You are currently viewing the stories for January, 2003

Things We Say To Cops (Things Cops Say to Us)

by 01/19/2003
Neighborhood: All Over, Multiple

Illustrations by Elisha Cooper 1971. When I was still a student and first visited New York City, the couple at whose place I was staying suggested we take a walk to the piers near the entrance to the Holland Tunnel. While we were crossing the roadway there, where the signs clearly prohibit pedestrians from crossing, […]


by 01/19/2003
Neighborhood: Midtown

When Regina Moss no longer resembled the sincere sandy-haired gentleman on his driver’s license, job-hunting threatened to become Grand Guignol. The Taxi-Limousine Commission (the least friendly form of TLC) confiscated his doctored I.D., making destitution natural as sunrise — not hours away but close enough. Bi-weekly female hormone shots had to be paid for as […]

Champagne Wishes and Caviar Dreams–Well, Not Quite

by 01/18/2003
Neighborhood: Tudor City

If you live toward the southern tip of Manhattan, and you can’t sleep, look to the northeast and try to locate the big Tudor building on East 42d Street. You might see a light on about half way up, and there’s a decent chance that it’s shining in my wonderful, cozy apartment. I’m not an […]

Letter from Alaska

by 01/15/2003
Neighborhood: All Over, Letter From Abroad

Writing you from the ‘monsen memorial public library’ in Naknek, Alaska. Fantastic little joint–the librarian is a long black-haired tlingit (pronounced ‘klink-it’) woman who just let me use her computer. there are about five other patrons in the stacks, among them, a longshoreman whom i know named ‘al’. Outside, the fine smell of salty air […]

Getting Che

by 01/15/2003
Neighborhood: Upper East Side

My brother was thirteen years older than me. We had different values, he having grown up in a repectable working class slum and me, from age seven to seventeen, in a fancy suburb west of Boston. I took a lot of things for granted. But he had bought the American Dream, maybe because our mother […]

Mr. Faulkner is Here and He’s Drunk

by 01/15/2003
Neighborhood: Midtown

Among the stories I have either heard or read about the Villard Houses, my favorite is one about William Faulkner. Between 1949 and 1969 Bennet Cerf’s Random House occupied the north wing of the stately brownstone that takes up the entire block between 50th and 51st on Madison Avenue. During those years Faulkner divided his […]

Atheist Hit By Truck

by 01/15/2003
Neighborhood: Murray Hill

Photo by Morris Engel McNulty, with cigarette, in his element. This drunk came down the street, walking in the gutter instead of the sidewalk, and a truck hit him and knocked him down. It was a busy corner there at Forty-second Street and Second Avenue, in front of the Shanty, and there’s a hack line […]

Three Lives Books

by 01/14/2003
Neighborhood: West Village

There’s a cult of the Independent Bookstore, and Three Lives & Company, a small bookstore in the West Village, is one of its temples. Anne Roiphe proselytizes in the New York Times: “Three Lives feels like a personal library. You know that ideas and words matter here, that someone has handled each book and knows […]

Free Associating On The Upper West Side

by 01/13/2003
Neighborhood: Upper West Side

Evan Krasnik is a 59 year-old man who wakes up at 6 AM most mornings. He scuttles toward the shared bathroom in his pajamas and sandals and bangs on the door. “Jim, when are you going to get out of the bathroom? What if you never get out of the bathroom?” Afterwards, he eats a […]

The Lonelyhearts Patrol Group

by 01/13/2003
Neighborhood: Morningside Heights

Pregnant and nauseous, I slid over and rolled down the window. Risa and I had gotten into a cab that smelled of cherry-scented cleaning fluid. I rolled the window fully open and a big fat raindrop splashed me on the forehead. It was one of those wet November days, too dark for normal. At home, […]

Now Leaving Manhattan; or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Brooklyn

by 01/07/2003
Neighborhood: Brooklyn, Greenpoint

Having lived in Manhattan for most of my life, I saw a move to Brooklyn as a giant step in the wrong direction. And Greenpoint, well, Greenpoint was a digression I wasn’t sure I could handle. I was thirty-six years old and by god, I had standards. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the bank account to […]

Rent-Controlled Dreams

by Cara O'Flynn 01/07/2003
Neighborhood: Brooklyn, Williamsburg

First came the mice. It was early winter when I heard them scratching their way across the long wall of my studio, setting up camp in the wall behind my bed. At first, I thought knocking for minutes at a time could scare them away. When that didn’t work, I tried banging the wall with […]