Can you believe 2018 is halfway over? Given some of the stuff we’ve had to suffer through involving world affairs, watching the news for an hour can seem endless. Yet the days flow by so quickly! I just blinked, and my first month of summer vacation is over!


So . . . Happy July, everybody! Admittedly, at the half-way mark I have accomplished less on this blog than I had done by this time last year. I blame it on my work schedule. I blame it on the size of my burgeoning TBR pile, which can freeze me into inaction. Which book next? Where does it all lead?  Yes, existential angst is a great source of blame.

I blame it on Donald Trump – for the worry he chooses to cause us every day. Since this is not intended to be a political column, I’ll say no more – except to apologize to my non-American friends for what this jerk hath wrought. I know he’s not doing it alone. I just want to say how profoundly grateful I am to find myself in a forum that brings people from all over the world togetherin these days when the prevalent desire is to tear us all apart.


Tomorrow, I’m headed out for a short vacation. One week in New York City. Eight Broadway shows. (In order: Mean Girls, Dear Evan Hansen, The Boys in the Band, Carousel, My Fair Lady, Come from Away, The Band’s Visit, Once on This Island.) One teacher’s workshop. Hopefully, some of that good food they’re known for in the Big Apple. (Mmmm . . . lox!) Some contact with old friends, plus visits to the Met and MOMA. One hoped-for sojourn to The Mysterious Bookshop. (Please, Mr. Penzler, can’t you find me a copy of Green for Danger?) Some people-watching in Bryant Park. (No eye contact! They don’t like eye contact in New York.)

It had been my intention to pack my lap-top. Every night, after the theatre, I would post a blog about that day’s events and the show I had seen. Perhaps, since I’m bringing some reading material, I could even get in a post about a mystery. Also, since my hotel has wi-fi, I could watch my Netflix and Amazon Prime shows in my free time.

16641074_1653247861368931_5793722790614826078_n                                                          I’d pack them if I could!

This morning, however, I woke up to a profound realization: by bringing my laptop, I was taking too much me with me! Does that make sense? I’ve never been the most comfortable of travelers. I get anxious about leaving . . . right up until the plane takes off – and then I’m fine. I like my small comforts, and I crave cleanliness, which can add considerably to the cost of travel. But lugging so much of my home life with me contradicts the purpose of vacations: to shake off life’s routine for a period of time and just . . . explore the possibilities.

The thought of spending any significant part of this valuable week away with my eyes glued to a screen brings to mind a roomful of students, neighbors in the park, even . . . me!



And so . . . I’m not bringing the laptop. I’m not going to blog while I’m in New York. If I feel like watching TV, I’ll make do with the snazzy little set they provide in my hotel room. (But only when I’m getting ready to leave or getting ready for bed, I promise!) Most of the time, I’ll be out and about, exploring one of the craziest, most exciting cities in the world.

And since I’m bringing my iPad, which serves as my Kindle for reading –

little devil


Whoa, brother! Doesn’t that defeat the purpose?? Isn’t that a screen? The Spider Solitaire game is on your iPad. You play a lot of Spider Solitaire! Way too much, if you ask me! Leave your pad behind, man! Bring some books! Remember what they are?!?

A praying angel




I’ll merely use the device to take notes and pictures of what I see, and when I come home I’ll tell my readers all about it. Meanwhile, I’ll want follow and respond to my friends’ blog posts, and if my responses seem more brusque than usual, well . . . that’s New York for you. 🙂

little devil




Dude! Listen to what you’re saying!! You’re on vacation. Just . . . let it go!

A praying angel






But I . . . . . . . . .



Have a happy 4th, everybody. See you in a week!



  1. Have a wonderful trip, Brad, and I really hope you’ll enjoy those shows (lucky you!). I’m also hoping you’ll de-brief us when you get back! And as far as the laptop goes? I don’t blame you one bit for leaving it at home. Sometimes you have to unplug…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Have a good time in NYC! My wife (whose first husband was a Broadway stage electrician, so she saw lots of the top shows several times over) was telling me just the other day about the My Fair Lady revival . . . and telling me in a significant way. Perhaps when the current book’s been put to bed . . .

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Christophe! I have a tendency to be too insular, and technology makes it worse! Hopefully, NYC will distract me from the withdrawal! 🙂


  3. I had two digital detox weeks recently — one deliberate, one accidental (the installer couldn’t find my apartment). I found them very valuable experiences and I got a lot of reading done … see if you can find a hotel room without a TV set!!


  4. Enjoy your time in NYC! I’ve seen most of the shows on your list and guarantee you a wonderful time on Broadway. Of those you will see my favorites were THE BAND’S VISIT, MY FAIR LADY and DEAR EVAN HANSEN. I’ll be interested in what you think of MEAN GIRLS. No desire to see it at all. The song that was performed on the Tony Awards was ghastly, IMO — as a composition, in choreography and in singing. It’s probably good that you’re seeing that one first because the shows only get increasingly better as you progress towards your final night with the life affirming and utterly joyful ONCE ON THIS ISLAND.


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