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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 […]

Dope

by 04/25/2013
Neighborhood: Featured, Williamsburg

*This story is written from the perspective of the author's former roommate. The names have been changed but all events happened as stated. Andy is being a serious cocksucker and holding onto my money. He won't give me any. He says it's for my own good and that I'll just go and spend it on […]

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 […]

Ellis Island

by 02/03/2013
Neighborhood: Ellis Island

The following sonnets are excerpted from Robert Viscusi's forthcoming book, Ellis Island, which will be published in March 2013 by Bordighera Press. Random arrangements of lines from the 624 sonnets that comprise this epic work can be discovered via the Random Sonnet Generator at ellisislandpoem.com. This is the first time these poems have appeared as written […]

SMASHING KNIVES

by 12/28/2012
Neighborhood: Brooklyn, Midtown

In the Greater Depression the employment opportunities for a man my age were limited in New York. No company wanted to pay my worth, for a younger man will do the job for a third the wage and his knowledge of labor resistance is zero. However my absolute willingness to work has overcome most obstacles […]

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 […]

The Love Seat (A Ghost Story)

by 10/21/2012
Neighborhood: Featured, Yorkville

As a boy in the early 1960s, I'd go up my grandparents' second floor apartment on York Avenue several times a week. Their hallway was lit by one low watt exposed bulb. The dark hall frightened me. Sometimes my fear was compounded when I'd hear fuzzy radio sounds coming from the usually locked basement. I […]

The Owner Likes It Loud

by 06/19/2012
Neighborhood: Upper East Side

In the mid ‘70s I, a lifelong New Yorker, eagerly departed the crazy hustle and bustle of New York City when I landed a job in Birmingham, Alabama. I didn’t expect to miss New York or anything about it. But a few weeks after I moved to Birmingham, suddenly and unexpectedly I began craving almost […]

An Upper West Side Tragedy Set To Music

by 05/18/2012
Neighborhood: Upper West Side

He always said, “Hello, I’m so glad to see you? How are you?” even when he no longer knew our names. Starting in the last year, he didn’t care about answers. He cherished his long career as an impresario in the world of music, selecting and programming concerts for major institutions in New York City. […]

From Howard Beach To An Ashram; A Mafia Journey

by 04/06/2012
Neighborhood: Featured, Howard's Beach

All names in this story have been changed. It is not every day that one visits an Ashram for yoga and encounters a “retired” Mafia soldier, adrift there because of illness and poverty. From my end, I envisioned a documentary film covering his faded world; however, for his own security - though the events occurred […]

The Clerk, the Librarian, the Hobbit and the Cop

by 01/08/2012
Neighborhood: Zuccotti Park

“This,” I realized, “I’ve got to see."   In and out of grass-roots politics my entire adult life, I’ve marched, demonstrated, phone-banked, written letters and e-mails, signed petitions, sold buttons, attended meetings, gone on the radio, made documentaries, and helped with organizational duties. Early this October, I had joined in one Occupy demonstration in Washington […]

Robbed in Bed-Stuy

by 01/08/2012
Neighborhood: Bedford-Stuyvesant

“I was robbed in front of my apartment on Thursday night,” my ex told me the other day. “The guy said he had a gun.” “What?” I squawked, genuinely surprised. It was the week of Thanksgiving. We were meant to be discussing favorite trimmings alongside the turkey, not armed robbery. “So you've lost everything. Keys, […]