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The Laughter of the Maestro

by 03/09/2014
Neighborhood: Featured, Fort Greene

Last week I was walking home through a snowstorm. Turning the corner toward Fulton I called Cecil Taylor, who lived in the last unrenovated brownstone on that street. We knew each other from back in the 70s. The jazz pianist’s manager James Spicer had been a mutual friend, until the silver-haired impresario ripped off my […]

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 […]

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 […]

Newt The Rare Book Man

by 01/27/2014
Neighborhood: Greenwich Village, Uncategorized

I spent my nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first years standing on the corner of West Fourth Street and Washington Square East, selling used paperback books off of a folding card table. This was ten years ago, when West Fourth Street was still full of booksellers. Many of these men were smart lunatics with poor social skills. They had […]

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 […]

Fighting For What

by 07/01/2013
Neighborhood: Bowery, Featured

Everything happened quick in CBGB's subterranean toilets. The release of body waste was rivaled by magic-markering a band’s name atop the thousands of previous honorees in the toilet’s hall of fame and while the inhalation of cocaine or heroin in the stalls was more popular than shooting up dope or speedballs, sex within the battered […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

At Home on the Church Steps

by 02/08/2013
Neighborhood: Upper West Side

On a blustery December evening on my way to a friend’s dinner party, I stopped in front of a jumbo cardboard box on the steps of the church around the corner. “Jim?” I called out. A moment later a hand emerged and gave a little wave, followed by a head with tousled, graying hair. “Hi,” […]