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Uninvited Guest

by 05/28/2014
Neighborhood: Bronx, Featured

We were living in a tenement apartment building in the Bronx, and it was full of all things common to such. I was doing the breakfast dishes one Saturday morning when I felt something feathery run over my bare foot. Of course, I already knew what it was, but I screamed anyway. Ahhh!!!!!!!!!!!! My four-year-old […]

The Hedges

by 02/16/2014
Neighborhood: Farmingdale, Featured

I don't know when it happened exactly, but it happened. I have become a cranky old man, closed and rigid and fixed in my ways, despite the fact that in my youth I’d resolved never to grow up, never to become like all the grown ups who lived in my world when I was growing […]

Pimping Trixie

by 02/02/2014
Neighborhood: Featured, Upper West Side

I won’t go into how our two-year old standard poodle got Lyme disease and died horribly, triggering a deep depression in my then 14 year old son, Jake. Lulu was smart and devilish and silly. She chewed a carved leg of our 120 year old Steinway, the molding on the walls, and anything she could […]

The Culture of Dog Walking

by 09/26/2013
Neighborhood: Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Featured

I’ve always wondered about the strange symbiosis that forms between dog owners and their dogs. For dog lovers, the word pet fails to suffice. But the dog walker may speculate: is it an equally co-dependent companionship, where partners receive and transmit comparable levels of appreciation and affection? Or is it asymmetrical—an over-identification on the part […]

Stellar Decisions

by 12/04/2012
Neighborhood: Featured, Upper West Side

I was supposed to meet Christopher, but not the way I met him. The circumstances were of the sort that makes people believe in a higher power, which wasn’t exactly my thing. I’m not saying it is now, but I’m not saying it isn’t. It was early December, and I was two months into grieving […]

A Special Hidden Place

by 06/21/2012
Neighborhood: Central Park, Midtown

"Henry, why must you be such a baby?" I say to Mr. Henry Longfellow, my piebald dachshund, as I carry him in my arms across Central Park West on our way into the Park next to Tavern on the Green. I am not young or especially strong. Carrying an overweight dachshund is not easy. Henry […]

The Wild Turkeys Of Staten Island University Hospital

by 04/17/2012
Neighborhood: Featured, Staten Island

Wild turkeys roam the grounds of Staten Island University Hospital. When my mother was hospitalized in April 2011 with a respiratory infection, I had the opportunity to observe them in detail. Turkeys stand around a lot, sort of like escaped mental patients who suddenly find themselves free, but then what. One day, they might be […]

Bear Patrol

by 07/19/2011
Neighborhood: Featured, Midtown, Park Slope

The door to Karen’s office was open and I waved a little hello as I entered, indicating that I would only be a second. Karen was the creative director at the magazine publisher where I was freelancing as a copy editor. I thought there was something cozy about her, something very motherly, in a distracted […]

A True Life Fish Tale

by 04/11/2011
Neighborhood: Upper West Side

I thought I’d been having a bad year—chewed up and spit out after a couple of months in the New York City public school system (which is a whole other story I was advised by my attorney not to write about until after our lawsuit was resolved)—but then I met the saddest, sorriest creature I’d […]

Scary Scary Scary New York City

by 10/31/2010
Neighborhood: All Over

Be afraid, they tell us. Be very afraid. I read the Timeses, the Newses, the AM New Yorks. I watch the Ernie Anostoses, listen to the Brian Lehrers, check out the NY1s, peruse the Gothamists, and call the 311s, only to end up hearing the same message, the ongoing drumbeat pounding in my brain in […]

Adopting a Pint-Size Pocketbook Pooch

by 10/26/2010
Neighborhood: Upper West Side

As I am walking out of yoga class, an acquaintance asks, “How’s Rio ?” She is referring to the two pound poodle puppy I had mentioned I would be getting. At this point, I’ve had Rio a few days. “He’s great,” I say, “But it’s way more overwhelming than I thought it would be.” Her […]

Prall’s Island

by 04/15/2010
Neighborhood: Featured, Prall's Island

“It all started in 1974, when a longshoreman spotted an egret with a twig,” said EJ McAdams of the discovery of nesting birds along a heavily trafficked—and polluted—Arthur Kill waterway in the heart of New York harbor. We were speeding south on the New Jersey Turnpike, and it was a sunny day in early June […]