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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: brother, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 13 of 13
1. Window into the last unknown place in New York City

New York City, five boroughs boasting nine million people occupying an ever-expanding concrete  jungle. The industrial hand has touched almost every inch of the city, leaving even the parks over manicured and uncomfortably structured. There is, however, a lesser known corner  that has been uncharacteristically left to regress to its natural state. North Brother Island, a small sliver of land situated off the southern coast of the Bronx, once housed Riverside Hospital, veteran housing, and ultimately a drug rehabilitation center for recovering heroin addicts. In the 1960s the island, once full with New Yorkers, became deserted and nature has been slowly swallowing the remaining structures ever since. Christopher Payne, the photographer behind North Brother Island: The Last Unknown Place in New York City, was able to access the otherwise prohibited to the public island, and document the incredible phenomenon of the gradual destruction of man’s artificial structures.

North Brother Island: The Last Unknown Place in New York City: Photographs by Christopher Payne, A History by Randall Mason, and Essay by Robert Sullivan (A Fordham University Press Publication). Christopher Payne, a photographer based in New York City, specializes in the documentation of America’s vanishing architecture and industrial landscape. Trained as an architect, he has a natural interest in how things are purposefully designed and constructed, and how they work. Randall Mason is Associate Professor and Chair of the Graduate Program in Historic Preservation at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Design. He worked previously at the Getty Conservation Institute, University of Maryland, and Rhode Island School of Design. Robert Sullivan is the author of numerous books, including The Meadowlands: WildernessAdventures at the Edge of a CityRats: Observations on the History and Habitat of the City’s Most Unwanted InhabitantsThe Thoreau You Don’t Know: The Father of Nature Writers on the Importance of Cities, Finance, and Fooling AroundA Whale Hunt, and, most recently, My American Revolution. His stories and essays have been published in magazines such asNew YorkThe New Yorker, and A Public Space. He is a contributing editor to Vogue.

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The post Window into the last unknown place in New York City appeared first on OUPblog.

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2. Brother, I'm Dying/Edwidge Danticat

Saturday night, a young woman I'll call E. returned from her year in Port-au-Prince, where she had been at work in a hospital clinic as a nutrition program coordinator.  Daughter of remarkably loving parents, sister to an incredibly talented and goodhearted son, E. is also a member of my church family (she is as well a super-star athlete, but that's a tale for another day).  We were all collectively holding our breath until E. arrived home safely.  We knew how much good she was doing over there.  We equally recognized that Haiti is not the easiest domicile for a recent college grad.

In honor of E.'s safe return home, I read Brother, I'm Dying, the Edwidge Danticat memoir.  The book had been sitting here for quite some time.  Having finished it this morning, I can neither understand nor forgive my earlier resistance to it.

For this is a book.  This is memoir at its most pure and form-redeeming—intelligent, researched, heartfelt.  Calmly and with great care, Danticat weaves together the story of the man who raised her as a child in Bel Air, Haiti (her uncle), and the man who fled to Brooklyn in an effort to create for his whole family a better life (her father).  Two brothers, then, two father figures, and two ultimately tragic trajectories as each man fights to survive impossible odds and their daughter fights hard not to lose them.  In a single year—2004—Danticat, now married, in Miami, pregnant with her daughter—will watch her world unravel.  She will bear witness to what revolutionary upheaval and disease can do to the men who, for so much of her youth, were not just essential but invincible.

Memoirs that make room for family history and country politics challenge their writers structurally; they ask more from the words on the page.  No false binding will do, no obvious superimpositions, no easy themes, no ready truths.  There are higher stakes, in memoirs like these.  More is expected, more wanted.  Danticat, who has proven herself in book after book, forges a remarkable narrative.  She is there throughout, of course; memoir by definition is an "I story.  But she is not her memoir's heroine; she is its maker, and there's a difference.  She has set out to honor others, not to claim pity for herself.  She has written with both intimacy and something I can only call nobility.  She has made of fragments a whole.  We believe her, utterly, when she writes these words:
I write these things now, some as I witnessed them and today remember them, others from official documents, as well as the borrowed recollections of family members.  But the gist of them was told to me over the years, in part by my uncle Joseph, in part by my father.  Some were told offhand, quickly.  Others, in greater detail.  What I learned from my father and uncle, I learned out of sequence and in fragments.  This is an attempt at cohesiveness, and at re-creating a few wondrous and terrible months when their lives and mine intersected in startling ways, forcing me to look forward and back at the same time.  I am writing this only because they can't.
I am writing this only because they can't.  Those who dismiss memoir as a genre have not read Brother, I'm Dying. 

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3. FIVEnFIVE With Sherry Ashworth

FIVEnFIVE With Sherry Ashworth

Sherry Ashworth answers 5 questions about her new young adult novel, MENTAL, published as an ACHUKA(e)book, and 5 more general questions about her writing.

She also tells us what she's been reading, watching and listening to recently.

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On this Thanksgiving Day, I am thankful for my brother Richard. He died earlier this month. He loved his wife Val, his daughter Emily, and his birth family. He also loved acting, cooking, and laughing. Rich is the one in blue. His obituary follows. It does a good job of speaking about his life. Rich will be missed by many.

RichardJohn Sottile 

SOTTILE - Richard John, Thespian, 58, died Thursday at WaterviewNursing Center after a beautiful life & long struggle with Lewy BodyDementia. Dick was born in Jamaica NY & grew up in Lindenhurst in the househis father built. His interest in theater was piqued at Lindenhurst High &cultivated at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. His adventures included:experimental theater; cross country travel & fatherhood. He laughed easily;loved acting & reading; was a skilled baker & could cook up a mean potof chili. Rich was devoted to his parents Molly & Tony. He leaves behind:devoted daughter, Emily Valentine; beloved twin sister, care taker & life-longcompanion, Margie; brothers Tony, Joe & Bob; dear friends, cousins& in-laws; as well as his best friend (& former wife) Valerie Gene.Services will be held at Lindenhurst Funeral Home 424 S. Wellwood Ave.Lindenhurst, NY Saturday 11/12/11 2–6pm. In lieu of flowers please makedonations to LewyBody Dementia Association, 912 Killian Hill Rd. SW Lilburn, GA30047 www.lbda.org orthe SAGE Project www.sagesf.org 

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5. John Taylor’s body double

I spent Saturday in the company of Duran Duran. Had you told me, back in the 1980s, that I’d do that, I wouldn’t have believed you. Yet, in recent years, I’ve had nights out with a fair few of the popstars I grew up listening to or watching on Top of the Pops. There’ve been the likes of Tony Hadley from Spandau Ballet, Leee John of Imagination (we danced together to “Just an Illusion” at the rap party of Reborn in the USA) or even the lovely Tereza Bazar from Dollar (who could forget that dress for Hand Held in Black and White?).

Even so, Duran Duran are special and I’ll certainly treasure my crew pass. They were always a cut above the others. While not necessarily regarded as such in their home country, they were the biggest British band in the US since the Beatles. Never overtly cool, they had a superb brand of brilliantly crafted pop that I’ve always loved. In fact, over their thirty year career in music, I’ve enjoyed every Duran single, perhaps with special pleasure reserved for the brilliant “Ordinary World” that led to a revival at a time when it appeared they would fade away, when their music has always deserved to be heard.

It’s thirty years since debut singe “Planet Earth”, a song the band sometimes mix with the underrated “All She Wants Is” in their live shows. There’s an element of sadness that, after all this time, the band are still worth writing about. I once scripted a TV show called Sing it Back with Paul Gambaccini, the walking encyclopedia of music who stated earlier this year that the era of rock ’n roll is over. It seems horribly true. It’s not just that I went to the opera a few weeks ago, and surprised myself by rather enjoying Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte. It’s that there’s very little interest or enthusiasm from the young generation in forming bands and actually crafting songs.

On Saturday, Duran played three of their new songs, all of which were impressive, especially “Leave a Light On” which I presume is a single to come soon. The band were recording Duran Duran: One Night Only at ITV’s London Studios, hosted by Christine Bleakley. Very professional, they were working pretty much all afternoon on sound checks and setup, but at times even this band with great stamina (as you’ll know if you’ve seen them live) need a break. At one point I was asked to take to the stage and mime a little bass playing, giving John Taylor a well-deserved rest. I’ve done some strange jobs over the course of my lifetime, but I never expected to become the body double for one of the world

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6. "sneaky" illustration friday 11/19/10

an older piece from last year, but SO appropriate for this week's i.f. theme of "sneaky"!
me and my brother on christmas eve..."sneakin' a peek";)

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7. Happy Birthday, Tracy!

This is the front of my twin brother's birthday card this year.

Every year, I make Tracy a birthday card using cartoon characters of ourselves, Stacy and Tracy.
I have fun drawing these two.

Happy Birthday, Tracy!

3 Comments on Happy Birthday, Tracy!, last added: 4/5/2007
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8. Celebrate!

By Paula J. Becker
Juvenile Greeting Card

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9. Mormon Science Fiction

Last week, after Terryl Given’s piece about Mormonism and politics, I started to wonder about one of my favorite Mormons, Orson Scott Card. I’m not a huge Science Fiction fan, but the Ender’s Game series captivated me as a young teen and I still list the series among my favorite books. Below, in an excerpt from Given’s book People of Paradox: A History of Mormon Culture is a look at Card in light of his religion.

Orson Scott Card has been called the Mormon “who to this point best — and most radically fulfills the great prophetic hopes for a world-class as well as genuinely Mormon literature.” One of the most prolific and arguably the best science fiction writer alive, Card is best known for his Enders saga, the first volume of which won an unprecedented doubleheader, scoring both the Nebula and the Hugo awards, as did its sequel, in a feat still unequaled (Ender’s Game, 1986; Speaker for the Dead, 1987). Some of his corpus is recognizably Mormon in fairly conspicuous ways. Saints and Folk of the Fringe, for instance, represent direct engagement, the former historical and the latter futuristic, with Mormonism itself. His Tales of Alvin Maker series (six volumes and counting) is a thinly veiled version of Joseph Smith’s life, cast as fantasy that reconceptualizes American history. Earlier, he published a five volume science fiction series clearly based on the Book of Mormon (Homecoming, 1992–1996).


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10. Online Card

Every year, I create a quick online card for our friends and family with e-mail. This is this year's card. I had to create it quick, I have muchos deadlines to deal with before Santa arrives. For the full effect, click here.

2 Comments on Online Card, last added: 12/15/2007
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11. Baby Mine, Don't You Cry...

My first baby was born when I was nine. Don’t let the fact that he was my youngest brother and I only became involved post-delivery fool you into believing that he did not belong, wholly and completely, to me. From the moment I first held him, I never let go.
I snuck him into bed with me every night until he was two and got moved to the boys’ room. And then I snuck in there. I carried him on my hip so much that I think I may be a bit off kilter to this day. Babysitters were unwise trying to take him, friends were silly assuming I wouldn’t wag him everywhere, and adults were misguided in thinking my parents had “saddled” me with the “the baby.” They just knew you don’t tug on Superman’s cape, spit into the wind, tear the mask off ole Lone Ranger, or…take Matthew away from Jodi. Uncle Mafoo (as my kids have called him) is now a successful attorney living in the big city--but he started as my baby and, even now, it’s hard to let go of those ties. One of the first books I ordered for this project was his first read-it-myself book--The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss. It is the simple story of a boy who dreams big and, in the face of long odds and vocal detractors, nurtures his vision into reality. When I think of the boy who read it and the man he has become, I smile.

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12. WORK IN PROGRESS - Lady Birds

So my brother and his wife are going to have twins - twin girls in fact. Instead of buying them a super-expensive gift to celebrate the joyous occasion, I've opted to go the cheapo route and paint them a pretty picture for the nursery.

I'll try to convince them it'll be worth something one day...

It won't.

Anyway, I started on it last night.

It may not look like much at the moment, but I'm liking the early direction and have high hopes.

I'll cross my fingers and you cross yours. Deal?


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I finally finished up the piece for my brother and his wife in honor of their impending twins (who are due in August). Overall I think it came out pretty good. Hopefully they like - at least pretend to like it.

Either way is fine by me really.

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