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Rejoice for the Winter that Was

by 03/28/2014
Neighborhood: All Over, Brighton Beach, Central Park, Union Square

Long lines at Whole Foods in Union Square again. It feels like the Russian bread lines, but no, it’s another snowstorm shopping spree. I’m not the only one anxious about running out of food—even though the streets are always plowed before my stomach growls uncomfortably. Everyone is complaining. Too cold, windy, snowy, sleety, Too much […]

Sliced Tomatoes

by 03/16/2014
Neighborhood: Boro Park, Featured

In the Jewish neighborhoods he was “Morris, the Maven of Tomatoes.” The orthodox women hardly talked to him, except to call out their orders in Yiddish, enough of which he understood, or to haggle about his high prices or to complain about the accuracy of the scale that hung from the side of his wagon. […]

Flat Fixed

by 02/13/2014
Neighborhood: Featured, Staten Island

The strip of Bay Street that runs through Stapleton is an example of conspicuous gentrification. There's a Spanish tapas bar, and a Japanese Bistro, and a Sri Lankan clay pots restaurant, all opened in the last few years. In counterpoint, the old Paramount Theater has failed at numerous incarnations, and a White Castle sits stripped […]

Pimping Trixie

by 02/02/2014
Neighborhood: Featured, Upper West Side

I won’t go into how our two-year old standard poodle got Lyme disease and died horribly, triggering a deep depression in my then 14 year old son, Jake. Lulu was smart and devilish and silly. She chewed a carved leg of our 120 year old Steinway, the molding on the walls, and anything she could […]

Will Probably Be Late to the Party

by 01/21/2014
Neighborhood: East Village

I am apologizing to Michelle because I’m crying and I don’t know why. I’m not sad or anything, I’m actually having a good time. This is one of the first times that Michelle and I are hanging out outside of class, and we don’t know each other well yet. But tears keep running down my […]

Just Another Night

by 01/12/2014
Neighborhood: Featured, Fort Greene

Last night was New Year’s Eve. My redheaded poetess friend Irene phoned to invite me to a 20-something party in Bushwick. “You’ll be the oldest man there.” Irene was going solo. “Almost three times older.” We were just friends. “I think of you as 16.” She had seen me being silly on more than one […]

My Neighbor Cries a Chain Link Fence

by 12/31/2013
Neighborhood: Astoria

To the young beautiful woman with tears in her eyes who lives above me: now I know why you run in the apartment for hours backandforth backandforth. I know why you don't talk in the hallway. I know because the building is old and my ceiling is thin. I heard the furniture thunder last night […]

The Dress

by 06/18/2013
Neighborhood: All Over, Greenwich Village, SoHo, West Village

For thirty-five years its posture has been folded into a deep curtsy, dormant over a hanger, as if waiting for a curtain call. After that one moment in the spotlight, it’s never been worn again. Unless we consider fleeting fantasies of varying scenarios I’ve had over the decades that flash-forwarded to, well, the age I […]

Dreams of Taylor

by 06/18/2013
Neighborhood: Featured, Midtown

The term ‘generation gap’ was coined during the tumultuous Post WWII years, as the focus of the American media swung from the conquerors of the Axis Powers to their spawn, the Baby Boomers. Bing Crosby gave way to Elvis and the King was deposed by the Beatles, as each succeeding wave of teenagers attempted to […]

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 […]

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 […]

What’s in a Name

by 05/06/2013
Neighborhood: Bronx, Midtown

Sitting in the second row of the balcony at the New York City Center ballet, I, sixteen, entranced by the melodies of Swan Lake, watched a tall, muscular sun-god pirouetting and jeteing on the stage. As he soared, I gasped at the height of his jumps and his sure-footed landings. But I had not come […]