Recent Stories: Opinion

February 16, 2017
Does negativity produce a certain charisma that’s lacking in exchanges between those who have each other’s best interests at heart?

You do me wrong to take me out o’ the grave:
Thou art a soul in bliss, but I am bound
Upon a wheel of fire, that mine own tears
Do scald like molten lead. 

— “King Lear,” Act IV, scene vii

February 9, 2017
Today I recall three great loves of my life. Yet I’m more interested in finding joy and happiness in the moment.

After my first bout of puppy love, I began to question the meaning of true love. I yearned to find the love of my life.

February 2, 2017
For most of us on my block in San Francisco's Richmond district 80 years ago, middle class was fine and pursuit of riches a waste of family quality time.

I have Zillowed the house I grew up in at 70 Seventh Avenue in San Francisco’s Richmond district. The building consists of two six-room flats that my parents paid $12,500 for in 1937, which would be $200,000 now. Zillow’s current estimate is 22 times that, $4,407,925 to be precise; its estimated monthly rent $13,171.

January 26, 2017
A summertime stop at the Sagaponack General Store triggers a flood of nostalgia.

If life can be compared to being on a teeter-totter, the longer you live, the more unbalanced it becomes, with the memories you have accumulated, the experiences, good, bad, and indifferent, outweighing your present, causing you to rise, metaphorically, higher in the air . . . and off the ground.

January 18, 2017
Recent polls show increasing support for climate action among Republican voters, and several G.O.P. senators have spoken out in favor of it.

Recently I went to Washington, D.C., to participate in a two-day event sponsored by the Citizens Climate Lobby, or C.C.L., as it is called by its members. More than 300 volunteers visited 350 offices of Republican and Democratic members of Congress to advocate action to reduce global warming.

January 12, 2017
It was only after my second cup of coffee that a thought drifted into my consciousness: "It's January and I need to find a bathing suit."

The first day of the new year is usually about hangovers and party cleanups, but in some coastal areas of the Northern Hemisphere it’s also when groups of people run into the ocean for no reason other than doing something on the high end of the stupid scale. 

January 5, 2017
In subways, restaurants, and other public places, I see more and more caregivers totally absorbed in mobile devices while they are with young children.

In subways, restaurants, and other public places, I see more and more caregivers totally absorbed in mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets while they are with young children. When the children fuss and try to get their caregivers’ attention, the caregivers often ignore them.

December 29, 2016
He was big: 6 feet 4 inches, 260 pounds, and all muscle. His name was Abe Simon, and he was a friend of my father and my uncle Harold. He became a heavyweight boxing contender.

He was big: 6 feet 4 inches, 260 pounds, and all muscle. He had hands that seemed as large as catcher’s mitts. His large, rectangular face and broad features reminded me of one of the heads on Easter Island. He played football in the 1930s for John Adams High School in Queens. One day, he beat up three pro-Nazi members of the German-American Bund, which supported Hitler in the 1930s.

December 22, 2016
Christmas Day this year will be the 100th anniversary of a huge memorial service on Capitol Hill for Inez Milholland Boissevain, whose death played a crucial role in the passage of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote.

Christmas Day this year will be the 100th anniversary of a huge memorial service on Capitol Hill for Inez Milholland Boissevain, a New Yorker who died on Nov. 25, 1916. Her death played a crucial role in the passage of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote. 

December 15, 2016
Two months ago my life changed from black-and-white photograph to color movie for four hours. The special screening took place during the 40th reunion of the East Hampton High School class of 1976.

Two months ago my life changed from black-and-white photograph to color movie for four hours. The special screening took place during the 40th reunion of the East Hampton High School class of 1976, a gang I would have graduated with had my desperate dad not yanked my family off the South Fork after secretly selling our Wainscott house without my mom’s permission.

December 8, 2016
We live in a world awash in facts, figures, and screens, and it challenges our tolerance for not knowing, for living with questions rather than so many answers.

We live in a world awash in facts and figures. Daily the media report on the sophisticated ways that corporations use big data to identify and track our smallest purchases and our larger political decisions.

December 1, 2016
Hate hurts most when you’re not ready for it, when your thoughts after a brutal political season are of the comfort of home. That’s how hate sliced through me recently on the Long Island Rail Road — suddenly.

Hate hurts most when you’re not ready for it, when your thoughts after a brutal political season are of the comfort of home. That’s how hate sliced through me recently on the Long Island Rail Road — suddenly. I spotted it out of the corner of my eye. Two K.K.K.

November 23, 2016
I was certain that a second home would actually be horrible for me: more bills and aggravation. Why not just travel the world and stay in luxury hotels?

“Sag Harbor is not the Hamptons,” Robin, my wife, chanted while scrutinizing the real estate ads, weighing the relative values of eat-in kitchens, working fireplaces, and water views. “And, it would be good for you.” 

November 17, 2016
I have a suggestion for the students, faculty, and alumni at Yale, where the naming of a residential college in 1931 to honor John C. Calhoun, an 1804 graduate from South Carolina, is being reconsidered — Clay College, to honor Cassius Marcellus Clay.

I have a suggestion for the students, faculty, and alumni at Yale, where the naming of a residential college in 1931 to honor John C. Calhoun, an 1804 graduate from South Carolina, is being reconsidered.

November 10, 2016
Seeing my three daughters so happy is what motivates me to keep struggling in this country that isn’t my native country.

Seated on a wicker chair beside the swimming pool, I am enjoying watching my daughters and their cousins splashing around in the water. How nice this racket is, I think. To me this noise is the happiness of my three beautiful daughters, who fill my life with light. Seeing them happy is what motivates me to keep struggling in this country that isn’t my native country.

November 3, 2016
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have been high-profile presences in the Hamptons over the past few decades, but who would've guessed that they would end up competing for the highest position in the nation?

With the latest email scandals and accusations of womanizing, all eyes have been on Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. In the months leading up to the election, it has been one surprise after another, proving to be riveting and entertaining at the least.

October 27, 2016
On the night of Oct. 25, 1986, we left Huntington for Shea Stadium for what Mets fans refer to only as Game 6, no further explanation needed.

I remember some of the pregame chatter driving to Shea Stadium from Huntington, Long Island, on the night of Oct. 25, 1986. It was me and my dad, one of my best buds and his dad, all riding in together. Being neighbors it made sense to car-pool, plus this would give us a chance to collectively rev up, theorize, geek out with stats, and predict the in-game moves of both managers. 

October 20, 2016
If I were a local business owner summoned to court for violating our state or local disabilities laws, I might simply ask the judge, “Why should I comply when your court doesn’t?”

If I were a local business owner summoned to court for violating our state or local disabilities laws, I might simply ask the judge, “Why should I comply when your court doesn’t?”

October 13, 2016
It’s been three years since I sold my house in Amagansett, but in 2015 my head was totally turned around by another summer resort town: Provincetown.

It’s been three years since I sold my house in Amagansett. Gone, the Fourth of July 2013.

I had lived there — weekends, winters, long stretches and overnighters, for a little over 30 years. The house was mostly a summer house, heat supplied inefficiently from rectangular in-wall Singer units. They actually sounded like a sewing machine, when they worked at all.

October 6, 2016
I was a short, skinny teenager, and my father was concerned that bigger boys might pick on me, but he knew Lou Stillman, the owner of Stillman’s Gym, and signed me up for 10 lessons.

I was a short, skinny teenager, and my father was concerned that bigger boys might pick on me. My father, who was a skillful boxer and friends with the heavyweight contender Abe Simon and other boxers, knew Lou Stillman, the owner of Stillman’s Gym. The place was named “the University of Eighth Avenue” by A.J. Liebling in a New Yorker magazine article. 

September 29, 2016
Since the first thing a teacher experiences at the start of the school year is a faculty meeting, some pointers.

At the beginning of the school year, I, a gratefully retired teacher of yore, offer a few helpful hints to teachers. 

September 22, 2016
I suspect the Montauk sandbag seawall provided some protection to properties before it was damaged during Hermine, but as a long-term fix for beaches, seawalls of any type are problematic.

I suspect the Montauk sandbag seawall provided some protection to properties before it was damaged during Hermine. If the reduced damages exceeded the cost of the seawall, it was probably worth the expense. But as a long-term fix for beaches, seawalls of any type are problematic. They do nothing to restore or hold a sandy beach in place.

September 15, 2016
What first comes to mind about that absolutely gorgeous late-summer day is the disconcerting quiet inside and even outside the courthouse after the attack was known.

The two-week period ending with Labor Day was one that my family and I usually spent at our place on North Haven, enjoying what was left of our summer vacation before a return to work and school. On the Tuesday after Labor Day, I was back at court, immersed in the mix of cases awaiting all of us. On that day in 2001, Sept. 11 was a week away.

September 8, 2016
As another social season in the Hamptons comes to an end, one is reminded of the importance of friends. If you don’t have ’em you’re dead in the waters of Shinnecock Bay.

As another social season in the Hamptons comes to an end, one is reminded of the importance of friends. If you don’t have ’em you’re dead in the waters of Shinnecock Bay. You can’t get arrested socially in a place like East Hampton unless you have friends. Isn’t this what “The Great Gatsby” is ultimately about?