Photo from Twitter
May 3rd, 2013 | 8:02am

Two weeks ago today, I woke up reading an email that Watertown was closed. The Boston, Cambridge, and Watertown police departments had sealed a perimeter. No entrance, no exit. The office was closed. I had started working for a landscape architecture practice in Watertown that Monday, the morning of the Marathon. After three months on the city’s outskirts, writing full-time, at last I had started traveling around Boston and Cambridge. The Lockdown froze the city in its novelty for me.

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Photo by Flickr Creative Commons user BANAMINE
May 1st, 2013 | 8:00am

The second-place horse in the 2008 Kentucky Derby, Eight

Belles, collapsed with shattered front fetlocks just after

crossing the finish line. She was euthanized on the track.


Before the race, heat shimmers off the track, an apparition dancing to the band.

April 30th, 2013 | 8:00am

Click here to read Part 1 of this essay.


The sprawling state nursing home is in a dreary area on the edge of the city. Arline tells me that schoolchildren often visit the home to entertain the residents, and the president makes appearances. A nun gives us a tour of the cafeteria, the many patios and balconies, the nursing stations. Although the buildings are institutional, grey walls and grey tile, the home offers tiny single rooms with private baths -- Nora wouldn't have roommates to disturb -- and nurses on staff around the clock. The price is right; less than Nora's pension. Arline tears with relief as she thanks the nun for her help. The nun directs us to the social worker's office.

Photo by Barry Yanowitz
April 29th, 2013 | 8:00am

Slate has a new travel blog celebrating strange and beautiful places around the world. Recent entries include a tunnel of flowers, a theater that has been remodeled into a bookstore, and a movie theater that floats in a lagoon.

Speaking of mysterious places, Stonehenge is seeking a general manager. Details at The Atlantic.

April 26th, 2013 | 8:00am

Curated by Julia Cooke

Twenty-four searchlights, all high-powered, were set on rooftops around Philadelphia’s Benjamin Franklin Parkway last September and October. They were programmed, however, to avoid shining their spotlights on any physical objects: no buildings, no naked windows, no trees. Instead, they glimmered straight up into the sky: twenty-four columns of light responding — here solid, there faint, twitching and beating and sweeping across the sky together, then separating — to the voices of Philadelphia residents.