Archive | June, 2020

I Really Wish I Could Social Distance from All These Thoughts

21 Jun
White Farms

The scene at White Farms in Ipswich, Mass., on Saturday, June 20, 2020.

Yesterday, I went up to the North Shore, to explore the Essex Coastal Scenic Byway, which I heard was a nice and picturesque drive. Turns out, either I didn’t know the area well enough, or I should have parked my car at various points and walked to the water, or something else, but with very few exceptions, from Lynn to Gloucester, the drive was neither coastal nor scenic, and I was disappointed.

So, after what felt like a couple hours of aimless driving and wasted gas, I turned around and headed back to the city. (At least, I think I turned around. I really didn’t know where I was or in which direction I was heading for much of the time, but I do know the full route goes all the way to Salisbury and I’m pretty sure I only made it to Gloucester.)

I didn’t want the day to be a total loss, so before I left the area, I decided to stop and get some ice cream at White Farms, a small local stand in Ipswich that had been recommended to me. It was quiet when I got there, thankfully, which meant I could go right up to the counter and order a two-scoop waffle cone — Mint Oreo and Vanilla Fudge Brownie, yum — then go back to my car to enjoy it. Continue reading

Life, Loss, and a Few Laughs on Staten Island

8 Jun

King of Staten Island bannerWell, hasn’t this been an unusual year for the movies.

In mid-March, when the world suddenly shut down, the best movie I’d seen so far was probably The Way Back, starring Ben Affleck as an alcoholic basketball coach. And while I don’t say that to dismiss it (the film is legit good, and Affleck delivers an impressive performance), it’s hardly the kind of film that would be remembered later in the year if things were normal.

With most major releases now delayed till whenever, a few that were intended for the big screen have gone direct-to-digital. Fair to say none have been particularly memorable or must-see, and nearly all have been right at home on the small(er) screen. (Unlike, say, the new Bond or Wonder Woman flicks would have been.)

Which brings us to Judd Apatow’s latest, The King of Staten Island, starring Pete Davidson of Saturday Night Live, and Marissa Tomei, moving New York City boroughs from Queens, where she plays Aunt May in the MCU Spider-man movies. Continue reading

This Year for My Birthday, There’s One Thing I Want

7 Jun
light at the end of the tunnel

A light at the end of the tunnel. Photo by Adrien Olichon / Unsplash

Today is my birthday.

If there’s one lesson to be learned from the past three months (and to be sure, there are plenty), it’s that every day is precious, and we should not waste a moment to celebrate and enjoy.

In the past year, I did a lot of traveling, I got a new job, I saw a bunch of concerts and good movies, and generally, up until recently, I had a lot of fun. In spite of everything, I’m still finding reasons to be happy every single day. This birthday should be celebrated.

And yet … Today is not a day for celebration. Not when so many people’s lives have been lost in recent weeks, and when people around the world are taking to the streets during a global pandemic to fight for equality and justice, and when supposed leaders in the highest rungs of government are promoting division rather than bringing people together. Clearly, celebrating can wait.

So I just wanted to quickly acknowledge the day here, and move on to what’s more important — taking action to bring about change. Continue reading