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A Fan’s Statistics

by 03/15/2008
Neighborhood: Jamaica, Queens

Two times per year the New York State English Regents Exam visits the high schools of our fair city, four comprehensive essays over a period of two days, and this January’s results are in. In my building, preparation for the exam begins in the ninth grade and continues right until the students enter class to […]

I Am Not a Crook!

by 02/10/2008
Neighborhood: Brooklyn

It was Richard M. Nixon who said it best when he uttered those immortal words: “I am not a crook!” For the record, he also said, “I have never been a quitter,” just before he resigned the presidency back in 1973. So go figure. I have always thought of crooks as cartoon burglars wearing Lone […]

Brookti & Me: 3 Years On

by 02/10/2008
Neighborhood: Tribeca

[For earlier Brookti & Me, check here and here . –eds.] ** I’ve been reading a lot recently about our new “post-racial” world, where we have “transcended race,” where a black man is running for president and white people are actually voting for him. I’m wondering, if we have transcended race so successfully, why are […]

Nature, or: Having Dinner with Four Men on a Saturday in February

by 06/01/2006
Neighborhood: West Village

They are like a set of bees fighting over a flower. The waitress waits as long as she can before taking our orders because she knows there is an order to everything, that I was the sort of homecoming queen who slept with half the football team before a Saturday night game. Used as I […]

Memoirs of the Kerry Administration

by Thomas Beller 11/04/2004
Neighborhood: Uncategorized

A friend of mine had a screaming fight with his father a couple of weeks before the election. The subject of the fight was politics. The father supported Bush. The son supported Kerry. The fight was heated, and eventually the son slammed down the receiver. He hung up on his father. Days passed. The phone […]

A Day with the Delegates from Texas

by 09/10/2004
Neighborhood: Midtown

I’m a long time Texan currently living in New York City, and I recently spent some time in the company of the Lone Star delegation, when they came to New York for the Republican National Convention. Most were esconced at the New York Hilton on 53rd and Sixth Avenue—“Avvnoo of the Amuricas,” as the delegates […]

Going to Washington D.C.

by 04/21/2003
Neighborhood: Midtown

Day 24. Widespread looting in Baghdad. I had been gearing up for three weeks for the antiwar demonstration in D.C., but as it approached I became uncomfortably aware of several things. First of all, none of my friends were going, in fact, most had not even heard about the demonstration. Secondly, I did not like […]

The New York–Baghdad Connection

by 03/28/2003
Neighborhood: Manhattan

Day three 1,300 cruise missiles and bombs hit Baghdad. At work I have to use the freight elevator to bring my bicycle into the office. The elevator’s operated by an older Eastern European man with a deeply lined face and thinning hair. He dresses in the company uniform and a pair of beaten Air Jordans. […]

The Ribald and Defiant

by 03/28/2003
Neighborhood: Manhattan

A Real Bomb in America’s Secret War

by 03/28/2003
Neighborhood: Letter From Abroad

A flaming sunset in western Cambodia, in the middle of 1972. I was coming back from my uncle’s house. I was about 500 meters from my house, when there were suddenly terrific sounds, like thunderclaps, “Boom! Boom! Boom!” Immediately, I saw the spark and the firelight emerging into the flaming sky. I was very frightened […]

The Fracas at Washington Square Park

by 03/25/2003
Neighborhood: Greenwich Village

The late great comic Bill Hicks once said, famously, apropos the first gulf war: “I find myself in the unenviable position of being for the war — but against the troops.” Nobody that I’ve heard has come up with a similar corker this time around, a line which can sum up the personal confusion and […]

The Day The War Started

by 03/24/2003
Neighborhood: Midtown, Multiple

At about quarter to five this past Thursday I got into a cab at 56th and Broadway; my destination was the Port Authority and the Short Line Bus to my home in Orange County. It was a rainy, miserable day and I was damned glad to get the cab. My driver was relievedly Haitian — […]