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In the suburbs no one can hear you scream

I live in the suburbs now.  From the maelstrom of Union Square in Manhattan to the slightly more sedate “urban” experience of highrise in downtown Abu Dhabi was one shift. But in a weird way the shift from one cityscape to another wasn’t as big a shift as the move from city to the ‘burbs.  It’s so quiet here . . . and when I walk around at night I’m …

mixer, memento: finding roots in a rootless life

I have a new coffee table. Big and square, it’s exactly the right height to rest my feet on while I sit on the couch.  I have a new dining table, too, and in the kitchen cabinet there’s a new mixer—one of those fancy standing mixers with an attachment for mixing bread dough. Of course, in the two years I’ve lived in Abu Dhabi, I’ve made bread exactly three times, …

There’s a Foosball Table in My Living Room

Foosball. The only people I knew who had a foosball table were Chandler and Joey on “Friends.” Oh, okay, I didn’t really know them know them.  But they did have a foosball table. And now I have a foosball table too. About two months ago, before we knew we were moving, we re-arranged the boys’ shared bedroom, a shift that included moving Caleb’s legos from one side of the room …

if privacy is a myth, why do we need all these keys?

We’re moving at the end of the month to what in Abu Dhabi gets called a “villa,” but by villa I don’t mean a small 18th century castle perched on the edge of a Tuscan hilltop.  Instead it’s a townhouse, the second in a row of four, on a small street. Across the street? An identical row of four houses. Next street over? More identical rows of houses. It’s a …

Moving! Or, why I wish I knew how pinterest worked

We’re moving out of the furnished apartment we’ve lived in for the past two years to an unfurnished, brand-new house in a brand-new housing “compound.” Abu Dhabi and Dubai are dotted with compounds, which are the equivalent of planned housing communities in the States: they’re little mini-suburbs, basically, even though the word “compound” to me conjures up images of armed guards, checkpoints, and barbed wire fences. As with any move …