Columnists

My parents died at 94 and 96, so I never expected my brother, Martin Men­del Seldon, to go at a younger age. He was 83 when he died on Dec. 28, after an unexpected, massive heart attack.     I was in Nova Scotia on a wonderful...

On July 5 The New York Times had two articles datelined Clear Lake, Iowa, noting that Michele Bachmann and Newt Gingrich had marched in the Fourth of July parade. I was there and saw both of them. Ms. Bachmann wore heels. How impractical, I thought...
We are cleaning our windows today, or rather they are being cleaned on the outside by professionals, and, inside, Mary is standing on the sink counter with folded newspaper — pages that presumably aren’t worth reading — doing the...
One New Year’s resolution I hope to keep is to get to the dump more frequently. I, for whatever reason, just did not take adequate advantage of my $100 East Hampton Town garbage permit in 2011.
    Never having spent Christmas anywhere but at home, I wasn’t sure what Christmas in Nova Scotia with my daughter, Bess, and her family would be like. They live in a small town on the southwest shore called Shelburne. There...
If my New Year’s resolution for 2011 had been “dispel with financial insecurity,” I would have succeeded, but not in the way I planned. I always expected to finally feel monetarily secure when a big bag of money, a la Tex Avery,...

    Jean-Luc Godard’s “Breathless” created a gangster in Jean-Paul Belmondo who was an existential hero. Jean Seberg, your friendly local Francophile, represented America’s ambivalent infatuation with a...
    Tonight is the third night of Hanukkah, a holiday —  in the month of Kislev on the Hebrew calendar — which lasts for eight days and often coincides with Christmas, but not always.
At some point at the end of this week, I’ll start my Christmas shopping. Being used to operating on a deadline, I am familiar with this sort of pressure. Moreover, buying gifts late reduces the chance that our children are going to discover...
    Having inherited from my wife a laptop, the first I’ve ever owned, I realized in thumbing through some old columns that had not yet made their way to my archivist in Carlsbad, that for me the computer age began 23 years...
I wrote the letter, sealed it with red wax and a kiss and sent it off to the North Pole. It goes like this: Dear Santa,     All I want for Christmas is a new knee. I’ve seen three specialists, my general practitioner, and...

    Every year I ask my husband to get the Christmas decorations. He usually rubs his chin, sighs, and asks, “Now?” After an entire year of moving things in and out of the garage, the Christmas boxes have been shuffled...
    When an expert restorer of pianos and harpsichords said there was no point in saving the baby grand that had more or less decorated the living room in the family house in Amagansett for 30, maybe 40, years, the last thing I...