Friendship with Alicia

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In a church with an average age of 33, it’s rare to attend a memorial service for someone who was her early 30s. Yet I recently found myself in the sanctuary of 150 W83rd – I’m yet to attend a wedding there – remembering Alicia, along with her friends and family. Less than a year ago, doctors discovered a cancerous …

Pamela Brown-PetersideFriendship with Alicia


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Last week my brother Ian was visiting with a childhood friend of his who now lives in Lincoln, Nebraska. That gave us a reason to connect with several other friends of Ian’s. We met at Buka, a popular Nigerian restaurant in Bed-Sty, Brooklyn. Ian has known J, an architect based in Red Hook, since they were toddlers (40 years!).   J …

Pamela Brown-PetersideNigerpolitans

A Man of the People

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I learned this morning that Chinua Achebe, the Nigerian writer, had died at the age of 82 and I wept. I never met him and only briefly heard him speak when he was honored in New York, on the 50th anniversary of his best known and widely published novel, THINGS FALL APART. What I recall so vividly from that evening …

Pamela Brown-PetersideA Man of the People

A Pitch Conference: What a Concept!

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Two weeks ago today (on President’s Day), I was heading back from a weekend trip to Boston on an Amtrak train. As the sky turned into a variety of pinks and purples while the sun dipped into the west, I decided to google “new york writers conferences”. I was feeling the need to attend a conference but didn’t want to …

Pamela Brown-PetersideA Pitch Conference: What a Concept!

“I don’t do….”

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I was coming home on the train after a long delay sitting in a tunnel. Exhausted and not paying attention to much, I found myself sitting close to a large woman in pink sweats who seemed even more tired than I was.  She was asleep or trying to sleep and every now and then as she began to slide into …

Pamela Brown-Peterside“I don’t do….”

Urban Snobbery

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I think I’m becoming an urban snob. Or better yet, I’ve become one. This past weekend I visited dear friends who live in the Virginia suburbs of Washington DC. I hadn’t been for some time but I can’t say I’d missed the large spacious homes, the highways choked with traffic, the strip malls and the huge stores. On Saturday afternoon, …

Pamela Brown-PetersideUrban Snobbery