Eretz Manhattan


A piece of the Berlin Wall, midtown.

The Zeek editorial meetings which brought me to New York are now over. After a ten hour-long session that began with a tasty Indian lunch on 96th street and Amsterdam avenue, I’m free to enjoy my last two days here. I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to it. On the agenda is lunch at a small hummus place around the corner, a stop at my favorite local record store, Other Music, and then a short walk up to 12th and Broadway to meet my family for dinner.

The nice thing about this trip is that it’s introduced me to a part of the city I overlooked as a child, when my father and I lived here in the early ’80s. After fifteen years in the suburbs, my brother sold his home, and bought a place on the border between Chinatown and Little Italy last summer. A beautiful, two bedroom apartment in a brand new, four story building, David’s pad looks out at three Italian restaurants, and is a stone’s throw away from the best Malaysian restaurant and tacqueria in the city. On nearly every nearby block, there’s a deli replete with cans of Lavazza espresso and freshly baked breads on display in the window.

Before going into yesterday’s meetings, I went to the new MOMA for the first time with my former Tikkun co-editor, Jo Ellen. Though we did not have too much time to spare, we saw a few photographs by Gerhard Richter, which were spectacular, as well as a small exhibit of Emigre magazine covers.¬† As magazine editors, this was perhaps the most interesting of everything we looked at. Design-wise the most influential periodical of the first wave of “desktop-publishing,” Emigre’s influence remains vast and under-appreciated. Thus, it was incredibly gratifying to see the periodical on display at an institution like the MOMA.

The only problem with this trip is how little time it has afforded Jennifer to relax. Hard at work at her company’s Manhattan office, she slaved away until eight last night, and then hung out here with my brother until I came in at eleven. Nevertheless, it was immensely cool to see how comfortable both she and David were with each other when I walked through the door. Their second time meeting each other (their first and last meeting to date was at our wedding party last year), the two of them seem to have found much in common with each other very quickly.

Because my family is so spread out – in Israel, France, New York and Maine – I’ve always lamented how difficult it’s been to facilitate this kind of intimacy. But, given¬† moments like this, its clear that we’re all learning how to overcome the geographies that separate us. Whereas in the past, I would go up to four years at a time without seeing my parents, over the course of the past sixteen months, Jennifer and I have been to Israel twice to see them, and they’ve returned the gesture with two visits to the US. Now, with David in the same loop, things could not be better.

Longtail Music Appreciation Moment: Can: Future Days (1973)