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An Unsentimental Education

by 12/09/2014
Neighborhood: Bronx

In a school full of hard cases, Theresa Fulife was the hardest. She looked like the oldest kid in the eighth grade because at 16 she was. Her scarred, nearly six-foot muscular frame looked like it had been tattooed by a drunken sailor. Her face resembled the pitted surface of some foreign planet. Her hair […]

First Steps

by 07/18/2014
Neighborhood: Bronx

“Mommy—Don’t go to work,” said my two-year-old daughter said, who’d just started speaking in sentences. As I put on my jacket, she began to cry. I kissed her cheek, and said, “I’ll be home later.” The babysitter fed her, and I closed the door. I heard her sobbing as I charged down the hallway. I […]

Playing Hide and Seek in the Bronx

by 04/25/2013
Neighborhood: Bronx

Decades ago, when my brother was about ten and I around fourteen, he began to spend an extraordinary amount of time in his room. We lived in an apartment in a sketchy neighborhood in the Bronx. There were muggings, petty and not so petty thefts, and a few cases of violent crimes. Still, we played […]

Bronx Swans

by 02/17/2002
Neighborhood: All Over, Bronx

The John Kieran Trail in Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx is cut through sturdy black locust and black cherry trees, their crowns bending the day’s sunlight. As it veers towards the water, the trail mixes with wet mossy woods with willow branches hanging over the path like Rapunzel’s hair, patches of skunk cabbage and […]

The Slap of Love (Part 1)

by 01/03/2002
Neighborhood: All Over, Multiple

This is the story of Angel Segarra, a Puerto Rican kid from the South Bronx who became Angie Xtravaganza, doyenne of the drag world made briefy famous by Jennie Livingston’s acclaimed 1990 documentary, Paris Is Burning. Angel, neé Angie, died in New York City on April 6, 1993, at the age of 27. She died […]