Archive for March, 2014

The Biggest Mistakes of my Life?

Posted on March 29, 2014 by

Solo Accordion I started playing the accordion when I was 11 and was very good at it.  We couldn’t afford a piano and there wasn’t enough room for one in our apartment in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn.  It was my mothers’ idea but I always felt that the accordion was a dumb instrument with a clownish sound. [...]

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Writing on the Train

Posted on March 17, 2014 by

More than thirty years ago, Amtrak paid for my train fare and sleeper in return for a travel story. This week, the rail passenger service rolls out a promotion which will select 24 writers for an “Amtrak Residency.”   A December New Yorker story about writing on trains created a social media buzz which Amtrak has [...]

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Begging the Bosses

Posted on March 7, 2014 by

In promoting his plan to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, President Obama hits the right notes: Working full-time shouldn’t mean living in poverty A higher minimum wage pumps money into the economy, stimulates consumption and lifts the overall standard of living For companies, paying employees more is the right thing to [...]

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Internet Withdrawal

Posted on March 2, 2014 by

Customers waiting in line at the bank or post office pass the time these days tickling their smart-phones.  A good way, I suppose, to cope with impatience, prevent anxiety and feel productive.  There’s probably less “small talk” – chitchat among strangers – than there used to be.  And maybe that’s too bad. When I’m stuck [...]

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