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Cupcake Overdose: Magnolia Bakery & Me

by 11/17/2018
Neighborhood: Featured, 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 […]

He Was No Angel

by 10/07/2018
Neighborhood: Manhattan

One day, back in the early 90s, I came pretty close to being on that list of unarmed black men dead at the hands of New York’s finest. I was a full-time college student at the time, and holding down a full-time gig at a department store in midtown Manhattan. My co-worker, a Colombian cat […]

Summer of ’68

by 09/30/2018
Neighborhood: Castle Hill, Lower Manhattan, South Ferry

As the 6 train chugged past grimy buildings in dicey neighborhoods, I felt I was being safely transited through vast danger zones. In those days before air conditioning, the train’s windows were kept open, so the amplified sound of screeching brakes and rumbling wheels was a constant assault. Mature ladies fanned their dripping faces with […]

The Therapist Who Was Always Late

by 09/24/2018
Neighborhood: Bronx, Chelsea, Co-op City, Upper West Side, Washington Heights

As a young man in my mid-twenties in the late ‘70s, I was in a precarious state. I had just failed miserably at an attempt to work at a job on the west coast and was back with my parents in Co-op City. I was on the list for a civil service job at the […]

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 […]