You are currently viewing the stories for March, 2002

Inside the Needle: The Chrysler Building Gets Lit

by 03/31/2002
Neighborhood: Midtown

The cellar of the Chrysler Building is midtown’s one great monument to the American filling station. It offers (for free) the same perfume of motor oil, the same lulling throb of distant engines, the not unpleasant heat, the mesmerizing hiss of compressed air. And it is always noontime in the Chrysler Building cellar, the same […]

And the Winner Is

by 03/28/2002
Neighborhood: Central Park

I’m not much of a TV person. I am completely unfaithful to any one show or annual event, certainly anything like the Academy Awards. My theory has always been, why watch a three-hour awards show when I can watch E!, or some other all-celebrity network, and get the highlights in thirty minutes? But this year […]

Three Minutes of Pleasure

by 03/26/2002
Neighborhood: Chelsea

I’m standing on the corner of Ninth Avenue and 14th Street staring up at an enormous billboard advertisement, which in behemoth white letters is instructing me to “ProCreate.” Gaslight, the venue for this evenings HurryDate party, is on the bottom floor of the building directly below that billboard. HurryDate takes fifty eligible singles and pairs […]

The Humming

by 03/24/2002
Neighborhood: Manhattan

The other day I realized that the further away September 11th gets, the rawer I seem to get, and the less I want to talk about, be reminded of, or think about it. When people ask even the simplest questions about that day, I’m tempted to hand out copies of “Witnessing,” and then, like Forrest […]

The Believer

by 03/24/2002
Neighborhood: Multiple

In October 1965, the New York Times received a tip that a young man arrested at a recent Ku Klux Klan demonstration in the Bronx was, in fact, a Jew. His name was Daniel Burros, he was twenty-eight, and lived in Ozone Park, Queens. Until a few months earlier he had been a high-ranking member […]

The God of High School

by 03/20/2002
Neighborhood: Greenwich Village

I don’t think I thought of Eli every single time I walked down lower Seventh Avenue, but I may have. His parents’ West Village brownstone had been a shrine to me in high school insofar as Eli, himself, had been a god. When passing it back then, I craned my neck at the upstairs window […]

Bleeker St. & Hudson St.

by 03/18/2002
Neighborhood: Uncategorized

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Victoria’s Dirty Secret

by 03/15/2002
Neighborhood: Midtown

I was temping. My ‘agent’, as I liked to think of him, was overweight and short, with a firm handshake and a friendly manner. He called me “Bud” a lot. Although he was very enthusiastic every time we spoke on the phone, he seemed incapable of placing me in a job that paid more than […]

The Numbers

by 03/11/2002
Neighborhood: Lower Manhattan, Manhattan, World Trade Center

Here was a morning like any other. I got up at 6:40, took a shower and got ready for work. I hadn’t slept well the night before. My eyes burned. Walking to the bathroom required tremendous energy. I blamed my new neighbors. Their surround-sound TV was set up just a few feet from my head. […]

Unbearable Lightness

by 03/10/2002
Neighborhood: World Trade Center

It’s a trick of the light. Depending on where you stand, the “Tribute in Light” memorial looks more like a pillar of fire descending from heaven than a recreation of the World Trade Center. You’d be forgiven if, after 9/11, you thought you’d never crane your neck to look that high up again, because there […]

Little Girl Lost

by 03/04/2002
Neighborhood: Outer Boroughs

Like the homes of many New Yorkers these days, the Illera apartment in Flushing, Queens, has a small American flag taped to the door. Six-year-old Vanessa answers the knock, her hair held back with a stars-and-stripes headband. She walks inside, past the Colombian flag in the kitchen, into the living room. The walls of the […]

The Klein’s Farm Blues

by 03/04/2002
Neighborhood: Outer Boroughs, Queens

Since I wrote my piece about Fresh Meadows a year ago, the sleepy little Klein Farm has exploded into public prominence. In late 2001, word spread that the elder Klein, now happily ensconced out in Jericho, had indeed decided to sell the no-longer profitable farm, despite the younger Klein’s desire to continue the enterprise. (“It’s […]