Sunday, July 15, 2018

Week in Seven Words #415

absorbs
She's developed the habit of slipping behind her phone and not looking up. There's always something new to see, an infinite scroll.

cacophony
From the other room, we hear the eruptions of a horror movie: wild squealing growls and a rumble of strings and drums.

defective
She tells me that one of my cheeks is puffier than the other. I give her what must be a blank or bewildered look, so she repeats herself and peers at me with a semblance of concern. She's so convincing that I actually check in the mirror, but I see nothing out of the ordinary.

diverting
We hold a practice interview that fails to simulate the conditions of a real-life interview, unless the real-life interview will be filled with laughter and digressions about books and vacation ideas.

potion
The drink they order is a giant goblet of neon blue liquid.

tendresse
He displays a flat affect at work. Nothing moves him. He's there for the paycheck. But get him talking about Gary Cooper, and his eyes sparkle. His mouth trembles into a smile.

tweets
People conspiring to make each other more blockheaded.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Week in Seven Words #414

artifacts
The clouds look like archaeological findings: pottery shards and splintered spears.

carbs
Enticed by the display of fat, creamy desserts, most of them crowd into the bakery. There's no room inside for them to eat, so they savor their glistening cakes and donuts by the curb. At a convenience store on the same block, I buy an adequate granola bar.

insisting
There's so much in her life that's out of control and wildly unfair, so she finds little ways to try to reclaim power. These efforts can make her appear fussy or ungenerous.

opened
I take a photo of a couple of Minions characters posed on a front lawn, and I send it to him so that he can show it to his son. He replies to my text, and we begin a soul-baring conversation, the kind I wouldn't have expected to start with a Minions photo.

rickety
The atrium is our way station on a windy evening. We're surrounded by men mostly; they're reading newspapers or resting their eyes. When we set our salads on one of the metal tables, it shivers, as if unaccustomed to any weight.

sways
One homeowner has set up speakers on his lawn to play a jazzy version of Schubert's Ave Maria, something a fallen angel would listen to at a blues club over a Bloody Mary.

wended
The train has gone above ground. In the faint, peach-colored light of early evening, it skims past rows of old houses. A languid peace has settled over me in the nearly empty car. I could watch the rooftops slide by for an hour without feeling impatient.

Monday, July 2, 2018

New York City Sites for the Fourth of July (All Five Boroughs)

If you're visiting New York City around the Fourth of July (or want to go armchair traveling), and you're interested in American history, this is the post for you. These sites are either connected to the American Revolution or show something of NYC's colonial period.

This list is limited to sites I have visited (so you won't see a photo from the Prison Ship Martyrs Monument in Fort Greene, for instance). For each site, I also mention other neighborhood attractions. Enjoy!

The Bronx


Stockbridge Indian Memorial (Van Cortlandt Park)

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You'll find this memorial in the northeast part of Van Cortlandt Park. It's a tribute to a group of Native Americans, allied with the colonists, who died in August 1778 in a clash with an overwhelmingly larger number of British and Hessian troops. (Here's an article that goes into greater depth about the Stockbridge-Mohican community.)

In the neighborhood: Van Cortlandt Park is massive (one of the city's largest parks) and has golf courses, sports fields, and miles of hiking trails. The Van Cortlandt House Museum on the west side of the park dates from the 18th century, and during the Revolutionary War, both Washington and General William Howe, the commander of the British troops, made use of it. If you're in the area, you can also visit Woodlawn Cemetery, where a variety of historic figures are buried. The cemetery is close to the east side of the park.