Photo by author
September 17th, 2014 | 6:00am

Photo by author

East, west, and south, hardwood forests upholster hills named for their compass points, while to the north shines Cayuga, one of the Finger Lakes’ eleven glacial furrows. This is Ithaca, where, as it was when I grew up here forty years ago, the nearest Interstate is still thirty miles away. The aesthetic of those miles is rolling, agricultural, and often hardscrabble, with pro-fracking and “for sale” signs equally likely to appear on roadside barns. To drive to Ithaca is a commitment to the scenic route, metaphorically and visually, because there is neither a fast lane nor an unattractive one.

September 15th, 2014 | 6:00am

(Attention: Spoilers Ahead!)

Fargo, an unpredictable and manipulative out-of-towner named Lorne Malvo (Billy Bob Thornton) incites a string of murders in small-town Minnesota. Though thematically, tonally, and aesthetically based on the critically acclaimed 1996 Coen brothers’ film of the same name – fear not, the series preserves the film’s beloved dark humor and “you betcha”s – the Emmy-nominated FX mini-series introduces entirely new characters and plot. Many of these characters are unexpectedly layered, defying tropes of the idiot detective and the ruthless killer, while some minor characters fit comfortably in well-known molds. It is a credit to the expert writing and acting that even these characters – including Glenn Howerton’s artificially bronzed and tragically naïve personal trainer – are vibrant.

Photo by Flickr Creative Commons user Stuart Seeger
September 11th, 2014 | 6:00am

Photo by Flickr Creative Commons user Stuart Seeger

In this month’s Ask A Local, Dagoberto Gilb offers us a glimpse of Austin, TX in the form of a micro-interview.

Photo by Flickr Creative Commons user Billy Blue Eyes
September 10th, 2014 | 6:00am

Photo by Flickr Creative Commons user Billy Blue Eyes

Casey delivered pharmaceuticals, body parts, and body fluids to nursing homes and medical facilities. He drove the graveyard shift. One night, for no good reason, I decided to tag along.

September 8th, 2014 | 6:00am

I believe New Yorkers. Whether they’ve ever questioned the dream in which they live, I wouldn’t know, because I wont ever dare ask that question.

– Dylan Thomas

In my first months in New York City I rode in the back of taxicabs through Central Park thinking, When will this sink in? When will it feel like I know where I am. I didn’t think I was dreaming – rather, I felt the whole city was dreaming with me inside of it, a poppy-field illusion, a drug trip induced by hidden valves releasing an experimental hallucinogen. The city needed to pinch itself awake, collectively, and climb out of the hollow to find out what was really going on.