You are currently browsing the stories about the Carroll Gardens 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 Culture of Dog Walking

by 09/26/2013
Neighborhood: Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill

I’ve always wondered about the strange symbiosis that forms between dog owners and their dogs. For dog lovers, the word pet fails to suffice. But the dog walker may speculate: is it an equally co-dependent companionship, where partners receive and transmit comparable levels of appreciation and affection? Or is it asymmetrical—an over-identification on the part […]

A Walk on Columbia Street

by 08/01/2012
Neighborhood: Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill

If you never saw Columbia Street before 1960, you missed a lot. The street is still there; the sidewalks, the street sign, but the stores, the people, the charm are all gone. That strip of avenue is unrecognizable, now lined with barrack type housing and no character at all. The house where I was born […]

A Frothy Goodbye

by 03/26/2012
Neighborhood: Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill

Every English teacher needs a café of his own, and my weekend joint for nearly seven years has closed. The Fall Café frothed its final latte in early December. I hope my students understood why their last batch of essays was returned later than usual. Signs of the café’s demise were written everywhere, literally. Last […]

To The Basketball Playing Men and Women of Letters

by 03/14/2012
Neighborhood: All Over, Brooklyn, Brooklyn Heights, Caroll Gardens, Carroll Gardens, Manhattan, Upper West Side, West Village

I recently read a fanciful article in which a literary East/West  all-star basketball game is imagined and scouted. Dave Eggers and Stephen Elliott are the starting back court for the West. Ben Marcus is cast as the starting center for the East not on the grounds of basketball skill but because, according to the writer, […]

Close Shave

by 04/03/2011
Neighborhood: Brooklyn, Carroll Gardens, Uncategorized

On a steamy afternoon last July, I paid a barber to shave my face. I had no real reason to indulge in this service. I had no company party to attend, no weekend away with the missus scheduled. I didn’t even have firm dinner plans for the night. Like eating and ironing, shaving is one […]

The Crack Van

by 07/31/2010
Neighborhood: All Over, Carroll Gardens

I drive a van for a restaurant. Actually it’s several restaurants but they are owned by the same people. They have three restaurant locations and two cafes, but only one location has a full kitchen and bakery. All the food is prepared at this main location and then sent to the other various restaurant and […]

A Hard Lesson Upside the Head

by 12/25/2009
Neighborhood: Carroll Gardens

She was never really my girlfriend. She was my occasional hook-up, I guess, my sometimes companion. Nothing more than that. A girl, true enough, but I don’t think she was ever really any kind of friend. This story isn’t about her, anyway. I was a month-old New York newborn, a 39 year-old infant who could […]

They’ve Finally Cut Eggy in Half

by 07/02/2009
Neighborhood: Brooklyn, Carroll Gardens

At the corner of Atlantic Avenue and Bond Street about a quarter of a block ahead of me, three young men waited at the crosswalk for the light to change. Two were dressed in thug-casual regalia: sneakers, baggy pants, baseball caps askew, and hoodies up to obscure clear lines of sight to their faces. The […]

The Check Thieves

by 08/31/2007
Neighborhood: Brooklyn, Carroll Gardens

In my downtown Brooklyn neighborhood were raised a breed of men who are check thieves. A rare breed of men who are slowly becoming extinct. Their turf is Court Street to Smith, Degraw Street to President. These are the sons of the older generation men, who would never let a woman pay for a check. […]


by 10/01/2006
Neighborhood: Brooklyn, Carroll Gardens

The story starts with two things about me. First thing: I love coffee. I drink coffee every morning. When I gave up caffeine for several months last year, I brewed myself a mug of decaf every morning and called it my “coffee.” Second thing: I habitually run late. Not catastrophically late, just late enough to […]

A Tale of Three Landlords

by 06/20/2005
Neighborhood: Brooklyn, Carroll Gardens

I should have made a film about my landlords. A documentary. A document. It would have started in darkness. You’d hear an odd skrik…skrik…skrik. Fade in on the inside of a window; zoom close to peer down into a backyard. A man pushes a hand mower across a tiny lawn. Words appear: Brooklyn. 1990s. The […]