Strangers and Cities

The photo on the left shows one of my favourite urban nature photographers at work in North America. Without giving his name away, I’ll add that I’m a long-time admirer of his photo blog. He works for a news agency; in his spare time, he hangs out with the wild critters in New York’s Central Park. At…

The Home Within

What more can we say about Hurricane/Super-Storm Sandy? Stunned silence at the images of destruction, shock and concern for loved ones who can’t be reached — apart from that, I share with everyone the sense of bewilderment that clings like seaweed to the hard rock of the unexpected. A seaside image to be sure, which…

The Best Revenge

As a reader, I don’t enjoy stories with tidy endings. Real life is raggedy and messy, and the best stories suggest this. As a citizen, I feel the same way. I step back from imagining that battles, even worthy ones, can be won for good. The world may be a safer place without the likes…

Writers, Listen Up!

A few weeks back, I was visiting New York City, and while I was stocking up on books, I also dropped in on one of my favorite NYC institutions — Bargemusic, the tiny floating concert hall on the Brooklyn side of the East River. Now I’m no music critic and this is a book blog,…