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A Picnic in Eden

by 09/01/2014
Neighborhood: Brooklyn, Williamsburg

"No, it is not only our fate but our business to lose innocence, and once we have lost that, it is futile to attempt a picnic in Eden.” — Elizabeth Bowen There’s a man across the street. He’s seventy-five, maybe eighty years old. He comes out of a red door in the apartment building kitty-corner […]

Scented

by 08/26/2014
Neighborhood: Featured, Financial District, Manhattan

I'm not the girl who woke up from another one-night-stand. But I could be, in the view from the Sephora window. It's raining: The dull Saturday too-early morning pitter-patters against the makeup counters; my nerves, pounding on the exposed brick. I feel like a quasi-well-dressed spy. Partly because "quasi" is the word that won me […]

I Just Want to Stay In and Get High and Watch Netflix

by 07/20/2014
Neighborhood: Bushwick

I was not where I wanted to be. This was because I was out. I was out at a bar called the Narrows in Bushwick–or East Williamsburg if you’re a real estate broker. The bar is called the Narrows because the building is very narrow. But really every building in New York City is narrow. […]

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 Laughter of the Maestro

by 03/09/2014
Neighborhood: Featured, Fort Greene

Last week I was walking home through a snowstorm. Turning the corner toward Fulton I called Cecil Taylor, who lived in the last unrenovated brownstone on that street. We knew each other from back in the 70s. The jazz pianist’s manager James Spicer had been a mutual friend, until the silver-haired impresario ripped off my […]

Real Estate Rhetoric: A User’s Guide

by 03/02/2014
Neighborhood: All Over, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Bushwick, Chinatown, Featured, Harlem, Hell's Kitchen, Williamsburg

 Affordable housing. For most New Yorkers the term is an oxymoron. Niklas and I moved to the West Village when we got married a few years ago, a romantic notion if not an especially realistic one. In the beginning we joked that we could live on love. But a sandwich is also nice sometimes. As […]

My Washington Square West Apartment for $900 a Month

by 01/17/2014
Neighborhood: Featured, Greenwich Village

L. Monroe Looking to rent to current student. 900/month utilities included, 12 month lease, 1500 sq. ft. The apartment is on Washington Square West, above John Sexton, sheltering Jude Law, haunted by the ghost of Eleanor Roosevelt. A piece of hair is glued by sweat down the side of my face, the end of the […]

Viva La Vita

by 01/16/2014
Neighborhood: West Village

For a frustrating period of several months, my roommate decided on a daily basis if she was vegan or not. Her daily choice depended on a combination of the selection of food in our ragtag dorm room refrigerator, and the strength of whatever moral tug she felt on any given day. And so, it was […]

Just Another Night

by 01/12/2014
Neighborhood: Featured, Fort Greene

Last night was New Year’s Eve. My redheaded poetess friend Irene phoned to invite me to a 20-something party in Bushwick. “You’ll be the oldest man there.” Irene was going solo. “Almost three times older.” We were just friends. “I think of you as 16.” She had seen me being silly on more than one […]

My Neighbor Cries a Chain Link Fence

by 12/31/2013
Neighborhood: Astoria

To the young beautiful woman with tears in her eyes who lives above me: now I know why you run in the apartment for hours backandforth backandforth. I know why you don't talk in the hallway. I know because the building is old and my ceiling is thin. I heard the furniture thunder last night […]

Katya

by 08/09/2013
Neighborhood: East Village, Featured

Yellow police tape stretched across the doorframe of Apartment 5. I had walked past this door every day for the last two years, past its tortured wood, pockmarked like the cigarette-burned arms of its inhabitant. The door was so battered, a neighbor told me, from all the times Katya’s parents threw her out and all […]

The Dress

by 06/18/2013
Neighborhood: All Over, Greenwich Village, SoHo, West Village

For thirty-five years its posture has been folded into a deep curtsy, dormant over a hanger, as if waiting for a curtain call. After that one moment in the spotlight, it’s never been worn again. Unless we consider fleeting fantasies of varying scenarios I’ve had over the decades that flash-forwarded to, well, the age I […]