Minimal Minimalism

When I bought this townhouse from the attorneys who had used it as a law office for the previous 25 years there were two or three “no-go” areas that I used for storage. The empty basement apartment had suffered the ravages of a burst pipe over a long weekend and so the lawyers put a

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The Lost Art of Bumper Sliding

I was attending a concert in what was the lobby of the 2nd run movie theater in my neighborhood when I was growing up, the Bing, when I had one of those moments of clarity where a known fact seems to make material an idea or a concept. This is where I grew up. This

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The Margin

Spain’s history after the fall of the Roman Empire is so different from the rest of Europe that as I introduce students to the Renaissance or the Enlightenment I have to point out how those differences are manifest in its art and architecture. When I read articles, books, and blogposts on post war America I

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One May Smile, and Smile

I chose to raise my kids in a city. Not a superstar city, not a boutique city, not a city where most of the white middle class choose to do much of anything but leave. I took a lot of heat for that, and it wasn’t cast in “Minnesota Nice”; I was told by just

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Bombo-Apocalypse

As I was preparing to proctor this year’s PSAT with a colleague she shared a story with me about being among the first students to take the MCAS exam over two decades ago. It brought to mind the fact that I was not only already teaching at that point, but my daughters were attending school

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Chicfieldyoke

So here’s the comment that got this brain train rollin’: September 16, 2019 at 5:35 pm Steve, I’ve been reading the blog for about a year now; I found it somehow, not totally sure, but I am glad I did. I just moved (begrudgingly) to Windsor CT as my girlfriend works in Hartford and I

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Ethnography

The first story I ever read by Jorge Luis Borges was El etnógrafo. (English version) It’s the story of a man named Fred Murdock and his discovery of the secret of life. If you’re at all familiar with Borges you’ll not be surprised to learn that the story ends in a way which leaves the reader

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Gentrification Versus Decline

I found myself awake at an early hour this morning. With the plans my wife and I still have to attend the Big E I thought I might take advantage of the time and write another post this weekend. As I waited for water to boil for coffee and for Liz’s homemade bread to toast

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Riding a Dead Horse

If you are growing tired of my recent obsession with transportation then I’m afraid I have horrible news for you. While I am easily 10 essays behind in terms of ideas on my list of blogposts to inflict upon you I feel compelled to focus my attention this week on Springfield being listed as the

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