Posts Tagged ‘Boston’

Letter From New York 07 27 15 From the side of creek…

July 27, 2015

As I begin to write this, I am seated on the deck. I realized I had the choice of writing at my desk or being here on the deck so I moved my laptop out here.

It is an elegant day in Claverack. The sun is glinting through the trees and the birds are singing all around me. Jazz is playing on Pandora. The creek is mirror like today, reflecting the green trees hanging over the water. It is warm and a shade humid but not uncomfortable.

I lazed around the house this morning reading and visiting with a friend who was up for a day and a half. Around two, I finally did the errands I had meant to do much earlier in the day and then it seemed too late to head into the city so I returned to the cottage to do a little work and write.

The New York Times’ T Magazine is up, shooting over at Jim Ivory’s house [Merchant Ivory Films], just down the road from me. I ran into Jeremiah today, a friend who is helping with the shoot while having lunch at Relish, across from the Train Station.

It is a day, here, of pastoral beauty.

The world is not quite like that. The Shanghai Exchange fell 8.5%, a move that rattled world markets. The Chinese government is intervening though it didn’t move quickly enough to stop today’s slide. There are market jitters everywhere because of China and the ongoing Greek situation, one that doesn’t seem resolved yet though not in the news as much.

Boston has terminated its bid for the Olympics in 2024. Resistance to the bid was rising among the denizens of the city. Everyone capitulated and that might not have been a bad thing.

Unless you have been hiding under a rock the last couple of days [and I have almost been] you will have known Bobbi Kristina Brown, daughter of Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown, died after months in a medically induced coma. She was found in a bathtub [as was her late mother] and never recovered. Tragedy follows tragedy and it is so sad. Did she have a chance? Probably but probably not many supported her in having that chance. The American entertainment industry has created a small industry of tragic stories, going back as far the dawn of the movies.

Huckabee, one the many Republican candidates for the Presidential nomination, said a deal with Iran would march Israelis to the ovens. Ouch. Lots of people are working to distance themselves from that comment. Though some are not.

In one of the most interesting stories I heard on NPR today as I was driving is that “Jihadi John,” a Kuwaiti born British citizen who fell in with IS, is now on the run from IS. He was responsible for some of the worst of the beheadings. Now that he has been identified as Mohammed Emwazi, he apparently feels his value to IS has diminished and he is fleeing for his life. Prime Minister David Cameron so wants to bring him to justice…

The humidity has slipped away and it is remarkably pleasant sitting on my deck. A while ago mosquitoes began to plague me. I went to my iPhone and went to my apps and set off the mosquito repellant app and they actually have disappeared, hounded away by a noise I can’t hear but which makes them really unhappy. Have not seen a mosquito since I activated it.

A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, the 11th President of India, and the foremost promoter of both its nuclear and space programs, died today. He is a personal friend of my friend, Howard Bloom, writer and theorist. Howard has been in my life since 2008 or so, maybe earlier. A producer friend introduced me to him. He has had a remarkable life. He was a public relations maven and handled Michael Jackson, Queen, Mellenkamp, you name it, back in the 70’s and 80’s, Bloom was the man for the big groups and individuals.

He’s amazing. So apparently was Kalam, who died while giving a speech. Not a bad way to go.

The sun is beginning to set. It is a perfect night in Claverack. Soft, cool breezes are beginning to blow across my land. The creek no longer is so brilliantly reflecting the trees; the sun has fallen too low for that.

The world is not content. I am.

Letter From New York 01 13 15 Deciding for yourself…

February 13, 2015

On this Friday the 13th, I find myself in the Acela Lounge at Penn Station, warding off the freezing temperatures that have descended on the Northeast. Actually, I am waiting here to hear from my friend Paul, who may need some help from me after he has outpatient surgery today. He is having a stent put in his leg this afternoon. I am waiting to hear from him about going to his apartment, not far from Penn, to be with him after his surgery.

While Claverack will probably only get bitter cold today and tomorrow, the coastal areas of New England will be hammered again by snow, another foot added to the already record amounts that have fallen. Locally, the harsh winter has resulted in a road salt shortage and rationing has been started.

While a peace deal has been signed in Minsk, fighting is continuing in Ukraine and there is some skepticism that fighting will end when it is supposed to at midnight Saturday night. Ukraine has a slumping economy and has received a promise of $17.5 billion from the IMF to prop it up.

The negotiations to reach the agreement were difficult and “buckets of coffee” were drunk, according to the host, the President of Belarus. It was the first time in years any western leader had visited his country. He’s known as Europe’s last dictator. He met Angela Merkel with a small bouquet of flowers and seemed very pleased she and Hollande were there.

Probably not very pleased right now is President Cristina Kirchner of Argentina as a prosecutor has launched an investigation concerning her potential involvement in a cover-up regarding facts about a 1994 bombing in Buenos Aires of a synagogue in which 85 people were killed. Iran has been blamed, a statement they deny.

It is the latest twist in a bizarre case. The last prosecutor, Nisman, was found dead in his apartment the night before he was testify in the case. Supposedly a suicide, it is now being investigated as a potential murder. The case is riveting Argentina.

Another riveting scene is watching who will blink first in the Greek debt restructuring negotiations. Greece isn’t budging from its position of wanting a restructuring and European Finance Ministers are not moving from demanding that Greece honor the terms of the bailout. Particularly severe is Schaeuble of Germany, a formidable figure, in a wheelchair as a result of a 1990 assassination attempt.

The Boko Haram launched their first attack on Chad. The BBC reported that the savagery was severe. Soldiers had their throats cut and women were carried off as “war booty.” President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria is requesting American troops to fight Boko Haram.

In another chapter in a sorry week for media, David Carr, the well-respected media critic for the New York Times, collapsed last night in the Times’ newsroom and died. He had battled drug addiction in his younger years and had climbed out of that hole and become one of the most respected reporters in the country.

Brian Williams is reported to be considering an apology tour of the country after seeking counseling. As he considers his next moves, investigations are continuing into many comments that he made that are now doubted. Was he with Seal Team 6 as they flew into Baghdad? Did he actually shake the hand of Pope Paul II? Was he at the Brandenburg Gate the night the wall fell? He might need to wait to make that apology tour until he knows exactly all that he needs to apologize for.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of our Supreme Court is reported as having had a bit too much wine the night of the State of the Union address and drifted off during Obama’s speech. It made her seem so human.

Speaking of things human, the film version of Fifty Shades of Grey opens this weekend. The reviews I’ve read or heard are all over the place, from superb to terrible, beautifully acted to woodenly performed. One reviewer reported that at the end of the screening she attended, everyone began to giggle, probably from a combination of factors. If you are interested [and it is assumed a lot of people are going to be interested], you will probably have to rely on your own take.