You are currently viewing the stories for January, 2002

Limousine Love Affair

by 01/20/2002
Neighborhood: Midtown

I do not generally travel by limousine. When the long sleek cars drive by in the mad tangle of traffic I peer curiously at the tinted windows with the rest of the masses, hoping for an elusive glimpse of fame and wealth, Madonna going to the Grammy’s perhaps, or Bono on his way to his […]

Pick a Pepper

by 01/20/2002
Neighborhood: Harlem

Over the Internet came the call for help: my expatriate Upper West Side sister, living now for twenty years in a European capital, was soon to cook a Mexican meal. All the ingredients were to be had in the vast marketplaces of Amsterdam, all except the peppers. Not being one to leave a sister in […]

The Criminal Look on Ditmars

by 01/19/2002
Neighborhood: All Over, Queens

Last Friday the weather beckoned for some ice cream. I got a scoop (caveat: I am a messy eater. Caveat: I hate the word caveat) and walked down Ditmars, taking in the sights and sounds of my part of Queens. There were a lot of men out in muscle tee’s talkin’ tough and gesturing wildly […]

Leon Forrest and The Baffler Fire

by 01/19/2002
Neighborhood: All Over, Letter From Abroad

In 1992, I attended a reading in celebration of the publication by Leon Forrest of his fifth novel, the 1,135-page “Divine Days,” at the long since closed Brentano’s on 53rd Street in Hyde Park, Chicago. I took along my former girlfriend, a quiet, awkward jazz DJ with whom I’d had trouble separating. The crowd that […]

Harlem Slapshot

by 01/19/2002
Neighborhood: Harlem

1. Lasker Rink: Central Park at 108th St. “I can shoot better than you,” this six-year-old boy is taunting as we’re slapping pucks against the boards. He’s referring to the wrist shot technique I’m trying to demonstrate which apparently he finds unimpressive, and I have to admit I don’t blame him, though the sting of […]

Pizza and Monotheism

by 01/14/2002
Neighborhood: Financial District, Letter From Abroad

The good old days: when you could look to farthest downtown Manhattan and see nothing but open sky and the grand old buildings of another age; when urban blight—the abandoned or bustling warehouses and factories, the vacant lots, the decaying piers, the alleys, the child’s endless treasure-trove of it all—was as romantic and magical as […]

Voted Most Likely to Change Culture

by 01/12/2002
Neighborhood: Long Island City, Queens

Across the street from the MOMA’s big, new, blue home is The Factory, a mall/office space building unremarkable for its commerce—but more than remarkable for its sculpture. The 5,000 square feet of floor, wall, and ceiling were, until recently, covered in a dense and quirky collage, made from fifty tons of recycled industrial garbage: bathtubs, […]

The Four-Dollar Haircut, or Shaving Above the Apple

by 01/11/2002
Neighborhood: East Village

Several months ago I was stuck in a rut. You know, drinking at the same tired bars, hanging with all-too familiar friends, masturbating in the same routine sock. So in my grand tradition of superficial alterations-buying new shoes, switching from contacts to glasses, wearing headbands instead of hats-I buzzed my skull. And now, several months […]

America is the Bomb

by 01/10/2002
Neighborhood: Letter From Abroad, World Trade Center

“America. Boom. America. Boom. Boeki Centaa. Boom.” During my time in Japan, I had grown quite used to not understanding what the hell people were trying to tell me. But this was a new one. Usually you can decipher the broken English of the Japanese by taking an abstract view of the words and changing […]

An Urban Archeologist at Ground Zero

by 01/10/2002
Neighborhood: Financial District

There is the sense that we are doing something wrong, Diana Wall and I, as we walk south from Franklin Street toward what is arguably Manhattan’s most compelling dig site, the hill of rubble that was, until recently, the World Trade Center. Wall is a New York-based archaeologist, whose book, “Unearthing Gotham: The Archaeology of […]

A Garment Center Remnant

by 01/05/2002
Neighborhood: Clinton

He was walking along Broadway passing in front of Macy’s without lifting his head to glance at the windows. I was a few steps behind, slowing my usual frenetic pace so as not to catch up to him. I didn’t feel like schmoozing, something that was tough to avoid when you ran into Jack. Jack. […]

The Mestizas

by 01/03/2002
Neighborhood: Times Square

This was late on a Saturday afternoon, in the half gloom of the subway station at Times Square. W and N and R trains were barreling through, and the girls stood on either side of the platform, each guarded by a patrolman, looking bored and despairing. They were just mestizas, the kind who were raised […]