You are currently viewing the stories for June, 2005

Today’s Prophet of Misery

by 06/29/2005
Neighborhood: Brooklyn, Cobble Hill

Mark is a sweet loser, Mark is a horny loner, Mark always complains about life. Mark is an artist who hates to draw. Mark likes women and is hurt by their coldness. Till late 90’s he would wear Miami-style printed shirts, his hair was long and wavy. Back in those years he had sharp-toed pleated […]

Exchanging Vices with the McDonald’s Breakfast Crowd

by 06/27/2005
Neighborhood: Upper West Side

I’m in the McDonald’s on Broadway and 82nd one morning, walking towards the counter, about to order a Sausage McMuffin with Egg: a special breakfast vice that I allow myself in exchange for having given up cigarettes, which makes two breakfast vices now that I’ve started smoking again. Floating in a compact mirror above a […]

11 Years to Go: A Daughter Learns the Piano

by 06/21/2005
Neighborhood: Greenwich Village

I hadn’t planned on adopting a piano. Long ago I sold my family piano to a neighbor; I rarely touched it and like most New Yorkers, we needed the space. Young and eager for cash, I never predicted I’d later feel guilty. Besides, a piano tuner called my spinet, whose keys my mother’s and brother’s […]

A Tale of Three Landlords

by 06/20/2005
Neighborhood: Brooklyn, Carroll Gardens

I should have made a film about my landlords. A documentary. A document. It would have started in darkness. You’d hear an odd skrik…skrik…skrik. Fade in on the inside of a window; zoom close to peer down into a backyard. A man pushes a hand mower across a tiny lawn. Words appear: Brooklyn. 1990s. The […]

XXX Father’s Day

by 06/20/2005
Neighborhood: Midtown

It was the Friday before Father’s Day and I still had shopping to do. I wanted to get a little something for my boyfriend, Steve.  I didn’t normally get him a gift for this occasion, but now that his son was 21, fully grown by most standards and away at college, he no longer bought […]

Footlight Records

by Thomas Beller 06/17/2005
Neighborhood: East Village

Most of their music is on CD’s but in the back of the store there is a wide selection of movie soundtracks, and these are mostly on vinyl. Most are old soundtracks, and therefore the back of Footlights doubles as record store and design showcase, because the cover art for these records invariably calls upon […]


by 06/07/2005
Neighborhood: Upper East Side

I used to see her in the elevator. She was finely dressed, her white hair piled high, her dark red lipstick ennobling her mouth. In those early years she’d be with her husband, a kind-looking gentleman in a wheelchair—the result, I later learned, of the beating his knees took as an Olympic runner. He’d won […]

The Non-A**hole

by 06/05/2005
Neighborhood: Upper East Side

Seventy-five degrees, August, Sunday evening, Manhattan, yet no one is out on the street except for your neighbor and his geriatric Maltese. On nights like these you can’t help but wonder if you’re missing something; maybe everyone you want to be with is just around the corner jammed into a block of bars, restaurants, delis, […]

The Sawed-Off Past

by 06/05/2005
Neighborhood: Upper West Side

I’m sitting in the essay aisle at Barnes & Noble trying to change my socks. I don’t have an apartment anymore so this is my pit-stop, Broadway and 83rd. On one side of me is Vivian Gornick’s “At Eye Level,” and on the other the complete essays of Montaigne. I’m planning to take a look […]