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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 […]

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 […]

The Circle Line

by 04/02/2013
Neighborhood: Across the River, All Over, Featured

She throws an envelope onto the kitchen table, vaguely in my direction. She has written my name on it, and underlined it twice. I know what’s in it: it’s my birthday and inside it there will be, as always, a check. I am only ten-years-old, and I do not exactly know what to do with […]

Of Love and Real Estate

by 04/01/2013
Neighborhood: Featured, Park Slope, Prospect Park, Windsor Terrace

Breaking up is hard. That’s true even if you’ve been thinking about it a long time – weighing the scales back and forth. Am I better staying in this thing or am I better getting out? Sometimes it can go on for years, like it did for me. Because parts of it were perfect and […]

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 […]

The Dirty Side Of A Car Wash

by 03/15/2013
Neighborhood: Bronx

I believe my father owned one of the first automatic car washes in New York City, located on Bruckner Boulevard in the Bronx. It was around 1950 and I can still recall a TV blip of him driving into the car wash and the newscaster, John Cameron Swayze, making note of this distinct new type […]

Of Landlords and Cousins

by 03/03/2013
Neighborhood: Featured, Sunset Park

Of Landlords and Cousins My landlord visits our brownstone apartment in Sunset Park, Brooklyn at least three times a week to “fix” something. He is a saxophone player from the city of Odessa on the Black Sea in the Ukraine---a city I have never visited but feel a connection to because my grandparents were born […]

Zone A

by 02/27/2013
Neighborhood: Featured, Staten Island

Hurricane Irene bared down on the East Coast, while my mother was in the Vent Unit of Staten Island University Hospital, on a respirator and recovering from her second abdominal surgery. Located in South Beach, designated Zone A, the hospital faced mandatory evacuation. A team of medical personnel, including her surgeon, the Director of the […]

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 […]