You are currently browsing the stories about the Lower Manhattan neighborhood

Theft of Service

by 05/02/2009
Neighborhood: Lower Manhattan

It was the third week of what was to become my first real job, at Irving Plaza, the club in Union Square. I was working three days a week after school, doing odd jobs around the venue. Basically whatever tedious tasks they needed me to do. I was a junior that year, and took the […]

My First (And Only) Paid Appearance as a Violin Soloist

by 08/25/2008
Neighborhood: Lower Manhattan

Most violin students must diligently practice on their instruments many hours a day, for many years, before even thinking of turning professional. Some may give it up long before they become proficient. And even should they pursue their musical studies, and become skilled at playing the violin, there are only a limited number of professional […]

Redemption Birthday

by 03/31/2008
Neighborhood: Lower Manhattan

My dad was the Ralph Kramden of St. Peters Avenue. He always had some plot, some scheme to try to make extra money. The first I remember, he played the number. No, not “Lotto,” but the real, old-school number “played” to scary old men in the back rooms of candy stores that sold wormy Chunky […]

Coffee, and This and That

by 02/03/2008
Neighborhood: Lower Manhattan

“I don’t know their names, but I know them by voice,” said Galo Cardenas, proprietor of GC Snax, located on the ground floor of the New York Supreme Court building at 60 Centre Street. And if Mr. Cardenas looks at his customers askance, it’s because sideways is the only way he can see them — […]

A Subway Grope

by 01/13/2008
Neighborhood: Lower Manhattan

Having grown up in the City my entire life, I should have had my guard on and my extra sixth sense alert for the criminally suspicious. But I had just come off an awkward date, and I was still reflecting on its minute details, and otherwise pondering the futility of finding love in this hard-worn […]

Fish Guts & Glory

by 10/13/2005
Neighborhood: Lower Manhattan

If all goes according to plan, in three weeks I will run the New York Marathon. For most people, training for a marathon is empowering. It gives them a feeling of accomplishment and a sense of self-worth. For me, it has been one lesson after another in humility. At five am one morning this past […]

Arbor Day for Rudy

by 05/17/2004
Neighborhood: Lower Manhattan

I really did try all the conventional methods. Really. I wrote imploring letters to the Office of the Mayor, I called my City Council members’ secretary at all hours, I testified at public hearings before assorted half-awake bureaucrats. Nothing and again nothing. It would have been less frustrating to tell it all to the guy […]

Captain Z. and the Blackout

by 10/22/2003
Neighborhood: Lower Manhattan, Multiple

The air on the fourteenth floor of 1 Police Plaza is a little thick, and Captain Z. wheezes. “You’re wheezing,” I say. “I am not,” he says, and pulls out his asthma inhaler, shakes it, and takes a puff. His lung sounds immediately clear. It’s 4:30 on Thursday, August 14, exactly nineteen minutes after the […]

Roller Skating on Pearl Street, circa 1940

by 07/11/2002
Neighborhood: Lower Manhattan

There were no rollerblades in those days. We wore our roller skates on our shoes. The skates had straps that buckled across the instep — clamps, also referred to as “clams,” that we tightened with the all-important skate key we wore on a string around our necks. The wheels themselves were ball bearings; in fact, […]

The Numbers

by 03/11/2002
Neighborhood: Lower Manhattan, World Trade Center

This Tuesday is September 11th. Mr. Beller’s Neighborhood was started in the year 2000, and we have published many  stories about what happened in New York on 9/11/2001 and the months that followed. We are featuring one of those stories this week. This story was first published March 11, 2002. (JM)   Here was a morning like […]

Elevator Logic

by 01/29/2001
Neighborhood: Lower Manhattan

The brass-plated elevator door opens, revealing it’s operator, a man named Kenny Coleman. A horde of cops, assistant district attorneys, and clerical workers bustle inside as if they’re heading to a sale at Macy’s rather than for work at the state court building at 80 Centre St. In his mid-40s, thin-faced and short, and wearing […]