You are currently browsing the stories about the Lower East Side neighborhood

Baby Through the Looking Glass

by 04/11/2011
Neighborhood: Lower East Side, Uncategorized

On a brisk bright February afternoon, father and baby daughter entered the Sunshine Theater on Houston Street. A planned Cobble Hill Cinemas screening of Duck Soup the month before had been canceled due to a single-digit temperature (sorry Groucho, Daddy really wanted it), so this was to be the four-month-old infant’s maiden moviegoing voyage. The […]

69 Years After

by 03/24/2011
Neighborhood: Greenwich Village, Lower East Side, Uncategorized

In the spring of 1980 I was a cocky new teacher of English as a Second language, fresh from education grad school, with innovative pedagogy that I couldn’t wait to try out on students. My first job in New York was a gem: “Vocational ESL.” It was funded by the feds and I’d gone to […]

Second Chances

by 01/30/2011
Neighborhood: Lower East Side

With Illustrations by Carlo Quispe I don’t go to Dr. Dave for check-ups, just when something goes wrong. And something is wrong today. I suck down the last hit of my cigarette and stub it beside a mural of spray-painted camouflage that covers part of Dr. Dave’s corner office on Clinton and Stanton. A sign—red […]

Number 6 at the White House

by 08/16/2010
Neighborhood: East Village, Lower East Side, Midtown

The front of the White House wasn’t that bad. The  reviews online had been awful but perhaps they’d been hasty. The doors were bright blue and no place with bright blue doors could be that bad. I heaved my suitcase over the step. At the train station, a frat boy had tried to help me […]

City Habitats

by 03/08/2010
Neighborhood: Lower East Side

My partner and I found an apartment with one bedroom—one more bedroom than either of us had in our old places. The new residence did not, however, have a bathtub. The bathroom—an extension of a hallway that also served as the kitchen—was too small for a tub. The space left for a tub measured about […]

Naked and Never Hungry: How I Come to Know This City

by 07/27/2008
Neighborhood: Lower East Side

I don’t know what I’m doing here. It is a Thursday night and I am in a tiny Lower East Side theater at a dress rehearsal for the play I’m in where I am going to take all my clothes off. Now, generally, I don’t act and do not, by any means, take all my […]


by 05/12/2008
Neighborhood: Lower East Side

On Saturday night I walked from my apartment on the Lower East Side over to Housing Works in SoHo. It was a little after 8:00 at night and my intention was to spend a few pleasant hours drinking coffee and reading Grapes of Wrath. It was also a way to give my wife some time […]

The Tombstone Read L.E.S.

by 05/11/2008
Neighborhood: Lower East Side

Recently, driving with my grandmother to meet family for dinner at a French restaurant on Lafayette, mouth watering in anticipation of filet mignon, I bemoaned the fate of the once urban wasteland, now over developed, over exposed Lower East Side we had both grown up in. As I ranted she nodded, indifferent to the hipsters […]

Daydreaming on the Q

by 04/11/2008
Neighborhood: Lower East Side

On the train on the way home, I scan the occupants of the car, playing Wildly Inappropriate Matchmaker, my favorite daydream. For the purposes of this exercise, I settle on a tall woman with black hair tied back tight, librarian glasses slipping down her nose as she reads a copy of Finnegans Wake. I want […]

Small Claims is a War of Attrition

by 04/06/2008
Neighborhood: Lower East Side

It is a cool, dry August evening and I am in a windowless room at 111 Centre Street. I leave New York, the city of my birth, in less than a week. Yet, through a series of escalating events, I choose to be here, stubbornly clinging to the dream of winning back a minor sum […]

Hip Hop Subway Series

by 06/09/2007
Neighborhood: Lower East Side

On May 20th, while most of the city was watching the Yankees and Mets slug it out for “Best Team in New York Baseball” bragging rights, just beneath their feet, a different sort of battle was being contested inside the Brooklyn-bound J train. The whole car, even when stationary with its doors open onto a […]

Raw Like Sauerkraut in the Market at Leinfelden-Echterdingen

by 12/31/2006
Neighborhood: Lower East Side

Today it hit. I woke up with the usual thought—coffee. Despite the heat that caked my mouth like cracked paint, my craving kicked in immediately. I rolled out of bed and as I walked toward the kitchen it suddenly hit. My heart was broken. The heartbreak had been triggered the week before but the realization, […]