Contact Us

Let us hear from you. Send an email to when you’d like to get in touch.


123 Street Avenue, City Town, 99999

(123) 555-6789


You can set your address, phone number, email and site description in the settings tab.
Link to read me page with more information.

It's Nelly's World

These Dogs

alec vanderboom

In a former life, I lived in Hoboken. It's hard to convey what a little shithole my apartment was, even though this was a time when all urban young people lived in execrable conditions. But the amazing thing was that a family of four had previously lived in the place I thought was so small it was going to squeeze the life right out of me. It was the kind of space that gave you a steady run of dreams specific to living in miserable confinement: there are magnificent palaces spreading out just underneath you; there are grand apartments that may be accessed through the back of your closet, etc.

This family had moved to the basement apartment, which they considered a step up due to a shed-like addition that thrust out into the back "yard"--a storm-fenced pad of concrete.

One day, out front by the trash cans, appeared an assemblage of the most impossible riches: as strange as finding pieces of Versailles beside--well, beside a shithole in Hoboken. Porcelain figures (I think one was indeed Marie Antoinette) and objets d'art. And two life-size ceramic whippets, elegance personified, sitting on ceramic pillows with noses lifted to sniff a rarefied air. They sported real jeweled collars. (Who put those on?) I furtively looked around to make sure no one was looking, and I hauled all the loot into my apartment. I didn't know where I was going to put it, as it would not really fit anywhere. I would have to get rid of a chair.

Later, one of the children downstairs told me her family had had this stuff for a long time, then suddenly decided to get rid of it in a spring cleaning. Jeez: four people and two whippets in my tiny apartment? The bric-a-brac went to a friend who needed targets for his air rifle. But the whippets have been with me now a very long time.

{This originally appeared in the book Taking Things Seriously: 75 Objects with Unexpected Significance, edited by Joshua Glenn & Carol Hayes}