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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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Born Under A Bad Neon Sign

by 12/28/2012
Neighborhood: Hell's Kitchen

The doors opened out onto the corner of 42nd street and 8th avenue and I was thrust out onto the neon lit streets buzzing with people. Like many before me, The Port Authority birthed my first New York experience. Unlike many, I’d never dreamt of coming to Manhattan. I’d never really dreamt of anything besides […]

Hiding in a Transparent City

by 10/10/2012
Neighborhood: Featured, Upper East Side

When I was fourteen, I auditioned for the School of American Ballet and was accepted. The school was too far from my home to travel back and forth everyday, so I lived in the dormitory at Lincoln Center during the week and travelled back to Long Island on the weekends. Every Sunday night, after a […]

It’s Not A Cult

by 10/10/2012
Neighborhood: All Over, Featured, JFK/LGA, Letter From Abroad

"I have to get to New York" says the woman in front of me at the Portland, Oregon airport. "You don't understand, I have to get there." She repeats this urgently, in a slightly hysterical voice to a man in uniform behind a counter. I smile at her sympathetically. The flight to JFK has been […]

The Places You’ll Go, The People You’ll Meet

by 05/30/2012
Neighborhood: Featured, JFK/LGA

We smiled at the woman as we took our seat beside her. She smiled back. “Hi,” she said, “Jean.” We introduced ourselves, Tom more engagingly than me. I was worried about getting too friendly with her – she was looking at us in that way people who want to talk to you do, nodding, catching […]

175 Bleecker Street

by 02/13/2012
Neighborhood: Greenwich Village, Uncategorized

Annie was the whitest, white girl I ever did see. A walking anemic, she looked in perpetual need of a blood transfusion. If she were to walk through the halls of the high school dragging an I.V. pole with a bag of blood hanging off the top, I don’t think anybody would have batted an […]

Gratuity

by 12/30/2011
Neighborhood: West Village

Everyone thinks the French are so cute. But I’m a waitress, so I know better. I deal with plenty of tourists. I don’t mind them while they’re at the restaurant and I do my best to decipher their accents and answer their questions—though I do draw a blank when they ask me where all the […]

The Asian Bug

by 02/20/2011
Neighborhood: Across the River, Letter From Abroad

The Asian bug has bitten my younger son Jesse. I don’t mean the flu that comes around every several years and gets blamed on that continent. No, he has been smitten by the mysterious East, and, like Marco Polo, fallen under the spell of the Orient. He is dating an Asian girl. Not that there […]

Found in Translation?

by 10/26/2010
Neighborhood: Featured, Midtown

“Je m’a…,” I’d stuttered to Aristede Mezondes, the serious young man in a grey wool overcoat, standing before me with ramrod posture. “Je m’appelle Dr. Ofri.” There. I’d gotten it out. The language of Descartes, Voltaire, and Balzac had clearly vacated my cortex. Despite those years of French classes and one brief visit to Paris, […]

The Magic Life of the City

by 03/25/2010
Neighborhood: Lower Manhattan

It was a lousy and bleak first Sunday in May. I walked into City Hall Park, in my neighborhood, and Richard the gardener greeted me and introduced me to the other volunteers. “Can I pull out the tulips?” I said to Richard. “ My knees are in bad shape and I’m afraid of making them […]