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Trading Video Games with Beven

by 04/06/2024
Neighborhood: Brighton Beach, Featured

It was 1982, and I was in junior high school. Beven was a new kid, and I didn’t know him besides seeing him in class. He seemed OK, but quirky. Like the way he carried himself, the stains on his clothes and — most notably — the odd, beat-up briefcase he had with him at all times. While the […]

Did I Hear That Right?

by 01/13/2024
Neighborhood: Crown Heights

_____ On October 5, 1947, two years after the end of the War, President Truman was to address the nation on the world food crisis. It was to be the first televised address by a President in history. People were going to see the President of the United States LIVE, as he was speaking. Magical. Unprecedented. Amazing. At […]

Collecting Dud Fireworks to Make M-80s

by 12/30/2023
Neighborhood: Brighton Beach

Fireworks meant many different things to me as a kid. They were what you saw on TV when Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops performed the “1812 Overture.” Fireworks showed up over Popeye’s head if he kissed Olive Oyl or if Bluto punched him in the face. On special occasions, fireworks would be in the […]

Running Errands for Mr. Dubinsky

by 12/02/2023
Neighborhood: Brooklyn

It was around 1975 and I was maybe 8 years old. My $2 a week allowance worked well for my humble needs, and I didn’t necessarily want or need a job at that age, but my dad would ask me to run errands every now and then and let me keep some of the left-over […]

Trying to Cash in Nazi Stamps for a Millennium Falcon

by 09/23/2023
Neighborhood: Brighton Beach

In the fall of 1980, The Empire Strikes Back had already come out and while I was getting tired of my Star Wars action figures, I really, really, really wanted a Millennium Falcon spaceship playset. It was huge, cool and could fit my 3.75” action figures without issue. But at $29.99 it was expensive for a 12 year old […]

Hanging out in Tribeca in the 1970s

by 07/15/2023
Neighborhood: Brighton Beach, Tribeca

If you want to call me a cool kid, please do. You see, back in 1975 when I was seven years old ,  I visited Tribeca for the first time…with my mom and dad. We didn’t go to the Mudd Club or Artists Space or anything like that; instead we went to a factory just south […]

The Night I Became Serious About Photography

by 06/24/2023
Neighborhood: Sunset Park

It was raining, and I was tired and drunk, well let’s say high, walking home at 3 AM from a party in Sunset Park when I saw a blown-out umbrella between two parked cars on 5th Avenue. I was about two blocks from my parents’ apartment on 40th Street. I was 23 years old and […]

Bill the Burnout

by 04/29/2023
Neighborhood: Brighton Beach

I have no idea where Bill came from, but one spring, sometime in the late 1970s, he showed up and started hanging out every day on our Ocean Parkway block in Brighton Beach. He was a white guy with a red haired, frizzy Jewfro, and he wore a denim jacket. Bill would stand out there […]

Prospect Park, Q Train

by 03/05/2023
Neighborhood: Prospect Park, Subway

At the Prospect Park station, I sit across from a Hasidic couple on a three-seater bench on the Q train. Parallel to them, in a wheel-locked stroller, is a toddler with unshorn blonde hair, dark eyes that reflect no light, and a suckling baby mouth. He has been dressed in a Canadian tuxedo of many […]

Farrell’s Jimmy ‘Hooley’ Houlihan

by 02/06/2023
Neighborhood: Windsor Terrace

We always drank beer from stemmed glasses in Farrell’s. We were college kids, hair creeping down our necks, and we would meet in the crowded, gleaming bar in Brooklyn’s Windsor Terrace to plan the evening or the rest of our lives. Like our parents, we were from there—Holy Name parish—and attended local schools—Brooklyn College, St. […]

Big Eric

by 01/13/2023
Neighborhood: Greenpoint

Big Eric is an alcoholic. I know this because he talks to me about his life when we work together. He’s 40-years old, and he tells me he’s feeling stressed and alone, and that the only time he feels peace is when he drinks. He lives around the corner from the café and sometimes in […]

Carroll Street

by 12/18/2022
Neighborhood: Gowanus, Park Slope

In 1979, when my boyfriend Bob bought the house, Park Slope had not yet exploded in a frenzy of gentrification. But change was on its way. Young professionals from Manhattan, starting families and priced out of Brooklyn Heights, were establishing themselves, transforming 7th Avenue with upscale specialty stores and busily renovating neglected brownstones with woodwork […]