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Kant’s (Revised) Critique of Judgement

by 05/16/2014
Neighborhood: Featured, Greenwich Village

I’m quite sure I could have killed the whole lot of them. I’ve drawn too many skull and crossbones on the margins of my handouts. It’s difficult for me to concentrate on the enthralling discourse on Lacan because I am too disturbed by that Babushka girl and her heinous turtle-neck (not artistic, just embarrassing). Does […]

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 […]

The Supercut

by 07/28/2013
Neighborhood: Greenwich Village

The scruff on the back of my neck was getting long, so I decided it was time to head over to Supercuts on 10th and University and get a trim. There’s nothing special about this specific Supercuts; I’m sure the hundreds or thousands of other Supercuts around the country provide the same mediocre haircut for […]

Can I Get This To Go?

by 07/02/2013
Neighborhood: East Village, Featured

As someone who was born and raised in the famous “city that never sleeps,” it comes as no surprise that I have suffered from insomnia since the age of thirteen. Not a believer in medicinal sleep aids, I experimented with every natural sleep remedy suggested by friends, store clerks and of course, the internet. I […]

Will Work For Free

by 06/25/2013
Neighborhood: Midtown

I didn’t come to New York City to work for free forever. But as a chronic unpaid intern, this had been my experience for the better part of four years. The ability to do pretty much anything for little or no money is a precious skill for any intern, and I started honing this talent […]

On Avoiding the Clipboard

by 06/06/2013
Neighborhood: Greenwich Village, Uncategorized, West Village

It was my second time on the NYU campus (I will pause here, long enough for some self-important student to roll his eyes: “We don’t have a campus,” as if the word is a smarmy, sordid curse); it was my first time there alone, and I wore the trademark face of an awed tourist. Open-mouthed. […]

Body English

by 05/25/2013
Neighborhood: Clifton, Featured, Staten Island

In the summer of ’77, I met Mark Roth in Pathmark on Hylan Boulevard. Heading home from a Sunday drive, my parents stopped to pick up groceries for dinner, and waiting in the Express Lane, he got behind us with a bottle of Mott’s Apple Juice. I was sure it was him, but then, what […]

School Spirits

by 03/20/2013
Neighborhood: Featured, Jamaica

I’ve been teaching Writing and Literature in New York City’s public school system for almost nine years. This spring, my former building will graduate its final class just shy of reaching the century mark. The school’s phase-out process followed the usual script that no ‘education reformer’ cares to discuss: a decent school declared dangerous, unable […]

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 […]

Starry Night

by 12/04/2012
Neighborhood: Downtown Brooklyn

“If stars are lit...” - V. V. Mayakovsky Had the receptionist been Dante Alighieri, he might have strung a banner along the wall of the windowless waiting room advising visitors to “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.” But the person who pointed me in the direction of this circle of Hell was no Dante--nor […]

The Threat

by 12/04/2012
Neighborhood: Featured, Flatlands

The wailing woke me at 3:00 AM. I tried to ignore it. I had to get up for work in a few hours. A bus and two subways, my commute to Manhattan was substantial. At first, I thought it must be a dog crying in the cold winter’s night. But after a few seconds, I […]