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Colin Powell, Elvis Presley, and Mario Cuomo

by 06/12/2014
Neighborhood: Kew Gardens Hills, Queens

Often the Jewish dumpster is stuffed with bread: not tonight; but walking home a man in a hat says, “Excuse me. Are you Jewish?” I say “No” because last time I was asked that question I said “Yes,” and three Jews wrapped me in ribbons and made me repeat a lot of strange words. So […]

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. […]

No Slices

by 02/04/2014
Neighborhood: DUMBO, Union Square

Pizza had been on my mind that summer. Who could forget the ever-present sensation of melting? Our skin like sweating cheese, like crusts toasted to a golden brown. We stank, all of us — the garlic you had for lunch, everyone could smell it in the subway car, hiding behind a juicy fragrance. Even nature […]

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 […]

Good Humor

by 12/06/2013
Neighborhood: Bowery, East Village, Lower East Side

The week before my high school graduation, I wandered into the Good Humor ice cream garage on East 3rd Street between 1st and 2nd Avenue, just a block from my apartment. I was looking for a summer job. A friend of the family, a college kid named Keith, was working the books there, and he […]

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 […]

Date One

by 06/28/2013
Neighborhood: East Village, Featured

He gives me a blow by blow while I wait: “might be like 10 min late or so,” and “taking the ACW from 42nd to 14th,” and “2 blocks away.” He is 20 minutes late by the time he makes an appearance. Cute, I think. Tall. Thank you, dating gods. Though I wish he was […]

Chowdah

by 01/17/2013
Neighborhood: Grand Central Station, Midtown

Last week my boss Manny hated me. The business was slow on 47th street. I had been hired part-time to help my replacement H-Love, but neither of us had made a sale between Xmas and the New Year. “I feel like I’m running a charity ward. The two of you are about as useful as […]

Pizza at the End of the World

by 01/15/2013
Neighborhood: Featured, Staten Island

My apartment building, across from the ferry, in the St. George neighborhood of Staten Island, fared well against Sandy. From my window, I saw the water rise above the seawall, and swallow the municipal parking lot, but situated on the hill, I never felt threatened. When the power went out, I was watching a DVD […]

Thanksgiving 1979

by 09/07/2012
Neighborhood: Featured, Gravesend

At a Scherma family holiday meal there was usually mayhem. Thirty people including Sadie, chief chef, and Frank and their four sons and their families and friends and Aunt Angie sat around a set of long tables. The youngest kids were placed nearby at a separate table. There was always too much food and the […]

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 […]

Cookie Friday

by 06/09/2012
Neighborhood: Midtown

There’s no real sorrow in this account. I wasn’t working the red light district, nor had I become a Mole Person. I wasn’t destitute or physically mistreated. I was a recent college graduate, holding an entry-level position as a paralegal at a personal injury firm in East Midtown, Manhattan. In fact, with everyone talking about […]