The Weather

Tidewater

“Wishing we had vices strong enough to relieve the pressure a little.” A.C., that’s a good way of putting it. Do you ever fantasize about becoming a drug addict? I absolutely do. I envy the people…

Concrete Jungle

The Bar and the Battleship

As a kid, my favorite storybooks were the ones with maps: Wind in the Willows, Treasure Island, The Hobbit. Unlike the indecipherable highway atlases stuffed in our car doors, these maps only showed a road, path,…

Pop Culture

I Miss You, TAL TV

A few weeks ago in New Orleans I was having drinks with a couple Trop writers, talking about our common love for This American Life. I’ll speak for them when I say that we wish TAL…

The Weather

EnTropy

Tom, in your most recent letter to that most noble of men, your friend Jake, you refer in passing to electrons. You were on your way to making a larger point about biology and men and…

Insensible Cities

Cries and Whispers

It’s a new day, another one. I have another gig, another three-month relationship has ended, and I’m growing another bushy beard. But it’s a new beard, which means it’s gonna be sexier and more spontaneous than…

The Weather

Heat Varieties

Like A.C., I live in a walk-up, though I’m on the fifth floor to her sixth, though that fifth, in my building, is also the top. And like A.C.’s, my walk-up has an especially hot microclimate…

Letters to Jake

Zeke

Hey Jake Well, we tried the love triangle. You and Zeke invited me to the Upright Citizens Brigade twice, and both times I couldn’t go. I wanted to go. In fact, when Zeke called, I picked up,…

Welcome to Our Home

The Front Hall

Immediately after stepping through the front door of Acorn Hill, a visitor will be fixed in the Cyclopean glare of a grandfather clock. It is one of three on the first floor, a triumvirate attended by…

The Weather

About Birds and Omniscience

Tom, I believe your question was, “Does there come a time in life when one ought to know about birds? At what age do people who know about birds begin to learn about them?” I’m glad…

Books

Blurb Test: Ben Ehrenreich

With Blurb Test, we evaluate not a book but a blurb—one of the overabundant praise-nuggets publishers drop to try and entice consumers. Blurb habitats include book jackets, author and publisher homepages, and retail sites like Amazon. Often…

The Weather

Walk-up

New York is well-known as a place of sub-cultures, niche markets, intimate venues, exclusive restaurants, minority voters, and studio apartments. A square block may contain any number of discrete experiences that would delight a few and repulse many. In…