paper city

06/19/17 08:21

Reading the New York Times yesterday and coming across the essay titled, “Admit It. Summer’s terrible,” I thought: And people beyond the Hudson think this is the cheerless newspaper of a dyspeptic city.   

By Thomas Swick • Category: newspapers

We're having neighbors over this evening and I'm already anticipating the questions about all of my books. "Well the thing about books," I'm going to tell them, "is that, if you write 'em you oughta read 'em."

By Thomas Swick • Category: books

speechwriter

06/15/17 08:30

The president said, in sonorous tones that oozed sincerity and suggested profundity: “We are stronger when we’re united.” True, as clichés often are. I’d have preferred: “We are safer when there’s gun control.”

By Thomas Swick • Category: Americans

no go

06/14/17 08:46

Hania refuses to see Wonder Woman. She hates competition.

By Thomas Swick • Category: Uncategorized

The New Yorker has lost some of its imperiousness over the years; for instance, it now publishes letters. But those letters constitute for me its greatest mystery: Do the editors never receive a funny one, or do they simply have no sense of humor?

By Thomas Swick • Category: Americans

My favorite parts of the tournament were the moments of male compassion – del Potro consoling the sobbing, injured Almagro; Zeballos carrying into the locker room the gear of the likewise incapacitated Goffin – and the women’s semi-final matches as both tattooed ladies went down in defeat. Unfortunately, the victors in both those matches had chosen for the tournament the exact same outfit of white tennis dress with blue-and-green trim. This meant that the final would be played by look-a-likes, since athlete superstitiousness always supersedes fashion embarrassment.

That final was a little disappointing to me as I thought that, of the two, Ostapenko – who had just turned 20 – would have been less devastated by defeat. Halep had already lost one French Open final – to the now shunned Sharapova – and was, at 25, on the cusp of tennis middle age. And, in the hours after her victory, Ostapenko proved a little annoying by answering pretty much every question any interviewer asked her with: “Yes, I’m just so happy, I still can’t believe I won Roland Garros.” Perhaps she was so happy she no longer understood English. (Though, barely out of teenagerdom, she speaks it better than Nadal.) But this is what happens when twenty-year-olds win Grand Slams. 

I had mixed feelings about the men’s semi-finals. I was delighted to see Wawrinka take down the thick-legged, malcontent Murray, a man whose black shoes and ankle braces, combined with his cloddish gait between points, always make him look like he’s playing in construction boots. But I wanted Thiem to rise up, as he had in Rome, and conquer Nadal. Or at least win a set.

I barely watched the final. But I take my hat off to Nadal’s team, which seems to have had some success in getting him, from time to time, to pick at his pocket instead of his underpants.

By Thomas Swick • Category: sports