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1982: Approaching the New Year

by 01/07/2023
Neighborhood: Harlem, Tribeca

The Times Square ball has dropped, giving birth to 1982, unnoticed by me and my friends who have been prowling the city streets for hours. We ricochet from one dimly lit bar to another, drawn to brain-damaging music and access to drugs. In the Mudd Club, where we’ve landed, the entrance to both bathrooms is […]

Washington Square, A Place Apart

by 12/03/2022
Neighborhood: Greenwich Village, West Village

On January 23, 1917, artists Marcel Duchamp and John Sloan, poet Gertrude Dick, and three actors from the Provincetown Playhouse broke into a hidden spiral staircase in the Washington Square Arch and ascended to the summit. They dangled Chinese lanterns and red balloons, fired off toy cap pistols, and galivanted until dawn, whereupon, with Bohemian […]

The Church of the Heavenly Vegetables

by 11/05/2022
Neighborhood: Upper East Side

I could never get over the thrill of walking into the Church of the Heavenly Rest through the side door on East 90th Street. The limestone turrets and stained-glass windows, reminiscent of Notre Dame, inspired a sense of awe It always took a few seconds for my eyes to adjust to the dim light and […]

Dead Weight

by 10/14/2022
Neighborhood: East Village, Greenwich Village

When I was a teenager, during the second half of the 1970s, I pretty much lived in Washington Square Park during the summer. I sometimes joke that in some ways I was raised there. In some ways that is not so funny. Yippies, Jesus Freaks, drug addicts, tourists, and street performers were my friends and […]

Marsha Hunt Visits The New York Times

by 10/09/2022
Neighborhood: Times Square

The black and white world has enchanted me since I was little. Those films are like fever dreams, so divorced from reality. And film noir is the most fevered dream of all – doomed men and women, gangsters, con-men and dupes, all trapped, all lost, all hopeless. It is hard to imagine these desperate characters […]

The Price of Inclusion

by 10/01/2022
Neighborhood: Chelsea, Fire Island, Greenpoint, Meatpacking District

I didn’t get invited to go to Fire Island this year, which makes me feel like a gay pariah. I’m painfully aware of this after watching the movie, Fire Island. I loved it, but it reinforced my feeling that I lacked a queer community, and notably, one with a summer share in the Pines. My […]

A Short Walk in Paradise

by 09/25/2022
Neighborhood: Upper West Side

Mid-morning, I set out for a short walk—ten blocks, twice a day, prescribed for my aging heart and arthritic body. I clear the lobby and make my entrance on to 106th Street. I’m ready to start my hike to health, ready to laugh—or at least snicker—in the face of mortality. I take my first step, […]

Needle Park/Verdi Square

by 09/18/2022
Neighborhood: Upper West Side

How many years since “needle park”? In the late 60’s, in the evening on the way to the 72nd St and Broadway subway station, I would make my pass through the park and see junkies nodding out and discarded needles on the pavement. The underbelly of con artists, thieves, prostitutes, and addicts, all lurking in the […]

Looking for John Belushi 

by 08/07/2022
Neighborhood: Bowery, SoHo, Tribeca, Union Square

It may be ever-present, this sense that we are teetering on the edge of apocalypse, but these days it seems the custodians of volatile and otherwise crazy behavior are on a whole new level. I won’t pretend that when I was in my 30s and running around on weekend nights with my friends that we […]

Paradise in Chinatown

by 07/24/2022
Neighborhood: Chinatown

It is blazing hot at midday in Chinatown, June, 2022. The doors to the Church of the Transfiguration on Mott Street are open, so I decide to duck in to cool off. “Lord, give us eyes to see,” a young Asian priest recites the offertory prayers. The church is small with cream walls and wooden […]

Hotel Bolivar

by 07/10/2022
Neighborhood: Upper West Side

In the spring of 1967, a year after my parents’ separation, my older sister and I returned from an extended stay with family friends in California and moved into an apartment our mother had rented on the sixth floor of the Hotel Bolivar on Central Park West and 83rd Street. At the time, the decaying, […]

Advanced Poetry

by 07/03/2022
Neighborhood: Greenwich Village, Midtown

Joel had told me his mother was in town for the week visiting, as parents often will when their children are going to expensive colleges in the heart of New York City. But I didn’t think his mother’s visit was going to be relevant to me, until he invited me to go to the MoMa […]