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Joanie and Luddy in Greenwich Village, 1967

by 05/23/2021
Neighborhood: Greenwich Village, Massapequa

Joanie finished bending over the ironing board, her freshly-washed hair nice and flat. She pulled the plug out of the socket, wrapped up the cord, and looked in the mirror and smiled. Her own natural curls would be given free rein in a few years, but right now she wanted to match the long, straight […]

Kaddish in the Time of Covid

by 05/16/2021
Neighborhood: Berkshires, Midtown

What is it about anniversaries? Is it that the earth is again in the same place relative to the sun, and that we are occupying the same spot in the cosmos? You were here, but differently. Something has changed from when you were at this position before: you got married; planes hit the twin towers; […]

L.A. Lawless

by 05/02/2021
Neighborhood: Los Angeles

It’s the summer of 1978. I drive from New York to Los Angeles to try to make it big as an actor. I camp out at my friend Karen’s one-room apartment near Paramount Studio for a few days Then her married boyfriend shows up. So I move on to several Hollywood flophouses before finding a […]

Foster Home at Five

by 02/21/2021
Neighborhood: Poughkeepsie

I was only five, but I knew my mom and dad were in court that day fighting over custody rights. The rainy gray outside—plus the turmoil of yelling and crying, nighttime stirrings, and mornings waking up in different rooms or houses or cars, and not understanding what was going on or where exactly was home—had […]

Philadelphia Story: Four Seasons Total Landscaping

by 11/11/2020
Neighborhood: Philadephia

It’s the morning after the election, and the results are unexpectedly close. It seems like vote counting will be going on for a few days. I speak with the Bureau Chief for the Japanese newspaper where I work. We decide to go to Philadelphia to report the counting there. I stick my computer in my […]

THE SUPREMES and Me

by 09/19/2020
Neighborhood: Bronx, Brooklyn, Washington DC

Ordinarily, I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about the Supreme Court. I practiced law for forty years, reluctantly. But the news of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death tonight has me very agitated.  Ruth was a tough old bird, a borough girl. Like her sisters on the Court, Sonia and Elena. All three are borough […]

Sick at Work at Amazon

by 06/21/2020
Neighborhood: New Jersey, Robbinsville

I work at the Amazon warehouse in Robbinsville, New Jersey, about an hour south of New York City. The sickest I’ve ever been was my first winter there. I’d applied earlier that year, in the fall of 2018, because the four-day workweek was appealing, and the wage was better than the temp construction work I […]

Ryder at the Beach

by 05/03/2020
Neighborhood: Long Island, Massapequa

My 10 year-old son, Ryder has autism. Ryder is the sweetest boy ever, but he still surprises me and catches me off guard with things, mischievous things.  Ryder’s always been very physical and that helps him, and hurts me, when he’s carrying out the crazy and creative (in retrospect) and impulsive thoughts that come to […]

Roommates

by 10/19/2019
Neighborhood: Astoria, Corona, Crown Heights, Ground Zero, Harlem, Hell's Kitchen

I’ve spent time in over 20 countries and at least 40 US states. In my travels, many people have told me that though New York City might be a nice place to visit, it’s certainly not a place for a person to live. But thank God there is a New York.  One of the best […]

A Sports Coat is Worth a Thousand Words

by 08/18/2019
Neighborhood: Brooklyn, Jamaica, Long Island

My dad reached inside the closet for his new jacket, single breasted, two button, and straight off the rack. It was pencil gray with flecks of black in it and may have had those professorial looking patches on the sleeves, but I’m not sure. He didn’t care much about clothes and the jacket was nothing […]

From New York to New Orleans

by 07/21/2019
Neighborhood: Manhattan, New Orleans

Wandering Two Cities, a Youthful Diary   Edward Hopper once said that he identified all the places he’d known according to their architecture.  I used to be the same way.  I noticed people as backdrops to overblown dramas in light and shade.  I looked past them toward ogee roof and filigreed transom; I marveled at […]

Happy Father’s Day

by 06/15/2019
Neighborhood: Bronx, New Jersey

The phone call came on a steamy summer morning, while I was stuck in traffic on the Central Park transverse, the Met’s Temple of Dendur off to my right. A nurse from my father’s hospital equivocated her way through the call. He had been in failing health. “Where are you now?” she finally asked, with […]