May was an unusual month—most of the work I did will appear, at some point, in print, which means that I’ve written some lovely stories that I’m excited about and have nothing to show for it, yet. Writing for print has different rhythm than writing for the internet, and it’s not as simple as to combine the two as a medium-agnostic freelancer would hope.
This story, on Niagara Falls, N.Y., and why Cuomo’s state government is so invested in saving it, did come out, though. It was a depressing place to visit, but I would like to go back in five years and see if the city has succeeded in becoming the place it wants to be, a tourist destination where you can be “Thoreau on a zip-line, swinging through the woods like Spiderman, then heading downtown for a cocktail and fancy dinner.”
And, as sad as this story on heat deaths and climate change was, it was really incredible to see ideas and words that I put on paper be transformed into images.
I had never thought much about the history of AIDS, but I was given And the Band Played On as a present and spent the next weeks learning about this early reaction. I was lucky that The Normal Heart came out on HBO, and that I had a terrible cold that gave me an excuse to lie on the couch and watch all of Angels in America. I think what I found so compelling was the closeness and distance of this time: some of these events happened in my lifetime, at its very beginning, in New York, when I lived, as toddler, in New York, and yet that world feels very different and far away than one in which gay marriage is becoming standard state law.
Image: Metropolitan Museum of Art