Cover image
Photo taken by N.A. Ferrell at the Naval Cemetery Landscape in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, on May 31, 2019. Edited for publication by V. Gurbo. For some reason, he decided to flip one version of the photo upside down.

Today marks just over two weeks of posts at The New Leaf Journal.  Here, I will recap our first two weeks, discuss recent New Leaf Journal updates, and offer a preview of what’s to come in the near future.


We published our About the Site post on April 27, 2020, introducing our project and the provisional version of The New Leaf Journal.  Since then, we have published ten articles through today.  Below is a short recap, with links, for new readers who have not seen the content yet.

Victor V. Gurbo’s Articles

Victor began his Quarantine Sessions series of articles.  Victor and fellow musician Mark Caserta are working on, as Victor calls it, a “socially distanced” music collaboration project.  The two are recording songs which Mark Caserta then sets to a video.  For each Quarantine Sessions article, Victor is not only embedding the video of their performance, but also offering an interesting look at the history of the song.  Thus far, Victor has posted his series introduction, Frankie & Albert, and Love Henry.  I urge viewers to watch the videos put together by Mark Caserta carefully as well – the video accompanying Love Henry is an endearing saga unto itself.

In addition to his first few Quarantine Sessions posts, Victor published an article about Bob Dylan’s new single and album announcement.  Over the next few weeks, he will publish a series of articles going in depth into Dylan’s new lyrics from the perspective of someone who has both studied Dylan’s career for years and also has been influenced by Dylan in his own musical career.  Whether you are a Dylan aficionado like Victor or someone who does not know much about music like me, you will learn quite a bit about Dylan and songwriting by following his series.

N.A. Ferrell’s Articles

My endeavors for the first two weeks were less scholarly than Victor’s.  They include two longer articles and four relatively short pieces for quick reading.

My first long article is about uncouth bandits stealing half of Chobani Flips yogurts at the grocery store – with pictorial evidence.  What begins as a bitter memory morphs into a commentary on signs of societal decline.  After that, I decided to venture international and look at a speech delivered by the President of Uzbekistan in 2017.  While other observers focused on what he said, I cautioned that we should instead look at how long he was saying things.

Two of my shorter pieces were small anecdotes.  In the first, I note that I have been seeing more cardinals in parts of Brooklyn, New York, than I ever did prior to the implementation of social distancing measures.  I use that as a jumping off point to reminisce about an unusual Brooklyn animal sighting from twenty years ago.  In the second peace, posted yesterday, I tell the story of my overhearing a haughty gentleman inform his apparent date that he was “a little maxed out on existentialism.”

My other two short pieces were about recent sights around Brooklyn.  In the first, I share a photo of a peculiar but nice tribute to first responders.  In the second, I post pictures of the recent joint Blue Angles-Thunderbirds joint flyover of New York City.

Recent Site Updates

Those who viewed the site before the afternoon of May 9, 2020, will notice that it looks a bit different now.  After starting the site on the Twenty Sixteen template, we decided to shift the site to a new template called BunnyPressLite, a Japanese template published by Yossy’s web serviceYou will find that this template offers a much improved user experience for The New Leaf Journal.  For example, instead of having posts fully unfurled on the homepage, you will now find thumbnails for ten posts at a time, making the site much easier to navigate.

We are still working with the theme and look forward to making tweaks and improvements going forward. At the moment, we are working on curing issues relating to how the site’s text displays on mobile formats.

Looking Forward

Beginning next Saturday morning, we plan to post a weekly New Leaf Journal update.  Each update will recap what was posted throughout the week and discuss general news about the site.  If you do not have time to follow the site throughout the week, our weekly updates will be an opportunity to catch up on what you may have missed.

We are working on implementing a newsletter in the future.  This will make it easier for you to keep up with the latest posts and developments here at The New Leaf Journal.  For the time being, I suggest bookmarking the site in order to keep up with our new content.

Finally, we are planning to post our first content in the Discourses and The Emu Café sections of the site this week.  Discourses will be for articles that discuss a subject more objectively than articles in the Essays and Musings sections.  I will reserve my explanation of The Emu Café section until we post our introductory article.

Parting Shots

Thank you for reading this far and following The New Leaf Journal.  We are working to continue posting at least one article on most days, so I hope that you will continue to check in on the site and find new articles of interest.