Even on a day as sad as this, the Hudson River — your river, my river — rolls on.
We are all forever grateful.
It avails not, time nor place—distance avails not,
I am with you, you men and women of a generation, or ever so many generations
Just as you feel when you look on the river and sky, so I felt,
Just as any of you is one of a living crowd, I was one of a crowd,
Just as you are refresh’d by the gladness of the river and the bright flow, I was
Just as you stand and lean on the rail, yet hurry with the swift current, I stood
yet was hurried,
Just as you look on the numberless masts of ships and the thick-stemm’d pipes
of steamboats, I look’d.
— Walt Whitman, “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry”
I write with a heavy heart about a man I never met and knew for only six months. Word came this week that David Naylor, author, architectural historian, and expert on America’s grand picture palaces, died of a heart attack. He was just 57 years old.
David emailed me in August to ask for some publishing advice. He had read and admired a book I published at Random House about “the battle of the sexes” between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs, by the great sportswriter Selena Roberts. He was now determined to write about Title IX and the Women’s National Soccer Team, and held Selena’s book up as model. “I want to get something out fast,” he said. “Even though I am a Luddite of the first order, I just did an eBook in under six months.” That immediately endeared me to him. Later on he wrote: “Don’t know about yourself, but half the reason I write books is so I can learn about things previously uncharted (the other half is about the travel–certainly not about the huge heaping royalties, eh?).” He was an endlessly curious man, and also modest, funny, generous, and sweet. [continue reading…]
Jordan, A-Rod & Jay Shapiro. Photo courtesy Sarabeth Levine
Today would have been Jay Shapiro’s 65th birthday, a day in 1947 that also fell on Father’s Day. Jay was a remarkable man and our veterinarian for many years. He was irreplaceable, and all over New York there are animals and humans who continue to grieve his passing. In tribute, Jay’s sister Sarabeth Levine posted this great photo (above) of Jay and his son Jordan on her website. Between two is their cat, A-Rod.
You can read my tribute to Jay, first published in Bark magazine, here on Livin’ The High Line or on Sarabeth’s site. Jay was a man apart: an extraordinary father, doctor, brother, son, friend. Not a day goes by that we don’t think of him.
Paw to heart, eyes to heaven. We miss you so.