Category Archives: Uncategorized

Spielberg’s West Side Story:

Withered on Arrival, Dead at the Box Office The nominations have been announced: welcome to Oscar season! Steven Spielberg’s remake of West Side Story nabbed seven. I call that a gesture of sentimentality. Before last December’s premiere, my musical theater … Continue reading

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On Rent Control: Part Four—Opportunity

The Joint Housing Committee of the Massachusetts Legislature recently held a virtual hearing on House Bill H.1378, a proposal to grant cities and towns the right to establish rent control. As a person who lived in a rent control apartment, … Continue reading

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On Rent Control: Part Three—Prognosis

The Joint Housing Committee of the Massachusetts Legislature recently held a virtual hearing on House Bill H.1378, a proposal to grant cities and towns the right to establish rent control. As a person who lived in a rent control apartment, … Continue reading

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On Rent Control: Part Two—Personal History

The Joint Housing Committee of the Massachusetts Legislature recently held a virtual hearing on House Bill H.1378, a proposal to grant cities and towns the right to establish rent control. As a person who lived in a rent control apartment, … Continue reading

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On Rent Control: Part One—Legal History

The Joint Housing Committee of the Massachusetts Legislature recently held a virtual hearing on House Bill H.1378, a proposal to grant cities and towns the right to establish rent control. As a person who lived in a rent control apartment, … Continue reading

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First Snow

Is there anything more delightful than first snow? Ours arrived, an unassigned holiday inserted into the calendar, in the early morning of Friday January 7. I slept late and woke to a pixelated sky descending over the earth with lazy … Continue reading

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On January 6: The Wisdom of Thomas Paine

“These are the times that try men’s souls.” We have no definitive proof that the opening line of Thomas Paine’s pamphlet, “The American Crisis,” published in the deepest dark of the American Revolution, directly inspired George Washington and his troops … Continue reading

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Life is Short

A Twenty-first Century Myth “Life is short,” we mutter as the calendar flips through these dark December days heading to another year. We believe our time on earth is brief, but that assumption doesn’t correlate with twenty-first century reality. Aside … Continue reading

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I am Not in Charge

Its December 2021, an inauspicious year if ever there was, save one personal milestone. I have gotten further along in achieving last year’s new year’s resolution than ever before. What was my resolution? “I am not in charge.”’ At first … Continue reading

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The Graffiti in our Minds

Spirits of anguish past and present are my companions as I tromp the carpet of dead leaves. At its peak, Metropolitan State Hospital, Massachusetts’ last and largest institution for mentally ill (built 1930), held 2,000 patients behind its Georgian Revival … Continue reading

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