Recent Stories: Opinion

May 18, 2017
One man's Bette Davis obsession, stirred by the recent FX series “Feud,” set during and after the filming of the legendary “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?”

“Feud,” the Bette Davis and Joan Crawford saga on FX, is over. Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon play Joan and Bette during the filming of the classic “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?” and beyond. It takes place mostly in the early and mid-1960s and is rather eye-opening concerning inside Hollywood and the infighting.

May 11, 2017
With a single bumper sticker I took sides in a war between the dying ranks of stay-at-home moms and the burgeoning throngs of working mothers.

Before social media existed, bumper stickers were one of the most effective communication tools for broadcasting personal business. Nothing announced a neighbor’s family road trip to Disney World via I-95 in their 1976 Ford Country Squire station wagon quite like a South of the Border cactus-and-sombrero motif adornment on the rear chrome.

May 3, 2017
Memories and aftereffects of a thousand foul tips delivered flush into my catcher's mask.

Long before I was invited to try out for the Yankees at Yankee Stadium, I dreamed of being the guy in center field, rubbing eye-black face paint on my cheekbones, making over-the-shoulder, World Series-type catches like number 24, a gazelle shagging flies on a lime-colored, open grass pasture, my body fully extended diving to my left, inches from the ground, snagging a low line drive, lobbing a

April 27, 2017
I coined the term “nostalgia friendships” after someone I’ve known for a quarter-century remarked, “I hope you don’t feel you’re meeting me out of nostalgia.” But I was.

Sometimes it’s hard to be with contemporaries. Perhaps, like me, you have several “nostalgia friendships.” I coined the phrase after someone I’ve known for a quarter-century, and whom I meet every year in Cape Town, remarked, “I hope you don’t feel you’re meeting me out of nostalgia.”

April 20, 2017
The March for Science on April 22 in Washington, D.C., will emphasize that scientific findings should not be ignored by policy makers or made partisan.

Recently, there has been a mischaracterization of science as a partisan issue, which seems to have given policymakers permission to reject overwhelming evidence. The March for Science on April 22 in Washington, D.C., was planned to emphasize that scientific findings should not be ignored by policy makers.

April 13, 2017
It was in 1972 that Dr. Al Mott came up with the idea for a pageant that would honor the accomplishments, dignity, and inner beauty of women over 60.

“If my friends could see me naaaow . . .”

And many of them did, and family too, at the 2017 Ms. New York Senior America Pageant held last week at the State University at Old Westbury, where I competed. 

Ms. Senior what?

April 6, 2017
A worthy organization flying under the radar and started by an East Hamptoner now needs help.

I am one of those single, childless people who exhaust all their maternal or paternal instincts on their dogs. Scratch that, they are not even my dogs.

March 30, 2017
What if the collaborative brain power that went into the smartphone were applied to society's most intractable problems?

Six neighbors were sitting in a circle when idle chatter began to edge into a discussion of hot-topic social issues — health care, budget proposals, public education, housing, employment, and the environment, just to name a few. Speaking quietly at first, the sharing became more animated, words spoken with increasing vigor and persuasiveness. And volume.

March 23, 2017
Without the heart to end the lives of the mice that invade our home every winter, I continue to stand on stools with a broomstick and shriek.

We have a home invasion every winter. Outsiders who seek refuge at our house. The mice affectionately refer to us as “the suckers” because of our tolerance level. At first we saw them through a cartoonish lens, but their cuteness soon faded.

March 15, 2017
If the trend is for readers to get their news from the internet and mostly from unvetted sites, should those sites edit more? Or does the public need to be educated.

Scientists are after the truth. In my field (immunology), as in every other field of science, the goal is to make “discoveries.” These are about the truths relevant to the world and the universe we live in. Discoveries may also pertain to our bodies and minds: how they function or malfunction in disease.

March 9, 2017
Progressive East End Reformers, or PEER, has seen attendance at its meetings soar since the November election. Now, with respect, some questions.

PEER, Progressive East End Reformers, has seized the attention of liberals on the East End with its strongly stated intention to confront issues of economic inequality and the excessive power of the financial industry in the Democratic Party that were underscored by the Sanders campaign and Clinton defeat.

March 2, 2017
Could a literature of unheard voices become its own kind of canon? What would happen if those voices were to be truly heard? The Herstory Writers Workshop provided an answer.

I am sitting on a conference call with the special-collections people from Hofstra University and Barnard, speaking of how we might highlight two decades of writing from some of Long Island’s most silenced and isolated communities, as a resource for activists, scholars, and students grappling with the living history of this long island of ours.

February 22, 2017
Barbra Streisand’s 74 now. Blond. Botoxed. And bigger, in more ways than one, than ever.

I first saw Streisand in Vegas in 1969. “Funny Girl” was behind her; “Yentl” some years later. But she was a star even then, with her nails and her empire-waisted gowns. I remember the audience at that time — husbands dragged from the gaming tables, bored. But wives seemed swept up. (Like her hairdo.)

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.