Visit “Ornamental Illness” to catch one of my favorite writers, Chris Fay, fleshing out days of joy in a “holiday brain” series that is wry, ironic, and subtly earnest as well. Chris’ writing is conversational, taut, wry, wickedly funny, and always also seems to end up somewhere inextricably beautiful. Each piece seems to start with an expectation of ennui and effacement, but cannot stay there. He has too much love for the beautiful to sustain a winking pretense of smarm, and you find that the accretion of charm leads you before you are aware of it, to the great satisfaction of the landing. I always get some chuckles and smiles from his work, as well as a sense that the world might be better than what the evidence would otherwise suggest.
The album art, especially the lyrics, for Goodbye Yellow Brick Road because Grooving Is Fundamental.
In my seven-year old opinion the finest turntable that folded out of a wall was made by NuTone Inc. of Cincinnati, Ohio. Only the truly civilized had turntables that folded out of a paneled wall. The first time I saw a turntable that just sat on a shelf, doing nothing, I was confused.
Strathmore was the eighteenth subdivision built by Levitt & Sons on Long Island. Situated on 677 acres on both sides of Exit 50, Bagatelle Road, in Dix Hills, they built 560 homes on large lots with no sidewalks. To get to the subdivision’s pool, you had to cross over the Long Island Expressway.
Most of my world consisted of one of four colonial-adjacent floor plans: the Endicott, the Fairfield, the Judson ranch, and ours, the five-bedroom Valbrook. Neighbors my parents did not…
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