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Uninvited Guest

by 05/28/2014
Neighborhood: Bronx, Featured

We were living in a tenement apartment building in the Bronx, and it was full of all things common to such. I was doing the breakfast dishes one Saturday morning when I felt something feathery run over my bare foot. Of course, I already knew what it was, but I screamed anyway. Ahhh!!!!!!!!!!!! My four-year-old […]

Faces

by 08/03/2012
Neighborhood: Washington Heights

I shift from foot to foot as I wait in line to see the Mona Lisa. The line snakes around the corridor of the second floor of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. My mother and Aunt Regina insist that we must see this wonderful painting. Helen holds my hand and tells me that Leonardo da […]

The Liquor Store Bag In The Tree

by 07/26/2012
Neighborhood: Upper West Side

It’s been there for almost three years now. I first noticed it on a bleak January morning as the lifeless branches of the tree across the street from my front window swayed in a wintry wind. At first I thought it was a large bird. After all, raptors had been spotted down the block in […]

All That They Can Be?

by 05/16/2012
Neighborhood: Bushwick, Ridgewood, Uncategorized

The local recruiter is at my classroom door again and I really wish he’d stop doing this. When I explain that there are designated areas throughout the building for him to speak with students or ‘potential recruits’ as they’re called in his line of work, he apologizes profusely. In fact, his demeanor and etiquette is […]

G-2183

by 05/01/2011
Neighborhood: Featured, Washington Heights

When Jeffrey and I argue, my mother always weeps. "Shame on you," she says. "I wish my brother, Shmuel, was still here for me to argue with. Shame on you!" My brother and I hang our heads. We wait for her to leave the room, but she is not yet finished. "Is this what I […]

The Company Shit Burner

by 07/04/2010
Neighborhood: Across the River

Last week, I’m taking a shit and get this recovered memory. It’s like a life lesson: repetition is the soul of disaster. Because pilots make frequent landings, a special warning light is installed in many cockpits, this to remind pilots to lower the landing gear. Everyone makes mistakes that are the product of repetitive activity. […]

A Fan’s Statistics

by 03/15/2008
Neighborhood: Jamaica, Queens

Two times per year the New York State English Regents Exam visits the high schools of our fair city, four comprehensive essays over a period of two days, and this January’s results are in. In my building, preparation for the exam begins in the ninth grade and continues right until the students enter class to […]

Brookti & Me: 3 Years On

by 02/10/2008
Neighborhood: Tribeca

[For earlier Brookti & Me, check here and here . --eds.] ** I’ve been reading a lot recently about our new “post-racial” world, where we have “transcended race,” where a black man is running for president and white people are actually voting for him. I’m wondering, if we have transcended race so successfully, why are […]

I Am Not a Crook!

by 02/10/2008
Neighborhood: Brooklyn

It was Richard M. Nixon who said it best when he uttered those immortal words: “I am not a crook!” For the record, he also said, “I have never been a quitter,” just before he resigned the presidency back in 1973. So go figure. I have always thought of crooks as cartoon burglars wearing Lone […]

Nature, or: Having Dinner with Four Men on a Saturday in February

by 06/01/2006
Neighborhood: West Village

They are like a set of bees fighting over a flower. The waitress waits as long as she can before taking our orders because she knows there is an order to everything, that I was the sort of homecoming queen who slept with half the football team before a Saturday night game. Used as I […]

Memoirs of the Kerry Administration

by Thomas Beller 11/04/2004
Neighborhood: Uncategorized

A friend of mine had a screaming fight with his father a couple of weeks before the election. The subject of the fight was politics. The father supported Bush. The son supported Kerry. The fight was heated, and eventually the son slammed down the receiver. He hung up on his father. Days passed. The phone […]

A Day with the Delegates from Texas

by 09/10/2004
Neighborhood: Midtown

I’m a long time Texan currently living in New York City, and I recently spent some time in the company of the Lone Star delegation, when they came to New York for the Republican National Convention. Most were esconced at the New York Hilton on 53rd and Sixth Avenue—“Avvnoo of the Amuricas,” as the delegates […]