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That’s My Daughter In The Water

by 03/27/2013
Neighborhood: Featured, Upper East Side

Getting your two year old daughter into a bathing suit in a men’s changing room can be a bit like stuffing an eel into a pillowcase. For some reason I thought the smart move would be to undress myself first, get my trunks on, my flip-flops, grab my towel, then shed Hana down to her […]

A Verizon Connection

by 03/14/2013
Neighborhood: Prospect Heights

The buzzer rang and I jumped like I always do. It was a loud, harsh cross between a buzz and a ring that seemed to annoy even the cat, judging by the way she raised her head, giving me that look, before settling back to sleep. I tossed the book I was reading to the […]

Of Landlords and Cousins

by 03/03/2013
Neighborhood: Featured, Sunset Park

Of Landlords and Cousins My landlord visits our brownstone apartment in Sunset Park, Brooklyn at least three times a week to “fix” something. He is a saxophone player from the city of Odessa on the Black Sea in the Ukraine---a city I have never visited but feel a connection to because my grandparents were born […]

Zone A

by 02/27/2013
Neighborhood: Featured, Staten Island

Hurricane Irene bared down on the East Coast, while my mother was in the Vent Unit of Staten Island University Hospital, on a respirator and recovering from her second abdominal surgery. Located in South Beach, designated Zone A, the hospital faced mandatory evacuation. A team of medical personnel, including her surgeon, the Director of the […]

Found in Transit

by 02/09/2013
Neighborhood: All Over, Grand Central Station, Union Square

A woman once offered me her seat on a rush hour 3 train. New Yorkers only donate seats to the elderly, the injured, and the pregnant, so it was obvious what she thought. “Not pregnant – just fat,” I told her, matter-of-factly, compelled to set precedent before this woman’s so-called generosity spawned an outbreak of […]

At Home on the Church Steps

by 02/08/2013
Neighborhood: Upper West Side

On a blustery December evening on my way to a friend’s dinner party, I stopped in front of a jumbo cardboard box on the steps of the church around the corner. “Jim?” I called out. A moment later a hand emerged and gave a little wave, followed by a head with tousled, graying hair. “Hi,” […]

A Comparative Analysis of the Heroic Exploits of Antarctic Explorer Ernest Shackleton and Downtown Resident Brent Shearer During The Five-Night “Sandy” Blackout

by 02/07/2013
Neighborhood: Lower East Side, Tribeca

October 1915 - Shackleton's ship the Endurance crushed by ice after drifting for nine months. October 28, 2012 - 7:30 pm: Shearer hikes two blocks from residence at 90 Hudson St., #6B, to Hudson River with stated goal of checking out storm surge and keeping feet dry. Forced to wade through three feet of water […]

Revo, like Revolution.

by 01/30/2013
Neighborhood: Bedford-Stuyvesant

I met a man at the corner bodega by my brownstone in Bedford-Stuyvesant on Friday. The conversation started like this. “Hey, man. What’s going on?” I said while heading to the beverage coolers. “Not much, how are you?” “Can’t complain. Just a lazy Friday. What do you think, Colt 45 or Olde English?” “Colt 45 […]

Pizza at the End of the World

by 01/15/2013
Neighborhood: Featured, Staten Island

My apartment building, across from the ferry, in the St. George neighborhood of Staten Island, fared well against Sandy. From my window, I saw the water rise above the seawall, and swallow the municipal parking lot, but situated on the hill, I never felt threatened. When the power went out, I was watching a DVD […]

A Dark and Stormy Night

by 01/07/2013
Neighborhood: Uncategorized, West Village

Three days after a storm that could have easily been called Gidget or Bob in keeping with the unintended frivolity of its real name – Sandy, two people are sitting on a bench in a dark chaotic lobby of an artists’ residence on the west side of Manhattan. One, a sculptor, is waiting for her […]

Hurricane Kingdom

by 01/07/2013
Neighborhood: Featured, Lower East Side

It was like the prom. Only it wasn’t the prom. It was Hurricane Sandy. All the anxious preparation, the heart slightly aflutter, the pure angst and nervous excitement all at once. What to buy in advance, who to spend the night with, hell, even what to wear. It was Monday afternoon on the Lower East […]

After the Storm

by 12/28/2012
Neighborhood: All Over

In the immediate wake of the storm nothing worked. Neither power nor light, neither running water nor heat, neither internet nor ATM, the fundamentals of middle class life, without which we don’t believe we can live happily nowadays. Fish and flesh rotted in the refrigerator. Dirty dishes piled up in the sink. Even your own […]