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Local Notes No. 2: Clyde Hill, WA’s Coin-Flip Mayor

On one unseasonably warm day in December 1975, two candidates vying for the mayoralty of Clyde Hill, WA, a 3200-strong suburb sandwiched between Seattle and Bellevue, met in the office of the King County Superintendent of Elections. Against all odds, the normal course of count and recount in the scheduled November election had exhausted itself … Continue reading Local Notes No. 2: Clyde Hill, WA’s Coin-Flip Mayor

Local Notes #1: The Experience of Economic Change in Central Maryland Since 2000

The builders have picked up their shovels in Maryland. Cajoled, at long last, by the recent bounding pace of economic growth in the state between D.C. and Baltimore, these planners, developers, architects and contractors have brought something not seen in quite some time to the Old Line State – a renovation of the built environment, new neighborhoods, lecture halls, office parks, and glitzy, pedestrian shopping centers presenting a bold vision of what a suburban built environment ought to be. And now this rolling stone of bricks and draft plans presents me, whose vision of Central Maryland was frozen in the lows of recessionary apathy, with a jarring experience of coming home again.

Sharing some John Ashbery, and Poetry in California

Wanted to pass along some beloved excerpts from John Ashbery, who I try my utmost to imitate. Nothing is like his poetry. An immodest little white wine, some scattered seraphs,recollections of the Fall—tell me,has anyone made a spongier representation, chasedfewer demons out of the parking lotwhere we all held hands? Little by little the idea … Continue reading Sharing some John Ashbery, and Poetry in California

“The Prodigy,” by Thomas Mann – My Translation

For the Christmas 1903 issue of Vienna’s Die Presse, the Nobel laureate-to-be Thomas Mann contributed this lovely short story, about a wintertime concert given by a prodigy pianist. “Das Wunderkind” was the title it carried when published as a novella in 1914. Mann himself wrote in 1910 that it was his “most beloved” work. I … Continue reading “The Prodigy,” by Thomas Mann – My Translation

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