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On Randall’s Island

by 10/18/2012
Neighborhood: Randall's Island

Like 0 Google +1 0 Retweet 0 Why am I on Randall’s Island, shivering in a ski jacket, gloves, a scarf, and a blanket wrapped around me? It is 7 PM on a Friday evening, and I can see the Manhattan skyline lights flickering on. Normal people—sane people—are warm in bars, toasting pisco sours instead […]

A Walk on Columbia Street

by 08/01/2012
Neighborhood: Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Featured

Like 327 Google +1 0 Retweet 4 If you never saw Columbia Street before 1960, you missed a lot. The street is still there; the sidewalks, the street sign, but the stores, the people, the charm are all gone. That strip of avenue is unrecognizable, now lined with barrack type housing and no character at […]

On Turtle Bay

by 11/11/2011
Neighborhood: Featured, On the Waterfront, Turtle Bay

Like 66 Google +1 1 Retweet 4 Twice weekly, we ride the ferry across the East River from the India Avenue landing in the Greenpoint section of Brooklyn to 34th Street on the Island of Manhattan. Two hours later, we make the return trip. Each time we come aboard, the pilot, the bill of his […]

Where To Begin

by 10/14/2011
Neighborhood: Upper West Side

Like 1 Google +1 0 Retweet 0 I was late to the 79th Street Boat Basin, which meant I had missed the introductions of name and sailing experience. Convenient, since of the two, I had only a name. My new boss was telling us our mooring was at NW2. I scanned the orientation packet: bowline, […]

Overheated In Gravesend

by 06/20/2011
Neighborhood: Gravesend

Like 10 Google +1 0 Retweet 1 It’s hot. We have one air conditioner and one TV. The TV is black-and-white; the air conditioner is in my parents’ bedroom. I usually sleep with my door wide open, letting in a cool breeze from the back door to our attached row house, the access to our […]

The Whip and The Bonnet

by 02/14/2011
Neighborhood: Featured, Financial District, Uncategorized

Like 3 Google +1 0 Retweet 3 For a long time I used to go down to Pearl Street at the bottom of Manhattan. It was around the time that I had started writing a book about the famous case of the man and the woman who had disappeared from Pearl Street in 1997. The […]

Prall’s Island

by 04/15/2010
Neighborhood: Featured, Prall's Island

Like 9 Google +1 0 Retweet 1 “It all started in 1974, when a longshoreman spotted an egret with a twig,” said EJ McAdams of the discovery of nesting birds along a heavily trafficked—and polluted—Arthur Kill waterway in the heart of New York harbor. We were speeding south on the New Jersey Turnpike, and it […]

Once More Over the Bridge: May 24, 2008

by 07/01/2008
Neighborhood: Multiple, On the Waterfront

Like 0 Google +1 0 Retweet 0 I walked over the Brooklyn Bridge on my last day of classes. It was a beautiful day in May. I had walked over the bridge many mornings this year, dropping my daughter at her school in Brooklyn Heights and continuing to work. I teach the essay to first-year […]

When Motorcyclists Can’t Feel Solitary Anymore

by 03/02/2008
Neighborhood: On the Waterfront

Like 0 Google +1 0 Retweet 0 One of the children’s favorite holidays is now past, the heart-warming annual Recycling of the Desk Calendars. This followed hard upon the Transfiguration of the Christmas Décor, when inexplicable magic occurs: wreaths and lights, trees and cheery blow-ups quivering on lawns in vast profusion are overnight divested of […]

Spinning Tables at the Frying Pan

by 08/10/2006
Neighborhood: Chelsea

Like 0 Google +1 0 Retweet 0 I had never gone to the Frying Pan—the restored boat/event space docked beside the Chelsea Piers—before last week. It was one of those places that I’d almost been to a bunch of times, but never actually made it. I nearly didn’t go that night, either, but I’m glad […]

Manhattan, Floating World

by 05/31/2006
Neighborhood: Midtown

Like 1 Google +1 0 Retweet 5 Manhattan is shaped like an ocean liner or like a lozenge or like a paramecium (the protruding piers its cilia) or like a gourd or like some kind of fish, a striped bass, say, but most of all like a luxury liner, permanently docked, going nowhere. The Japanese […]

On the Train Tracks in Marble Hill AKA Manonx, New York City- the circumsized north end of Manhhhhhaaaaattaaaaan

by 02/14/2006
Neighborhood: Bronx, On the Waterfront

Like 0 Google +1 0 Retweet 0 That morning I got up in the afternoon. My friend Micki came from 204th/Post Avenue, from her man’s crib complaining about his small penis saying, "My baby brother’s got a bigger dick than his!" And I had to get up and shower, leaving her in my room and […]