heinz1So it’s my first day back in New York and I’m already conjuring up ways to get out. Applying for a MacDowell fellowship is something I’ve been daydreaming about for some time now, spurred on by my friend Katy Chevigny, an uber-talented documentary filmmaker who did a residency there this past fall. (How do you insert an umlaut on this thing?) Katy’s most recent film is Election Day and I urge everyone to see it. Filmed on Election Day 2004, it follows a group of voters at polling booths throughout the country. What with Obama’s victory and Katy’s movie, it’s the first time I feel genuinely hopeful about American politics. Plus, if Katy’s stint at MacDowell wasn’t enough to inspire me, Emily Raboteau, one of my very favorite young writers recently completed a residency there. If you haven’t read her short story “Kavita Through Glass,” I have a few words for you: Find it. Read it. Hint, hint: Tin House published it in October 2002 and then it was anthologized in Best American Short Stories 2003. It’s so so SO good.

Pictured above is Heinz–one of the artist’s studios at MacDowell–conveniently named after my most favorite brand of ketchup. Can you imagine spending a summer working there? Swoon.