You are currently browsing the stories about the Manhattan neighborhood

Babysitter to the Stars

by 10/17/2021
Neighborhood: Featured, Manhattan

I arrive in New York City in 1970 right after graduating from Carnegie Mellon Drama Department. I pray I’ll hit the big time, but in between auditions I look for flexible jobs to supplement my income. I leaf through the phone book and come to a page titled “Child Care.” One ad stands out “Babysitter’s Guild—the […]

An Afternoon at Saks

by 10/03/2021
Neighborhood: Manhattan

I love Saks. It’s just like Bloomingdale’s, only bigger and the people don’t spray you as much; they just ignore you.  There was an open book in the Saks window called Sample. I stood there looking at it. Two pages were filled with fashion sketches of models with the Polaroid of the actual model next […]

The Shtetl Next Door

by 09/26/2021
Neighborhood: Upper East Side

On the first of the month, I visit Benjamin Benowitz. Ben lives three blocks north and three avenues east from the apartment I rent.  The lobby of Ben’s’s building reads like the lobbies I have seen in movies about New York old money; all ostentation with marble and central air.  The walls in my own […]

Writing Classes

by 08/22/2021
Neighborhood: Upper East Side, West Village

There are 1700 writers per square foot in New York City. I will be one of them. It’s going to be easy. First, I need to learn about the craft of writing. I peruse various catalogs and websites for classes. Nothing jumps out at me until I notice a class called “How To Write Funny.” […]

Apparition

by 08/15/2021
Neighborhood: Manhattan, Subway

Last month on the subway, somewhere near the Rockefeller Center / 47th-50th Street stop, I looked up from my phone and saw, across the aisle in the mirror seat of mine, a woman, maybe in her late 60s, whose style was startlingly close to my stepmother’s. She had the same short, tousled haircut—although her hair was […]

A Tourist’s Guide to Lower Manhattan

by 08/01/2021
Neighborhood: Lower Manhattan

February 1996 is bitter and icy and windy and numbing. My boyfriend Raz and I have been rendered homeless due to our depravity, immaturity, and stupidity. By day, we relax at the Lower East Side needle exchange, the Beth Israel methadone clinic, or our favorite diner, Leshko’s, on Avenue A. Nighttime is more problematic. We […]

They Smile Over There

by 07/25/2021
Neighborhood: Union Square

My father has worked in grocery stores in California for what seems like my entire life. Albertsons, El Super, Northgate Market, Smart and Final, and then Northgate Market again. After graduating high school, he worked his way up from Receiver to Assistant Manager to Grocery Manager and Front End Manager. Sometimes when he started at […]

Interview

by 07/04/2021
Neighborhood: Morningside Heights

I want to be in New York because Sophia is in New York. This leads me from my home in the Jersey suburbs to the waiting room of a doctor’s office, an alumni who will interview me for a prestigious New York college. I sit and wait, squirming, and think about that tired joke about […]

The Terrycloth Bathrobe

by 06/13/2021
Neighborhood: East Village, NoHo

The late afternoon, graying quickly, was sweet with surprising warmth. Days such as this wouldn’t come again for at least a month. A reward, it seemed, for surviving another dank and joyless February in New York City.  My birthday was in March, and even at my age, I looked forward to the day with a […]

Yorkville 1960s–A Neighborhood in Transition

by 06/06/2021
Neighborhood: Yorkville

Early 1960s, Yorkville. My block, 81st street between 1st and York avenues.  During my early years, I witnessed a predominantly working-class immigrant neighborhood of Irish, Germans, and Hungarians being replaced by new wealthier residents. The transition started with the construction of high-rise apartment buildings on the avenues. These characterless buildings were replacing the five-story walk-ups […]

Joanie and Luddy in Greenwich Village, 1967

by 05/23/2021
Neighborhood: Greenwich Village, Massapequa

Joanie finished bending over the ironing board, her freshly-washed hair nice and flat. She pulled the plug out of the socket, wrapped up the cord, and looked in the mirror and smiled. Her own natural curls would be given free rein in a few years, but right now she wanted to match the long, straight […]

Kaddish in the Time of Covid

by 05/16/2021
Neighborhood: Berkshires, Midtown

What is it about anniversaries? Is it that the earth is again in the same place relative to the sun, and that we are occupying the same spot in the cosmos? You were here, but differently. Something has changed from when you were at this position before: you got married; planes hit the twin towers; […]