My Life and the New York Times

The New York TimesMy ear­li­est rec­ol­lec­tion of the New York Times is greet­ing my dad every evening, paper in hand, as he came home from work in Man­hat­tan and down the sub­way stairs at our sta­tion in the Bronx. I always got to carry the paper on the long ten block walk back to our house. I was too young to make much out of all that tiny print pushed into eight nar­row columns, but I know that I always felt spe­cial just being able to carry what seemed to be my dad’s most impor­tant possession.

He often told me that every­thing I needed to know was in that paper. So as I got older I would read what I could and ask him about the mean­ing of words I didn’t under­stand. His response was always the same, “Look it up.” So I did. This not only increased my vocab­u­lary, in ele­men­tary school it made me the spelling bee champ. In high school and col­lege I always had an advan­tage over my class­mates in cur­rent events, not to men­tion a wide array of sub­jects, just from read­ing the Times.

Watch­ing Dad do the Sun­day puz­zle was mes­mer­iz­ing, his eyes scan­ning the clues and his hand writ­ing furi­ously with his yel­low num­ber two pen­cil. I don’t know why he used a pen­cil, I hardly ever saw him use the eraser. He was a mar­vel to behold. I attempt some of the weekly puz­zles, Mon­day and Tues­day are the eas­i­est, and with the help of my puz­zle maven wife, I con­tribute some to the Sun­day puz­zle which she could eas­ily fin­ish with­out me.

I’ve been a New York Times sub­scriber for twenty-five years. Before I sub­scribed, I would buy the paper on the way to work every morn­ing and, on week­ends, make the trip to the news­stand to pick up the Sat­ur­day and Sun­day edi­tions. The Times was always a part of my com­mute to and from New York City and was the one thing I looked for­ward to read­ing the most on week­ends at the break­fast table. As I tran­si­tioned from com­mut­ing to work­ing at home, like an old friend, the Times still greets me every morn­ing in my dri­ve­way and keeps me com­pany over breakfast.

Like the rest of the world, the Times has changed a lot over the years, wider columns, color pho­tos and in recent years a dig­i­tal edi­tion. I love the fresh con­tent avail­able on-line, the beau­ti­ful pho­tos and the search tools which make the paper even more valu­able as a source of con­stant infor­ma­tion and entertainment.

It took me the bet­ter part of my life­time to under­stand why I rarely saw Dad with­out a copy of the New York Times tucked under his arm. It brought him for decades, and now me, the world. It’s more than a news­pa­per, it’s a way of life.

About Andy Brown

Graphic designer and ebook publisher.
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2 Responses to My Life and the New York Times

  1. Brennen says:

    Good arti­cle. Thanks for the read. I’ve been think­ing about a sub­scrip­tion myself.

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