A Visit From a Bear

A Visit From a Bear

Commentary for WAMC Northeast Public Radio LISTEN  (4.27)  I was planning to devote this commentary to snow. As I write we’re anticipating a foot or more in the Hudson Valley and a blizzard in New York City. Though given our wacky weather by the time we air it might be eighty and sunny. But on my way to celebrating the magic of snow – it’s something I never take for granted and don’t understand those who complain as if were…

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A Taste of Poland

A Taste of Poland

Commentary for WAMC Northeast Public Radio   LISTEN   A nation’s museums and monuments, parks and restaurants aren’t the only things that interest me on vacations abroad. I also love visiting their supermarkets. You can tell a lot about a place by how they stock their shelves and also by their shoppers’ etiquette. For example, a Swiss supermarket is a study in politeness, no matter how busy. However, one in Italy tends to be an exercise in chaos – not necessarily…

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Catching Mice

Catching Mice

 Commentary for WAMC Northeast Public Radio Listen here   One of the secrets to success as a newspaper columnist, or probably a radio commentator for that matter – and no, it’s not having something to say – is self-deprecation. Because the question will eventually arise, “What gives you the right to mouth off?” The short answer is “Nothing.” So I’m going out on a limb here by boasting about a recent accomplishment. And I can’t point to many. It was…

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The Soul of a Cat

The Soul of a Cat

 Commentary for WAMC Northeast Public Radio (2.24.17) Listen here Only once did a walk in the woods upstate disappoint me. It happened in the spring of 2015 shortly after my family and I returned from a safari in Botswana. After following a herd of elephants across the Okavango Delta or watching a lion sip at a watering hole at sunset, the chance that you might run across a white-tailed deer doesn’t seem all that remarkable. Of course, the deciduous forests…

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A Walk In The Woods

A Walk In The Woods

Commentary for WAMC Northeast Public Radio (aired 2.18.17) CLICK HERE FOR AUDIO ( 4:16) Here’s a suggestion for unsettling times: take a walk in the woods. I notice I’ve been doing a lot more of that lately. However, my personality is the sort that needs to be accomplishing something. I never head outdoors without a pair of binoculars slung around my neck; just in case there’s a bird to identify or some beautiful wild animal, such as a deer or bobcat, to…

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Valentine’s Candy

Valentine’s Candy

Commentary for WAMC Northeast Public Radio (aired 2.11.17) CLICK HERE FOR AUDIO ( 4:24) I’ve got a confession to make. I buy Valentine’s candy. For myself. No, of course I’m not talking about those large, red velvety, heart-shaped boxes filled with assorted chocolates. I purchase those for my wife and daughters. And I buy local, by the way. At Vasilow’s an old-time candy store in Hudson, NY. But if I did acquire for personal consumption a box bursting with raspberry crèmes, sea…

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Mary Tyler Moore and Rich Conaty

Mary Tyler Moore and Rich Conaty

Commentary for WAMC Northeast Public Radio (aired 2.4.17) Click Here for Audio 4:24 Sometimes you don’t understand what a person meant to you until he or she is gone. That happened to me twice over the last couple of weeks. The first occasion was when I learned that Mary Tyler Moore had passed away. The second time it was Rich Conaty, a DJ on WFUV, Fordham University’s noncommercial radio station. Both of them impacted my life at different times but…

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The Hudson Women’s March and Encounters with Donald Trump

The Hudson Women’s March and Encounters with Donald Trump

Commentary:   WAMC Northeast Public Radio  (aired 1.28.17)                    (Click here for audio) Women’s march in Hudson, NY – 1/21/17 Unless you were vacationing on another planet or living under a large, intractable rock you’re aware there were massive women’s marches around the country and the world last Saturday, including the one I attended in Hudson, NY. Hudson is excellently laid out for a march. The participants – I’d put the crowd at…

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The Norman Rockwell Museum

The Norman Rockwell Museum

Commentary:   WAMC Northeast Public Radio   (Click here for audio)  You may be familiar with the Danish word, spelled h-y-g-g-e, and pronounced “hoo-guh.” It was among the finalists for the Oxford Dictionaries’ 2016 Word of the Year. My wife, who spent her junior year abroad in Denmark, has been using it for years. The subject of recent articles in both the New York Times and The New Yorker, there’s no exact translation. But it refers to an experience of superior…

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The New Second Avenue Subway

The New Second Avenue Subway

By Ralph Gardner for WAMC Northeast Public Radio  (1.14.17) (Click here for audio)  Art in the new Second Ave 72nd St station These commentaries were conceived as celebrating the pleasures of country living, with occasional digressions. This is one of those occasions and one of those digressions. A cultural moment back in the city – I’m referring to New York City – so charmed that you’re almost required to pay a visit. I’m not speaking about seeing “Hamilton” on Broadway….

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