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Old Brownie

by 02/09/2014
Neighborhood: Midtown

Yesterday was a quiet day on 47th Street. A winter snow was having its way with New York City. Snow piled up on the street. The porters had a hard time clearing the sidewalk and I was having difficulty looking busy. There was nothing to do. No one came into the store. No dealers, no […]

The Supercut

by 07/28/2013
Neighborhood: Greenwich Village

The scruff on the back of my neck was getting long, so I decided it was time to head over to Supercuts on 10th and University and get a trim. There’s nothing special about this specific Supercuts; I’m sure the hundreds or thousands of other Supercuts around the country provide the same mediocre haircut for […]

Crust, Mantle, Core

by 10/23/2012
Neighborhood: Bay Ridge, Featured

A sinkhole is threatening to swallow up 79th Street in Bay Ridge. Police, fire, city workers are on the scene. Supposedly, the sewers had something to do with it.“The beginning of the end,” laments a longstanding neighborhood resident on local TV. He is wearing a trucker hat and gold chain and undershirt. Behind him, elders […]

Look Homeward, Brooklyn

by 09/07/2012
Neighborhood: Brighton Beach, Gramercy Park, Long Island

We move the summer before ninth grade from our four-room apartment in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, to a four-bedroom Colonial house with a two-car garage on the south shore of Long Island. A town where every street is a drive or a place or a court. A place where kids play softball in the street and […]

Queen of the Plaza

by 03/17/2012
Neighborhood: Featured, Midtown

St. Patrick’s Day promised to be another disaster for the Retail Collection of the Plaza Hotel. Hordes of green-clad spectators streamed down the escalator into the basement. Their eyes averted the luxury goods on offer, as their destination was the hotel’s public bathroom. Within the first hour I had given directions to the toilet over […]

Bearded Strangers Unite!

by 01/08/2012
Neighborhood: All Over

I was sitting on a bench on the Lower East Side, waiting for an appointment with my barber, when a homeless lady came shuffling by, dressed in black rags. These were particularly witchy rags, it seemed to me, like she’d bought them at a store as part of a Halloween costume. Like in addition to […]

Appearances

by 12/12/2011
Neighborhood: Upper West Side

I bumped into Tim Gunn again the other day. That Tim Gunn, Project Runway guru Tim Gunn. It is Wednesday afternoon, right before Thanksgiving, and I had two seconds to get to the ATM before my son Leo’s ride dropped him off. As I am crossing Broadway, talking on my cell to my mother, I […]

The Longevity of Women

by 04/17/2011
Neighborhood: Featured, Uncategorized, Upper West Side

My Uncle Carmine had a theory that the reason for the longevity of women was due to the fact that their  sex makes men wait for them and every minute and hour of a man’s waiting is stored within the genetic code of a woman’s body. In America that advantage of life over death is […]

Nina’s Wedding

by 02/12/2010
Neighborhood: Park Slope

If my twenty-year-old sister Janet not been maid of honor, I would not even have been invited to my neighbor Nina Milano’s wedding. Nina was 18, one year younger than I, and her fiancé Larry was just 21 on their wedding day, not that unusual in 1969, when many young men, Larry included, were drafted […]

Hope in a Jar

by 08/21/2008
Neighborhood: Midtown

I’ve become obsessed by wrinkles. Particularly the ones surrounding my eyes and across the map of my forehead that extend like arid rivers across my skin’s terrain. About a year ago, I purchased my first wrinkle cream, Oil of Olay Anti-Aging Eye Gel ($12.99) from the local Duane Reade. This was followed by Olay’s Regenerist […]

Out with the Old

by 08/21/2008
Neighborhood: Brooklyn, Park Slope

“I probably should have done this ten years ago.” This was the theme that ran through my mind when I replayed the decision to leave my profession and take up teaching at the age of 49. But then getting out of the garment business was no easy feat. I felt like The Godfather’s Michael Corleone […]

DISGUSTING!

by 01/27/2008
Neighborhood: Upper West Side

The Ansonia Hotel was not your usual hotel. But we were not your usual family. By the time I was born in 1945, the Ansonia had suffered years of neglect. The live seals that once frolicked in the lobby fountain were long gone. So was the fountain when I lived there as a child with […]