You are currently browsing the stories about the Washington Heights neighborhood

Homeward

by 03/12/2017
Neighborhood: Featured, Manhattan, Washington Heights

“Lemuel,” my mother cried out to me. “No puedo ver.” I looked up. Her eyes were shut, her grip was tight around my hand, and she was telling me she couldn’t see. We had been walking home, enjoying the lull that comes over Washington Heights at the end of the day. I was six and […]

COFFEE, MY FAMILY

by 06/14/2014
Neighborhood: Chelsea, Washington Heights

It had become a habit that week—reading Richard Rodriguez’s “Brown” on the A train, riding a gradient line between the ochre of Washington Heights and the powdered white walls of NYU. I reveled in holding the book upright, spine stiff, and the bent paperback cover like a sail at full mast. It was a silent […]

Faces

by 08/03/2012
Neighborhood: Washington Heights

I shift from foot to foot as I wait in line to see the Mona Lisa. The line snakes around the corridor of the second floor of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. My mother and Aunt Regina insist that we must see this wonderful painting. Helen holds my hand and tells me that Leonardo da […]

My Friend, The Fire Chaplain

by 09/11/2011
Neighborhood: Chelsea, Uncategorized, Washington Heights

I met Mychal Judge in the spring of 1985 when my boyfriend, Javier, and I decided to get married. As a lapsed Catholic, estranged from the Church for over a decade, I was tormented with guilt and worry, yet I wanted to have a church wedding without having to account for prior errant ways—our daughter, […]

G-2183

by 05/01/2011
Neighborhood: Washington Heights

When Jeffrey and I argue, my mother always weeps. “Shame on you,” she says. “I wish my brother, Shmuel, was still here for me to argue with. Shame on you!” My brother and I hang our heads. We wait for her to leave the room, but she is not yet finished. “Is this what I […]

Trolling Whores for Coke: How to Get Started

by 03/17/2010
Neighborhood: Chelsea, Washington Heights

So you’ve got the wife and the kids. You’ve got and are just barely hanging onto, the co-op in the chic enclave, you’re so middle-aged. Some men, finding themselves adrift in a wood in their middle years, go to the gym: I troll whores for coke. After you’ve seen the horrors of Chelsea Pier’s ice […]

The Slow Death of Dan Dinnerstein

by 11/02/2008
Neighborhood: Washington Heights

I met Dan Dinnerstein at a party in 1982, when we were young, single guys in our late twenties. We had a lot in common: we were both were products of the New York State University system, we both came from the same neighborhood in the Bronx (although we hadn’t known each other there), and, […]

Welcome to Washington Heights

by 08/05/2008
Neighborhood: Washington Heights

The day I moved to Washington Heights, a kid stood on the sidewalk and stared at me. And not a trying-not-to stare, either; a slack-jawed, wide-eyed, rooted-to-the-spot stare. It was sweltering that day—the first day of summer—and even though it wasn’t the most practical choice for moving day, I wore one of those tank tops […]

Not That Christ is Funny

by 04/11/2008
Neighborhood: Washington Heights

My friend John promised a world away from the gray of Boston, but the Cloisters seemed equally cold and dim when we paid our admission fee (ahem, suggested $20 donation). The cold from the stone floor seeped upward through my shoes as we began to wander around, approaching the tapestry in which the unicorn sits […]

Kristal

by 03/15/2008
Neighborhood: Washington Heights

“This would be a great place for making babies,” Kristal said to me, in the same longing way she often asked to go to the bathroom during city and state exams. Kristal was fifteen. They were all fifteen, even the other ones, the white ones from New Jersey, whose names reflected the suburban streets where […]

Washington Heights Playing Field

by 07/06/2006
Neighborhood: Washington Heights

175th Street, between Audubon and Saint Nicholas Avenues was the playing field for hundreds of boys each year, in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Anchored mid-block by Incarnation Grammar School, 175th Street was a four-car-wide, smoothly paved, level, treeless, usually-blocked-off-during-school-days street. The sidewalks were also wide and level, the street curbs sharp and unbroken, […]

The Butcher Shift–a Gotham Hazing.

by 02/11/2005
Neighborhood: Washington Heights

In a city that purportedly never sleeps (but does take frequent disco naps), there is a population of workers who must keep the place running while most inhabitants are in fact snoozing. Our commute begins as most are bedding down with Letterman or curling into a vodka-drenched stranger. We are the skeleton crew operating the […]