You are currently browsing the stories about the Astoria neighborhood


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 […]

The King of New York

by 03/05/2017
Neighborhood: Astoria, Queens

I. From a distance the crown almost looks like solid gold. But as I walk farther up 30th Avenue in Astoria, I can tell there is something not quite right about it. It is glinting, sure, but I realize the crown is made of curled paper. It’s from Burger King. I am now only a […]

Piano Piece

by 01/28/2015
Neighborhood: Astoria

A vintage piano stood alone on a deserted city street. Moments earlier, the piano had been saved from oblivion by a man named Oscar, who had stepped out of his apartment just as the workers of the New York City Sanitation Department had been struggling to lift the piano into the whining maw of their […]

My Neighbor Cries a Chain Link Fence

by 12/31/2013
Neighborhood: Astoria

To the young beautiful woman with tears in her eyes who lives above me: now I know why you run in the apartment for hours backandforth backandforth. I know why you don’t talk in the hallway. I know because the building is old and my ceiling is thin. I heard the furniture thunder last night […]

From Ditmars Blvd. (the Last Stop)

by 02/03/2013
Neighborhood: Astoria

N train I’ve given you all and now I’m nothing. N train, two dollars and twenty-five cents. N train; go fuck yourself with your Sunday Schedule. N train you are making me lose my mind. You will never be angelic N train, 40 minutes to Queensboro Plaza! N train you are full of excuses. We […]

Everyone’s Glass Onion

by 11/26/2009
Neighborhood: Astoria, Queens

There is something unsettling about having a therapy session at the home of your therapist. It is on par with a Halloween night of childhood trick or treating and having to step through the threshold of a nameless neighbor’s doorway for handful of candy corn or tootsie rolls. Your seven-year-old nose inhales a waft of […]

Supporting Mick Jagger’s Habit

by 03/31/2008
Neighborhood: Astoria, Queens

In the glory days of Steinway Street, there was an establishment called Record Spectacular. A combination record store/head shop, it was located between 30th and 31st Avenues, on the west side of the street…and was a meeting place of sorts for music aficionados, potheads, and other 1970s misfits. I still remember walking wide-eyed into Record […]

Dom’s Wife

by 11/24/2006
Neighborhood: Astoria, Queens

When you live in an apartment building, you never know who the hell is gonna move in next door. I remember being in my late teens when a Greek family moved out two doors down and an older couple took the apartment. The guy’s name was Dom and he fixed televisions for a living. A […]

Power (Outage) to the People

by 07/27/2006
Neighborhood: Astoria, Queens

I slept on my fire escape one night last week but it wasn’t due to martial strife or a daredevil spirit. Rather, the sight of yours truly three flights up sporting boxer shorts and a death grip on the bars came courtesy of Con Edison (with a nod to Mayor Bloomberg). The lights first dimmed […]

Waiting to be Deciphered

by 04/20/2006
Neighborhood: Astoria, Queens

On the way to the laundromat I passed a message chalked out on the sidewalk. In large, neat block letters on a square of pavement it read: “The best part about the night was taking the train home with you.” The note seemed to be directed at the building across the street, but looking up […]

Schooling at 204 Center

by 01/12/2006
Neighborhood: Astoria, Queens

Basketball has always been my favorite sport to play. I guess that came from living in an urban environment and not always having money. If you had anywhere from 2 to 10 guys, all you needed was one ball and at least one basket. It was a little more complicated in the winter. Fortunately, a […]

Seeing Socrates

by 11/10/2005
Neighborhood: Astoria, Queens

Wanting to see the new exhibits at Socrates Sculpture Park, I walked down Broadway from my Astoria apartment. I passed beneath the elevated subway station as an N or W train thundered through. Down past grungy supermarkets and massive discount stores, with their outdoor displays of toilet paper, sandals, fake Persian rugs, and baskets of […]