Then to New York

Coming to the city, and what I found there.

In 1996 I moved to New York. I was fresh in the workforce, and found a position at a small Internet firm, paid not-enough. A woman I'd dated in college told me she would not want to see me again; I began to chronicle my experiences and publish them to the Web. Whoever I was at that point is lost to me now. I would not do it again, but there I was, full of campus memories and only in the city a year, trying to put things into perspective.

In 1997, my grandfather began a long slide towards death, living in more and more pain as sections of his already ill-heart stopped functioning. I took a textual Family Snapshot

Alone and loveless, go seeking. This is a very small collection of places in New York that resonate with the author.
Saturday, January 1, 2000
2 sections.
The First Self-Interview
I took myself out to dinner, and we sat down and he interviewed me.
Thursday, June 29, 2000
06 Jul 98
How I came to New York I
Monday, July 6, 1998
13 Dec 97
Old cover letter
Saturday, December 13, 1997
Pissing my Pants at Work
A sad, true tale of workplace shame.
Thursday, October 23, 1997
26 Apr 98
You Don't Own Me
Sunday, April 26, 1998
26 May 98
Tuesday, May 26, 1998
27 Apr 98
Phone Call (1)
Monday, April 27, 1998
03 Feb 98
Holiday joy.
Tuesday, February 3, 1998
04 Feb 98
A plastic teddy bear and whores.
Wednesday, February 4, 1998
Relationship Whining
So sad, so sad. From the Subway Diary, 27-Oct-97.
Monday, October 27, 1997
08 Feb 98
As I'm writing these little blurbs, I'm listening to Elliott Smith, and he sings about the Ftrain. Good to see the kids rocking out. This is about work angst, of course.
Sunday, February 8, 1998
13 Feb 98
Bad Dream
Friday, February 13, 1998
15 Feb 98
The Coming War
Sunday, February 15, 1998
24 Feb 98
Slight return
Tuesday, February 24, 1998
25 Feb 98
A Day
Wednesday, February 25, 1998
Relationship Babbling
The topic of discussion is no longer valid.
Sunday, November 2, 1997
The Subway Diary: 21-Dec-97
Fulton Mall
Sunday, December 21, 1997
Not Dungeons and Dragons!
Drinking and twelve-sided dice - a dangerous combination, 1997
Monday, November 10, 1997
02 May 98
Dumb weekend
Saturday, May 2, 1998
30 May 98
The National Interior Monologue on Race
Saturday, May 30, 1998
02 Jun 98
Paging Tom Peters
Tuesday, June 2, 1998
Social Life
They come; they see me; they have their own lives to attend to
Saturday, December 27, 1997
Big Mistakes and How I Cope with Them
Screwing up at work.
Thursday, October 30, 1997
How I Broke Up With My Long-Term Girlfriend
Summarizing the long-distance end.
Wednesday, November 26, 1997
Auf Wiedersehn, Scheide
A story of loss and sadness, and the absence of sex, and Kathie Lee, and milky thighs, and so forth.
Saturday, October 25, 1997
Alone for the Holidays
Thanksgiving, at a movie theater. The woman behind me bursts out in tears.
Sunday, December 7, 1997
The Yahoo.com Internet Party in SoHo
...and how I used it to get sloppy drunk
Wednesday, December 10, 1997
15 Mar 98
Airplane Woes
Sunday, March 15, 1998
My first experience with business travel
Sunday, March 29, 1998
14 May 98
A Straighforward Philosophy
Thursday, May 14, 1998
19 May 98
Memory Brief
Tuesday, May 19, 1998
20 Mar 98
Another Literary Error
Friday, March 20, 1998
25 Mar 98
Drunken Entry
Wednesday, March 25, 1998
06 Apr 98
Jim Esch Appreciation Week
Monday, April 6, 1998
07 Apr 98
Tuesday, April 7, 1998
08 Apr 98
I Face Global Banking for the Very First Time
Wednesday, April 8, 1998
10 Apr 98
A High Station in Life
Friday, April 10, 1998
15 Apr 98
The End of My Speechwriting Career
Wednesday, April 15, 1998
22 May 98
Workplace Diary
Friday, May 22, 1998
17 Apr 98
Cover Letter
Friday, April 17, 1998
19 Apr 98
All the Old Letters
Sunday, April 19, 1998
Mandatory eavesdropping.
Friday, April 3, 1998
New Years, Pearls
I went over and touched the pearls. "Are they real?" "No."
Wednesday, December 31, 1997
23 Jun 98
Life Shift
Tuesday, June 23, 1998
24 Jun 98
A Thing to Do
Wednesday, June 24, 1998
The first in a series about my dying grandfather. Death; it's something no writer can leave be.
Monday, February 1, 1999
Another on the death of my grandfather. He was a good fellow. I miss him.
Thursday, February 4, 1999
Meeting Sally Field
I met Sally Field, and found that she was mortal, and could not shoot laser beams from her eyes.
Sunday, January 24, 1999
Taste for Today
A wee stylistic experiment without much bearing on any larger reality.
Sunday, January 17, 1999
Around now in the project I was grasping for ideas. It was a painful process. I was not just out of ideas; I was out of life
Wednesday, March 10, 1999
A little story and a little sign, neither one of much note.
Tuesday, January 19, 1999
2 sections.
Meandering Entry
Dreams and what dreams are and aren't and oh God, I'm so deep, I'm the deepest man you'll ever meet, won't you please get in touch and tell me how deep I am. God help my poor readers.
Monday, January 18, 1999
Stories about my grandfather, whom I wish was still here.
Thursday, December 28, 2000
2 sections.
Trip Home
Trying to sort things out; an essay with archival value if little merit.
Friday, April 2, 1999




Ftrain.com is the website of Paul Ford and his pseudonyms. It is showing its age. I'm rewriting the code but it's taking some time.


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About the author: I've been running this website from 1997. For a living I write stories and essays, program computers, edit things, and help people launch online publications. (LinkedIn). I wrote a novel. I was an editor at Harper's Magazine for five years; then I was a Contributing Editor; now I am a free agent. I was also on NPR's All Things Considered for a while. I still write for The Morning News, and some other places.

If you have any questions for me, I am very accessible by email. You can email me at ford@ftrain.com and ask me things and I will try to answer. Especially if you want to clarify something or write something critical. I am glad to clarify things so that you can disagree more effectively.


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© 1974-2011 Paul Ford


@20, by Paul Ford. Not any kind of eulogy, thanks. And no header image, either. (October 15)

Recent Offsite Work: Code and Prose. As a hobby I write. (January 14)

Rotary Dial. (August 21)

10 Timeframes. (June 20)

Facebook and Instagram: When Your Favorite App Sells Out. (April 10)

Why I Am Leaving the People of the Red Valley. (April 7)

Welcome to the Company. (September 21)

“Facebook and the Epiphanator: An End to Endings?”. Forgot to tell you about this. (July 20)

“The Age of Mechanical Reproduction”. An essay for TheMorningNews.org. (July 11)

Woods+. People call me a lot and say: What is this new thing? You're a nerd. Explain it immediately. (July 10)

Reading Tonight. Reading! (May 25)

Recorded Entertainment #2, by Paul Ford. (May 18)

Recorded Entertainment #1, by Paul Ford. (May 17)

Nanolaw with Daughter. Why privacy mattered. (May 16)

0h30m w/Photoshop, by Paul Ford. It's immediately clear to me now that I'm writing again that I need to come up with some new forms in order to have fun here—so that I can get a rhythm and know what I'm doing. One thing that works for me are time limits; pencils up, pencils down. So: Fridays, write for 30 minutes; edit for 20 minutes max; and go whip up some images if necessary, like the big crappy hand below that's all meaningful and evocative because it's retro and zoomed-in. Post it, and leave it alone. Can I do that every Friday? Yes! Will I? Maybe! But I crave that simple continuity. For today, for absolutely no reason other than that it came unbidden into my brain, the subject will be Photoshop. (Do we have a process? We have a process. It is 11:39 and...) (May 13)

That Shaggy Feeling. Soon, orphans. (May 12)

Antilunchism, by Paul Ford. Snack trams. (May 11)

Tickler File Forever, by Paul Ford. I'll have no one to blame but future me. (May 10)

Time's Inverted Index, by Paul Ford. (1) When robots write history we can get in trouble with our past selves. (2) Search-generated, "false" chrestomathies and the historical fallacy. (May 9)

Bantha Tracks. (May 5)

Tables of Contents