We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
We spent most of yesterday over in New Haven to have lunch with old friends and to catch a remarkable one-woman performance of the autobiographical "As I Remember It" at the Yale Rep by the unique modern dancer/actress/choreographer Carmen de Lavallade.
At 84, she is vividly theatrical, charismatic, humorous and sassy. She can still do more than just indicate dance movements. She can move. Her lifelong husband Geoffrey Holder died last year, but she is still truckin. Lives in Manhattan.
Mrs. BD was thrilled to meet and chat with this iconic dancer at a special reception afterwards, because she has mentioned her to me admiringly many times over the years. In person, de Lavallade is elegant, modest and charming, in great shape, and loves hors d'oevres. No surprise to me that she was hungry for treats and wine after holding the stage alone for 1 1/2 hours.
We had an hour or more to stroll around downtown New Haven and old Eli, which all looks better than it has in my lifetime. My pal, like my Dad, went to grad school there and never left the university. New Haven is a clearly Town and Gown city. The gown part is a strong and large faculty social club (which includes some local professionals outside the Yale community), as it has been for hundreds of years. Much of New Haven is blue collar or urban poor and there are parts you might not want to go to.
Somehow, the tired old city still has a handful of exclusive old jolly Waspy clubs for bow-tie wearing men. How did those survive? They do not run the city anymore - retreated into their private lives and gave it to the townies to screw it up with property taxes and oppression of job-creators.
A few pics below the fold -
OK, most of the campus is later 19th C neo-pseudo gothic ("Disney College" architecture), but that has a comfortable, easy-on-the-eye, human-scale traditional feeling to it. Not much left of the colonial or early 19th C originals.
I swear, BD, that I am but your poor doppelganger. Same age, live in CT, was walking around myself in New Haven yesterday, regularly vacation in Wellfleet, can always site/cite your photos by sight, etc. Grew up on a working farm, albeit in midwest and dad a pilot rather than professor. Generally share the same weltanschauung, although not so articulate. Cheers and continued thanks for the website.
No; however, I lived there long enough to appreciate it. Now whenever I return to visit the city, it's always a fun exercise to recall what I know in the marrow of my bones about the place versus the way it is today, and to note how the juxtaposition of past and present produces a slightly blurred mental map. River banks do shift over time.
Megan McArdle, a real New Yorker, wrote a wonderful piece at