You are currently browsing the stories about the Manhattan neighborhood

On Etan Patz and Walking to School

by 03/17/2019
Neighborhood: East Village, Featured

Etan Patz disappeared forty years ago, on May 25, 1979. I was seven then, in second grade, and right around that time, perhaps even that same month, is when I started walking home from school on my own. We lived on 4th Street and Avenue A, maybe three quarters of a mile from Grace Church […]

The Sultry Scent of Formaldehyde

by 03/10/2019
Neighborhood: East Village, Queens

My memories of high school are burdened by two deciding factors: the absence of girls and my aversion to math and science, both regrettable, given the fact that the prestigious institution I attended, Stuyvesant High School—then still in its old digs, a venerable building on East 15th Street—was all boys and all about math and […]

The Landlord’s Uncle

by 02/24/2019
Neighborhood: Bowery, Lower East Side

  The door to my apartment building is the color of the rough red wine men drink in small towns in Italy. In fact, Mr. Chinnici, who lives in my building, might look at home in a café in a Mediterranean village, drinking claret from a water glass. He wears a sooty, mushroom-colored cap; the […]

Naked City

by 02/10/2019
Neighborhood: Central Park, Cypress Hills, Manhattan

For a time in the late 1980s, a local TV station in New York City aired late-night reruns of Naked City. The show, a black-and-white police drama set in New York, had originally aired from 1958 to 1963, the year of my birth. Those years were a critical period in the civil rights movement, and, […]

Car Pool, 1994

by 02/03/2019
Neighborhood: Lower East Side, Williamsburg

Got to pick these kids up. Oh why did we start a stupid car pool? Maybe car pools made sense in the suburbs of 1972 but…in Williamsburg, 1994? Still, it beats trying to get four five year-olds from Brooklyn to Avenue D in Manhattan by subway and bus. One big problem is our car. I […]

The Bloody Stranger

by 01/27/2019
Neighborhood: Midtown, Subway

I moved to this city from Akron, Ohio in August 1971, and by the Summer of 1972, I was starting to wonder if I could actually make it here. I wasn’t earning enough to have my own apartment and still found the pace of the city overwhelming. I was certainly not going to head back home, […]

A Simple Procedure

by 01/13/2019
Neighborhood: East Village, Greenwich Village

I am 21 and in the heat of my first New York summer, when I decide to have a four-centimeter rod inserted into the meat of my inner bicep. About the size of a matchstick and made of a material I can’t pronounce, it will release progestin directly into my bloodstream, preventing eggs from leaving the womb and […]

Karma is as Karma Does

by 01/06/2019
Neighborhood: Midtown, Port Authority

The sun was gone, blotted out by the Port Authority’s roof. I disembarked into the effluvium of the upper tunnel and made for the gate. From there, clacking escalators, one flight after another, shunted me toward the bottom floor, the subway level. The vendor stalls had all been shuttered, and the soles of my shoes […]

In a galaxy far far away: The East Village Years

by 12/09/2018
Neighborhood: East Village, Lower East Side, Murray Hill

Some prescribe the medicine of looking forward not back; don’t dwell on the past they advise, move along. Usually a proponent of such sentiment, I found it diminished when my attention was redrawn to an almost forgotten tale that I’d penned about my early life in New York. A story of the kid fresh off the […]

What the World Can Do

by 12/02/2018
Neighborhood: Coney Island, East Village

In the summer of 1973, my younger brother and I shared a basement apartment on East 12th Street in Brooklyn off Avenue J, a nice middle-class sort of area. We had lost our parents to cancer and a stroke, ten months apart, a few years before this, when he was fourteen and I was sixteen. […]

Cupcake Overdose: Magnolia Bakery & Me

by 11/17/2018
Neighborhood: West Village

The New York Times real estate listing read, “An enchanting Swiss Chalet Penthouse Studio. Imagine waking up to the sweet aroma of Magnolia Bakery…” Oh, great, I thought. A constant smell. Who wouldn’t want that? The bakery meant little to me. After having spent three years trying to buy an apartment in Manhattan, I had […]

Small Rooms

by 10/27/2018
Neighborhood: Manhattan

There’s plenty of porn here, stacked neatly beside a DVD player, polished, spray-tanned bodies that fail to arouse. Opposite the flat screen TV is a small couch, a loveseat really, but I prefer to stand. The entire space is laughably small, more janitor’s closet than state of the art fertility clinic in Manhattan. “Down the […]