Brian Feeney

Stanley Crouch

Stanley Crouch died a few days ago. He was a good man.

When I remember my barista years, Stanley is the first person who comes to mind. How could he not? He was the most regular of regulars. His home was a few doors down from the café, and he'd stroll in nearly every day. Some days twice or more. He'd enter slowly, taking note of which neighbors were inside (he knew everyone). When he reached the counter, he'd quietly lean on it, eying me down. I'd eye him down too, knowing there was something on his mind. There always was.

I'm terrible at remembering exact conversations, but he'd ask my opinion on political news of the day, or about some movie he'd just watched, or about the books he was reading. Philosophical questions as often as trivial ones. I was a backboard for him to bounce ideas off of; one of many, I'm sure. He really did seem to value my opinion, though never hesitated to let me know when he thought I was wrong. The back and forth was the important thing to him. What I learned from Stanley was how to get more from a conversation by giving more.

We laughed a lot, too. Like me, his resting mood was a calm attentiveness, yet always quick to laugh if there was something funny in the moment. One day, he came in saying, "Ornette loved that joke you told yesterday," meaning Ornette Coleman. They were close friends. I wish I remember what it was I had joked about, but it doesn't matter. What mattered to me at the time was that I felt like a participant in a bigger community. Stanley made me understand I was a real person in the real world. I'm not sure it was his intention, but he gave me a source of confidence I had been lacking.

It had been so long since I'd run into him, nearly a decade, that I assumed he had moved. Maybe to Los Angelos, where his daughter had been living. I'm sad I won't see him again.

Before I left my gig at the café, he gifted me a copy of his novel with a kind — and funny — inscription. It will always be a nice momento. Rest in peace, Stanley.

September 21, 2020


In Remembrance Of

These lights are to remind us of those who died that day. They’re also to remind us that we are one country, and that NYC is our beating heart.

September 10, 2020



Been back in the city a week and I’m missing the grill. Always a great way to end the day, cooking outdoors.

September 08, 2020



Lisa and I have both been working from home since the pandemic shutdown began. We're lucky to have jobs, and we don't take that for granted. Despite that, both of us spending all day everyday in our 500 square foot apartment has its own challenges, as many of us city dwellers have discovered. The WSJ office is in midtown Manhattan, and while it's now open and we're allowed to work from there if we choose, almost no one feels comfortable riding the subway to and from each day.

So I'm excited to be back at the Friends co-working studio. I'm testing it out for a month to see if I can make it work with my meetings-heavy calendar. There are only two "phone booth" meeting rooms, here, which might be an issue. Or it might not! After joining the WSJ, I really missed this place and the people. It's so nice to be back, despite the unfortunate circumstances for making it possible/necessary.

September 08, 2020


I'm Running

I ran my first half-marathon on October 14, 2017. The Brooklyn Rock’n’Roll half marathon. Time: 2:17:46, a 10’24”/mi pace. I did well! Even so, that will probably be my last. Turns out I like running, but I don't like running that much. I'm really glad I did it, though. And I'm not for sure counting out running another one some day. Maybe in another city, somewhere.

The half-marathon training did kickstart a lasting running habit. Since then, I've been running a 5K (3.11mi) almost every week. Lately, with no commute taking up a couple hours a day, I've made time to run twice most weeks. It feels great.

My normal course is around Brooklyn Bridge Park, looping around the piers. It's a really great place for a morning run. Not too crowded in the early hours. Always a great view of the city. A short walk away from my apartment. My current average pace is around 9'15"/mi, finishing the 5Ks between 27min and 30min. I can often get the pace down below 9'00"/mi, but not always. My goal is get below that pace every time.

September 04, 2020


Lake Awosting

We escaped NYC for the third time this summer. Another trip into the woods.

August 26, 2020


August 20, 2020


Daily COVID Walks

Here in NYC, we don’t get to do nearly anything that used to make living here fun. At least I can still take daily walks and enjoy some nice views. Trying to be thankful for my luck, and thoughtful towards the millions who are suffering more than I.

August 14, 2020


Cushion Interview, 2014

Back in 2014, I was interviewed for one of the Cushion app blogs. Had a great conversation with Carly Ayres, and the resulting post was pretty good! Huge thanks to Carly for the call, and to Jonnie for the invitation.

If you're a freelancer, either full or part time, you really should be using Cushion to track your income and to visualize your work load. Even now, with only a single freelance client, I still pay the monthly fee to track it. Absolutely worth it.

And thanks to Ping Zhu for the fantastic illo.

August 11, 2020


Suburban Tigers

We visited friends outside the city last weekend. Their girls had some face paint and wanted to be tigers.

It was really nice to socialize, again. Since March, we've seen only a handful of friends. While I'm a natural introvert, I still love and miss hanging out with good people. The old life can't return soon enough.

July 16, 2020