Wednesday, November 15, 2006

the reading break you need today

We read several papers every morning (quite early, as you can see) and often it's a skim-milk-and-skim-the-headlines exercise over breakfast. Today, what turns out to be Dan Barry's last "About New York" column, titled "On a Corner in the Midstream Rush," pulled in our wandering eye with gems like this:
With an evening rain lashing, a stream of people burble and bob toward the stairwells draining down to Penn Station. Some of those being carried along use umbrellas as shields against the wet and the city. Others hunch their bodies in clear resistance to their surroundings and to any notion of rainwater as a blessing.

Clumps of people clog street corners whenever the floodgates go up; that is, whenever the traffic lights turn green to unleash cabs and cars down Seventh Avenue. But when those lights flash red, the people float again upon the released current, across and down to trains and subways departing.
If you're looking for inspiration for your own writing (or just an inspiring break), this is worth dipping into: His active verbs and word pictures brought me right to 7th Avenue this morning, without leaving my breakfast table. Barry starts a new national column soon, but we recommend our writing coaching clients and others sample this exemplary piece today.

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