Recent Stories: Opinion

April 9, 2014

    For me, Loehmann’s in White Plains wasn’t simply a discount department store. It was a rite of passage. My first serious pilgrimage occurred the summer before I left for Emory University. I was 17.

April 2, 2014

    I recently visited the genome exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. A genome is an organism’s total DNA, which includes the genes that provide instructions for the organism’s development and maintenance.

March 26, 2014

    My father, Edwin Courtland Mulford, was born in East Hampton on March 16, 1896. He first saw the light of day in Congress Hall, the Mulford family homestead overlooking the village green, directly across from Home, Sweet Home and what became known later as the Mulford Farm. The land on which Congress Hall stands had been granted to William Mulford in 1650, and had never been out of the family. His parents were David Green Mulford and Elizabeth Osborne Mulford, and he was descended from virtually all of East Hampton’s founding families.

March 19, 2014

    As I make up a lot of beds today, as I smooth the sheets into neat hospital corners, fluff up the down pillows, and erase any suggestion of a crease in the white matelassé bedspreads, I think about my Irish forebears who emigrated to the States and were maids. They made beds just like me. They were Irish just like me. They were all called Brigid, because their employers couldn’t be bothered to remember their real names — Fionnuala, Maeve, Siobhan, and Orla.

March 12, 2014

    I was a spitfire tomboy and only 13 when I made my first exciting escape, sneaking out at 3 o’clock in the morning, shimmying down the side of the house from my second-floor bedroom window. I was a little shaky at such a height, but I had so much adrenaline before my feet touched the ground that I thought I could fly.

March 5, 2014

    The following is a list of upcoming events that, due to unforeseen circumstances, may or may not happen.

This Week
    A benefit for the families of those lost at sea will be held at the New York Yacht Club on Sunday night. The scheduled after-dinner speaker is the actor Alec Baldwin, who has said that he feels a special connection to the charitable organization, Friends of Jonah, which is sponsoring the event, because his great-great-uncle was a waiter on the Titanic.

February 26, 2014

    Background first.

    In the 2000s, we got the fictionalized but authentic “Mad Men” advertising agency: Sterling Cooper. Some say it was meant to mimic Doyle Dane Bernbach — the real, the remarkable originator of the best advertising New York has ever known, from the period “Mad Men” took place, the 1960s. Doyle Dane, as it came to be known, ran an ad in those years for Avis under the very famous “We Try Harder” campaign.

February 19, 2014

    Several of my friends on eastern Long Island have read my new book, “Nature Wars: The Incredible Story of How Wildlife Comebacks Turned Backyards Into Battlegrounds,” and they have asked me to weigh in on your deer wars. So here are a couple of thoughts:

February 12, 2014

    By the summer of 1979, I had lived in New York City for just over a year, toiling away in a lowly position in the public relations office of a dance company. I was 26 years old but still surprisingly starry-eyed for someone that age. I had caught the bug for writing. Not fiction — I can’t make up a story on a dare, has always been my refrain. I saw myself as an opinionator, an essayist, and thought my own name’s resemblance to that of the great E.B. White to be of vague significance.

February 5, 2014

    I was a peculiar young man. People thought there was something wrong with me, and a lot of parents from our local school didn’t appreciate it when I hung out with their kids. I really didn’t like the same things as other kids.

    I wasn’t the first outsider who dreamt of being a writer. However, I didn’t want to be the next Hemingway or Fitzgerald. I had no fantasies about being great and showing all those parents and kids who wanted to spurn me back then that they were wrong. Not me.

January 29, 2014

Dear Mr. Amtrak Media Man,
    Thank you for taking my call yesterday. You have no idea how much I appreciate anyone from Amtrak giving me the time of day. You asked me to pass along all the details of my recent Amtrak experience so you could pass along all the details to your superiors so they could . . . well, I don’t know what they could do, or should do, so I’ll get right to the details.

January 22, 2014

    My husband and I are getting older, and while we talk of the necessity of making our “final arrangements,” the subject goes dead as it surfaces. So we enlisted the help of our son-in-law, David.

    Why him? His credentials are impeccable. First, he’s a good guy — a little quirky, but still, we like him. Second, he’s efficient. Give him a job and it is done — find an out-of-print book, set the sleep-timer on the television, cook the turkey and bring it over, never a problem.

January 15, 2014

Mr. Douglass:
    Paul Dickson, the writer, gave me your name. He was a little cranky on the phone today.

    This is my “Hollywood treatment” of the best of my screenplays. Please consider it for Paramount, MGM, and TriStar.


January 8, 2014

    How do you like them shrimp?

    It was never the shrimp, or the eggs running onto the extra bacon strips. It was not really the view, although it is fabulous.

    It was at those white plastic tables, on a plastic throne, where he held court. He was the knight of the grill, flipping eggs and burgers, filling Styrofoam cups with his best brew.

December 31, 2013

    Once upon a time I would skip out the front door of my house in San Francisco, jog to one of three destinations, and return feeling victorious because not only had I completed my run but also some other small errand, powered by my own two feet. I joined Le Video on Ninth near Lincoln, so if I ran to Golden Gate Park I would both drop off and pick up a DVD. On return from Stern Grove, I purchased cilantro and lemons at Taraval Produce. And at the top of Mount Davidson, I ran around the humongous Armenian cross and prayed drive-by.

December 24, 2013

    My partner, David, and I, as is comme d’habitude, generally spend Thanksgiving in Europe. It’s a time here in this country that seems more and more like a week off.

December 18, 2013

     The year was 1991. I was 14 years old. Scallops had made a comeback, and the price was very low. Local markets wanted to pay my father, Calvin, only $4 a pound shucked. It was at the point where my dad told us shuckers that if we wanted a job, we would have to take less money per pound to shuck or he wasn’t going to go anymore until the price came up. We were getting $1.25 per pound to open scallops then.

December 17, 2013

    While it could legitimately have been titled “Ghosts of English Christmases Past,” the concert given by the Choral Society of the Hamptons and the South Fork Chamber Orchestra at the Bridgehampton Presbyterian Church on Dec. 8 was a heartfelt gift to those present, offering hope that in the future, all people may live in a peaceful world.

December 11, 2013

    With a federal budget deal apparently at hand, the facts of Social Security financing need to be re-emphasized. Last April, when President Obama, in a gesture of compromise to Republicans, proposed cuts to Social Security benefits to help reduce budget deficits, liberal Democrats were outraged. At the time, Republicans simply ignored the federal budget, preferring to create havoc over raising the nation’s debt limit. Eight months later, behind-the-scenes negotiations to come up with one are taking place, with Social Security cuts still on the table.

November 26, 2013

    When Goldberg’s Bagels opened in Montauk last year I laughed inside. I recalled the story a woman had told me, about how years ago she’d waited on line for a bagel and lox at Herb’s Market and was told if she wanted locks, she had to go to the hardware store across the street.

November 20, 2013

    My neighbor the slob hasn’t been blown in almost two weeks.

    I sit here watching leaves fall in his yard, leaf by leaf, a Chinese water torture. Leaf by leaf. I want to run over there and catch the leaves before they hit the ground. But that would be trespassing. It’s his rotting yard.

    You see, he’s away. In the city, where he does something. I’m not sure what. Now and then he shows up. I don’t wave.

T.E. McMorrow
November 19, 2013

    Time, the cliché goes, heals all wounds. But there are some wounds that cannot, and should not, ever be healed. The Holocaust is one of them.

    The Holocaust provides a daunting challenge to artists of all stripes: How do you speak the unspeakable, how do you depict evil in its purist form.

    “The Diary of Anne Frank,” both as a piece of literature and as a theater piece, on view at the Bay Street Theatre in Sag Harbor, is one answer to that artistic challenge.

Jennifer Landes
November 19, 2013

    The walls are spare, painted black even, and the room would look like a tomb if the afternoon sun weren’t beaming in just so. It is what makes the show by Peter Sabbeth and Ross Watts at Sara Nightingale poetic and touching — trenchant, really, and not easy to forget.

November 13, 2013

    The 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy is a week away. It is here that I draw my reference and contemplate the events that changed my view of the world, along with many others of my generation.

    I was born when Harry Truman (“The Buck Stops Here”) was president. The 1950s, with President Dwight Eisenhower in office, were happy days. My memory is of warm summer ni