A Year In New York

A Daily Bite of the Big Apple

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Day 64: Writers Erase Editors, 9-2

August 29th · 2 Comments

Yesterday Paragraph, my writing community, took on the editors of New York magazine for a semi-friendly game of softball, the city’s scribes being loosely affiliated into a league and this game, in the sunny and mild week before Labor Day, being the season’s final inning.

Team Paragraph arrived early at East River Park (no bosses overseeing them) to bask in the sun, toss grounders and warm up at the plate. I reveled in being out of Paragraph’s cone of silence and speaking at normal volume with Matt and Erin and Joy and hearing from Mike, who had a more interesting week than any of us because he spent it in a Beijing jail.

He was part of a Free Tibet group that dreamed up a publicity stunt for the Olympics, something involving lasers, and got busted at the last minute. “The first interrogation lasted 17 hours,” he said, looking hollow-eyed into the distance as the New York team started to arrive.

We scrutinized their players with keen interest because this isn’t Des Moines, after all, and we aren’t the team from Kinko’s batting against TGI Friday’s. We are writers and have big imaginations, and anyone on our team (the nonfiction people anyway) would love to pen a story for New York, and perhaps, just perhaps, one of us would execute a left-field diving catch so brilliant that a senior editor would rush from New York’s dugout and assign him or her a 3,000-word feature on the closing of Yankee stadium, right there on the spot.

The ink-stained writers and the doughy-waisted editors started off, trading hits and rounding the bases faster than you would think desk jockeys could run, and I watched riveted except for the occasional distraction. “Brendan, give it back!” Aimee yelled when Brendan scooped up her manuscript, an expose about child labor, and ran off. “That’s my only copy!”

When the last pitches had been thrown at the bottom of the seventh inning we had stomped New York magazine 9-2. Together we decamped to a bar called Royale on Avenue C, where the burgers were delicious and we dissected the other league teams with relish.

The Paris Review will fight any call in order to win, the consensus went, and the New Yorker’s team is kinda old and brings a crowd of fans. If you want a confidence-builder, play Heeb, the Jewish magazine. The second-most-feared team is the satirical newspaper The Onion. And the most feared scribbling sluggers in New York?

High Times magazine. Go figure. They must be smoking something.

Tags: Schmoozing · Sports

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Eric Spross // Sep 2, 2008 at 8:46 pm

    dave, I could almost smell the hot dogs. This was hilarious!

  • 2 Bev // Sep 7, 2008 at 9:57 pm

    Is that Polock Springs I spy? I love me some Pollock Springs water! Now, no one hate, I can say Polock…being a Bohemian myself.

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