Robert Caro relaxes listening to people drumming in Central Park
3. My typewriter ribbons More and more difficult to obtain. And I like the cotton ribbons, not the usual nylon, very heavily inked. This way, the words you type are bolder and blacker. When you’ve tapped the same page multiple times, the words no longer have an impact, and having them bold and black helps.
4. My Cabin In the woods behind my house on Long Island – maybe 70 yards away – is a 15 by 20 foot garden shed with a high peaked roof. It rests on a concrete block foundation. This is where I write summer. The walls and ceiling are bare, unpainted wood, and there’s nothing in the shed except my desk, a filing cabinet, two small shelves, an air conditioner, and, of course, nailed to a wall, a corkboard. . I bought it 23 years ago. When we get home at the beginning of every summer, I run to the cabin to see if there was a leak in the roof during the winter, and there never was. Unless there is a specific reason, I don’t bring my cell phone there. I pin the pages of my plan to the corkboard and I’m good to go. It’s my favorite place on earth.
5. New York Giants Nevertheless.
6. New York Knicks Nevertheless.
7. Zoom sessions with Horace Mann’s classmates For a few years we did it in person, in a restaurant, but now one of us has moved to another city, so we’re zooming in. We do it every four or five weeks. We’ve known each other since we were 11 or 12. We are older now.
8. My first edition of Trollope My publisher, Sonny Mehta, gave it to me as a gift to celebrate when I received a Pulitzer Prize. This is a set of Trollope novels titled “Chronicles of Barsetshire”. I love Trollope and especially these novels, as Sonny knew, and this set is the first collected edition of these works, published in 1887.
9. My bound volumes of the Captain Hornblower series When I was little, I was under the spell of these seven books. I’d pull them out of the Broadway and 99th Street branch of the public library, sit on the steps outside, and start reading; I couldn’t wait to get home. One year, Ina gave me the perfect gift. She had them bound in a navy blue binding with gold anchors and naval devices on the spines. Every time I peek into my library and see them, I start remembering my favorite scenes, sometimes finding to my surprise that I’m reciting the scene, without having opened the book.
10. Sundays in Central Park In the afternoon, after work, Ina and I walk into the 69th Street entrance. Pedaling or jogging along the road are human beings of all races and colors. To the right is the Sheep Meadow, a vast space, really: 15 acres. And on summer Sundays, it seems like every square foot of those acres contains people – families, footballers, picnickers, etc., etc. On the left, people dressed in pristine white outfits. English lawn bowls. Go on: roller skaters twirl gracefully or madly to disco music. Continue: Sitting on a bench, a line of batsmen, usually 10 or 11 of them. Their drum almost hypnotizes me; I can sit there for an hour listening to them. Somehow it takes the tension of writing out of me.