In House

"In House" is a weekly column featuring trawlings and reflections from our editors.

Saturday, April 12, 2014 - 10:04am

In the third season of Girls on HBO, whose season finale aired at the end of March, Hannah Horvath, age twenty-five, is at the Gramercy Park Hotel in New York with seven friends. A renaissance-revival design concept by artist Julian Schnabel,the $929 suite is Hannah’s to review for her advertorial job at GQ, and she has decided to throw a party. Her boyfriend is making his Broadway debut. Her best friend Marnie has a chance at being a folk songstress, and Hannah herself is secretly applying to the Iowa Writers Workshop. Packed into a deluxe hotel room, these twenty-somethings entertain visions of success larger than their own lives. 


Saturday, April 12, 2014 - 10:09am


The beloved British travel writer Patrick Leigh Fermor’s long-awaited last book made it into print in March, three years after his death and seventy-nine after the adventure that inspired it. The Broken Road is the third and last volume of Leigh Fermor’s winsome, nostalgic, and poetic memoir of his two-year walk across Europe to Constantinople, as the philhellene Leigh Fermor called Istanbul to the end.

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Tuesday, March 11, 2014 - 1:40pm

1.     The Origin of the Species.


Put the yellow kettle on. Ignore the floors in desperate need of cleaning. Fill the small metal base of the Bialetti with water (just to the safety valve). Spoon coffee from the ice-cold Viennese candy tin into the funnel. Screw the top on (tight, but not too much so) and put it on the stove. Don’t let the flame overtake it. Tuck the yellow and green-leafed curtain behind its hook. Look out at the ugly building across the way, the Greek and American flags, the third floor doors to an abandoned idea of balconies.



Monday, February 3, 2014 - 10:05am

Hello, everybody. My name is Julia, and I am becoming an Internet genealogy addict. I don’t believe in higher powers, except, like, the NSA and the IRS. So I must rely on my failing willpower. Unless you find a rich uncle, Internet genealogy is hard to justify as useful. Why should I care that four hundred years ago, some remote ancestor was a rabbi in Moravia?, where I listed my family tree, says it has 74,346,170 people on its site. I’m already up to 1,820 blood relatives.


Monday, January 27, 2014 - 5:59pm

We met friends north of Seattle, then drove to catch the ferry to Orcas Island and talked about Washington’s bikini baristas.  It would be another three hours before the ferry left, so we walked through cars and trucks parked in lanes straight as garden rows to the snack shop and overpaid for sandwiches, a banana, soda.  You sat on the asphalt behind a Chevy Tahoe, petting a pit bull someone had tied to the trailer hitch, and I took your picture.


Tuesday, January 21, 2014 - 10:39am


As I approached the corner of Throop Avenue and Van Buren Street in early summer 2013, I couldn't help but notice the giant "Murder - $50,000 Reward" sign that loomed over the intersection, emblazoned with the photo of a dead businessman. The New York City neighborhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant, I'd heard, was still a little "rough," but the sign was unlike anything I'd seen outside of Wild West movies. Almost comically, the image was plastered with a blood-red 'Solved' caption, as though calling out a fatuous warning: attention, would-be Bed-Stuy murderers - you might, eventually, be caught.

Photo by Flickr Creative Commons user grendelkhan

Tuesday, March 11, 2014 - 10:44am

Photo by Flickr Creative Commons user grendelkhan

Ground fog hovers out the back kitchen window, warm air over snow. We set out to walk before coffee. From the home of dear friends, we make our way down the dead-end road to the muddy grass path that leads us to the turn (right) down the rough-cleared way (duck under the fallen tree) to the fields owned by the nearby church and leased to the farmers. In a pair of borrowed rain boots and hooded sweatshirt (in late December), I feel a warm sweat rising.


Photo by Met

Monday, February 3, 2014 - 12:21am

When I see handmade cloth, with its uneven selvedges and irregularities, I feel a kinship. My mother was a weaver. I would come home from school and find my mother weaving, warping, or winding yarn. She wove on traditional four- or eight-harness looms, wooden frames the size of a grand piano. I grew up with the household sounds (and vocabulary) of the 1700s—the whizz of a shuttle, the thump of the beater, the rattle of heddles, and the shunk of harnesses.

Photo by Flickr Creative Commons user Jonathan D. Blundell

Sunday, March 23, 2014 - 8:57pm


Photo by Flickr Creative Commons user Jonathan D. Blundell

Strange to go back

To the house I’d left

Eight months before.

Empty now, sold

Short, short-sale, mortgage

Underwater, upsidedown.

Monday, November 4, 2013 - 4:19pm

I’m no horticulturalist. I don’t have a garden. It’s renderings of flowers and plants that make me stop short and stare: a page full of small bits of white and domed yellow, the spindly green branching almost like a seaweed. A field of lines and colors on paper becomes a beautiful, vivid thing that recalls the plant I could see and touch and know, if I dared. 

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