You are currently viewing the stories for February, 2002

A Visit From The Red Cross, and Abc, Nbc, Cnn…

by 02/17/2002
Neighborhood: Tribeca

During the past few weeks, representatives from Red Cross have been going around to people who live below Canal St (in Tribeca, oddly enough, not Chinatown) offering them financial compensation whether they needed it or deserved it, or not. They came to my door. After they left,I wrote about the experience. It was an innocent […]

Ambulance Driver

by 02/13/2002
Neighborhood: All Over, Manhattan

So I paid $400 to St. Vincent’s nursing school and took their EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) training course in February 1989. I went to class three days a week and I also had to do eighteen hours of rounds at St. Vincent’s Hospital, which was like, total misery and insanity. Then I found out that […]

Say It In Yiddish

by 02/13/2002
Neighborhood: All Over, Letter From Abroad

Michael Chabon told us that The YIVO Institute for Jewish Research (246-6080) was offended by this piece when it was first published in Civilization Magazine (Harper’s reprinted it, too, and you can find it and a lot of other Chabon related stuff on his website, This seemed sufficiently peculiar that we called them up […]

I Ran Away to Manhattan with a Rich Girl

by 02/12/2002
Neighborhood: Chelsea

I ran away to Manhattan with a rich girl. Well, it was more of her sweeping me away than running away with her. I was actually running away from a different rich girl, who had introduced me to this new rich girl. I was 19 years old, halfway through my studies at a prestigious university […]

Liv Ullman’s Mouth

by Thomas Beller 02/12/2002
Neighborhood: Upper West Side

Thomas Beller: You once said that one of your roles, Nora of Doll’s House, helped you find out where you stood as a woman today. What did you mean by that? Liv Ullman: I don’t believe that one single play will teach you what you are. I think that every time you work on something, […]

The Attempt

by 02/10/2002
Neighborhood: Upper West Side

Just short of the 96th street station the kid next to me started to get really agitated. He was digging around frantically in his pockets for a pen, and since I was sitting next to him he kept pushing and bumping me with his shifting. He finally found his pen in his pocket, but he […]

The Uprooting

by 02/10/2002
Neighborhood: Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn

It’s been one year since I moved to Bedford-Stuyvesant from Fort Greene, where I’d live for about fifteen years. Like most change, uprooting myself was uncomfortable, but not nearly as painful as I thought it would be. I remember telling people that if I ever moved from Fort Greene, I’d be moving out of New […]

None If By Sea

by 02/10/2002
Neighborhood: Outer Boroughs, Staten Island

Ever since my first wooshing ride down a log flume, I’ve been enamored of water. From sprinklers to swimming pools to lakes and the Atlantic,water soothes me like no other substance. Except beer. So when I heard the Staten Island ferry served cold brew on its cross-bay excursions, I knew I’d found my manna. A […]

Gee the Kids Need Clothes

by 02/08/2002
Neighborhood: West Village

My mother was a talented seamstress so for the earlier part of my childhood most of my clothes were homemade. She loved embroidering tiny flowers and animals on dress pockets, basting collars and hand-sewing French hems. This was the late sixties and early seventies and downtown parents had two choices in clothing for kids: shopping […]

Its Own Country

by 02/05/2002
Neighborhood: Bronx, Outer Boroughs

A sloppy silver and rose sunset is visible over the bunker-like structure of the Whitestone Lanes bowling alley, whose sign says: PLAY AMERICA’S GAME/75 LANES OPEN 24 HOURS 7 DAYS. Ahmadullah Raghbat, his uniform and sneakers in a polystyrene shopping bag, stands waiting for the bus. Raghbat is a young Afghani, and though he has […]

Year of the Horse

by 02/05/2002
Neighborhood: Tribeca

I went to XO on Walker Street last night. It’s a small Chinese restaurant, far enough from mott street that little English is spoken there. It’s the kind of restaurant where i like to go by myself…sit at the bar, suck down the rice noodle with shrimp and chinese vegetable, and hide behind a paper […]

Before and After: Stories From New York

by Over Fifty Writers 02/04/2002
Neighborhood: All Over

To order at, click here. "Before and After: Stories From New York vividly captures the fissure of a place suddenly and utterly transformed… It’s hard to imagine a more appropriate or more moving collection of voices." —San Francisco Chronicle This is a book of true stories about New York, written, for the most part, […]