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Asians Coming Through

by 09/02/2018
Neighborhood: East Village, Union Square

The first time I was called a chink was in New York City at the beginning of my freshman year of college.  Having grown up in Irvine, California, America’s seventh safest city, where boba cafes were as common as Starbucks and Korean BBQ was the only thing to do on a Friday night, I was […]

The Final Summer of My Father’s Life

by 08/25/2018
Neighborhood: Lower Manhattan

The final summer of my father’s life, I worked for him as a runner, making food deliveries at his restaurant. He and I weren’t getting along too well. I had just turned seventeen and my mother had died the previous winter, either one of which would have meant a strained relationship, but the combination was […]

One Wheel, Two Towers

by 08/19/2018
Neighborhood: Lower East Side, World Trade Center

  They say everything happens for a reason. Construction began on the World Trade Center in August of 1968. Some months before that when I was in the second grade, our teacher, Miss Spellman, handed out a Weekly Reader, an eight-page magazine with short articles designed to encourage the habit of reading in elementary school […]

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 […]

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 […]

Goodbye, 48th Street

by 07/17/2018
Neighborhood: Midtown

For my son, Silas, it was Mimi’s Pizza on 84th and Lexington. Approaching the corner location and discussing the toppings we’d put on our slices as we did every Friday on our way to his grandmother’s where he would be dropped off to spend the night, we saw not only that the gates were pulled […]

Street Beast: The Real Estate Ninja

by 07/15/2018
Neighborhood: Lower East Side

I’d already seen the apartment several times– once with Joey and the other time with the two Jeffrey’s. The two Jeffreys were thinking about moving out of their apartment in the East Village and wanted “something more fun and interesting,” which is another way of saying “we’re going to fuck your schedule in the ass […]

The Cult of the Algonquin Round Table

by 06/23/2018
Neighborhood: Midtown

Accessible only by stairs and freight elevator, the thirteenth floor of the Algonquin Hotel contains a laundry room, an office used by the housekeeping department, and a few rooms of storage. No bon mots have been recorded there. “It was so cluttered,” Manuela Rappenecker, the hotel’s General Manager since 2014, said of her first trip […]

Letter from Charlotte: Moms in Big Cars

by 05/31/2018
Neighborhood: Upper West Side

I am connected on Facebook to a fairly prominent writer whose Facebook page often feels like a Manhattan dinner party, full of witty, passionate discussions about art and politics among his many friends. I have never met him so I don’t usually join in but I like to watch. From his posts, I have learned […]

The Camera and The Audience

by 04/25/2018
Neighborhood: Midtown, Times Square

It’s a summer Sunday in New York and my father and I take the subway to 57th Street. We’re going to a movie called My Fair Lady. The movie is about a lady who wears old clothes and then fancy clothes, and goes to a ball where everybody loves her because now she’s pretty. As we leave the theater, […]

When You Get Kicked by a White Guy

by 04/23/2017
Neighborhood: Manhattan, Tribeca

A 2010 article from Newsweek made international news with the headline, “Pakistan is the World’s Most Dangerous Country.” Growing up in Pakistan, I rarely experienced moments of panic. Pakistan could be dangerous—like when a bomb went off near my school—but I felt safe in my suburban neighborhood. When I decided to move to the United […]

The Turtle Pond

by 04/16/2017
Neighborhood: Central Park, Manhattan

Sitting in the sunset in the middle of Central Park, the unfamiliar boy and I huddled together in the growing chill of late October, using the excuse of needing bodily warmth to search for some other, more abstract warmth of feeling. We had spent the whole day exploring the Met Museum, and afterwards walked around […]