Wildwood Days

Wildwood Days

The first time my family vacationed in Wildwood, New Jersey, we stayed at a three-story motel on East Lavender Road. Its blinking neon sign greeted us each night as we trudged up from the beach, weary from hours spent in…

"Football in Grass" by Jayel Aheram / licensed under Creative Commons

Betting Big on the Box Trifecta

They say my grandpa used to bet on the ponies. They say he swaggered to the harness racetrack several nights a week when the weather was warm enough to draw the crowds, smoking a White Owl cigar and leaning over…

Photo by Wednesday Elf - Mountainside Crochet

Finding Home in America, Part V: Land that I Know

[Be sure to read parts 1, 2, 3, and 4 first. – Editors] “I see great things in baseball. It’s our game–the American game. It will take our people out-of-doors, fill them with oxygen, give them a larger physical stoicism….

On Digging In

On Digging In

“I think you can never really do something well unless you’re able to leave it and, you know, have a family and have a home, and have a place that you’re from that you’re really dug in, you know. I…

A Spoiled Question

A Spoiled Question

In a small shore town in New Jersey, my family has a condo with a trapezoid of water visible if you lean off the porch. We’ve vacationed in this town since I was a baby, renting each summer for a…

Campo de' Fiori / courtesy flickr user O. Bendorf

Campo

According to most history books, timelines are horizontal. But in Rome history drew its own line vertically: new was built upon old and an urban layer-cake was formed. You can’t even build a subway line without ceding the project to archaeology for…

Some Things Don’t Change

Some Things Don’t Change

We seem to believe that there’s a safety blanket covering these mountains. As kids we run in packs with our cousins or bike around the campground, exhilarated to be out from under out parents’ watchful presence. Helmets are more optional…

Nerd at the Window

Nerd at the Window

Ever since Dad treated us kids to a flight in a small plane, I’ve lived for the days I can glue my face to a window, cramp every muscle in my neck, and survey the earth as we begin our…

Photo by Evan Gregg

Headwaters

Sometime last spring, I was driving through northern Minnesota when the road I was on passed over a small waterway. It was an unremarkable little brook lazily worming through the forest, but a sign on the shoulder identified it as…

Photo by Darla Hueske

Country Shit

[Editor’s note: This week, we’re publishing two essays on music–particularly country music–and how it shapes our identity. This essay is a response to “Why Country Music Loves Me,” by Emma Eisenberg, which you can read here.] When I was a…