The story of three immigrants helping to transform the city of Utica, N.Y., gives fresh insights about refugees forced to flee home.
Sometimes leaving a person alone is an act of love.
I was riding on a bus along Christopher Street when I looked out the window, past the gingko trees that were just turning yellow and dropping stinky fruits on sidewalks around Manhattan, to see Jason walking with his arm resting across the shoulders of his long-time girlfriend, Clarissa. Her long black hair tumbled over his steady shoulder. He enfolded her in his warm embrace. His lips were near her ear, and by his half smile, I imagined he was saying something clever. Jason’s face was heavier than when we were a couple.
I was gazing out at Provincetown Bay through the enormous picture window in Norman Mailer’s home. Betty Friedan’s classic analysis, The Feminine Mystique, sat open on my lap. Jessica, an administrator of the Norman Mailer Writers Colony, entered through the patio door, bringing in the chilly fall air and the news that Norris Church Mailer had died.