Friday, September 21, 2012

Well-written editorial in the NYT

I'm almost copying the whole thing but I don't think the NYT will mind, since I'm praising it. As a rule, you don't see writing like this in editorials. It's about fog, of all things. There's no byline; it just says "editorial". An excerpt from "Season of Mists, if Not in Manhattan":
What’s missing in Manhattan is a seasonal fog, the kind that foretells autumn. This is the time of year when cool air begins to run downhill, gathering in the hollows and turning to ground fog. At dusk and just after, it drifts in narrow banners, head-high, across the low spots in the country north of the city. It comes out of the cattails and emanates from the hemlocks. Wherever it crosses the highway, it looks solid in the headlights — a dense silver stream — and then it turns insubstantial. Now and then it turns out not to be fog at all, but a low slip of wood-smoke from an early stove.

Surely there were ground fogs in Manhattan once, when everything north of Canal Street was still woods and meadows, when the island still kept its natural contours, the rise and fall of a rocky island. And surely there would have been wood-smoke mingling with those fogs until the breeze blew them out over the water. Sometimes, still, you can find tree-clinging fogs in Central Park. But it would be pleasant, even now, to step outdoors and see a low mist crossing Broadway or wandering down Lexington Avenue like ghostly pedestrians just before dawn, announcing the coming of autumn. 
Amazing, no?