How’s that for a headline?

Tiffany apse window (detail). Photo credit: St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, New York

Back in the day when CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite was America’s Most Trusted Person, he sat for an interview with talk-show host Dick Cavett. After a couple of warmup questions, Cavett leaned in with an impish grin and asked: “So Walter, what happens after you die?”

Cronkite brushed it…

“Eternity 123”
Triskelion Arts, Brooklyn
October 30, 2021

Vangeline in “Eternity 123” : Photo by Bryan Kwon

Butoh dance queen Vangeline describes her solo “Eternity 123” as a “symbolic journey of women’s liberation across time.” I tossed the program note aside, and watched the show with an open mind, with which the artist proceeded to play.

The piece…

Origins of Modern Dance Re-Visioned

Ted Shawn and Ruth St. Denis c. 1920

Ted Shawn and Ruth St. Denis are known as the “mother and father of American Modern Dance,” but the works they choreographed and performed have been lost for years. All that remained were dusty photographs and flickering, black-and-white films. …

For What it Was and Is

Photo by Jesse Mills

Out for a late-night walk this week, I saw what’s become a familiar sight in September — a beacon shining up from the former site of the World Trade Center. …

I’m with the Ocean

Come all you young sailors who follow the sea ..
Way, hey, blow the man down —
Please pay attention and listen to me,
Give me some time to blow the man down.

Photo by Tim Burke

Midway through a two-week vacation on Long Beach Island, New Jersey, this sea…

“Pee when you can..”

Photo by Debra Given

Turning 80 is not something that happens on your birthday. It’s a sea-change in your idea of yourself and your life. Like every “big birthday,” it starts with anticipation six months or more in advance, and goes on until you accept and embrace your Eightyness.

Turning 80, you realize that…

First, You Cry.

Photo by Ben Hershey via Unplash

Lying in bed recently, doing nothing, thinking about nothing, I cried. Nothing dramatic, just a few deep, soft waves of sadness that came and went. Still, it felt like a good cry. It happened repeatedly, every few days.

While looking for a reason, my mind went back…

The Curse of Ms. Bliss

Photo: National Cancer Institute via Unsplash

The first warning I ever heard about old age came from my fifth-grade teacher. Grey-haired, thin, and usually dressed in black, Ms. Bliss aroused no special feelings in me. But somehow I brought out a deep resentment in her. One day, I discovered an alternate…

Tom Phillips

Tom Phillips is a New York writer, journalist, and critic-at-large.

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