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I Remember I Forget, And Why

by 02/18/2015
Neighborhood: Featured, West Village

I've lived in the neighborhood practically forever, but to my girlfriend it's all new. She's always making some new discovery. Once she came home with a small box of Japanese chocolate wrapped inside a perfect silver bag and with a sleek packet of dry ice. I asked her where it came from and she told […]

Piano Piece

by 01/28/2015
Neighborhood: Astoria, Featured

A vintage piano stood alone on a deserted city street. Moments earlier, the piano had been saved from oblivion by a man named Oscar, who had stepped out of his apartment just as the workers of the New York City Sanitation Department had been struggling to lift the piano into the whining maw of their […]

Al Pimsler: A Man’s Men’s Illustrator

by 01/20/2015
Neighborhood: Featured, Uncategorized

A dapper anomaly in those still shaggy post-Woodstock years, he walked with purpose and panache to the Saks Fifth Avenue offices where he took up residence at the drawing table. Handsome. Diminutive yet self-assured, debonaire, even--an outdated word, but it suited. With a full head of white hair waving back from a fulcrum of dark […]

Two Guys Talking on the Corner

by 01/06/2015
Neighborhood: Featured, Yorkville

Dad and I did four things together: play sports, attend sports, watch TV, and go to the movies. I liked movies the best; it’s much harder telling a kid what to do in the dark. You would have loved taking me to the movies when I was 6 years old. I was a cheap date, […]

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 […]