You are currently browsing the stories about the Flatbush neighborhood

The Bookie

by 07/01/2011
Neighborhood: Flatbush

I attended elementary school in a non-descript brick building across the street from Mostly Books, whose humble proprietor, Sandy Tishcoff, was our local celebrity sighting. He was an unlikely one, spending his hours squinting at a microfiche mounted on his desk, from which he would divine book orders in the days before Add To Cart. […]

A Driver You Can Trust in Flatlands

by 12/31/2006
Neighborhood: Brooklyn, Flatbush

My parents and I live in a dangerous neighborhood. It started getting dicey in 1989 when my father got mugged. One night, a man put a gun to his head. My dad foolishly used a dangerous shortcut. It was an error he would not make twice. If my mother didn’t realize it before, she now […]

What Should We Speak at Dinner?

by 12/16/2006
Neighborhood: Brooklyn, Flatbush

“What should we serve for dinner?” often translates, for me, into, “What should we speak at dinner?” My household is the confluence of five languages. I’m French and my husband is Haitian and Italian. Our older son married a young woman from Taiwan while our younger son’s fiancée is from Trinidad. This mélange of native […]

Blood Brothers

by 08/24/2006
Neighborhood: Brooklyn, Flatbush

Edgar was a nice kid. He was soft-spoken and respectful and called my mom “Ma’am.” (I had never called anyone “Ma’am” in my life.) Edgar had to be coaxed over and over before he relented and agreed to call my dad “Artie” like the rest of the kids did. Edgar wasn’t handsome like Peter, or […]

Good Vibrations

by 08/18/2004
Neighborhood: Brooklyn, Flatbush

I do okay for a while. I’m good, I go to therapy, I dutifully make the bi-monthly trek to my psychiatrist for drugs. I ride the Q train from Brooklyn to Central Park West, a trip that takes over an hour, and he always meets me at the door. He has unnaturally dark hair that […]

Creole Commuting

by 05/26/2004
Neighborhood: Brooklyn, Flatbush

It’s 12 degrees outside and I am standing at the corner of Flatbush and Glenwood Avenues waiting for the bus.  It’s dark already on this gloomy January day and the wind gusts feel like razor blades on my face.  There are about fifty other people waiting at the bus stop.  We are all weighted down […]

The Ayatollah of Nueva York

by 04/14/2003
Neighborhood: Brooklyn, Flatbush

It was late 1979 — high point of the Iranian revolution — and the Immigration and Naturalization Service had just announced its nationwide dragnet. I was teaching ESL at Brooklyn College and had just confiscated the vocabulary test of one of the eighteen Iranian Jews in my beginners class. Cheating had increased since the INS […]

Nina Talbot’s Shoppers

by 01/25/2003
Neighborhood: Brooklyn, Flatbush

For the last two years Nina Talbot has been photographing people at her local ShopRite in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn, and painting their portraits. Or, more accurately, she’s been painting portraits of the store. "I look for subjects that are close to home," she says. "Whenever I shop I take my camera. I tell […]