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An Education on Avenue B

by 03/23/2014
Neighborhood: East Village, Featured

In 1971, when I was 11 years old, my world was turned upside down when my parents decided to send me to a Jewish Day School on the Lower East Side. From grades 1 to 5, I’d gone to the Downtown Community School, or DCS as it was called, on East 11th Street. It was […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Red Socks

by 07/28/2013
Neighborhood: Midwood, Sheepshead Bay

Ran into my neighbor Traubman, a regular Gary Shteyngart except much older, on the sidewalk outside our apartment building near Kings Highway, while headed to the B train to Manhattan and wondering how bad my sciatica would be that day. "Where've you been, I've been thinking about you," Traubman said. He was wearing shorts, scratching […]

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 […]

Dope

by 04/25/2013
Neighborhood: Featured, Williamsburg

*This story is written from the perspective of the author's former roommate. The names have been changed but all events happened as stated. Andy is being a serious cocksucker and holding onto my money. He won't give me any. He says it's for my own good and that I'll just go and spend it on […]

Scaffolding

by 04/18/2013
Neighborhood: Featured, Financial District

Once upon a time, when I was a teenager working as a bike messenger, I would stop midway across Central Park, somewhere along the North side of the Great Lawn, and take a break to regard the skyline along the park's southern edge. I was always hoping to see signs of new construction. This would […]

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 […]