You are currently browsing the stories about the Bronx neighborhood

Sexual Frustration at the NYPD Police Academy

by 06/27/2021
Neighborhood: Co-op City

Most people see the “Police Academy” movies and laugh. I went through the real Police Academy, and felt nothing but pain. In May, 1975, CETA, a long-defunct government jobs program, announced that it was hiring people who had some college education.  It was the middle of a recession, and I remember standing on a long, […]

Mel Allen, Dads and Baseball

by 06/19/2021
Neighborhood: Bronx, Yankee Stadium

My ear remembers that voice, even as my hearing has grown dim. Mel Allen died 25 years ago, and time keeps on marching to the cadence of going, going, gone. But this isn’t meant to be morose. Mel passed away on a Father’s Day. Here we are again on that commemorative third Sunday in June about to […]

Yankee Stadium’s Special Dirt

by 05/30/2021
Neighborhood: Bronx

In 1992 our middle school band was chosen to perform at Yankee Stadium on Opening Day. Not the national anthem, just a few songs from our repertoire. The performance was slotted for about two and a half hours before game time. When we arrived there was hardly anyone in the stands. We lined up in […]

Crotona Park

by 03/14/2021
Neighborhood: East Bronx, West Bronx

Blanche, my mother, was past thirty, an old maid by the standards of the mid-twentieth century. She finally picked herself up and hauled herself off to a lefty resort in the Catskills, the kind of place where people were more likely to play Twenty Questions than tennis. There she met my father, Harold, who was […]

This is Jeopardy: Remembering Art and Alex

by 12/20/2020
Neighborhood: Bronx, Park Slope, Rockefeller Center

Alex Trebek, who hosted Jeopardy for thirty-seven seasons, died on November 8th. My connection to him and the show was through Art Fleming, a prior host of the show, who got Alex the gig. Let me explain. As a child, I was quite the nerd. I could recite the U.S. presidents forward and backward at […]

THE SUPREMES and Me

by 09/19/2020
Neighborhood: Bronx, Brooklyn, Washington DC

Ordinarily, I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about the Supreme Court. I practiced law for forty years, reluctantly. But the news of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death tonight has me very agitated.  Ruth was a tough old bird, a borough girl. Like her sisters on the Court, Sonia and Elena. All three are borough […]

The Third Line

by 02/23/2020
Neighborhood: Bronx, Brooklyn

  On a recent visit to a friend’s aging aunt who lives in a minuscule Bronx apartment crowded with plants, I was puzzled by her three telephones. Two of them rang several times, as did her microwave, alarm clock, and various other tingling appurtenances—the pitch of each of which she was immediately able to tell […]

Happy Father’s Day

by 06/15/2019
Neighborhood: Bronx, New Jersey

The phone call came on a steamy summer morning, while I was stuck in traffic on the Central Park transverse, the Met’s Temple of Dendur off to my right. A nurse from my father’s hospital equivocated her way through the call. He had been in failing health. “Where are you now?” she finally asked, with […]

From The New Plantation

by 05/12/2019
Neighborhood: Rikers Island

Lessons from Rikers Island That first morning, I was stopped by the correction officers just before the bridge that leads to the 413-acre, liver-shaped island in the middle of the East River between Queens and the Bronx.  I was struck by how bored the COs acted. It was as if they were telling me there […]

Memories of a Bronx Childhood

by 01/20/2019
Neighborhood: Bronx, Tremont

  I have reached that age where childhood memories have become as vivid as my adult ones. It’s not that my 1940s childhood was full of drama. I had few traumatic experiences, though I do remember, as an innocent, uncomprehending five year old, a queasy encounter with an insidious stranger who wanted to buy me […]

Summer of ’68

by 09/30/2018
Neighborhood: Castle Hill, Lower Manhattan, South Ferry

As the 6 train chugged past grimy buildings in dicey neighborhoods, I felt I was being safely transited through vast danger zones. In those days before air conditioning, the train’s windows were kept open, so the amplified sound of screeching brakes and rumbling wheels was a constant assault. Mature ladies fanned their dripping faces with […]

The Therapist Who Was Always Late

by 09/24/2018
Neighborhood: Bronx, Chelsea, Co-op City, Upper West Side, Washington Heights

As a young man in my mid-twenties in the late ‘70s, I was in a precarious state. I had just failed miserably at an attempt to work at a job on the west coast and was back with my parents in Co-op City. I was on the list for a civil service job at the […]