A few more Aquatic Action Adventure Shots, taken just moments ago from the Fictionarium: South Florida Campus’s balcony: a school of friendly dolphins! If you ask me, they’re far nicer than the ominous, leaping Blacktip Sharks of my last foray into Close Encounters of the Aquatic Kind.
ABOVE ARE SOME PICTURES I took yesterday from the balcony of the Fictionarium: South Florida Campus. In terms of the story behind these images, I feel as though I should just hyperlink back to my earlier post regarding manatees, save that this time, I did not get in the water.
Those brown shaded areas schooling not 30 to 50 feet off the shore are most certainly sharks; I believe that the sharks in question are, specifically, juvenile Blacktip sharks. Prevalent to South Florida, Blacktip sharks grow to an average of roughly five feet in length, and are known for Continue reading
WE HERE at the Fictionarium: South Florida Campus certainly do encounter quite a lot of wildlife’s finest – sharks, foxes, egrets, not to mention the most loathsome fauna of them all, the feral iguana. Unfortunately, seeing something and getting people to believe that you saw something are two different matters entirely. And so, yesterday, when I saw a telltale, slow-moving brown mass drifting near the shore, I called my father over to the window. Continue reading
I’ve often said that Palm Beach isn’t just any old island. It’s a place where 20 carat diamonds are termed “manageable,” where people spend an emperor’s ransom on beachfront estates and then never set foot on the beach, where, for some inexplicable reason, very few of its citizens wear socks. The island is also civilized to a fault (when somebody honks their horn at me, I’ve been known to get out of my car and discuss the situation with the other driver), and, as a rule, we do not—publicly, at least—talk about the misfortunes of our fellow islanders, no matter what country club that islander may belong to. Continue reading
When the Empire State Building was under construction, the governor wanted the top spire to be used as a zeppelin docking station, despite the fact that passengers would have to disembark a quarter of a mile above the ground, and wind shears at that height could slam the hydrogen-filled airships into any number of nearby buildings. In 1890, drug manufacturer Eugene Schieffelin thought New York should be home to all of Shakespeare’s songbirds, and so, smuggled 40 starlings from England and released them into the night sky. Today, the North American starling population numbers close to 200 million. This is to say that New York is a city historically filled with crazy ideas, though none tend to be as quixotic as those we have for our parks.
In the next few days, I’ll be posting an article I wrote with some extended thoughts on the High Line and its historical context within New York City’s park system.
Greetings from sunny South Florida, the new (perhaps temporary) home of the Fictionarium! While our day has been engaged in the pursuit of several immediate short term goals (going to the beach, buying groceries, purchasing a Vespa), I couldn’t help but notice a smidge of a dark cloud on the otherwise placid horizon – one that, for now, doesn’t even involve a hurricane.
According to the Palm Beach Daily News, our little island home may or may not be seceding from West Palm Beach! How exciting! In anticipation of any major skirmishes between the blue coats (them) and gray coats (us – but does Brooks Brothers even make gray coats?), I shall sacrifice my afternoon doses of Coppertone in order to re-work major portions of the Gettysburg Address – Worth Avenue Address? Palm Beach Country Club Address? – even though the phrase “four score and seven years ago” mostly pertains to the birth dates of our island’s citizenry. Continue reading
On the Third Anniversary of the Very First Martin’s Day, a tale to mark the occasion.
Once upon a time, there lived a young princess named Andrea. This young princess – Princess Andrea, as she insisted her closest friends call her – very graciously offered to drive her two companions all the way from the Island of Manhattan to a magical land, far, far away, named Colorado – though neglecting to tell the aforementioned companions exactly how very far, far away Colorado was. To be sure, Colorado is very, very far, far away, if not very, very, very far, far away, with vast expanses of land – namely, Oklahoma, which is not, as Princess Andrea claimed while driving her late model Mercedes SUV, its engine light flickering for the past several thousand miles, “a straight shot” – with many hazards blocking their path, including bear tornadoes, the Super Size Me-like experiment the princess ran on her two friends, and the really sketchy Pizza Hut in Pennsylvania where the diet Cokes were, for lack of a better word, “greasy.” But I digress. To continue: Continue reading
Palm Beach, where all politics are local – and civilized.
THE ANCIENT ATHENIANS BELIEVED that democracy worked for less than 50,000 citizens – the number of people that could fit on a hillside and still have their voices heard. With its less than 10,000 year-round residents, our little island of Palm Beach could fit quintuple-fold into the Athenian model – mercifully doing so with not a toga in sight. And while we have nothing that could pass for a hill, or even a stump, we do have the old Paramount Theater, where all three mayoral candidates gathered to answer questions before the Palm Beach Town Council Election. The crowd, as the Palm Beach Daily News estimated, was “about 50 people” strong, this information appearing under the banner headline, “Three push for top job.”
For me at least, the race for Palm Beach’s “top job” couldn’t have come at a better time. 2008 was the year that we all became intensely aware of everything political, in part because there was just so much to enjoy – debates, op-eds, situation rooms, crossfires, even holograms, running 24/7 on at least three cable news channels, countless blogs, and – last but not least – newspapers. And I certainly wasn’t immune to this democratic hullaballoo. Continue reading
Welcome to Great Books, Half Read. May I say, from the get-go, that I’m embarking upon this enterprise half-heartedly. It sort of reminds me of when parents ask their children, “If all your friends jumped off a bridge, would you do it, too?”
A professor of Near Eastern Studies once told me that the invention of writing allowed us to enter into an unnatural dialogue with the dead and the faraway. A little reed stylus drawn across a clay tablet, and before we knew it, Puzurshulgi from Uruk could trade words (and love, and war, and religion, and advice, and goats) with Ashurshdigir of Nineveh. Imagine the possibilities! Continue reading