Construction workers spend their day in al fresco cubicles. It's the ultimate transparency. They text, drink coffee, snack and have lunch just like the rest of us, but somehow these mundane tasks seem amplified outdoors. The snoopy public (me, for example), feels like an audience at the theater or an anthropologist in the urban jungle. I pity the guys eating out of lunch pails on a cement sidewalk, and I want to shout at the rooftop texters, "Don't back up!" I personally will jump through any hoop to get my morning coffee, so I watched with empathy as this nimble worker scaled a long ladder on a sticky summer day holding two large iced coffees and a bulky snack bag. When he reached the top he landed the cups, hoisted himself up and over, and prepared to climb higher to his waiting co-worker. I was so thirsty by the time he was done, I had to go get some myself. In his honor, I drank it outdoors.
American seasonal flavors and scents are threatening to turn pumpkin season into one giant corporate cliché. You know autumn is here when pumpkin donuts, bagels and cream cheese come rolling out of Dunkin' Donuts. Ditto Starbucks' pumpkin-flavored lattés, Frappuccinos® and scones. Even Oreos, M&M's, deodorant, and, hilariously, pet shampoo are getting pumpkinized, reports Fortune. Personally, I like my gourds in shards. For years, I've applauded the changing of the leaves by watching farmers at Daisi Hill Farm in Millerton, New York, load pumpkins large as cannon balls onto a handmade medieval-style catapult. There's more deep-bodied joy in watching them fly through sky to explode in a distant field than all the pumpkin-spiced goods in the world will ever deliver. Unless, of course, you're the pumpkin.