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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 […]

Monkey Bars For a Jail

by 11/03/2005
Neighborhood: Astoria, Queens

Whenever I took my second grade special education class to the playground, they’d make a mad dash for the swings. Though, the winners would seldom swing. They would spin in circles by twisting the chains. I’d warn them about becoming dizzy, but dizziness gave them an excuse after their turn was over to stumble into […]

Must Love Brooklyn

by 11/01/2005
Neighborhood: Astoria, Queens

Before I met my husband my one true love was Brooklyn. I’d been living in Carroll Gardens for almost ten years and had watched it turn from a neighborhood I didn’t want to live in (un-cool) to a neighborhood I adored (pretty cool) to a neighborhood I sort of didn’t want to live in (so […]

Pete’s Gun

by 02/27/2005
Neighborhood: Astoria, Queens

Even though I’ve trained myself in hand-to-hand combat, I’ve never been eager to fight and I always surprise myself if I do something brave in that area. One of my proudest moments came when I was about 18. My friend Angelo was dating a girl Gina who had been seeing this other guy from another […]

Confessions of an Accidental Voyeur

by 05/26/2004
Neighborhood: Astoria, Queens

I was sitting in the front seat of Frank’s Cadillac Seville when he pulled out of a parking space and whipped into a u-turn without looking. We both saw the approaching headlights too late…and yeah, we got hit. In those pre-seat belt law days, my left hand reached out to the glove compartment to brace […]

Loveseats & Sex Crimes

by 02/18/2004
Neighborhood: Astoria, Queens

“Let’s see. A sexual assault … in the third degree,” Officer D. of the 114th Precinct in Queens said as he looked down at the paper in front of him, searched for, found and marked the two correct boxes. “Sorry this is taking so long,” he said, glancing up at me with a friendly smile. […]

A Small Price to Pay

by 02/12/2003
Neighborhood: Astoria, Queens

It was a big mistake inviting her, a big mistake. She wasn’t worth all the fuss I’d made. I hadn’t seen her in a year and time is rarely kind; she was only twenty- eight but it seemed she’d already been launched into her prime and was now backsliding into the uncomfortable stages of bad […]

Subway Studies

by 12/28/2002
Neighborhood: Astoria, Multiple

Today, I walk the stairs up to the elevated platform, ready to join 3.5 million of my closest friends on the subway. Just a few days before a possible transit workers strike was to have happened. Being unable to get into Manhattan would have hurt my wallet but, I remind myself, there are bigger issues […]

The Celtic Supporter’s Club

by 10/13/2002
Neighborhood: Astoria, Queens

I was born in Brooklyn and to my understanding it was a fait accompli that I would be a Mets fan. I was taught that all Brooklyn residents had been Dodgers fans and four years after the Dodgers sold their souls and moved to Los Angeles we became New York Mets fans. As a child […]

by 10/04/2001
Neighborhood: Astoria, Queens

Some people around here watched the towers collapse from their rooftops. I didn’t even think to go up to the roof. Like baseball, I preferred it on TV. Hell, I’m an American. When the second tower I fell I took a walk outside with my friend. We both live in Astoria and we both work […]