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After the Storm

by 12/28/2012
Neighborhood: All Over

In the immediate wake of the storm nothing worked. Neither power nor light, neither running water nor heat, neither internet nor ATM, the fundamentals of middle class life, without which we don’t believe we can live happily nowadays. Fish and flesh rotted in the refrigerator. Dirty dishes piled up in the sink. Even your own […]

On Randall’s Island

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

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 of facing blustering winds on Randall’s Island. […]

Cross Streets

by 08/28/2012
Neighborhood: Featured, Upper East Side, West Village

I was running late for a new faculty meeting at NYU. "411 Lafayette," I said, jumping into a cab. The driver looked at me in the mirror with squinting, my-English-is-not-great eyes. "411 LA-FAY-ETTE," I said, raising my voice, hoping to hurry us along. I checked the time: If traffic was very light I might—might—make it […]

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 […]

A Longer Walk

by 04/20/2012
Neighborhood: All Over, Upper West Side

For twenty-one years I walked the same beat on Manhattan’s Upper West Side – from my apt on West 86th Street to my office on West 64th. I have lived in the same apartment for thirty-two years and have worked in the same office for twenty-one. I am a person who likes security and whose […]

In The Living Room Of The Beggar

by 04/13/2012
Neighborhood: Brighton Beach, Featured

He sat sprawled on the furthest side of the Q train, nose plumped with alcohol and ears flushed a chili-pepper red -- laughing so hard his breath left two giant spheres of fog on the window. The rest of us were bunched on the other side, in an attempt to escape the stench of human […]

Lost In Transit

by 03/17/2012
Neighborhood: All Over

It was 5PM on a Friday evening and somehow I was the only person on the train. I may have put the “new” in “New Yorker,” but I was no stranger to the stuffy sardine cans that subway trains turn into during rush hour. I craned my neck to get a look into the adjoining […]

Elevator Days

by 02/10/2012
Neighborhood: Featured, Financial District, Lower Manhattan, Manhattan

Whenever I go to a party or I am introduced to people I don’t know, they invariably ask me what I do. “What do you do?” And I always tell them, “I am an elevator operator.” I say that I drive an elevator in downtown Manhattan. The reaction to my announcement varies. Some people smile […]

On Turtle Bay

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

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 cap pulled low on his brow, greets […]

Mayoral Control – A Love Story

by 09/01/2011
Neighborhood: All Over, Greenwich Village, Uncategorized

It had always been an in-joke between us. I was the one who hailed the cab. “Let them see that big yellow head of yours,” Tiffany would say. We broke tradition only once, separating at a corner during a light summer rain in Greenwich Village. The ugly truth left me stunned and incensed. The cab, […]

Living In The HOV Lane

by 08/16/2011
Neighborhood: Murray Hill, Uncategorized

My sister Betty and I are in the HOV lane cruising east on the LIE toward her house in Suffolk County. She is in the front seat next to me in the The Silver Fox, my Subaru Forester, wrapped in a light blanket against the still cool April air. Bets is my older sister, ten […]

Undone. A Moving Story.

by 05/22/2011
Neighborhood: All Over, Park Slope, Upper West Side

In graduate school, I dated a skinny fiction writer named Dan. It was a good relationship at the time, always having someone willing to read your draft of this or that, but when the time came to move from the Upper West Side to Brooklyn, I needed less brains, more brawn, and that’s exactly what […]