David Bowie at 75

In which I *am* the young American Happy what would be three-quarters of a century to the one and only Starman. Though the ‘man’ part of that portmanteau, I think, belies his enormous contributions to bringing gender weirdness to the fore of the music industry and mainstream media. Hunky Dory has been on heavy rotationContinue reading “David Bowie at 75”

So Long, Freddie

In which I prolong the goodbye Today marks thirty years since Freddie Mercury, or the former Farrokh Bulsara, left us for a world where everyone’s inner ear finally matches his. He had something like a four-octave range, he could play the piano upside down, and he rocked a fur coat better than he had anyContinue reading “So Long, Freddie”

Edie, Again

A costumed tribute Halloween weekend was a strange one this year, and I had to delay and transform some planned things. It turned out to suit the personality I evoked, who was always fashionably late. Today marks fifty years since we lost Edith Minturn Sedgwick. I didn’t foresee at the time I first explored herContinue reading “Edie, Again”

Another brick out of the Wall

In which I chronicle a convergence This time of this year is special for the city I happen to be in as it commemorates the 60th anniversary of the raising of the Wall. Construction began on 13 August 1961, and things proceeded relatively quickly from there—by this point, there was a marked delineation and anContinue reading “Another brick out of the Wall”

A presto, Dante Alighieri!

In which I peer into the passato remoto (like, molto molto remoto) Dante, the poet of Italy, so famous the last name is basically superfluous, died seven hundred years ago today. Seven HUNDRED years. WHAT. He had contracted malaria while staying in Ravenna at the request of its prince, Guido II da Polenta. Scholars estimateContinue reading “A presto, Dante Alighieri!”

9/11 at 20: A Non-Remembrance

I have no memories of 11 September 2001. I have memories from earlier in childhood, including plenty of memories of New York, so whether this was perhaps a willful block I know not. That city has always symbolized resilience—and, ironically, safety—to me personally. Because of events in my early life and my family that necessitatedContinue reading “9/11 at 20: A Non-Remembrance”

Clemens > Dickens

In which I match, or mismatch, wits I just reread The Adventures of Tom Sawyer after quite a number of years, possibly predating the last time I read Huck Finn. Not only is the prose as precise and entertaining as ever, this time around has elucidated something I’ve long struggled with concerning certain contemporaries ofContinue reading “Clemens > Dickens”

In the Garage with the Revolver

Or, a breakdown This is the last spiel about a record turning 55, I swear. It’s my boys and it’s maybe their greatest album (the case has been made) and it’s one I’ve come to really love as an adult and I had to. Song I’ve loved from the start: “I’m Only Sleeping” Song IContinue reading “In the Garage with the Revolver”

Happy birthday, Jerry!

Or, an honorary transitive commemoration Jerry Garcia would have turned 79 today. Eight days from now, 9 August, will mark the 26th anniversary of his death. This span of time is a sacred period for certain people in my life, so I didn’t want to let the day go by without acknowledging it. I myselfContinue reading “Happy birthday, Jerry!”

The Gospel According to Alexander

In which I open a portal Hey all, It’s a busy couple weeks in my brain and body, so allow me to tide you over by dropping a link to a freshly published essay in the magazine of the Women Writing Berlin Lab, a local organization I’ve been privileged to work with since nearly theContinue reading “The Gospel According to Alexander”