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My back pages

Music, My back pages

Tim Hauser 1941-2014, Founder of the Manhattan Transfer

Photo: Hauser, left, with Siegel, Paul and Bentyne “Boo-bop-boooo-bop…” It was all I needed to hear–til this day those first four notes of “Tuxedo Junction” can still elicit the pleasure it did when the Manhattan Transfer released it on their debut album back in 1975.  Hearing this matchless quartet for the first time was a…

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My back pages, New York, Soujorns, Travel

Vacations like other people

The sea air is a drug that addles reason. How else to explain the amnesia that comes over me every summer on the first bike ride back to the Ram’s Head Inn on Shelter Island?  I forget that its approach involves two short steep hills—the first brings you up to Little Ram’s Head Island, a…

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Music, My back pages, Vespers

Horace Silver, Jazz Supernova 1928-2014

Thanks to Horace Silver, the magical moment occurred shortly after I first moved to New York, one of many that effectively, resoundingly, shot down (or made me re-consider) all my country Midwestern notions about…everything. I’d say I was hooked from the moment I heard that sneaky vamp. “Come on Home” was the first cut on…

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Architecture, My back pages, New York

Disappearing Acts

Before:  Thirty years ago I thought, This is too good to be true the first time I laid eyes on the view from my living room window.  The overcast day could not disguise the miles and miles of sky that unfurled.  That, combined with the space of 5 rooms sold me. My spouse at the time hadn’t…

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Current Affairs, My back pages, New York

Did she jump or was she pushed?

It’s every commuter’s nightmare.  Though actually there are several: the train stops just outside the station and sits for what seems like hours.  Someone pulls the emergency cord.  You discover that you’re trapped in a car from 125th to Columbus Circle with a religious zealot spewing a bottomless pit of bigotry laced with profound stupidity….

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Current Affairs, My back pages, New York

Manhattan on the Rocks

Looks like we survived the week.  What an advantage we have living on top of a hill; still, it’s tree-heavy here.  A stroll through our neighborhood revealed the carnage of both broken limbs and major uprootings.  Meanwhile New York rises from the ashes.  The trick for them: drain the tunnels, get the subway and buses…

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