You are currently browsing the stories about the West Village neighborhood

Passing Paper

by 09/09/2012
Neighborhood: West Village

Back in the late 80s, my friend worked as a narcotic detective for the NYPD. The 27 year-old Brooklyn native belonged to an elite squad, trained to raid crack houses and dealers’ apartments in the Red Hook Houses, Brooklyn’s biggest housing project. His job was simple, but dangerous. Once their battering ram smashed down the […]

Cross Streets

by 08/28/2012
Neighborhood: Upper East Side, West Village

I was running late for a new faculty meeting at NYU. “411 Lafayette,” I said, jumping into a cab. The driver looked at me in the mirror with squinting, my-English-is-not-great eyes. “411 LA-FAY-ETTE,” I said, raising my voice, hoping to hurry us along. I checked the time: If traffic was very light I might—might—make it […]

Facing The Day

by 06/25/2012
Neighborhood: All Over, Chelsea, Gramercy Park, West Village

On the first Wednesday of every month for the past year, my walk east from Fourteenth Street and Seventh Avenue where I teach, to the corner of Eighteenth Street and First Avenue took about twenty minutes. There are intriguing neighborhood changes along the way but I was usually lost in thought. I would arrive at […]

The Gift of Tongues

by 05/25/2012
Neighborhood: West Village

It’s 1979 and the grown-ups are out of control. They are getting divorced and either going to law school or Studio 54. They are in therapy; they are smoking pot, taking lovers, coming out and finding themselves. My parents are married, but my mother buys Donna Summer’s Bad Girls and uses my Stagelight blue roses nail […]

Growing Up Beastly

by 05/17/2012
Neighborhood: All Over, Letter From Abroad, West Village

In 1986 I became an international pop music recording sensation. I don’t mean that at the age of 15 I admired and tried to emulate Ad-Rock, a squeaky, strutting third of the fresh hip-hop phenomenon the Beastie Boys—I mean I was Ad-Rock. His band mates—Mike D and MCA—were my homeboys. Sure, there had previously been […]

To The Basketball Playing Men and Women of Letters

by 03/14/2012
Neighborhood: All Over, Brooklyn, Brooklyn Heights, Caroll Gardens, Carroll Gardens, Manhattan, Upper West Side, West Village

I recently read a fanciful article in which a literary East/West  all-star basketball game is imagined and scouted. Dave Eggers and Stephen Elliott are the starting back court for the West. Ben Marcus is cast as the starting center for the East not on the grounds of basketball skill but because, according to the writer, […]

Gratuity

by 12/30/2011
Neighborhood: West Village

Everyone thinks the French are so cute. But I’m a waitress, so I know better. I deal with plenty of tourists. I don’t mind them while they’re at the restaurant and I do my best to decipher their accents and answer their questions—though I do draw a blank when they ask me where all the […]

Staying

by 09/13/2011
Neighborhood: West Village, World Trade Center

I’d just spent a month back in Kentucky, trying it on like an old outfit to see if it still fit. I was unemployed, unattached, poor, frustrated, and I wanted to make sure living in the most complicated, and challenging, city in the world was still worth it. I contemplated this as the plane bisected […]

Manhattan Eyeline

by 09/11/2011
Neighborhood: Uncategorized, West Village

September 10th, 2001. 6:30 PM. The corner of 11th Street and Fifth Avenue. The weather is glorious. The air is crisp. The sky, tranquil. I am walking downtown en route to a trendy West Village bistro. As I approach the corner of East 10th Street I come to an abrupt stop … “I never realized […]

A Requiem for Secondhand Books

by 07/01/2011
Neighborhood: Greenwich Village, West Village

She: I want to buy you a good book for your birthday. He: What would I do with a book? Buy me a new body! —Conversation overheard between a man and a woman. When I think of second-hand books, I think quite literally of anonymous fingers reaching out to me from beyond the grave. I […]

1981

by 02/14/2011
Neighborhood: East Village, West Village

Everyone on the scene thought operating an after-hours club on top of a 14th Street theater was a good idea and Arthur Weinstein opened the Jefferson on New Year’s Eve 1980. During the week the loft was home to Arthur, his wife, daughter, and best friend, Scottie. On the weekend hundreds of revelers unwilling to […]

Sympathies of the Mad and Lonely

by 01/30/2011
Neighborhood: All Over, West Village

An overweight middle-aged woman got on the F train somewhere in Midtown, and took the seat facing mine. She was wearing dirty clothes and was carrying two battered plastic bags, a combination that—two weeks in New York had already taught me—was not a good one. She immediately took a pack of Twinkies out of one […]