Tag Archives: identity


You enter a diner far from home, in a state or neighborhood you’ve never visited before – and you know the place: it comes straight from the catalog of diners so you’re sure you’ve been here – the brass chandeliers and the Early American formica; the railings and tables; you know where the restrooms are […]

NOT WHAT YOU THINK–Being Yourself Isn’t as Easy as You Always Assumed

Dear Friends, Adversaries, Acquaintances, and Strangers:                                              (I believe that takes in everyone.)   This is a journey in search of identity, which sometimes isn’t what we think.   We begin in New York […]

NOT WHAT YOU THINK – A Journey in Search of Identity (rev.)

    It’s Washington Square Park, a damp and cloudy Sunday– noon, but no one’s around.   I open my lunch, the remains of last night’s Indian dinner, wrapped in rumpled foil— a scrap of flatbread and a half-eaten hunk of tandoori chicken.     Two neatly dressed people come by on their church’s mission […]


Someone was worried about being misrepresented in a local newspaper. I pointed out that sometimes we think our exposure in the media is greater than we either fear or, conversely, hope. Of course, the media can create great waves of knowledge and notoriety. But not always.   To illustrate, I mentioned something that happened when […]


BARNEY Hey, don’t leave.   (Gets up, moves his things to her table.)   I think it’s better if I sit here and keep my voice down.—Stay, Gloria, please.   (She sits, looks down at her plate.)   It’s funny: you were on thousands of those posters–and now you don’t want a stranger like me […]

NOT WHAT YOU THINK – Around New York, Clarifying Identity

A cloudy, damp Sunday in Washington Square—noon, but no one’s around. I’m early for a film shoot, my lunch the foil-wrapped remains of last night’s Indian meal—flatbread and half-eaten hunk of tandoori chicken. Two neatly dressed people, on their church’s mission to feed the homeless, offer me— in my old jeans and windbreaker, with food […]