You are currently browsing the stories about the Queens neighborhood

The King of New York

by 03/05/2017
Neighborhood: Astoria, Queens

I. From a distance the crown almost looks like solid gold. But as I walk farther up 30th Avenue in Astoria, I can tell there is something not quite right about it. It is glinting, sure, but I realize the crown is made of curled paper. It’s from Burger King. I am now only a […]

You’re Out of the Night

by 06/17/2016
Neighborhood: Flushing, Lower East Side, Queens, Uncategorized

On Match.com, Ken’s moniker was “Dull.” He wrote that among his favorite things were office carpeting, spam, and waiting rooms. “I bet he lives in one of those storage units off the highway,” my friend Meg said as she read over my shoulder. My own profile was styled after Nancy Drew. Hair color? Titian. Hobbies? […]

The Tape

by 04/26/2016
Neighborhood: Brooklyn, Chelsea, Jackson Heights, Manhattan, Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Sunset Park

-1- Once upon a time, there existed a New York City economy where a young person fresh out of college could, with a straight face, think in terms of “building a career.” Imagine such optimism. The notion of “career” seems so trite now, forty-plus years on, so immaterial, in this age of downsizing, outsourcing, off-shoring. […]

Remembering, Memorial Day

by 04/17/2015
Neighborhood: Queens

On weekends it’s a tossup, either my wife or I go on expedition for our Dunkin’ Donuts coffee and this was my turn. Because I knew the usual place on Queens Boulevard was closed for repairs I had to head down to the one on 61st in the Woodside valley. On the way back I […]

Exhaustion, Faith, or Madness

by 12/12/2014
Neighborhood: Jackson Heights, Queens, Uncategorized

A group of Asian teenage boys with shaved heads slows down in front of me. It is around 7 pm, not yet dusk, not really day, and we’re passing by a series of low brick row houses with bar-covered windows on 73rd Street in Jackson Heights. The boys look kind of tough, but they are polite as […]

Direction By Mercy

by 09/28/2014
Neighborhood: 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 […]

Can We Get Next?

by 07/29/2014
Neighborhood: Queens

Vexatious questions always flow out, almost carelessly, when I mention that one sport I enjoy playing is Handball. No, not the much respected European Handball, but American Handball which was played by the Irish and Chinese immigrants that first arrived in large cities, yes girls CAN play, pretty well too, and yes it is a […]

Colin Powell, Elvis Presley, and Mario Cuomo

by 06/12/2014
Neighborhood: Kew Gardens Hills, Queens

Often the Jewish dumpster is stuffed with bread: not tonight; but walking home a man in a hat says, “Excuse me. Are you Jewish?” I say “No” because last time I was asked that question I said “Yes,” and three Jews wrapped me in ribbons and made me repeat a lot of strange words. So […]

Christmas Morning

by 05/26/2014
Neighborhood: Forest Hills

This morning I made Ramen noodles with extra veggies in it, and peanut butter and Korean bean paste. Then took a walk, crossed Grand Central on over to Queens Boulevard where an Asian woman walking a little dog caught my eye. She saw my eye was caught by her, so when she got up close, […]

Vesuvius Ave.

by 05/08/2014
Neighborhood: All Over, Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island

May and the city rejoices in spring, in light and color, in the sheer goodness of life and its improvements. Spring shows us that things do indeed get better; it’s not all decline — old buildings sparkle, trees quiver in green, mundane streets are remade as pageants. However, let’s not get carried away. Sure, it’s […]

School Spirits

by 03/20/2013
Neighborhood: Jamaica

I’ve been teaching Writing and Literature in New York City’s public school system for almost nine years. This spring, my former building will graduate its final class just shy of reaching the century mark. The school’s phase-out process followed the usual script that no ‘education reformer’ cares to discuss: a decent school declared dangerous, unable […]

Letting Go of My Faux Boyfriend

by 11/13/2012
Neighborhood: All Over, Citifield, Midtown, Tribeca

Last week I officially let go of my faux-boyfriend. The moment of truth happened in a lavender room with a gray sofa and wooden lectern at the Office of the City Clerk on Worth Street. Jamie and Tomoko said, “I do,” and smiled. They kissed each other and thanked the clerk. I waited for something […]