You are currently browsing the stories about the Upper West Side neighborhood

Men Who Buy Me Drinks at Bars

by 05/18/2024
Neighborhood: East Village, Greenpoint, Upper West Side

ROUND ONE: JAY Walking out of the crowd, my ears are still ringing. It’s late. I’m more than tipsy, but I haven’t felt tired in hours. I bounce down the stairs that lead from the East Village dance floor and head to the bar. There, I shift my weight around on the balls of my […]

A Blood Sport

by 12/24/2023
Neighborhood: Upper West Side

There is a saying in New York City that you can either have a job or keep a car on the street. Garages in my neighborhood cost upwards of $700 a month, and street parking is free, sort of. I do not have a job, other than walking my two dachshunds, Henry Longfellow and Hanna, […]

Do You Have My Pants?

by 04/08/2023
Neighborhood: Upper West Side

Every now and then, someone in my apartment building posts a sign on the bulletin board next to the lobby elevators—often about something that was lost, or possibly taken by mistake, from either the laundry room or the lobby. Usually these notes are simple, straight-forward requests. A typical sign might read: “Lost in laundry room—pair […]

Chester to the Rescue

by 04/01/2023
Neighborhood: Upper West Side

Back then, I lived alone in a terrible apartment on the Upper West Side. I was twenty-six. After five years of shitty roommates, I’d decided to suck up the cost and make a go of it. The rent was $467 a month. This was actual money in 1985, which might be why I still remember […]

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 […]

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, […]

Playing It Out

by 06/26/2022
Neighborhood: Morningside Heights, Upper West Side

Everything got worse in New York except my jump shot. Though I looked the part —  white, six foot and fair featured, like some towhead from the Midwest — shooting was not my ticket on the court. In the small school league in Washington where I had starred, I got my points going to the […]

Broken Glass

by 02/13/2022
Neighborhood: Upper West Side

Last January, days before I was due to return to New Orleans from New York, a fire broke out in my parents’ apartment building on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. I had come to the city in the midst of the pandemic to repopulate my life, albeit temporarily: the first week belonged to my […]

Shoveling Snow

by 01/30/2022
Neighborhood: Upper West Side

Out early yesterday morning after the big snowfall. The streets are being cleared. God, it’s been years since I did any of that. Now I have no car to dig out, no store to clear the street for; nothing special to worry about (save for not slipping on the ice and cracking my old bones).  […]

Doing My Homework at Plato’s Retreat

by 03/23/2021
Neighborhood: Upper West Side

It’s the swinging 70’s. Everyone I know has tons of sexual partners. I am 28 and only lost my virginity two years ago to a farm boy I met at The Guthrie Theater. The romance continues for a while when I get back to New York, but then, he writes me a Dear John letter. […]

Am I Still A New Yorker

by 09/23/2020
Neighborhood: Upper West Side

One morning not long ago, from a bedroom in suburban Maryland, I called the Upper West Side. I sat, hunched down, knees up, on the area rug at the foot of the bed. I like being on the floor when I make calls that make me nervous. The phone rang, and I felt not only […]