You are currently viewing the stories for February, 2004

Death Visits the Waterfront

by 02/23/2004
Neighborhood: All Over, Manhattan

Distinct from other great cities of the world, Manhattan is almost pathologically averse to letting you wander to the river’s edge and get close enough to touch the water. It has erected a prophylactic wall of fences and other physical barriers, which over-protectively stave off potential accidents, intentional harm and, most of all, liability suits. […]

Mel Gibson’s Passion for Blood

by Thomas Beller 02/22/2004
Neighborhood: Across the River

In early December, 2003, several people involved in the production of Mel Gibson’s “The Passion,” arrived in Rome. The mission was to get the Vatican to endorse the movie’s version of the last hours of Jesus Christ’s life. The film was shot in Rome, at the Cinecitta studios, and the Gibson delegation apparently had some […]

Loveseats & Sex Crimes

by 02/18/2004
Neighborhood: Astoria, Queens

“Let’s see. A sexual assault … in the third degree,” Officer D. of the 114th Precinct in Queens said as he looked down at the paper in front of him, searched for, found and marked the two correct boxes. “Sorry this is taking so long,” he said, glancing up at me with a friendly smile. […]


by 02/17/2004
Neighborhood: Brooklyn, Park Slope

First it was the remote control. Then it was a pill bottle, which jingled some before its contents spilled out, and last, a Yellow Delicious apple—boom! It is four o’clock in the morning and my cat, Alabama, has been knocking things around, dropping them to the floor from their perches, trying to jolt me out […]

Something About Turtles

by Thomas Beller 02/14/2004
Neighborhood: Central Park

There was a time, not long ago, when turtles enjoyed a brief vogue in New York City. Turtles whose shells weren’t much bigger than a silver dollar were sold on street corners all over Manhattan, and people crowded around to buy them. In the midst of this turtle trend, my friend Kip moved back to […]

Crossing the Pulaski Bridge

by 02/07/2004
Neighborhood: Brooklyn, Greenpoint

The Greenpoint where I live is separated from Long Island City by a slough named the Newtown Creek. Its western boundary is the East River. East is Ridgewood and South is Williamsburg. Manhattan Avenue, Ash, and Commercial streets intersect a block away from the Brooklyn shore of the creek. In the space between the creek […]

Todd of The Sidewalks

by 02/06/2004
Neighborhood: East Village, West Village

Middlemarch was a bitch: all lace and wayside chapels and conversations hissed behind gloved hands. Eliot’s prose was denser than a Dorset garden, and we were all lost. All except for Todd, the grinning mook genius in British Lit class, who would interrupt the torpor with irreverent debates. We craved the distraction. It was the […]