Archives for posts with tag: East Coast


(Photo: Chuck Sanislow, Branford, Connecticut via New York Times)

East Coasters are not only greeting Hurricane Sandy — AKA “Frankenstorm” — with defiance (as mentioned in my previous post), but with humor, as evidenced by the photo that Chuck Sanislow shot in Branford, Connecticut.

This photo called to mind the 1945 movie Christmas in Connecticut, starring Barbara Stanwyk and Dennis Morgan (and remade in 1992 with Dyan Cannon and Kris Kristofferson). The basic plot is about a food writer who fakes her cooking skills, but has to learn fast because she’s selected to create a meal for a local hero.

Considering the speed with which Hollywood turns real-life happenings into movies for the big or small screen, is a Halloween in Connecticut film far behind?


(Photo: Ana Soto-Canino, Highland Park Art Gallery, Highland Park, New Jersey via New York Times)

Our hearts and thoughts are with our friends (and that’s everybody!) on the East Coast in the path of Hurricane Sandy. The media has referred to the storm as “formidable,” and Ana Soto-Canino shot the above photo featuring the word at the Highland Park Art Gallery in Highland Park, New Jersey. With a healthy defiance, the sign in the gallery window reads: “Bring IT On Sandy! We are Formidable too!”

And while my concern remains with all those affected by the hurricane, my writer’s mind is fascinated by the way “formidable” has snapped out of hibernation — and has sprung into news articles and handmade signs in store windows. Face it, Americans rarely use this word in writing or in speech.

In French, people use the word “formidable” all the time. It means, in effect, “wonderful or superb.”

In English, “formidable” means “dreaded or fearsome” — basically the opposite of the French meaning.

So, our French friends, don’t get the wrong impression of us when you read the sign in the Highland Park Art Gallery. We are not bragging about how great we are. We are just showing some spirit. C’est tout.


“As all the world knows, the opportunities in Boston for hearing good music are numerous and excellent, and it had long been Miss Chancellor’s practice to cultivate the best.”

HENRY JAMES, The Bostonians