Saturday, February 27, 2021

Friday, February 26, 2021

I hope independent bookstores like Strand can hang on. If you don’t live near one, you can order online from Strand or most bookstores. It’s stimulating to go to a store. It’s a big deal for me to have Strand only a 10-15 minute walk from my apartment. But it also feels good to get a book in the mail from Three Lives my not-as-close favorite independent store. All such stores need you to buy your books from them. 

Thursday, February 25, 2021

I would guess that kids who can read well have been reading during all this and have not fallen behind. WHY NOT TEACH EVERY SCHOOL KID TO READ WELL.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021


Woke up in the middle of the night. Read this in bed. Finished it about 4:00. A wonderful book. As you can see by the sticker it won the most recent National Book Award. 

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

My neighborhood library is only two and a half blocks from my apartment. I used to go there all the time. In this Covid time I don’t go in that direction but the other day I did because I wanted to drop off a bag of books at the Salvation Army store and that’s right by Epiphany Library, my branch. The library was open. It’s open every weekday reduced hours 11-5. I didn’t go in. This photo is outside the window looking into the section where various government forms are available to recent immigrants to the city. There are also sections of books in Spanish and Russian and Chinese. 

Monday, February 22, 2021

In today’s Times Eve L. Ewing, a Univ. of Chicago prof and a poet, who wrote Ghosts in the Schoolyard about what closing a neighborhood school does to a neighborhood, which I’m reading and appreciating her poetic way with things, writes about the charter school controversy and goes beyond that. Here it is:

Sunday, February 21, 2021



Two times I’m sure

I think 

that the young Korean guy 

in the flat-brim baseball cap 

behind the counter

at the bodega 

every morning 

gave me change for

a 10 when

I gave him a 20.

You think he goes to NYU

but he might not.

He might be living with his family in a 

small hot even in winter

apartment in Queens where

there used to be lots of

Irish bars.

He asked in an muffled accented voice through a mask 

two months ago if

he should read Ernest Hemingway or

The Great Gatsby.

He asked me a week or so later if

I invested in the stock market.

I ask him if he’s freezing these mornings 

in the cold store

and he says he’s OK and 

points toward the floor at a space heater that

I can’t see.

He has a hoodie over his

flat-brim baseball cap

on cold mornings.