Author Archives: Jonathan B. Hall

About Jonathan B. Hall

Keyboard artist, sacred musician, teacher, writer, working in New York City and State. Many interests include music theory and history, literature, astronomy, genealogy, philosophy and theology, gardening, and good food.


I was driving to the train station before dawn this morning.  Venus was blazing away as she has been doing for weeks now.  I chanced to look below her and to the east, and what do you know!  There was … Continue reading

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Whole allspice (Pimenta dioica) looks like peppercorns, but is an entirely different plant.  When ground, it is a dark reddish-brown.  It is native to the Western Hemisphere and grows at high elevations in tropical climates.  Jamaica produces the best. Yesterday, … Continue reading

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Christmas Carol Singalong

‘Tis the season.  On Sunday, December 23–the Fourth Sunday of Advent as well as “Christmas Eve Eve,” I’ll lead another community carol sing at the First Presbyterian Church in Goshen, NY.  Event starts at 3, is free, and a nice … Continue reading

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Day Trip to Venus

It’s possible to see Venus with the naked eye all day long, if you know exactly where to look and the bright planet isn’t too close to the sun. (DO NOT look close to the sun.  Your eyes are dazzled … Continue reading

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When You Can’t Do Anything Else…

. …clean your desk. . This is advice I learned from a genealogical magazine years ago–in that wonderful public library in Rutherford, New Jersey. When stuck, tidy up. It’s magic, every time. This little “back office”–a third bedroom when we … Continue reading

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Pinhook Bourbon: Good Stuff

What follows is a review of an alcoholic beverage.  Those under 21 should probably read no further, and you should not violate the liquor laws in your state.  Nobody should drink and drive.  Contact Alcoholics Anonymous if you feel you … Continue reading

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At Last, the Stars

It’s been so rainy and overcast! Early this morning, before 6, I stepped outside and saw the stars again.  I felt something akin to what Dante felt on emerging from Hell to behold the spangled heavens.  Well, that’s an exaggeration; … Continue reading

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Last evening, I played an early Christmas program for the local Bruderhof community.  The group is part of a small religious denomination, with roots in the Hutterite expression of the Anabaptist movement.  They have a number of communities in New … Continue reading

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My Recent Birthday

Isn’t it a shame–it’s not safe to identify your exact birthday online.  What has our society come to? Anyway, my birthday fell on a recent date, during the last “few couples of whiles,” as an elder cousin once said. There … Continue reading

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The full moon just set, and this house’s long shadow faded into the darkness of woods and lingering snow. It is 6 degrees Fahrenheit outside. Venus is blazing at a white-hot magnitude -4.something.  I’m sorry I don’t have my telescope … Continue reading

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