You are currently viewing the stories for December, 2002

Special Ed

by 12/30/2002
Neighborhood: East Harlem

Most parents have to be repeatedly prodded, coaxed and cajoled into attending any school meeting. Parents of Emotionally Disturbed Special Ed. students are required to attend annual meetings to evaluate their child’s individual program and progress, or lack thereof. It is therefore no surprise that voluntary meetings, such as Open School Night, can be notorious […]

Natural Selection

by 12/30/2002
Neighborhood: The Catskills

It’s dawn and I’m fighting with a bobcat. For a raccoon, I’m doing pretty well. The sun is burning through the misty clouds, slowly warming up the forest – the forest, my home, that I love so well. Small birds sing loudly from the branches of trees, their lungs filled with sweet yearning. Crows, who […]

Subway Studies

by 12/28/2002
Neighborhood: Astoria, Multiple

Today, I walk the stairs up to the elevated platform, ready to join 3.5 million of my closest friends on the subway. Just a few days before a possible transit workers strike was to have happened. Being unable to get into Manhattan would have hurt my wallet but, I remind myself, there are bigger issues […]

Being Steve Malkmus

by 12/27/2002
Neighborhood: Brooklyn, Greenpoint

Something like ten years ago, I was walking with a friend of mine down Westnedge Avenue, in Kalamazoo, MI. We were talking about rock music, and my friend, who’s about as brainy as they come, got onto the subject of the band Pavement. More specifically, he began deconstructing what he perceived to be the average […]

9/11 Archive

by 12/26/2002
Neighborhood: Multiple, World Trade Center

  The View From the Seventieth Floor by Sandy Gelpieryn Death Masks at Ground Zero by Kendra Hurley The Numbers by Bryan Charles The View From Silver Lake Park by Gabrielle Walter Don’t Look Back by Kevin McLeod Scenes From The Brooklyn Bridge by Jim Merlis The View From Long Island Part Ii by Adam […]

Brushes with Joe Strummer

by 12/26/2002
Neighborhood: Brooklyn, Dumbo

It’s frustrating being over two thousand miles away from home and hearing about the death of the great Joe Strummer, the Clash singer, guitarist. As I read his obituary in the LA Times (on page 1 – nice to see he got the respect he deserves) all I want to do his to listen to […]

Seltzer Man

by 12/20/2002
Neighborhood: Brooklyn, Williamsburg

“S-s-s-s-h-h-h-t. I love that sound,” says the second-generation seltzer man Barry Walpow. He’s at the Seaview Diner in Canarsie, simulating the joyful noise of seltzer squirting from a glass siphon bottle, before heading off to make an end-of-the-day delivery in Williamsburg. The tall 51-year-old, wearing a battered black baseball hat and glasses as thick as […]

Still In the Game

by 12/18/2002
Neighborhood: SoHo

It’s been ten years, but I still keep it on the resume. I would venture to say it’s gotten me every job I’ve had since college, not to mention a book deal and more than a few birds to die for–one of whom is currently on her third Cosmo and showing no signs of slowing […]

Finger Girl at the Ritz

by 12/15/2002
Neighborhood: East Village

It was 1985 at the original Ritz (East 11th Street; now it’s Webster Hall), NYC’s greatest-ever rock club. Blind Dates, my big haired happy-go-pop band, was the opening act for the then-popular Aussie group Eurogliders. The place was sold out and teeming with what we called “festive new wave nubiles”–the Rat Pack would have called […]

Altered States

by 12/14/2002
Neighborhood: East Village

When I first met Lance I was in an altered state. I was sixteen, back in 1963, when you could still buy a Benadryl inhaler, break it open and find a cotton wedge soaked with amphetamine. I’m not sure who first noticed this, but it might have been Jack Kerouac. I hope not, but it […]

Moose Calls in Brooklyn

by 12/13/2002
Neighborhood: Brooklyn, Park Slope

When my husband Ted and I bought the parlor floor apartment in a 4-family co-op in Brooklyn, we developed an amicable relationship with Sharon, who lived with her cat in the basement apartment below us.  We  watched as she transformed herself from a 300 lb., caftan-wearing woman, to half that size in a matter of […]


by 12/13/2002
Neighborhood: All Over, Manhattan

My mother taught me to fear rats.  She still shudders when she recalls the rat-infested tenement overlooking the Harlem River in the Bronx that my Czech refugee family called home when we first arrived in America, in 1970. Strange crunching sounds could be heard emanating from the hollowed walls of our apartment, and after a […]