow the dog through Turning Point Park for about an hour. It’s an appropriately overgrown area on the west bank of the Genesee […]

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I read The Sunday New York Times, so you don’t have to First music of the day, the smoky saxophone of Ben Webster. He also worked well Saturday afternoon on the deck, as I wound down a beautiful day with a cigar and a glass of whiskey, while a pork shoulder relaxed in its smoker […]

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I read The Sunday New York Times, so you don’t have to: Sept. 12 When I first heard the sound early this morning, I thought someone had tossed a dead pig on the stoop. But it was the delivery of the Sunday Times, particularly bulky this morning, with three separate Arts & Leisure sections. These […]

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I read The Sunday New York Times, so you don’t have to: June 27 I’m back to reading The Sunday Times for you, after a two-week absence that I’m blaming on barbecue and jazz. This morning, Miles Davis’ Miles in the Sky is drifting out the deck speakers, chicken thigh quarters are marinating in a […]

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The Critical Mass

I read The Sunday New York Times, so you don’t have to: April 9 I’m planning on smoking ribs slow over mesquite wood this morning, starting at maybe 11 a.m. But as of now, 7 a.m., snow is whirling past the windows and settling on the deck, at the feet of the Adirondack chairs. The […]

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I read The Sunday New York Times, so you don’t have to First music of the day: June Christy’s Something Cool, a 1955 record that introduced the “vocal cool” period, and one of the excellent pieces of old vinyl that I picked up during my new favorite holiday, Saturday’s Record Store Day. “I don’t ordinarily […]

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