All The Essays

Crafting the “Soundtrack” to my Interrogating Memory book

In 2005, Rupert Holmes published his second novel, a murder mystery called Swing. Being, well, Rupert Holmes, he also wrote and recorded an accompanying seven-track CD of swing-inflected music; both are well worth finding. The combination, meanwhile, led him to quip, “I’ve been singing songs from my new book.” In the past month, I received … Continue reading Crafting the “Soundtrack” to my Interrogating Memory book

Just Bear With Me turns five – and I turn the spotlight on other creators

Taegan Goddard’s must-read current events compendium Political Wire – I read the latest “stories” to my wife Nell upon awaking each day – has a members-only forum called The Cloakroom. Just over a week ago, I wrote a short piece there called “A clinically-depressed electorate?” This is the key passage: “But there is a larger … Continue reading Just Bear With Me turns five – and I turn the spotlight on other creators

HIGH FIDELITY: A misogynistic example of how NOT to interrogate memory

I recently dissected my romantic history in the context of the film Beautiful Girls. Readers are thus aware I had two serious college girlfriends, one of whom I dated freshman year; this was 1984-85. She spent the spring break of what was her sophomore year in either Manhattan or East Hampton – where she saw … Continue reading HIGH FIDELITY: A misogynistic example of how NOT to interrogate memory

Another Surrealist Epic Post-Thanksgiving Poem

I begin with a correction: the following epic poem is technically Dadaist, not Surrealist. Two years ago…well, two years ago everything was different. Outside of places like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) and the National Institutes of Health (“NIH”), almost nobody had ever heard of COVID-19. The race for the 2020 Democratic … Continue reading Another Surrealist Epic Post-Thanksgiving Poem

Criminalizing poverty in the early 20th century: Bradley Street, New London

In a recent essay, I discussed the January 1909 statutory rape trial of Adelaide “Addie” Burns, the first wife of my wife Nell’s paternal grandfather. I now plan to write a book contextualizing the trial within Connecticut from the Civil War (spurring a dramatic increase in prostitution) through waves of primarily Catholic and Jewish immigration, … Continue reading Criminalizing poverty in the early 20th century: Bradley Street, New London

And for my next book…putting the trial of Adelaide “Addie” Burns in context

I have set aside for now my planned second book, Meet Me at the Counter: A Life in Diners, to focus on a book contextualizing the trial of Addie Burns, her life and the lives of the key players within Connecticut society of the time. In this and a subsequent essay, I will begin to … Continue reading And for my next book…putting the trial of Adelaide “Addie” Burns in context

2021 Election Post-Mortem: How much does polling drive turnout?

The final results from the 2021 elections are being counted, but the big picture is clear: Republican Glenn Youngkin defeated Democrat – and former governor – Terry McAuliffe in Virginia’s gubernatorial election.Republicans took control of the Virginia House of Delegates.Democratic New Jersey governor Phil Murphy was reelected.Democrats Eric Adams and Michelle Wu will be the … Continue reading 2021 Election Post-Mortem: How much does polling drive turnout?

The 2021 Virginia governor’s race will be a nail-biter

The 2021 elections end later today, November 2. For background on the gubernatorial elections in New Jersey and Virginia – including how I calculate polling averages - please see here and here. I made two minor adjustments since then: all polls with a field midpoint of October 1 or later are given a weight of … Continue reading The 2021 Virginia governor’s race will be a nail-biter

How does it look for Democrats in New Jersey and Virginia with just two weeks to go?

The 2021 elections end on November 2. New Jersey and Virginia are electing governors, while Boston and New York City will elect new mayors. Michelle Wu appears to be well-ahead of Annissa Essaibi George in a race between two Boston Democrats, while Democrat Eric Adams is a near-lock to be elected New York City’s second … Continue reading How does it look for Democrats in New Jersey and Virginia with just two weeks to go?

“The Burns woman”: Nell’s grandfather, statutory rape…and Eugene O’Neill

When Nell and I moved to a new Brookline apartment in early July, we unburdened ourselves of a large quantity of – stuff – we had accumulated from Nell’s mother, who has resided in a senior living facility near us since we moved her there from DC in the summer of 2013; a storage unit … Continue reading “The Burns woman”: Nell’s grandfather, statutory rape…and Eugene O’Neill