You are currently browsing the stories about the Outer Boroughs neighborhood

What We’re on This Earth For

by 09/06/2008
Neighborhood: Brooklyn, Outer Boroughs

“You’re blocking the whole fucking street, you’re a total asshole!” The woman in the road screamed at me. But she only knew one of my attributes and that hardly qualified her to give a generalizing narrative to all of the other onlookers. I agreed to move my vehicle but she was the bitter, lingering sort. […]

Travels With Travis

by 10/28/2007
Neighborhood: Outer Boroughs, Queens

Travis Barker–he of the Eminem-a-like hip hop wigger lifestyle replete with marital discord (in his iteration it includes a catfight between the old ball and chain and pre-prison Paris Hilton)–yes, that Travis Barker, was briefly my boon companion aboard a rather small US Air carrier for some four hours when the traffic radar in Atlanta […]

It Wasn’t Our Turn

by 07/20/2007
Neighborhood: Bronx, Outer Boroughs

Arriving at work for the night tour on October 29, 1974 I discover the firehouse to be as abandoned and silent as a cemetery at midnight, I was spooked by something but wrote it off to the approach of Halloween when in reality it was actually an omen. I am the first member of the […]

Rory

by 12/31/2006
Neighborhood: Outer Boroughs, Queens

Early March 1954, in a Woodside apartment overlooking the # 7 Subway El and the Long Island Railroad station below it, two express trains crisscrossed, one rattling over the other. “Bob, please get me some food.” Patricia pleaded from the kitchen to the living room. “There’s plenty of food,” Bob answered as he played with […]

Wat is the Wat

by 12/31/2006
Neighborhood: Bronx, Outer Boroughs

One thing Sambath Suen can’t abide is the cold. Until four years ago, Suen lived in Kandal, a Cambodian province that borders on Vietnam. Before that, he lived in Vietnam, where he earned his diploma, and before that he had lived in his native village, about thirty knots downriver from Phnom Penh, where he spent […]

Easter Haircuts on Staten Island

by 12/31/2006
Neighborhood: Outer Boroughs, Staten Island

In the mid 1960’s it wasn’t easy for multi-sibling families like mine to get along well financially, but somehow my Mom and Dad made it work on the salary of my Dad, which wasn’t much. But there were times where budget cutting ideas may have went a little too far, like the “Save money on […]

A Fair Trade

by 12/31/2006
Neighborhood: Outer Boroughs, Queens

Somewhere, over the din, a thin voice called out, “Open!” I darted around, swaying from one foot to another, but before I could realize what had happened the elderly woman in line behind me had already scampered around to the newly opened lane. In her shamrock green coat and stiff knit hat, she leaned over […]

The Fig Trees of Bensonhurst

by 12/31/2006
Neighborhood: Brooklyn, Outer Boroughs

I hesitated before walking through the alleyway that led to my old backyard. I could see that my mother and father’s old fig tree was still there in the yard. It was late summer and there had just been a light rain. This would have been prime fig picking time back in the old days. […]

What My Daughter Heard On The Balcony

by 10/24/2006
Neighborhood: Brooklyn, Outer Boroughs

After my daughter was born, I spent part of each day on the balcony of our third-floor apartment in Sheepshead Bay, rocking her in her stroller. Even when chilly, we’d sit out. Just like her mama and papa when they were little in St. Petersburg, Russia, Sasha has spent much of her first year wrapped […]

The New Season

by 06/22/2006
Neighborhood: Bronx, Outer Boroughs

The Mets are out of town. My childhood friend Jim wants to see a ballgame before he’s tied up remodeling his Long Island house, which he estimates will take all of his free time May through October. He can’t wait until the Amazins, his favorite team and mine, return from a trip to the West […]

We’re Doing It For Them

by 06/07/2006
Neighborhood: Bronx, Outer Boroughs

Looking around for the lieutenant, I find him standing alongside the firehouse, staring down into a neat row of freshly clipped hedges. I hurry to his side and he tersely commands, “Get to work.” Right then and there, my life changes forever. * For firemen, there is nothing more startling than a Verbal Alarm–the riotous […]

Decking Out in Anytown, Queens

by 06/01/2006
Neighborhood: Outer Boroughs, Queens

The first nice weekend of the season, temperatures in the 70s, a light breeze, and not a cloud in the sky. A year ago today, I would have had a pang of jealousy thinking of the suburbanites who were combing their garages and heading to Home Depot to find tiki torches, bug zappers, weed whackers, […]