You are currently browsing the stories about the Across the River neighborhood

On the Train in Winter

by 02/08/2014
Neighborhood: Across the River, All Over, Brooklyn, Carroll Gardens, Downtown Brooklyn, Gowanus, Greenwich Village

I have always lived near subway stations that are above ground, meaning that many of my days have begun by standing in the cold for a few minutes waiting for the train to roll in – the 1 at 125th Street, then the F at Fourth Avenue and Ninth Street in Brooklyn. During the winter […]

The Circle Line

by 04/02/2013
Neighborhood: Across the River, All Over

She throws an envelope onto the kitchen table, vaguely in my direction. She has written my name on it, and underlined it twice. I know what’s in it: it’s my birthday and inside it there will be, as always, a check. I am only ten-years-old, and I do not exactly know what to do with […]

I Have to Be Here

by 09/11/2011
Neighborhood: Across the River

My mother doesn’t get why I have to be here for the anniversary of September 11th. In late August of this year, I was leaving our family beach house at the Jersey Shore and Mom asked if I was planning a return visit in September. “Yeah, I’ll be back,” I said. “Probably the third weekend, […]

The Asian Bug

by 02/20/2011
Neighborhood: Across the River, Letter From Abroad

The Asian bug has bitten my younger son Jesse. I don’t mean the flu that comes around every several years and gets blamed on that continent. No, he has been smitten by the mysterious East, and, like Marco Polo, fallen under the spell of the Orient. He is dating an Asian girl. Not that there […]

The Company Shit Burner

by 07/04/2010
Neighborhood: Across the River

Last week, I’m taking a shit and get this recovered memory. It’s like a life lesson: repetition is the soul of disaster. Because pilots make frequent landings, a special warning light is installed in many cockpits, this to remind pilots to lower the landing gear. Everyone makes mistakes that are the product of repetitive activity. […]


by 10/01/2009
Neighborhood: Across the River, Brooklyn

The weather is turning. At home I didn’t notice the wind, but by the time we’d walked all the way to the library our ponytails held only half as much hair as they did when we left. There was an easy remedy: hold the band between your teeth, gather up the loose strands, pull them […]

Where Have You Gone, Amelia Earhart?

by 09/22/2009
Neighborhood: Across the River, Long Island

 For decades my libertarian desire for privacy kept me lining up with the teeming hordes of commuters at the Verrazano and Throgs Neck Bridges because I didn’t want “them” to know where I was going to or coming from, and how often. But eventually, against my better judgment, I silenced the screaming voices in my […]

The Piano

by 09/14/2009
Neighborhood: Across the River, Bronx

The old upright piano was in the living room from my earliest recollection until the day my father died. He must have brought it sometime in the early ‘50s, soon after he’d gotten married. Dad would spend hours playing Brahms, Schumann, Clementi, Chopin. At the end, he would always start playing an old Russian folk […]

The Last Lesson

by 09/07/2009
Neighborhood: Across the River, Brooklyn

Our hands had not touched–other than to acknowledge each other’s presence or successes–in over thirty-five years. Now his open right hand lay by the side of his softly draped figure, a whisper’s distance from where I was sitting. A curtain, walling off a roommate, shadowed us from the bright day. “Remember how we agreed I’d […]

Turds Fall Within Pepe’s Bailiwick

by 08/16/2009
Neighborhood: Across the River, Bronx

Someone pooped in the cabinet today. It wasn’t the first time the staff bathroom had been despoiled. It happened once before but I’d completely forgotten about it in the general whoosh of activity around the clinic. The bad part is we don’t know if it was a patient passing by or a staff person. That […]

The Greatest Game

by 07/19/2009
Neighborhood: Across the River, Letter From Abroad

Some people say the 1958 NFL Championship game between New York and Baltimore was the greatest game ever played. Some say it was the playoff game where Carlton Fisk hit that home run. Some say it was the 1980 Olympics when the US Hockey Team beat the Russians. All those people are wrong because I […]

Old Nuns

by 06/08/2009
Neighborhood: Across the River, Long Island

I’m watching a documentary on the Sundance Channel, Sex In a Cold Climate—the source material for the fictional film, The Magdalene Sisters—and I’m having a flashback. It’s 1936. I’m six years old in St. Joseph’s boarding school in Monticello New York. My mother is ill and recovering from an operation for “lady problems.” About fifty […]