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Mom’s Fondest Dreams (A play in one act)

by 11/04/2018
Neighborhood: Williamsburg

SETTING:  The time is the present. The location is a small, trendy Williamsburg retail establishment located a tasteful distance off Bedford Avenue, just across from P.S. 84. The legend on the door reads simply “leif” (for the benighted or initiates, the title appears to be a multi-valanced mixture of archaism [adv. OE gladly], urban slang […]

A Trip to Aqueduct

by 10/21/2018
Neighborhood: Aqueduct, East New York, South Ozone Park

The day after I turned ten, my mother took me to my first horse race at Aqueduct. Hitting the regular numbers didn’t pay as well as the horses, and sometimes when Mama had an itch to gamble she couldn’t wait on the numbers man, Mr. Sheyanne, to come around. Besides which, she whispered to me […]

My View of Sunset Park

by 10/14/2018
Neighborhood: Papua New Guinea, Sunset Park

Fifth Avenue entrance to Sunset Park My five-year-old daughter Claudia loves to go up and down the hills of Sunset Park on her scooter. We put her little crash helmet on and push her up the park hills, but she loves to go down them herself, having become an expert braker and master of turns. […]

Carlisle the Violinist

by 09/16/2018
Neighborhood: Brighton Beach, Coney Island

On the Saturday evening of Memorial Day weekend, I found myself seated at a snow-white draped table next to a card featuring my first and last name in italicized letters. The joyous occasion was the wedding of a childhood friend. It was no different from the other weddings I’ve attended, except for a violinist, who […]

The Grindstone

by 08/12/2018
Neighborhood: Fort Greene, SoHo

I was two weeks old the night we met in SoHo and you showed me how the world works. Back then, I still couldn’t sleep through the night. I’d lie face-up on the bed I’d bought from the last roommate, listening to the traffic on the BQE a block away. The cars whooshed all night […]

Absolutely True Minutes from a Co-op Meeting

by 08/04/2018
Neighborhood: Brooklyn, Park Slope

The evening kicked off with a lively discussion of garbage. Now that Harriet and Karl have settled into Apartment 1, they were encouraged to proceed in beautifying what has become, even by the building’s lax standards, the eyesore outside their front windows. Mary says she knows of a woman who has made concealing trash a […]

My Mother, My Hair

by 07/26/2018
Neighborhood: Brooklyn, Lower East Side

Last night, I dreamed about my mother. She was floating over the threshold of my room, a sweet smile on her face.In her raspy voice with its crazy Brooklyn accent, she said, “It’s been so long since I’ve seen you, darling. Look how long your hair got.” Because even in death, Mom was all about […]

If Dad Was A Doll

by 04/09/2017
Neighborhood: Coney Island

My father took me to the Coney Island Freak Show every summer growing up. My artist Dad seemed unfettered from his day job as a social worker, sketching subway riders on the hour train ride from the Lower East Side, where we lived surrounded by junkies and prostitutes wandering derelict streets. On the boardwalk, he […]

Rodney Street

by 02/26/2017
Neighborhood: Brooklyn, Williamsburg

Lola is whining. I open the door to the dark hallway so she’ll stop, so she’ll know I’m here. The sunlight reveals a brown present she’s left already, its odor mixing in with the faint smell of cigarettes. It’s hardening. I’m not going to clean it up. She’s not my puppy. The open bedroom door […]

Rollo

by 02/05/2017
Neighborhood: Brooklyn, Williamsburg

Rollo lived at the corner of Madison Street and Broadway. He was taller and stronger than my father. Rollo would lie down on a bench in his front yard and lift dumbbells every morning. His breathing was heavy, his forehead glistened with sweat. He had large arm muscles and a big chest. His hair was […]

102 Steuben

by 06/17/2016
Neighborhood: Brooklyn, Clinton Hill

When I think of my dad, I think of the stories he’s told me. What he knows and what he wants me to know. I think of the time at Friendly’s when he etched the web of our ancestors onto a napkin. Patrick to Matthew, Edward and Agnes and Teresa and Mary, and at the […]

The Tape

by 04/26/2016
Neighborhood: Brooklyn, Chelsea, Jackson Heights, Manhattan, Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Sunset Park

-1- Once upon a time, there existed a New York City economy where a young person fresh out of college could, with a straight face, think in terms of “building a career.” Imagine such optimism. The notion of “career” seems so trite now, forty-plus years on, so immaterial, in this age of downsizing, outsourcing, off-shoring. […]