Letter From New York 07 03 15 Notes from Baltimore…

It is a warm but not unbearably hot day in Baltimore, where I am just waking from a nap. Outside it is not only warm but, yes, grey! It’s another day of grey in the grey summer of 2015. After a long and lovely lunch at The Red Star with Donald Thoms, an old friend and VP of Arts programming for PBS, who is planning to retire toward the end of the year, I came back to Lionel and Pierre’s apartment and was reading a book when I drifted off to sleep, awakened eventually by incoming texts and a phone call from my brother.

He and I talk on a daily basis but I was hardly awake for today’s chat. Soon it will be time to organize for dinner and a walk through the Inner Harbor area of Baltimore, where my friends live. It has been a graciously lazy day and I have done no substantive work.

I do have a few things I should get accomplished this weekend but we’ll see whether I do or not or if I will put them off to the next week.

Out there in the wide world, the State Department and states’ Governors are requesting stepped up safety measures this 4th of July as there are fears of terrorist attacks, either organized or by “lone wolfs.” It was, in fact, the first thing my brother asked me when he called: had anything happened. So, we go into our celebration of nationhood a bit on edge and with a watchful eye.

I know that there will be heightened security here in the Inner Harbor area of Baltimore, as thousands will be gathering here for the fireworks.

While I have had a lazy day, the negotiators between the West and Iran have been very busy attempting to close a deal. No one is sure they will be able to but there has been some movement on the part of the Iranians on the point of inspections of military posts. The Iranian Foreign Minister has said, “They had never been closer to a deal.”

In Syria, the thing many have been worried about, including myself, has come to pass. IS has begun to destroy the antiquities in Palmyra. It forced civilians to smash “The Lion of Al-Lat,” a fifteen-ton statue. They the militants joined in. They flogged one man while he was smashing a statue, which seems a bit like the behavior of Romans at the arena.

Ah, a flash of sun across the balcony, now fading…

In the background, Lionel is making martinis and it is time to prep for dinner.

Have a safe evening. More tomorrow.

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