This is just a small sample of what I have been studying over the past few months.  Hebrew is a difficult language to learn!  The chart is right-aligned because you read Hebrew right to left (so you’d read the above chart as alef, bet, gimel, et cetera).  I had forgotten how much I enjoy learning and classes until I started this (slightly overwhelming) undertaking.  I’m progressing moderately well; I can say things like “I am from Texas.  I live in Astoria.” (Ani miTexas.  Ani gara beAstoria.)  and “No no, I speak a little Hebrew.” (Lo, lo; ani mebederet catsat Ivreet.)  On the upside, one of the men who has been visiting our office says I speak with no American accent.  On the downside, my reading skills are so bad that my fellow classmates applaud when I actually read something correctly.  And speaking of classmates, did I mention that most of us have become friends and usually go out for dinner or drinks or both after class?  I’m the lone non-Jew, but I’m learning a lot more than just Hebrew, and I love it. 

In other news, I’ve recently joined (yes, yes, just another example of the internet’s increasing power over my existence), which should be interesting.  I’ll let you know how I like it.  Much thanks to Ken Walker for the introduction.  (

And while I’m making endorsements, I’ll mention Bryant Park. 

This image is from the webcam of the park (which can be found at ) which updates every ten minutes — this is what the park looked like whilst this entry was being composed.  It’s a great space; yesterday I did some transcription work on my laptop while sitting in one of the chairs you see pictured.  The park offers free WiFi access, a carousel (not free, from what I know), a spacious lawn and a fountain, and the cleanest, prettiest public bathrooms I’ve ever seen in my entire life.  I’m not kidding.  The public restrooms in Bryant Park are nicer than the bathrooms in my office, which is a pretty nice corporate Midtown Manhattan office building right on Fifth Ave.  Tax dollars at work, and put to good use, if you ask me.  Added bonus of Bryant Park are the Monday night summer movie screenings — one of the many fantastic free events offered to NYC residents in the summer.  It may be hot as hell, but at least they keep us entertained!    I’m also looking forward to the free Philharmonic concerts on the Great Lawn, and the free yoga classes offered at a sculpture park near my neighborhood.  Summer is going to be CRAZY BUSY for me!