Photo by Flickr Creative Commons user blmiers2
February 6th, 2013 | 9:00am

Photo by Flickr Creative Commons user blmiers2

There is a bend to everything.

Edges melt into curves like winter

and then spring, snow sways from

white to gray, powder to crust

and too many dialects make noise

Photo by Sharona Jacobs
February 5th, 2013 | 9:00am

Photo by Sharona Jacobs

Jennifer Haigh is the author of Baker Towers, Faith, The Condition, and Mrs. Kimble, which won the Pen/Hemingway Award for debut fiction. Her short stories have appeared in, among other publications, The Atlantic, Granta, and The Saturday Evening Post. S. Tremaine Nelson met Haigh at New York City's Center for Fiction in December 2012, during The Common’s “Beyond Geography” panel; post-event, Haigh and Nelson discussed their feelings about the bone-withering winters of Massachusetts (Haigh lives in the Boston area; Nelson's family on Cape Cod), and continued their exchange via email. Jennifer’s latest collection, News From Heaven: The Bakerton Stories, published this February by Harper, features a story originally published in Issue No. 04 of The Common.

Photo by Flickr Creative Commons user Wapster
February 4th, 2013 | 9:00am

Last weekend I stopped by Film Biz Recycling, a thrift store that sells props previously used on the sets of TV shows, movies, and plays. It’s a place I’ve been curious about for years, having heard of vintage treasures to be found amidst its workaday prop items. I wasn’t sure what to expect, and upon entering was somewhat jarred by the hodge-podge of items, arranged with no particular logic. A toy piano stood next to a stodgy-looking coffee table, which sat beneath a shelf of Cuban cigar boxes and a framed copy of the rules of the board game “The Game of Life”.

Courtesy of the Trust for Governors Island
February 1st, 2013 | 9:00am

In the Upper Bay of New York’s harbor, there is a new urban island under construction. Technically, this project is a work of rejuvenation or, as professionals say, adaptive re-use. A military installation since colonial times, Governors Island hosted a U.S. Army base until the mid-1960s. Then the Coast Guard took over, operating there until 1997, when the federal government deeded the island to the City and State of New York. Good timing. The subsequent fifteen years saw New York City’s most radical re-invention since the invention of the elevator.

Photo by Sarah Menkedick
January 31st, 2013 | 9:00am

We lived in a half-built villa by the sea. It was terrifically gaudy, and the most breathtaking place any of us had ever lived. The two long walls of the rectangular main room rose only to knee height and from there became screen-less windows, which could be closed by winding down shutters. We left them open day and night. To the west we could see the vast cobalt blue of the Indian Ocean all the way to the heat-white horizon, and to the east, Reunion Island rising in boxy pastel-colored buildings and palms to its foggy volcanoes and peaks.

Photo by Sarah Menkedick