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Shoe Glue

by 04/15/2010
Neighborhood: Upper East Side

The dark interior smells of leather, glue and shoe polish. It looks as if Jim’s Shoe Repair hasn’t had a fresh coat of paint since it opened. In 1932 when Vito “Jim” Rocco walked across the threshold of his shop on East 59th Street between Park and Madison Avenues in Manhattan, it was one of […]

To Hell and Back: My Trip to IKEA in Red Hook

by 01/23/2010
Neighborhood: Park Slope, Red Hook

I’ve lived in my apartment in Park Slope for about seven months now, yet somehow I’ve entirely neglected getting curtains for the windows in the living room. It never really occurs to me that this is a problem unless I’m home during the afternoon on a sunny day. At night, I like the uncovered windows […]

Before Oprah

by 08/19/2008
Neighborhood: Midtown

Back in the days when bookselling was uninfected by the dubious influence of Oprah’s Book Club, I was employed at the historic Midtown Book Retailers, a New York City landmark. The bookshop was housed in a now bulldozed brownstone buffeted by crags of diamond mines, popularly known as West 47th St. Manhattan, ground zero of […]