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Men Who Buy Me Drinks at Bars

by 05/18/2024
Neighborhood: East Village, Greenpoint, Upper West Side

ROUND ONE: JAY Walking out of the crowd, my ears are still ringing. It’s late. I’m more than tipsy, but I haven’t felt tired in hours. I bounce down the stairs that lead from the East Village dance floor and head to the bar. There, I shift my weight around on the balls of my […]

Zapkus

by 04/03/2024
Neighborhood: SoHo, West Village

Zapkus. His name was almost an onomatopoeia: its electric prod forcing me to sit up and pay attention. “Design Fundamentals” had to be, in theory, the most yawn-inducing chunk of time in the Parsons School of Design illustration curriculum for Spring 1972. I looked at the course card and envisioned the need to occasionally cut […]

Altercation at Irving Plaza

by 02/17/2024
Neighborhood: East Village

November 3, 1978 – East Village – Journal Entry Last night THE NEW WAVE VAUDEVILLE SHOW at Irving Plaza was a great success for the performers, but a debacle for me. Klaus Nomi was the headliner along with a horde of starry-eyed rockers and artists. My friends and I were asked to be the security. […]

A Psychiatric Aide, Way Back Then

by 02/04/2024
Neighborhood: Washington Heights

I was too young to comprehend “dark energy” that pulls apart the human psyche. But at 19, I was a witness. New York State Psychiatric Institute, high up and hovering over the Hudson in Washington Heights, was, and still is, a special teaching hospital connected to Columbia University.  In the 1950s, when I worked there, […]

A Blood Sport

by 12/24/2023
Neighborhood: Upper West Side

There is a saying in New York City that you can either have a job or keep a car on the street. Garages in my neighborhood cost upwards of $700 a month, and street parking is free, sort of. I do not have a job, other than walking my two dachshunds, Henry Longfellow and Hanna, […]

The Sigmund Freud of Barnes Avenue

by 11/11/2023
Neighborhood: Bronx, Washington Heights

I first met Ari Horwitz in front of a pizzeria near the George Washington Bridge Bus Terminal in 1978. I wasn’t in the habit of talking to people I didn’t know, but Ari was about my age, mid-20s, and we seemed to have an immediate psychic connection. Ari, it turned out, lived with a roommate […]

Deal or No Deal

by 09/14/2023
Neighborhood: Upper East Side

This is Part 3 of a three part story by Nina Camp. Read Part 1 and Part 2. The locksmith was a lean, twenty-something guy. He arrived on time and stood quietly outside our apartment door after I buzzed him into the building. Soft-spoken, with kind eyes, he brought a moment of problem-solving stability into […]

What a Hug from Phil Rosenthal Can and Cannot Do

by 09/11/2023
Neighborhood: Upper East Side

This is Part 2 of a three part story by Nina Camp. Part 3 will appear on Thursday. Click here to read Part 1. I went into the theater, threw my coat across two seats to save them, went back out to the lobby and called Alex again. He was about to walk into his […]

The Happiest Guy on Netflix

by 09/09/2023
Neighborhood: Upper East Side

This is is Part I of a three part story by Nina Camp. Part II will run on Tuesday and Part III will appear on Thursday. The aim was to repair our wounded relationship. Nothing overcomplicated, our plan had just three elements. The first involved a man we’d come to think of as The Happiest […]

Going Up

by 08/18/2023
Neighborhood: Upper East Side

I’m headed to the elevator, working at my volunteer job in Lenox Hill Hospital, carrying patients’ EKG printouts, which I am supposed to distribute to various wards. Getting on at the basement level, I press the button for the 8th floor—the psych ward, which had been my temporary place of residence until I was discharged […]

Connie

by 07/22/2023
Neighborhood: East Harlem

Bored on a pre-pandemic Sunday, I scan through Facebook’s dating app to see who liked my profile, and finally, someone interesting! Connie is heavily tattooed and only has three pictures (just one includes his face). Aside from a giant Yankees logo and “CONNIE” emblazoned on his abdomen, I can’t see many tattoo details and his […]

Hanging out in Tribeca in the 1970s

by 07/15/2023
Neighborhood: Brighton Beach, Tribeca

If you want to call me a cool kid, please do. You see, back in 1975 when I was seven years old ,  I visited Tribeca for the first time…with my mom and dad. We didn’t go to the Mudd Club or Artists Space or anything like that; instead we went to a factory just south […]