You are currently viewing the stories for November, 2002

Bjork Brawl

by Thomas Beller 11/15/2002
Neighborhood: Chelsea

A glass came flying through the air and smashed against the wall behind me. It appeared to be aimed at the DJ. He was standing next to me at the end of the bar. The guy who threw it was part of a group of men, slightly foreign, drunk, eccentric, who I had imagined, because […]

Composer’s Haven

by 11/15/2002
Neighborhood: Midtown

My first job in Midtown Manhattan was as a clerical assistant in a large law firm on Fifth Avenue. It’s the building of the beast with the illuminated neon red 666 emblazoned across the top of the structure. It wasn’t glamorous work, but I made the best of my surroundings by exploring the neighborhood during […]

The Jumper

by 11/15/2002
Neighborhood: Manhattan

Illustrations by Elisha Cooper I recently spent an afternoon watching a guy entertaining three of New York’s finest on the eastern parapet of the Brooklyn Bridge. He was wearing what looked like a green track suit. “Jumper!” the call went up in the office. The view here is extraordinary: the Brooklyn Bridge, the World Trade […]

58 Inches of ambiance

by 11/14/2002
Neighborhood: Manhattan

I choose what I’m wearing carefully on Tuesdays. I like to show a little midriff, some shoulder. In a bar, before I play, I look around and notice other people’s midriffs and shoulders. I look at the curve of bodies bending across tables and feel my own. I want to laugh the throaty laugh of […]

Violins at School

by Thomas Beller 11/14/2002
Neighborhood: Harlem

Roberta Guaspar Tsavaras purchased fifty violins in 1978, while married to a naval officer stationed in Greece. She assembled her collection piecemeal, from stores in Athens and neighboring towns. “The idea was that I would teach violin at schools and when he was transferred to a new base, I would take the violins, show up […]

600 Schools

by 11/14/2002
Neighborhood: East Harlem

The average Special Education teacher’s career lasts a grand total of approximately two years. It’s the one fact I remember on the road to my Master’s Degree. Actually, remember two. I also remember that teaching in the inner city is the second most stressful job in these United States, next to being an inner city […]

Pick-up of a Dancer

by 11/11/2002
Neighborhood: Manhattan

“Excuse me, are you from Denmark?” What a line. Yeah, I decide, he looks a little slick, but he’s safe enough. “From Iowa! But what are you doing in the city?” He knows he is charming. He is fortyish, but has smooth brown skin, a Latin accent, and white linen shoes. White linen shoes in […]


by 11/11/2002
Neighborhood: East Village

illustrations: Steve Brodner; Since 1892 New Yorkers have been flocking to The Tenth Street Bath on 10th Street between First Avenue and Avenue A to shvitz, to sweat out the gunk that clogs the pores and clouds the spirit. In the city, we have a fine selection of toxins to choose from: subway juice (that […]

Sad Song Scenarios Part One

by 11/08/2002
Neighborhood: Uncategorized

There are some songs that if heard in the right situation might push you to the brink of something horrid. Some of these situations are real, some are fiction. D.C. Berman: “Rain” by Blind Melon, through the ceiling of a Married Student Housing apartment while you’re bidding for ’70s cereal boxes on eBay against a […]


by 11/08/2002
Neighborhood: Harlem

When you walked through the door that first time in September, you became a Riceman …always a Riceman … never a boy, kid, lad, young guy … just a Riceman. Founded in 1938, and in 1940 relocated to a six story red brick building on the corner of what was Lenox Avenue and 124th Street, […]

The Doormen Watching Over Me

by 11/07/2002
Neighborhood: Tudor City

Most of the time, I find that living in a doorman building is like having all the perks of living with my parents, but without any of the frustration. The doormen in my building are wonderful — in the morning, the daytime doorman tells me that I look nice and then orders me to have […]


by 11/04/2002
Neighborhood: Across the River, Brooklyn

Angela and I stopped to investigate the South Williamsburg street. We lived in Queens (not together, mind you – the sexual need between this former cheerleader and me had long since expired) and were exploring a new locale. Neighborhood pride and a grass-isn’t-greener mentality often create a chasm between boroughs, but we’d scoured most of […]