Under the Weather

Under the Weather

(LISTEN HERE) The Sick Bed (1836) EDWARD PRENTIS (1797–1854) / PUBLIC DOMAIN You’ve probably heard that this is a particularly nasty flu season. Apologies for my cough. As a matter of fact, you may be listening to this commentary with a thermometer in your mouth and a bottle of Tylenol by your side. But I’m here to tell you that you can enjoy the flu. Perhaps enjoy is too strong a word. And I don’t mean to diminish its risks….

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Our Good Neighbors

Our Good Neighbors

(LISTEN HERE) If you’re lucky enough to live in the country there are probably a bunch of factors that contribute to your sense of well-being. These include, in no particular order – open skies, sunsets, trees, gardens, streams and wildlife. At least wildlife that keeps a safe distance from your vegetables, shrubs, attic, etc. Put them all together, and even with a minimal amount of introspection, you realize that you’re part of something frequently beautiful and definitely much bigger than…

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Skating on Thin Ice

Skating on Thin Ice

(LISTEN HERE) I had a small epiphany while ice skating last week at Ooms Pond, a conservation area in Chatham, New York. My epiphany was that I should switch to yoga. This realization occurred during either my first or second spill, or to be more precise during the act of attempting to struggle back to my feet, when I was finally forced to admit that I wasn’t as limber as I used to be. There were also other factors at…

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Warhol Comes to the Hudson Valley

Warhol Comes to the Hudson Valley

(LISTEN HERE) Andy Warhol, Self Portrait in Fright Wig, 1985, Polaroid Polacolor print, CREDIT COLLECTION OF JAMES CURTIS / ©THE ANDY WARHOL FOUNDATION FOR THE VISUAL ARTS, INC.  A great, encyclopedic museum isn’t altogether dissimilar from a world-class ski resort with blue skies and a coat of fresh powder. Climbing its front steps, at the Metropolitan Museum, or descending its glass pyramid in the case of the Louvre, resembles the adrenalin rush of reaching the top of the mountain and…

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Her Gift

Her Gift

(LISTEN HERE) Elizabeth Field  On New Year’s Eve I was looking forward to presenting Bruce Shenker, a friend since college, with a special gift. I hadn’t purchased it. I was regifting it. I’d come across it in a closet a few weeks earlier. But they say that it’s the thought that counts. Bruce’s gift was a bottle of Gold, a fragrance by Jay Z. I’d apparently written about the rapper’s signature scent in the Wall Street Journal a few years…

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Dreaming of Sun

Dreaming of Sun

(LISTEN HERE) Jesse Cutaia of Hudson Solar CREDIT RALPH GARDNER, JR This might not be the ideal season to discuss solar panels. In particular installing solar panels. Certainly not in the listening area. If one’s mind gravitates to sources of heat it’s more likely a roaring fire accompanied by a good single malt. But think of this commentary as a combination of one of those year-end roundups and a resolution to become a better, more responsible global citizen in 2018….

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My Repetitive New Year’s Resolution

My Repetitive New Year’s Resolution

LISTEN HERE Midnight at the turn of the New Year found me where it always does. Outdoors. No, I wasn’t winter camping. In fact, I was barely ten feet from our back door. Still standing on the patio. But I discovered long ago that the forced frivolity of New Year’s Eve – the noise makers and party hats; the dropping Times Square ball, the singing of Auld Lang Syne and the loudly popping of champagne corks, wasn’t for me. Actually,…

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The Beauty of Baths

The Beauty of Baths

LISTEN HERE With temperatures dipping into the single digits — and the minus single digits — and the New Year fast approaching, the moment may be right to sing the praises of an institution that transcends time. That unites us in reverence. That puts us in direct communion with the forces of nature, as few indoor activities do. I’m speaking, of course, about a good, hot winter bath. By the way, do you feel, as I do, that the wind…

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Oh, Snow

Oh, Snow

LISTEN HERE Consider Bardwell Farm RALPH GARDNER JR.  I did something last week anathema to my nature. I tried to avoid the snow. It was traveling from south to north and I was heading from the Hudson Valley to Vermont. So I tried to get ahead of it. I was on my way to West Pawlet to interview my friend Angela Miller for a project I’m working on about people’s second acts. F. Scott Fitzgerald famously said that there are…

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A Winter Memory

A Winter Memory

LISTEN HERE Jan and Ed Tishman in Warren, Vt. 1971 With snow in the forecast, at least somewhere, and ski resorts already making snow (they’re making snow already, right?) I think back fondly to the family responsible for making me the proud intermediate skier I am today. Their name was Tishman and they had a house in Warren, Vermont, located minutes from Sugarbush Mountain. But the Tishmans, Jan Tishman in particular — I was sad to learn she died earlier…

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