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

Dante’s Traveling Inferno

by 08/11/2005
Neighborhood: Across the River, Multiple

Luck was on my side. The “Q” train pulled into the 34th Street station headed to Brooklyn. I was relieved, not just because I would be whisked home by the air conditioned subway train. It meant that I wouldn’t have to stand on one of the hottest subway platforms in the city, forced to breathe […]


by 05/16/2005
Neighborhood: Across the River, Queens

There’s a small pocket in Brooklyn east of Williamsburg, west of Bushwick, known by its residents as Flushwick. In this small pocket, mattress fires attract drum circles. Catalpa trees burst from the shattered windshields of bulldozers. Pedigrees with silk bandanas growl behind fences crowned with razor wire. It’s hard to get a fix on this […]

Love and Bridges

by 02/01/2005
Neighborhood: Across the River, Brooklyn

Allie once told me that if two people meet on a bridge, they will almost always fall in love. “I read it in my psychology textbook,” she said. “They have to meet on a bridge.” I glanced across the river at the orange lights of the Williamsburg Bridge and imagined myself flagging down the next […]

The Bush Tree in Philly

by 12/07/2004
Neighborhood: Across the River, Letter From Abroad

We crossed the Delaware River, made a tremendous 270 degree turn under the bridge and dropped down in to the city streets. The plan: stay at Alison’s parents house in Philly that night, wake up early, pick up the two vans from Hertz, proceed to a designated church in the suburban township of Devon for […]

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 […]

The Rudolf Hearing

by 07/04/2003
Neighborhood: Across the River

Our Asheville, North Carolina, correspondent went down to witness the hearing of Eric Rudolph, suspected of bombing abortion clinics and the Atlanta Olympics, who was finally caught after being on the FBI’s most wanted list for five years. This is what he saw. The courhouse building was light granite, grey. The scene was dominated by […]

Horsing Around With Jason Kidd

by Thomas Beller 06/06/2003
Neighborhood: Across the River, Letter From Abroad

The following article was reported and written in the winter and spring of 2002. This article deals, in part, with the fact that Jason Kidd’s childhood was formed in part by his chores caring for horses. ** It was a cold winter night, and the Knicks were playing the Nets. I took the bus from […]

Forts and Fortifications

by 05/11/2003
Neighborhood: Across the River, Multiple

I was a fat, strange kid for whome Forts were very important. My parents used to drive from our upstate New York home to the Big Apple twice a year. For my parents those visits meant fine dining and Broadway shows . For me however, those visits meant Forts. Yes. Forts. I was interested in […]

Please Don’t Touch the Dancers

by 03/02/2003
Neighborhood: Across the River, Manhattan

The beers cost seven dollars and the DJ had A.D.D. He kept stopping the tracks midway through, throwing the girls off. There were two rooms, and opposite the bar in each room was a stage. The stage in the front room had a baby-blue wooden banister cordoning it off from the bar, and a sign […]

More Than A Woman

by 02/17/2003
Neighborhood: Across the River, Letter From Abroad

We were natives. We were cool, urban sophisticates who would never admit to being otherwise. If anyone asked, we were from New York City, even though we’d been raised in the suburban sprawl—my cousin was from Jersey and I was from the Island. He and I had legitimized ourselves as New Yorkers by boasting we’d […]


by 11/04/2002
Neighborhood: Across the River, Brooklyn

Angela and I stopped to investigate the South Williamsburg street. We lived in Queens (not together, mind you – the sexual need between this former cheerleader and me had long since expired) and were exploring a new locale. Neighborhood pride and a grass-isn’t-greener mentality often create a chasm between boroughs, but we’d scoured most of […]

The Blind Chinese Bibliophile

by Thomas Beller 09/18/2002
Neighborhood: Across the River, Letter From Abroad

This story ends with a blind Chinese Bibliophile. But it begins in a moment of weakness, when I capitulated to the temptations at hand and called a realtor who specialized in barnes and farm houses and asked to look at a few. The rolling hills and open skies of Western New York had me in […]