Saturday, June 30, 2012


I saw The Columnist this week, which, though brimming with good lines, had no y words worth mentioning. What was so interesting about the play was how one of its great moments of exoneration echoed the great moment of exoneration in Other Desert Cities. Both plays go to bat for America.

Before The Columnist, I had dinner at the Century Club (for how many years have macaroons been offered at dessert?), which had perhaps one y word of note: Fourty. It appeared in a display of letters from the Century's joke documents from a time capsule of 1912.

Today there's an article in the Times, Vivian Lee's piece "Fighting N.Y.U. Expansion Plan With Star Power," which uses Matthew Broderick to bring attention to an issue that well-nigh breaks my heart, especially as an alumna of NYU: the expansion plan known as N.Y.U. 2031.

Matthew Broderick, a bona fide Villager (born on West Ninth, raised on Washington Square North, and a resident all his years but one) described NYU's expansion over the years, "I watched those sterile new buildings go up. There's nothing wrong with the buildings, but they're not very Village-y."

That's right. They're not.

If only NYU's leaders would don better eye glasses.

(By the way, I'd like to know exactly where Julie Menin stands on the NYU expansion plan, as well as on the rezoning of Chelsea Market.)

It's bad enough Cuomo is poised to make drinking water hazardous to our health. 

Now we're not even going to be able to find respite and beauty in the Village?

If I were a cartoonist, I would draw NYU's leaders and the City Planning Commission as a gaggle of grim reapers hammering the last few nails into a coffin shaped like the island of Manhattan. 

In fact, by NYU’s own studies it will place entire streets in perpetual shadow, 
it will create a 1 million sq’ excavation pit and
 multiple high rise towers
 shoehorned btwn apartment buildings, add
 30 years of construction dust and debris
–It will destroy
 acres of vegetation on currently zoned open space,
it will fell every tree, of which there are currently hundreds. It will alienate
 one of NYC first community gardens and it will destroy several
 community maintained playgrounds. Approval will 
overturn covenants protecting the residential use,
 and change the character Greenwich Village forever.

Just one of many comments [line fiddling mine] about the NYU plan,
this one in response to a Curbed article, 
"NYU Opponents Gather to Pre-Mourn Sasaki Garden"

Friday, June 29, 2012


From my copy of Norton Juster's The Dot and The Line: a romance in lower mathematics:

This is around the part where the dot, who "wondered why she had never noticed how hairy and coarse he [the disorganized if sexy -- possibly mingy? -- squiggle] was, and how untidy and graceless, and how he mispronounced his L's and picked his ear" comes to her senses.

"You are as meaningless as a melon," she said coldlv. "Undisciplined, unkempt and unaccountable, insignificant, indeterminate and inadvertent, out of shape, out of order, out of place and out of luck."

I think it's good luck, somehow, to have this 1963 typing error because her tone of voice can be heard as somewhat Russian, viz., she speaks not coldly but koldlov. Or maybe it's just my Russian roots speaking.

Friday, June 22, 2012


From Melissa Clark's regular Wednesday column in the Times' food section, this week with the headline "A Fresh Fruit Tart, Perfumed With Roses":

I planted it [a rosebush] a decade ago, yearning for old-fashioned, blousy blossoms, but I never got much more than a single bouquet. 

It's an unusual word, partly because it shows up in Merriam-Webster but not in the OED. It's pronounced to rhyme with grouse-y (or mouse-y or louse-y), but looks as if it makes reference to the Blous, a place in France where neither you nor I have ever been. 

It certainly is a very good-looking word. 

In M-W it's an adjective to blouse's noun; in the OED bloused is the adjective.

What's interesting about the word is that it looks beautiful but sounds less than beautiful. 

What's most interesting about the recipe is the rose milk (for the pastry cream). I haven't tried that kind of milk yet. And if there's extra rose water, I suppose one could make Turkish delight.

Sunday, June 17, 2012


I could see this being pronounced to rhyme with grouchy (e.g., I cannot go biking today, thus I am grouchy).

Named after the French mathematician Augustin Louis Cauchy and from the article "Tibetan Singing Bowls," by Denis Terwagne and John W. M. Bush, published July 1, 2011, in Nonlinearity 24 R51–R66:

To simplify the acoustic analysis, one can approximate the glass or bowl by a cylindrical shell with a rigid base and an open top (figure 2(a)). The system can then be described in terms of 7 physical variables, the radius R, height H0, thickness a, Young’s modulus Y and density ρs of the cylindrical shell, and the frequency f and amplitude Δ of its oscillating rim. The system can thus be described in terms of 4 independent dimensionless groups, which we take to be R/H, Δ /a, Δ /R and a Cauchy number Ca = ρsf 2Δ2/Y that indicates the relative magnitudes of the inertial and the elastic forces experienced by the vibrating rim.

The serious music shop near Amy's Bread on Bleecker has Tibetan singing bowls. Personally I was more interested in the bowls for Indian water music.

"Lake in Tibet" from Orbit Trap 

Saturday, June 2, 2012


A friend wrote this to me when I said I couldn't go out with her this weekend.

An oldie, phooey. My mother uses this word every now and again.

Maybe it's time to bring it back into regular circulation.

[ photo I grabbed from the Web during an Apple store unknown ]