Columnists

The Mast-Head: The Oldest Visitors

As you franticly dash around this Memorial Day weekend, or hide out away from the crowd, you might take a moment to reflect on the longest-term visitors to the East End — horseshoe crabs.

May 23, 2019
Connections: Language Creep

In this digital age in which even someone like me, who thinks of herself as a stickler for grammar and punctuation and has made the English language her lifetime work, uses linguistic shortcuts — IMHO, for example — it seems pretty antiquated to complain about other writers’ prose stylings.

I never claimed excellence in grammar, but there was a time when I boasted of a proclivity for spelling.

May 23, 2019
Relay: Troll Like a Pro

A month ago, I wrote in this space about having come within three steps of falling for a nasty scam involving our grandson, who was in jail (so he said, or so said his very own frightened voice on the landline) and needed $3,000 (“Please don’t tell my parents”) for bail.

May 23, 2019
Point of View: The Least I Can Do

Do you ever dream of being in a car that’s heading backward at a great rate of speed as, with one hand on the wheel, you crane your neck around so you can steer correctly while madly pumping the brakes to no avail? 

You don’t? That’s good. I think it’s because I’m fretting too much about the direction this country’s heading in. Happily, I can weather such phantasms; they don’t keep me up long.

May 23, 2019
Connections: Time Stands Still

Although I have been known to carry on about how wonderful it is to live in a house that has been in the family for generations, and to answer proudly that “it came with the house” when someone asks about the provenance of some object or other, the other side of this seeming attachment to history and old things is, simply put, a deep-seated resistance to change.

May 16, 2019
The Mast-Head: Spring's Messengers

There are many more dandelions in flower around East Hampton Village this spring than I can remember. This may be in part due to Village Hall’s decision to switch to no-toxin landscaping. But I also like to think it is in part the legacy of Matthew Lester, a young man who died way too soon, who loved nature and in particular, bees.

May 16, 2019
Point of View: To the Light

“Physically, I’m in decent shape, it’s my mental condition that worries me,” I said to my doubles partner the other day, and she, concurring, said that tennis was indeed “a mental game.”

May 16, 2019
The Mast-Head: Wither the Eelgrass

There’s no eelgrass to speak of anymore. Baymen and researchers have been saying this for some time, but it is nonetheless strange to think about.

Apr 25, 2019
Connections: At the Ram's Head

Shelter Islanders seem to somehow carry with them a sense of place that sets them apart. Have you noticed that?

Apr 25, 2019
Point of View: A Sign?

I’ve finally gotten to the Bible my mother gave me at long last, but as yet have found no salvation in it, perhaps because I’ve not advanced far beyond the psalmist’s prayers to the jealous Old Testament God to smite his enemies.

Apr 25, 2019
A Codless Winter

From a fishing perspective, it was as quiet a season as I could ever recall.

Apr 22, 2019
Why Everyone Loves Passover

Among American Jews, Passover has emerged as not just the most celebrated holiday, but I would argue that it also evokes the most spiritual meaning and stirs the identity of its participants.

Apr 22, 2019
The Joy of Puttering

With slightly warmer days, I have made it back into the woodshop after a long hiatus from sawdust and my tools.

Apr 22, 2019
Connections: Daffodils and Buttercups

At this time of the year, my yard is awash in yellow flowers. I’ve never known exactly what they are — or if someone once did identify them for me, I’ve forgotten — but they look a bit like hardy buttercups. They create a bright, sunny carpet that covers the entire lawn, on all sides of our old house in East Hampton Village.

Apr 18, 2019
Point of View: A Correction

As constant readers, those of a certain age at any rate, undoubtedly noticed, when I wrote two weeks ago that I was paying $65 a week to rent a one-room apartment in Alphabet City in 1965, I was wrong.

Apr 18, 2019