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Epiphany at the Metropolitan Museum

by 05/29/2022
Neighborhood: Upper East Side

At the start of the third year of the pandemic, I stood in front of a small flat screen in a corner of a darkened gallery at the Metropolitan Museum with the strangest feeling: I was happy. I had relaxed completely, every part of me—muscles, sinews, organs, bones, if that’s possible. And even stranger, I […]

School Lunch Is Killing Me 

by 04/10/2022
Neighborhood: Upper East Side

“Lefty, what did you do with the hard boiled egg?” I worked the words out of the side of my mouth. I was Jimmy Cagney in “White Heat” and I wanted to take this place apart.  “It’s in my pocket, and what’s with the Lefty crap?” John said. “Lefty, we’ll know more in a few […]

Blackout at Umberto’s Clam House

by 12/19/2021
Neighborhood: Little Italy, Upper East Side

On April 7, 1972, New York mobster, Joey Gallo, was murdered while having a celebratory late night dinner at Umberto’s Clam House in Little Italy. It was his birthday. On July 13, 1977, three friends and myself made the trek from the Upper East Side down to Umberto’s. We all craved what was widely known […]

The Shtetl Next Door

by 09/26/2021
Neighborhood: Upper East Side

On the first of the month, I visit Benjamin Benowitz. Ben lives three blocks north and three avenues east from the apartment I rent.  The lobby of Ben’s’s building reads like the lobbies I have seen in movies about New York old money; all ostentation with marble and central air.  The walls in my own […]

Writing Classes

by 08/22/2021
Neighborhood: Upper East Side, West Village

There are 1700 writers per square foot in New York City. I will be one of them. It’s going to be easy. First, I need to learn about the craft of writing. I peruse various catalogs and websites for classes. Nothing jumps out at me until I notice a class called “How To Write Funny.” […]

Reading at Trump Tower

by 05/09/2021
Neighborhood: Upper East Side

Part I. Project Runway She sauntered by at noon, shopping bags swinging from both arms, striding toward the infamous golden escalators. She was attractive with a flowing mane and long gait. Mostly, I noticed the grey raincoat she was wearing; it was a bright, summer day outside. Then she got swallowed up in the atrium’s […]

Next Stop the Twilight Zone

by 02/28/2021
Neighborhood: Subway, Upper East Side

One afternoon this summer I was on the subway. All was normal. Well, except that we are in a pandemic, which makes venturing down into NYC’s netherworld — one with poor ventilation and tons of non-mask wearers – feel like I am putting my life in my overly sanitized hands. It all seemed surreal. The […]

Dog Day Afternoons

by 12/13/2020
Neighborhood: Flatiron District, Gramercy Park, Manhattan, Upper East Side

Pablo’s father was a handsome, French pianist in his forties. His apartment was immaculate and minimalistic. He was usually absent when I came to retrieve Pablo for his 90-minute walk, but sometimes I would turn my key in the lock and hear him playing the grand piano in the living room. It sounded beautiful, but […]

Stalking Woody Allen at the Carlyle Hotel

by 10/18/2020
Neighborhood: Upper East Side

It’s silly really. It’s just this picture I took on the stairs outside my apartment building five years ago of a black Remington typewriter with a blazer and skirt below it, like a body. And coming out of the typewriter was a headshot of Woody Allen. Five o’clock. I was putting on my stockings. The […]

Dinner with Dad

by 05/31/2020
Neighborhood: Upper East Side, West Village

“Hi Jim, it’s Dad, just touching base to see how everything is going and how you’re feeling and how everyone is today. Looks like the first day of spring, the weather is horrible, I’m sure you agree. Give me a ring, let me know how things are going?” My Dad, Bill, spoiled me for fine […]

It Happened at Barneys

by 12/08/2019
Neighborhood: Upper East Side

In honor of the closing of iconic department store, Barneys, shuttering its doors, here is a tale of what happened to me there back in 2004.  *** It was right after Thanksgiving. Christmastime. The streets had a distinct holiday chill to them; they were crowded with tired, overworked shoppers carrying store bags. My boyfriend Chris […]

Instantly, Life Got Better

by 02/19/2014
Neighborhood: Upper East Side

Together, Rory, 7, and I, 9, zoomed up 86th Street to Woolworth’s 5 & 10 for our “start the weekend” ritual: carefully look over all the records in the store’s basement after our pizza dinner on Second Avenue. “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” the Beatles first U.S. single came out the day after Christmas […]