You are currently browsing the stories about the Jamaica neighborhood

A Sports Coat is Worth a Thousand Words

by 08/18/2019
Neighborhood: Brooklyn, Jamaica, Long Island

My dad reached inside the closet for his new jacket, single breasted, two button, and straight off the rack. It was pencil gray with flecks of black in it and may have had those professorial looking patches on the sleeves, but I’m not sure. He didn’t care much about clothes and the jacket was nothing […]

Remembering a Barber Shop

by 06/01/2008
Neighborhood: Jamaica, Queens

Some years ago, I came across a story in a magazine, possibly The New Yorker, entitled “Emil J. Paidar”. That name struck a familiar chord. I had seen it staring at me so often from the footrests of the barber chairs where I had my hair cut, in my early childhood, that it was practically […]

A Fan’s Statistics

by 03/15/2008
Neighborhood: Jamaica, Queens

Two times per year the New York State English Regents Exam visits the high schools of our fair city, four comprehensive essays over a period of two days, and this January’s results are in. In my building, preparation for the exam begins in the ninth grade and continues right until the students enter class to […]

The Silent Minority

by 07/12/2007
Neighborhood: Jamaica, Queens

In the divorce papers filed by my ex-wife, the second one I mean, she said I never paid attention to her. While we were still living in the same house she also said, “You never listen to me.” “What?” I generally responded from the other room. For the record, I am, in fact, a great […]

Gluttony is the Only Winner

by 02/09/2006
Neighborhood: Jamaica, Queens

Well, Super Bowl Sunday is done, or so they tell me. I was oblivious to the hype and I had no idea that Super Bowl Sunday had arrived until Saturday night, when someone asked me where I was going to watch Super Bowl XL. I thought “XL” meant “Extra Large,” a size that, over the […]

Off Track Betting

by 11/17/2005
Neighborhood: Jamaica, Queens

Off Track Betting could be a Greyhound Bus Station at 4 am or a bar where I learned to play spoons. It could be a retiree’s living room. One, someone calls him Bobby, who possesses comfortable gems on his finger and windbreaker. I watch him scribble “faster” at the top of each race, not for […]

Jam Master Jay: His Sounds Will Stay

by 12/11/2002
Neighborhood: Jamaica, Queens

I would like to believe that I went out to Queens to leave the My Adidas sweatshirt in tribute to Jam-Master Jay, but I’d be lying. I’ve long gotten a superiority chuckle watching “mourners” on television who bring hand-painted signs, 99-cent store teddy bears, daily newspapers with 64-pt. headlines announcing the celebrity death, and acres […]