You are currently browsing the stories about the Bronx neighborhood

First Steps

by 07/18/2014
Neighborhood: Bronx, Featured

“Mommy—Don’t go to work,” my two-year-old daughter said, who’d just started speaking in sentences. As I put on my jacket, she began to cry. I kissed her cheek, and said, “I’ll be home later.” The babysitter fed her, and I closed the door. I heard her sobbing as I charged down the hallway. I had […]

Uninvited Guest

by 05/28/2014
Neighborhood: Bronx, Featured

We were living in a tenement apartment building in the Bronx, and it was full of all things common to such. I was doing the breakfast dishes one Saturday morning when I felt something feathery run over my bare foot. Of course, I already knew what it was, but I screamed anyway. Ahhh!!!!!!!!!!!! My four-year-old […]

Vesuvius Ave.

by 05/08/2014
Neighborhood: All Over, Bronx, Brooklyn, Featured, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island

May and the city rejoices in spring, in light and color, in the sheer goodness of life and its improvements. Spring shows us that things do indeed get better; it’s not all decline — old buildings sparkle, trees quiver in green, mundane streets are remade as pageants. However, let’s not get carried away. Sure, it’s […]

What’s in a Name

by 05/06/2013
Neighborhood: Bronx, Midtown

Sitting in the second row of the balcony at the New York City Center ballet, I, sixteen, entranced by the melodies of Swan Lake, watched a tall, muscular sun-god pirouetting and jeteing on the stage. As he soared, I gasped at the height of his jumps and his sure-footed landings. But I had not come […]

Playing Hide and Seek in the Bronx

by 04/25/2013
Neighborhood: Bronx

Decades ago, when my brother was about ten and I around fourteen, he began to spend an extraordinary amount of time in his room. We lived in an apartment in a sketchy neighborhood in the Bronx. There were muggings, petty and not so petty thefts, and a few cases of violent crimes. Still, we played […]

The Dirty Side Of A Car Wash

by 03/15/2013
Neighborhood: Bronx

I believe my father owned one of the first automatic car washes in New York City, located on Bruckner Boulevard in the Bronx. It was around 1950 and I can still recall a TV blip of him driving into the car wash and the newscaster, John Cameron Swayze, making note of this distinct new type […]

Friendly Fire

by 10/11/2011
Neighborhood: Featured, West Bronx

I came home to a frightening scene one Saturday afternoon back in the spring of 1950. I was 10 years old and had been at the movies all day with my friends. I opened our apartment door and instantly smelled fire and tasted smoke. As I pushed the door in I saw my father on […]

The Honda Healing

by 07/31/2010
Neighborhood: Bronx

It was midnight and Jay and I were walking out of Brook Park in the South Bronx. We had been in the Puerto Rican version of a sweat lodge. Years ago I had attended a Lakota Indian version of the same purification ritual in upstate New York. But this experience was far more spiritual and […]

Bumping Heads with New York Yankee Steve Whitaker

by 10/22/2009
Neighborhood: Bronx

No, I wasn’t going to cut school to go to Yankee Stadium and watch the Yankees play the Orioles during their 1967 season. “Aw, c’mon, BB, let’s do it,” recommended “Reese,” one of my Southwest Bronx neighborhood pals and fellow schoolmate during my sophomore year at DeWitt Clinton High School. Otherwise easygoing, when it came […]

The Piano

by 09/14/2009
Neighborhood: Across the River, Bronx

The old upright piano was in the living room from my earliest recollection until the day my father died. He must have brought it sometime in the early ‘50s, soon after he’d gotten married. Dad would spend hours playing Brahms, Schumann, Clementi, Chopin. At the end, he would always start playing an old Russian folk […]

Turds Fall Within Pepe’s Bailiwick

by 08/16/2009
Neighborhood: Across the River, Bronx

Someone pooped in the cabinet today. It wasn’t the first time the staff bathroom had been despoiled. It happened once before but I’d completely forgotten about it in the general whoosh of activity around the clinic. The bad part is we don’t know if it was a patient passing by or a staff person. That […]

The 1977 Blackout Hits Co-op City

by 04/08/2009
Neighborhood: Bronx, East Bronx

It was July 1977. I had gotten my master’s degree in journalism the year before, but I still hadn’t gotten a full-time job. Not that jobs in journalism were easy to find. At the present time, I was writing weekly news articles for the Eastside Courier, a neighborhood newspaper on the Upper East Side, and […]