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Ralph Gardner Jr.

  • I realize Thanksgiving is right around the corner. And I’m very much looking forward to Thanksgiving dinner. This year, as we usually do, we’re celebrating at my sister-in-law’s house on Long Island. She’s making a turkey with all the fixings. I’m supplying, as I always do, the tinfoil wrapped chocolate turkeys.
  • Apple picking is synonymous with autumn, even if apples aren’t my favorite fruit. They lack the subtlety of raspberries, if you ask me, and nothing compares to a succulent summer peach. But it’s hard to beat the experience of visiting an orchard on a crisp fall day under brilliant blue skies, as the hills glow with the reds and golds of the season’s foliage and geese fly high overhead.
  • Wednesday night was over fifty years in the making. It began in sophomore year at college while listening to Paul Simon’s song “Old Friends,” inevitably under the influence. Swept up in the tune’s pathos I felt compelled to analyze the lyrics for my forgiving and equally intoxicated classmates who’d managed to squeeze into one claustrophobic dorm room.
  • Lighthouses serve various purposes. They warn ships away from dangerous shores. They’re romantic and evocative and double as tourist attractions. And the one in the Hudson River, just south of the city of Hudson, cautions me that the train will soon be arriving at the station and it’s time to head for the exit.
  • I love the Eiffel Tower. That’s not an especially radical statement. What’s not to like about the fanciful reddish-brown latticework structure that looms over Paris? But that’s separate and distinct from saying that I love Paris, though the two are almost synonymous in my mind.
  • Staying at an Airbnb property – we’re visiting several in the next couple of weeks -- has its advantages. Foremost among them, I suppose, is that they tend to be cheaper than a comparable hotel room.
  • Here’s how out of touch I am. I did a Google search for “the world’s most expensive yoga mat” suspecting I might have recently bought it. I paid $250 plus tax and shipping. Let me explain before you brand me some sort of pretentious jerk.
  • I’m sitting on the horns of dilemma. When I explain what the issue is you’d be totally justified in thinking – this guy really ought to get a life. To that I’d respond I have a life. And part of the reason is that I sweat the details. My wife and children probably think I do so way too much. And my infant grandchildren probably will too once they master the rudiments of language.
  • I’ve been losing a lot of sleep lately. The cause of my insomnia isn’t the usual culprit – existential dread. It’s the late night matches at the US Open. The tournament runs at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens through Sunday.
  • I’m doing my best to be a climate smart citizen. I compost. I reuse plastic bags. I’m sealing the holes in my house to ready it for a heat pump. But I draw the line at liquid soap. I’m not referring to dish soap. That’s indispensable. I’m talking about the liquid soap you use in the shower.