Tag Archives: death

Ten Years After

NYC-Ten-Years-After

Photos © James and Karla Murray

In a few weeks I’ll be visiting some of my old neighborhoods in New York City. It’s been a while since my last visit and I expect to feel discombobulated by its unfamiliarity. Like a time-displaced Captain America bounding into a future-ized Times Square, I’ll recognize all the old familiar places that this heart of mine embraces and reconcile myself to the fact that they look all wrong.

But it’s not just a case of sullen nostalgia because my old haunts don’t look they way they used to; it’s a case of disenchantment because now my old haunts look just like everyplace else. When I was born, no other city in America looked like New York City. Now, New York City looks a lot like everyplace else. People from Des Moines can have dinner in New York at the same restaurant they go to in… Des Moines! C’mon: really? You’re in the Big Apple and you want to eat at Applebee’s?

Every day everyplace looks a little more like everyplace else: the same corporate brands, the same architectural design, the same urban planning, the same kind of commoditized experience, sanitized and made safe for mass consumption. You used to be able to escape from the malaise of the suburbs by moving into The City. Now, the only real difference is that you won’t need a car (but you will need a trust fund). Continue reading

Has The Whole World Gone Crazy?

lebowski_WorldOfPainThis past week was one where I felt spontaneously immersed in feelings of gratitude. For starters, I felt grateful for not having had my legs blown off by a couple of psychos with a twisted idea of how to use a pressure cooker. And I felt grateful that I don’t live in Syria, where massacres far, far worse than the Boston Marathon bombing happen every day.

I also found myself feeling oddly grateful that I live in the District of Columbia, where I’m not entitled to congressional representation by a United States Senator. Usually that bothers me but since it became clear last week that, if I did have a Senator, there would be an even-money chance that they would be more interested in who’s picking up their restaurant tab than what most people in America want, it doesn’t bother me so much. Continue reading

Beyond ‘Scampi’: Q & A with Dan K, Part 1

My thanks once again to my friends who commented on my last blog post, particularly Dan K, whose thoughtful and challenging questions have given me a launching pad for the next few entries. I’ll approach the broad, underlying issues that Dan’s comments raise by addressing his specific questions in reverse order:

… if self-realization is the goal (of yoga), why does it even matter to you how other people are living? Continue reading

Why ‘Om Scampi’ is Full of Baloney

Some time ago I was out to eat with a fellow yoga teacher. The restaurant, naturally, had both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options. As we discussed the menu, my companion, a teacher of far greater experience with the goings on inside the yoga community than I, shared some surprising insights. Thereafter ensued an illuminating discussion about what many yoga teachers eat when other yogis, particularly those from the vegan-activist sector of the yoga world, aren’t looking. Last year, one such yoga teacher came out of the meat-eating closet with a vengeance.
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Facing Our Fears

Elizabeth, my partner, and I don’t have children so we’re not so well-prepared to accommodate them when we have guests; our parties are usually “adults only” affairs. Naturally, exceptions are made and on one such occasion a couple brought their 8 year-old son, Anton. Anton is an interesting kid; he amused himself for most of the evening by hiding under our bed and making spooky ghost noises whenever someone walked in to drop off a coat or get something from their handbag.

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