Latkes and Dante Led to Love

A peculiar alchemy of latkes, Dante, smarts and social aptitude brought Deborah Beck and Alan Greenberg together. But it took some time. The two met in 2011 at Mr. Greenberg’s annual Hanukkah party, which showcased his potato-pancake-making chops. She had tagged along with mutual friends, and both came away from their encounter impressed but not…

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Playful Waves at Rockaway Beach

Keziah Weir swam and bobbed around the water at Rockaway Beach on the southern edge of Queens in August 2014 while Daniel James Feller surfed playful waves on his white shortboard nearby. Their mutual friend, who Mr. Feller knew from high school, and Ms. Weir knew from Bard College, from which she graduated, introduced them…

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Toxic Ghosts

My father is dying, besieged by both emphysema and a metastatic colon cancer that’s migrated to his lungs. I shudder in recognition because I’ve nearly been killed twice by raging diseases: An unusually aggressive prostate cancer, and an uncontrollable ulcerative colitis. What haunts Dad and me all these decades later, as we help each other…

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