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An Education on Avenue B

by 03/23/2014
Neighborhood: East Village, Featured

In 1971, when I was 11 years old, my world was turned upside down when my parents decided to send me to a Jewish Day School on the Lower East Side. From grades 1 to 5, I’d gone to the Downtown Community School, or DCS as it was called, on East 11th Street. It was […]

After the Graveyard Shift

by 01/28/2014
Neighborhood: East Village

Always wear a bag on your head if you don't want people to bother you. I figure this out in 1989 while I'm working the midnight to 5am waitressing shift at 7A Cafe in the East Village. It is right across the street from Tompkins Square Park during the height of the riots. The park […]

Washington Square Park

by 01/26/2014
Neighborhood: Featured, Greenwich Village

I have a friend. For the purposes of this story, let’s call him Monte. When I was a kid there were lots of guys in the neighborhood named Monte. Now I don’t know anyone with that name. From the time he was 13, just after his bar mitzvah when he first had a few bucks […]

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 […]

Sally-Boy

by 07/28/2013
Neighborhood: Astor Place, Featured

I stepped up into the crowded entryway of the loud and confusing room. A bald man with remarkable muscles was standing near the cash register and he yelled, “What d’ye want? Cut? Color? Women kill for hair that color already.” This was my second visit, so I knew enough to holler back, “I want the […]

Below 14th

by 05/30/2013
Neighborhood: East Village, Lower East Side

In the summer of 1984, I sublet an apartment on East 3rd Street between Avenue A and B, about one hundred yards from the building in which I had spent the first 18 years of my life. I’d been away for six years—the first four at a small college in the midwest followed by two […]

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 […]

Bensonhurst Nicknames ca. 1966 – 1980, Annotated.

by 11/12/2012
Neighborhood: Bensonhurst, Featured

[This list contains all the nicknames of kids I can remember from my childhood (age 7 - 21, approx.) in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn.  See explanatory notes for each nickname below.] 1. Angelo Head 2. Rabbit 3. Ape 4. Frankie Airlines 5. Joey All-Star 6. Vinnie Barbarino 7. Turtle 8. Tortoise 9. Harry O. 10. Frank Asshole […]

Doc Pomus

by 10/03/2012
Neighborhood: Upper West Side

My songwriter friend Robin called me with an opportunity to make some easy money, fast. She gave me the name and address of a friend of hers and, although I was pretty busy kicking drugs and booze, I jumped at the chance of making some money. I hopped the number two express on Seventh Avenue […]

Passing Paper

by 09/09/2012
Neighborhood: West Village

Back in the late 80s, my friend worked as a narcotic detective for the NYPD. The 27 year-old Brooklyn native belonged to an elite squad, trained to raid crack houses and dealers' apartments in the Red Hook Houses, Brooklyn’s biggest housing project. His job was simple, but dangerous. Once their battering ram smashed down the […]

The Green Sweater

by 08/20/2012
Neighborhood: Featured, Midtown

It’s 5 AM and I am awake, too sharply awake, so sharply that reality is obscured. Chills crawl like ants on my skin, and I search in the dark for my green sweater. I have been wearing this sweater all summer. The sweater goes on and then is pulled off, repeatedly, each day, in my […]

15 Seconds With Andy Warhol

by 06/09/2012
Neighborhood: All Over, East Village, Featured, Midtown

When I was a kid, Campbell’s Tomato Soup almost tasted home-made, especially if milk was added as suggested by the directions. Everyone ate it in 1964. The rich, the poor, the in-between and twelve year-old boys like me, so I was pleased to read in LIFE Magazine that a New York artist had painted large […]