The Alphabet Julen: N


The nap is the most underrated activity in adulthood.


... had the best fresh fruit market. It was about a mile up the beach, around a slight curve. Passionfruit, starfruit, guava, pinapple, apple, and more ...


A spiffy three-dimension navigational schema that offered all sorts of delightful possibilities. Mine (which I used as a vehicle to tell a story about a man named Henry at different points in his life) was made an editor's pick. I was so proud. The site has long since been sold away; the man who invented died, but I remember how delightful it was, and how much fun to play with. I miss it.


Argh! After more than a decade of successfully avoiding Nethack, I got sucked into the inestimable joy of kicking down doors, killing Xorns, and bribing unicorns. Time. Being. Sucked. Away.

I eventually had to go cold turkey, which I've managed successfully to do.

New York City

I've spent a lot of time working in New York City, and there was much that I really loved: any type of food any hour of the day, Broadway, museums, life in all its teeming glory, and some really interesting architecture and signage. I have no desire to move there, or live there full time, but there's so many wonderful things to do or see. When I left the job that sent me there for long stretches of time in 2000, I remember walking around and looking at my local haunts: the World Trade Center Marriott and the Financial Center Marriott, the bookstores, the deli where I'd grab dinner on the way home to the hotel, the bench at the end of Battery Park Lane, the bull, the view from 55 Broad, my short-term apartment, the side streets.


This is probably my favorite sit-com of all time: it married low and high, physical and cerebral, and the silly and the sublime. Even when it struggled after the death of Phil Hartman, it was heads and shoulders over the rest of the dreck littering the television landscape. It wasn't afraid to be smart or possibly obscure or strange or silly. The characters were well-rounded and defined; their oddball actions made sense even as you were laughing out loud. Naturally, NBC tried to kill it with multiple time slots per season, poor promotion and attempts at meddling. It's a miracle Newsradio survived as long as it did.


I'm a night owl by inclination, but have discovered that there's value in getting to work early (i.e. uninterrupted time to get things done). Needless to say, this wreaks havoc with my sleep schedule.


Home of Smith College and located in a verdant shiny valley. Beautiful, crunchy, glossy. Served by Peter Pan, home of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Jonathan Edwards (who ran his grandfather out of town for being too liberal a preacher). There's a Herrell's there, and several really good bookstores, three memorable movie theaters, and - of course - there's the Iron Horse. There are also a thousand memories lurking at every turnstile. It seems incredible that I have not been there in so long since those memories are tangible.

Northern Virginia

My former home for much of my early career, filled with many, many, cookie-cutter suburbs, some great restaurants, some horrible drivers, a strip mall for every 50.8 residents, fabulous coworkers, and lots of congestion. I don't miss the crowds or the traffic, but I do miss the diversity of options. Where else can you see Madeleine Albright running in heels to catch the people mover, her secret service entourage jogging around her, or choose among Korean, Vietnamese, and Ecuadorian supermarkets? Where else can you find people who own a house on Electric Avenue and don't have Eddy Grant singing every time someone presses the doorbell? What a wasted opportunity.


I loved Norwich. It was a great big town/little city, a fantastic place to become independent. We actually lived in a subdivision named with a Robin Hood theme that was a hop and skip from a library that only allowed 4 books out at a time per patron. (The horror!) It was the one thing I would change. Norwich was a great town, and I'm not just saying that because the city museum has my ancestor's pickled hand available for perusal. I liked the museums, the surrounding towns, and the uneven streets. I liked fish and chips in vinegar for lunch, and the quiet of the close. I liked the old city walls and the bumpy busses and the thrill of a thousand streets to explore.


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