My latest story at cowbird.com: Last Man Standing
My first story shared at Cowbird.com, a mortifying tale of adolescent awkwardness.
Boy, do I love Arlene Francis.
Chez embeedub: On not being middle class in New York City -
On Friday, the New York Times ran a classically tunnel visioned New York Times feature, about what it means to be middle class in Manhattan. The Times would have you believe that to live in the Apple, you’re going to need about $235K a year to just hit that modest goal.
If you are defining…
“A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.”—Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Opening day of the Empire State Building, photographed by Samuel H. Gottscho, 1931.
Ingrid Bergman would have been 97 years old today, and the crush on her we acquired the first time we saw CASABLANCA back in 1978 continues unabated. Few, if any, actresses have been more radiantly beautiful on the silver screen.
Happy 104th birthday to photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson, wherever he may be.
David Rakoff died today, and the world is much the worse for his passing.
David and I were friends. Not close friends — a tick above acquaintance level, I would say. He was open to advising me when we first met, a time when I was trying to figure out how I might try to carve out a writing career, and we lunched together a few times. He also agreed to serve as guest lecturer at a humor workshop I used to teach, patiently and wisely answering every question my students threw at him.
And we teamed a couple of years later to guest-lecture at a mutual friend’s class in essay writing at a local university. To say that he was the highlight of our tag-team act that day would be to vastly understate. I was just trying in vain to keep up, to validate my mere presence alongside him.
He was clever and honest and insightful and whip-smart. And just as importantly, he was kind and generous and gentle. He was one hell of a writer and an even better human being. I miss him already, and I mourn the work of which we’ve been robbed, the passionate, acerbic, hilarious prose he would have given us.
He had surely had dozens — hundreds — of closer friends than me, but I treasured our connection and I loved him dearly. I’m glad he’s no longer suffering, but would give my left arm to have him back here with us. We need more people like David Rakoff in this world, not fewer.
I interviewed David in 2001 for Salon.com. I’ve been sharing the url all over the web today as my heartfelt but admittedly modest tribute to him. I hope you enjoy it.