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The Last Winter Dance Party of America

by 12/15/2014
Neighborhood: Featured, Uncategorized

It’s 1957, and the three of us, Jacky,Vinnie from 19th Street, and me, are doing this Brooklyn strut sort of a walk down Eastern Parkway. Vinnie is a thief. He will steal anything he can get his hands on, doesn’t matter who owns it. That’s just the way he is. But there’s something cool and […]

An Unsentimental Education

by 12/09/2014
Neighborhood: Bronx, Featured

In a school full of hard cases, Theresa Fulife was the hardest. She looked like the oldest kid in the eighth grade because at 16 she was. Her scarred, nearly six-foot muscular frame looked like it had been tattooed by a drunken sailor. Her face resembled the pitted surface of some foreign planet. Her hair […]

Library Meditations, 8am

by 11/18/2014
Neighborhood: Featured, Uncategorized

Most mornings are like this: you are walking alone, very underdressed for the harsh whip of winter (sorry Mom), multiple book bags in hand, and struggling. You are out when the shop owners dump buckets of soapy water onto the street, to wash away dog piss. You are out when the bums are still too […]

Dead Horse Bay

by 11/12/2014
Neighborhood: Featured, Uncategorized

The day before hurricane Sandy hits New York I go to the beach. The subways are shut down. The mayor has recommended evacuation of coastal areas. The news warns of widespread blackouts and flooding. The wind pulls garbage from gutters and tosses it against the legs coming out of the grocery store, shuffling under the […]

Jews Playing Basketball

by 11/06/2014
Neighborhood: All Over, Bronx, Brooklyn, Featured, Lower East Side

New Yorkers of a certain age who dig hoops can tell you that there is a lot of Jewish DNA in the city game. Basketball was invented in 1891 by James Naismith, an instructor at a YMCA in Springfield, Massachusetts, but the game’s popularity really took off early in the 20th century in the settlement […]

The River, the Floating Lanterns and the White Balloons

by 10/16/2014
Neighborhood: All Over, Featured, Financial District, Tribeca, West Village

Friday, September 9, 2011. My friend and neighbor Judy the Therapist and I ponder the upcoming 10th anniversary of the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks. On that terrible day, Judy and a young couple from my building had just picked up the morning paper at a news stand around the corner; they saw the […]

Dancing in the Dark

by 10/13/2014
Neighborhood: Featured, Greenwich Village, Upper West Side

In 1974 I was twenty-five. I’d just left my secure job as a kindergarten teacher. The job: compliments of my, Bubbie, who was always yelling, “Get security. Be a teacher!” Deciding to leave the job? That was compliments of my Women's Consciousness Raising Group. Every woman in the group encouraged me to leave my job […]

Direction By Mercy

by 09/28/2014
Neighborhood: Featured, Long Island City, Lower East Side, Queens

“Here, going? Here, here!” The woman says to the drive and points to the paper in her hand. “This bus is going to Rockaway Beach!” The bus driver looks at her and answers. The woman doesn't seem to understand and starts to talk to the bus driver in Chinese. The bus driver looks puzzled and shakes […]

Will You Marry Me?

by 09/26/2014
Neighborhood: Featured, Long Island City, Uncategorized

During the middle of my spring semester, I remembered the homeless man in front of the 21st street CTown. He was the poem in my poetry workshop. He was the protagonist of my memoir workshop free-write. I remembered my love for him. My professor loved him from the first paragraph. I went to high school […]

Spa Day

by 09/06/2014
Neighborhood: Coney Island, Featured

The massage was about three-quarters of the way through when Galina stopped what she was doing and disappeared, leaving me face down and naked on the table, without a word of explanation. Galina? Bafflement gave way to blessed relief that her thumbs had, for a moment, ceased bullying me into a state of relaxation. I […]

Kings

by 08/31/2014
Neighborhood: Featured, Greenwich Village

The blaring music is only background noise to my mumbled senses. Effie slaps a card down on the cheap plastic table N.Y.U. has inside every dorm room’s kitchen. Effie says some number and the four of us (Effie, Eleanor, Duke, and I) have to take a drink. It seems like for every card Duke and […]

Scented

by 08/26/2014
Neighborhood: Featured, Financial District, Manhattan

I'm not the girl who woke up from another one-night-stand. But I could be, in the view from the Sephora window. It's raining: The dull Saturday too-early morning pitter-patters against the makeup counters; my nerves, pounding on the exposed brick. I feel like a quasi-well-dressed spy. Partly because "quasi" is the word that won me […]