1. It was a quiet Thanksgiving, spent mostly with the leaves. Millions of people were cooking and traveling -- and writing about cooking and traveling -- which seemed like a lot of pressure. I was happy not to partake. Over the years, even the nondenominational holidays seem to have acquired a sheen of (inauthentic) reverence and tradition, maybe because -- whether we like it or not -- we all belong to the church of capitalism. Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Small-Business Saturday, Buy-Nothing Sunday: it all feels like work. 2. In an attempt to forget about any day related to shopping or not shopping, we went for a walk in Fort Tryon Park, which was perfect. Apparently, it's a micro-climate where "peak leaf season" is now, in case you missed it everywhere else. 3. I learned that, by angling the camera, I could hide the sun behind the tree, creating a dramatic silhouette. 4. Even when you could see it, the sun seemed very far away. 5. Seeing it so far away was a source of sadness and relief. (But mostly relief.) And a little hope, knowing that spring actually wasn't too far away. And a little dread when I considered how many miles I would need to run between now and then. 6. Sometimes I fantasize about moving somewhere not too hot or too cold, a place where I could run outside in shorts year round. 7. But what I really crave is to live in a society where time is marked not by artificial designations like holidays and even birthdays. And the obligation to buy and consume that come with these designations. 8. I understand that such a system would not lend itself to many aspects of modern society, where in order to buy and sell as much as possible we have to be precise in all things, but I like thinking about different options, even if they're hypothetical. You have to be able to tell a story before it becomes reality. 9. On the day after Thanksgiving, we walked on the new path through Highbridge Park, which is on the eastern side of Manhattan, facing the Bronx. As usual, it wasn't very crowded. People are still just discovering this new path and, sometimes, it feels a bit desolate and wild. I often get the sense that strange beings live in the wooded ravine, beings who wouldn't take kindly to any off-the-path exploration. I leaned over the rail and my heart skipped when I saw the silver reflections of eyes staring back at me. 10. Still, it's nice to feel like you have access to a secret, magical landscape in the middle of the city, a landscape populated by ethereal creatures who pay no attention to our society. 11. It was sort how we felt on Thanksgiving, eating pizza and green beans. (And some pie and ice cream.) We had entered a world that was not exactly new, but new enough. 12. And relaxing with the cats, another kind of ethereal being. 13. It's one of the reasons I've always liked living in Washington Heights, which is in Manhattan but not really "of it." It's what I call an "adjacent society." 14. A place that seems less "American" than many -- at least in the superficial, jingoistic, and capitalistic ways that increasingly seem to define the term -- and, for that reason, more American in the substantive (but increasingly theoretical) ways that matter. 15. A place where you can live among thousands of others but, thankfully, find yourself all alone.