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

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 […]

Nothing is Certain: Death and Bagels

by 08/09/2020
Neighborhood: Upper West Side

My very first marriage proposal came from the guy behind the counter at H&H Bagels on 80th and Broadway. I was around twelve and realize now he was most likely just looking for a tip or playing with the shy girl who was only recently allowed to go out from her school to buy her […]

Betta Fish Blues

by 04/26/2020
Neighborhood: Upper West Side

“Can you help me?” I said this to the young woman who was opening boxes in front of the aisle of fish tank decorations. “Sure,” said the woman. She pulled herself up from her squat by pushing off the edge of the box. “What can I help you with?” “I’d like to see your goldfish,” […]

There Really Was a Mafia on the Upper West Side

by 11/03/2019
Neighborhood: Upper West Side

In the early 1960s, as a recently married City College professor the closest I’d come to the Mafia was in movies and newspaper articles. Back then, New York City was rocked by Mafia scandals as investigations revealed that the police and other municipal unions were cooperating with mobsters in numbers rackets, loan sharking, business shakedowns, […]

The Tax Man

by 03/31/2019
Neighborhood: Bowery, Upper West Side

  It was tax time, April 1989, the cold and merciless spring a further insult to what had been a turbulent year for me. I’d been struggling with sobriety and was trying to bounce back from a failed romance. Some days, I felt like I walked through the world with my skin turned inside out, […]

The Therapist Who Was Always Late

by 09/24/2018
Neighborhood: Bronx, Chelsea, Co-op City, Upper West Side, Washington Heights

As a young man in my mid-twenties in the late ‘70s, I was in a precarious state. I had just failed miserably at an attempt to work at a job on the west coast and was back with my parents in Co-op City. I was on the list for a civil service job at the […]

Letter from Charlotte: Moms in Big Cars

by 05/31/2018
Neighborhood: Upper West Side

I am connected on Facebook to a fairly prominent writer whose Facebook page often feels like a Manhattan dinner party, full of witty, passionate discussions about art and politics among his many friends. I have never met him so I don’t usually join in but I like to watch. From his posts, I have learned […]

Easier Than it Looks

by 03/03/2016
Neighborhood: Upper West Side

Waiting at the bus stop, I found myself next to a tall, nice-looking young man with a red-tipped, white, aluminum cane. Since it was none of my goddamn business, I asked him, “You get around the city completely blind, or do you have some vision?” “Completely blind!” he said cheerfully. So cheerfully, I got the […]

My Damn Love Affair

by 01/18/2016
Neighborhood: All Over, Uncategorized, Upper West Side

The New York of the 80’s was not a town that met you halfway. It stopped well short of that, just looking right through you. It really didn’t give a damn what happened to you, daring you to ride the subway late at night and then picking your pocket and laughing about it afterwards. It […]