I spent some time wandering the hills and pathways of Brooklyn’s Green-wood cemetery last week.  Aside from being one of the most serenely beautiful sites that I have explored in New York City, Green-wood holds an interesting history as one of the country’s first rural cemeteries, situated on 478 acres of land.

The site of the Revolutionary War’s “Battle of Long Island” and inspiration for the creation of both Central and Prospect Park, the landmark garnered half a million visitors per year in the late 1800s.

But, of course, I like it best because it is free and pretty.

And quiet.

Which may not be rare for a cemetery, but feels worth mentioning as a find in the city.


Towards 5771

I have always loved the beginnings that September brings: the school year, the Jewish New Year, and my birthday all falling within days of one another.  The idea of second chances, or thirty-second chances. I still get excited by a new marble composition book, having always believed in the possibilities of a blank page.  This is the season of sermons in my home and invocations for reflection.  Though I have never had much trouble looking back.  In my twenties I took a Bach Flower tincture called “Honeysuckle,” for people who suffer from excess nostalgia (there is such a tincture, one, in fact, for every emotional affliction).

Too much rooted in the past, wistful for another time or place, my journals at the time filled with scrawlings of my romanticized college town, or home town, my last apartment or relationship recorded in some sort of other worldly glow.  All the things I’d do again, or another way, or not at all.

And this brought me to thinking about the difference between longing and longing with purpose, between regret and atonement.  Thought and action.

Earlier this week, I sat backwards on my train from Philadelphia to New York, slowly reversing from 30th street station, the art museum, boat house row, the big balloon marking the Philadelphia zoo, the city skyline – taking in those touchstones without having to turn my head, the way one is instructed to back away from the wailing wall. To look so fully in one direction while moving forward in another felt kind of miraculous.

Wishing everyone meaningful reflection during these Days of Awe, while moving ahead, with purpose, into the New Year.

Love is an Ocean, I can’t Forget

Woke up grateful for all thirty-one days in August, holding on a little longer to summer, listening to the latest Arcade Fire album, getting a last look at the leaves before they turn all marvelous orange.  The last two weeks brought me to oceans on the West and oceans on the East.  And they are far apart.  And they are both compelling.  And I have a foot on and a heart in each.

I always find a favorite read in Berkeley’s bookshops.  This one is called  Poetry in Person, edited by Alexander Neaubauer, and it captures conversations between Pearl London and dozens of poets, from interviews conducted at The New School between 1973 – 1996.  It is full of meaty details about process, person, and being a writer (poet) in the world.

I’d also suggest going to see The Tillman Story, Amir Bar Lev’s documentary about former Arizona football star turned lionized war hero Pat Tillman.  I found myself equally intrigued by the strong and quirky Tillman clan and the sad shocking cover up surrounding the details of Pat’s fratricide.  (I will admit that a film dealing with football and war did not initially appeal, but this surprised me and it is definitely worth seeing:

Well, here’s to summer.  Caught some cold weather in California and some rain in New Jersey.   Saw some beautiful things in between.

west village almost winter

Some vibrancy as the sky grows grey.  And a poem in the beautiful Dossier :

click: Interruptions

Birchrunville, PA

PB020044Thanks to the affordable Bolt bus I was able to make a spontaneous one-day trip to Philadelphia — then head west of the city to my parents home in the idyllic town of Birchrunville.  It’s impossible not to feel time slowing on the front porch of their stone farmhouse.  Here’s to the brightness as the sun sets over the barn across the road:

PB020076I stocked up on beeswax for winter sculpting from the Seven Stars shop (housed behind this beautiful tree)

and made my way to Kimberton Whole Foods, which we still call by it’s old title “The Farm Store,” and where, summers, I used to work the cash register and stock boysenberry spritzers.


New York feels like home heading into my 9th year here, but what a place to be able to return to.