You are currently viewing the stories for January, 2005

Just Used: Altruism and Punishment on the MTA

by 01/27/2005
Neighborhood: Brooklyn

The thought that we were doing something illegal had not crossed my mind. I was simply doing a little act of kindness for this man – let’s call him Joe – who was looking so forlorn on a hot July morning, standing beside the turnstyles. A bad Metrocard swipe had gotten him a “Just Used” […]

The Doorman’s Double Life

by 01/27/2005
Neighborhood: Upper East Side

       “It’s nice today,” says 15B as he enters the elevator, taking off his gloves and Dartmouth Alumni Association baseball hat. “Maybe a little chilly.”      “Yeah, it’s nice,” I agree. I close the elevator door behind him.      “Forty now, but they say forty five later on.”      “Great.”      We’ve reached his floor, but the retired cardiologist […]

Brookti & Me: A Story of Adoption

by 01/27/2005
Neighborhood: Tribeca

Brookti came from Ethiopia 8 months ago when she was around two. Initially I’d tried to adopt domestically, but it turns out that adopting in the U.S. as a single mother, aside from being a 21st century version of some kind of slave trade, (i.e. black/interracial children are ‘a third of the price’ of Hispanic […]

The Joys of Picking Trash

by 01/24/2005
Neighborhood: Brooklyn, Brooklyn Heights

I imagine that grass-roots recycling for reuse and income must happen in every big city, but I’d never been aware of it at the constant and hyper-efficient level I’ve seen here in New York. In the university town where I used to live, students would discard their unwanted couches, lamps, microwaves and short-lived artifacts of […]

When the Guard Was the Guard

by 01/10/2005
Neighborhood: All Over, Manhattan

It didn’t matter that I had been awarded scholarships to three universities – my parents needed money to send to their families in war-torn West Germany and Austria. The last day of high school coincided with the start of work in the mailroom at J. Walter Thompson advertising agency, the next day. “You’re a smart […]

The Christmas Letter

by 01/03/2005
Neighborhood: Upper West Side

Dear Reader, With all that technology can do to separate the giver from the gift, I should not be surprised that I received the ultimate Christmas gesture—a call from a cell phone with no discernible person on the other end. Must be one of the magical moments of the season, I thought. But what did […]