16 posts
SidAndFinancy is not drinking any more. Nor any less.

Cheers and Bloating on the Campaign Trail ’16

Yesterday, your humble correspondent went undercover disguised as a New Hampshire voter — corduroy pants, L.L. Bean sweater and sensible winter footwear — as distinct from the pack of campaign reporters flown in from places like the District of Columbia and Brooklyn, dressed in skinny jeans, striped dress shirts, slim-cut blazers and overlong, square-toed dress shoes. Continue reading

QOTD: What’s Your Favorite Sentence?

Japanese Teahouse at Rosecliff, a Newport, RI, mansion used in the filming of 1974's The Great Gatsby.
Chinese Tea House at Marble House, a Newport, RI, mansion used in the filming of 1974’s The Great Gatsby.

The American Scholar recently published a list of its editors’ picks for the “Ten Best Sentences.”  Fitzgerald took the first slot, with this sentence from The Great Gatsby: “Its vanished trees, the trees that had made way for Gatsby’s house, had once pandered in whispers to the last and greatest of all human dreams; for a transitory enchanted moment man must have held his breath in the presence of this continent, compelled into an aesthetic contemplation he neither understood nor desired, face to face for the last time in history with something commensurate to his capacity for wonder.” Continue reading

How Your Area Code Determines Your Status in Life

What’s your area code? Does it have a 1 or a 0 in the middle? That’s a proper area code. Due to a quirk in the brilliantly elegant Bell System switching design, all area codes had 1s or 0s in the center. That way, the system knew whether you were dialing an area code or a local exchange, which used to have beautiful names like WAverly-6 or LIncoln-2, back before you had to dial a bajillion digits to call your neighbor down the street.
Continue reading

Terrible Decisions in Sid’s Life: We Could Stop in Reno on the Way!

I had a few friends who spent winters after college being ski bums at Breckinridge. One year, two college buddies and I, flush with Christmas cash, decided to visit them. But rather than just fly to Colorado, we chose to fly to San Francisco for a New Year’s Eve party first, then drive more than a third of the way across the country to ski.

The New Year’s party was an absolute shit-show. Actually, more of a puke-show. Continue reading

QOTD: What Was Your First Concert or Record?

drawI remember asking for “a Beatles album” for Christmas. My parents obliged with Abbey Road. That could have been worse.

The first records I remember buying for myself were Never Mind the Bollocks, Blow Your Face Out and The Flying Lizards, the last of which I had to special order from the “punk/new wave” record store in town. I still have the vinyl, with “PROMOTIONAL COPY: NOT FOR RESALE” embossed on the jacket.  Continue reading

New York City: The Crack Years

996747416_a95e0d9ac3_bI got to thinking about the heavy crack days. New York’s, not mine. Crack was like a tidal wave crashing across the city. I lived uptown, in the 120s. You know how, when you walk in the country at a certain time of year, you hear the leaves crunching beneath every step? It was like that in my neighborhood. Not leaves, though, crack vials.

I would get the train at the valley of 125th Street most mornings, at the only elevated stop on the original Manhattan IRT lines, thanks to the island’s sudden dip in altitude between Morningside Heights and Hamilton Heights. I was usually the only person not jumping the turnstile. Continue reading