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Silver Sands

by 12/08/2023
Neighborhood: Long Island

In the summers we would go to a cottage on the North Fork of Long Island, near Greenport. We rented the same one each year. It’s a great spot that my wife heard about from, well, I don’t remember where. She is always hearing about things, discovering ways for us to get away, do things, […]

Minefields on Memory Lane: Paris vs. New York

by 10/14/2023
Neighborhood: Paris

Chestnuts bloom in Paris Memory undoes me. I am wistfully envious of folks whose past unfurls behind them with focus and drama, like a highway seen from the back of a childhood station wagon, or a vast Midwestern plain viewed from an airplane window above. The clarity of their vision, its narrative continuity and expanse, seem […]

Happy Faces

by 11/12/2022
Neighborhood: Long Island, Syossset

I don’t get paid enough for this shit, I whisper, looking at my frightening reflection through the tiny knit film of my costume. Let’s just say I would not have picked this outfit: blue overalls, a singular metal goggle, black gloves, and boots stark against my yellow frame. Allegedly, I am Stuart, a Minion and […]

The Price of Inclusion

by 10/01/2022
Neighborhood: Chelsea, Fire Island, Greenpoint, Meatpacking District

I didn’t get invited to go to Fire Island this year, which makes me feel like a gay pariah. I’m painfully aware of this after watching the movie, Fire Island. I loved it, but it reinforced my feeling that I lacked a queer community, and notably, one with a summer share in the Pines. My […]

The White Cadillac and Erasable Tattoos

by 06/19/2022
Neighborhood: Babylon, Williamsburg

Red leather and chrome trap my eyes. I could be in the kitchen washing dishes or helping my mom cook dinner. Maybe walking home from my best friend Lynda’s house or reading a book in the backyard. When I think about the white Cadillac, I feel happy. When the Cadillac is parked in the driveway […]

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 […]