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Passing Paper

by 09/09/2012
Neighborhood: West Village

Back in the late 80s, my friend worked as a narcotic detective for the NYPD. The 27 year-old Brooklyn native belonged to an elite squad, trained to raid crack houses and dealers’ apartments in the Red Hook Houses, Brooklyn’s biggest housing project. His job was simple, but dangerous. Once their battering ram smashed down the […]

The Green Sweater

by 08/20/2012
Neighborhood: Midtown

It’s 5 AM and I am awake, too sharply awake, so sharply that reality is obscured. Chills crawl like ants on my skin, and I search in the dark for my green sweater. I have been wearing this sweater all summer. The sweater goes on and then is pulled off, repeatedly, each day, in my […]

Faces

by 08/03/2012
Neighborhood: Washington Heights

I shift from foot to foot as I wait in line to see the Mona Lisa. The line snakes around the corridor of the second floor of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. My mother and Aunt Regina insist that we must see this wonderful painting. Helen holds my hand and tells me that Leonardo da […]

The Owner Likes It Loud

by 06/19/2012
Neighborhood: Upper East Side

In the mid ‘70s I, a lifelong New Yorker, eagerly departed the crazy hustle and bustle of New York City when I landed a job in Birmingham, Alabama. I didn’t expect to miss New York or anything about it. But a few weeks after I moved to Birmingham, suddenly and unexpectedly I began craving almost […]

An Upper West Side Tragedy Set To Music

by 05/18/2012
Neighborhood: Upper West Side

He always said, “Hello, I’m so glad to see you? How are you?” even when he no longer knew our names. Starting in the last year, he didn’t care about answers. He cherished his long career as an impresario in the world of music, selecting and programming concerts for major institutions in New York City. […]

I Would Have Wasted Those Thirty Dollars

by 04/06/2012
Neighborhood: Bedford-Stuyvesant

There is a siren screaming past outside my apartment but it has nothing to do with me. My roommate is in his room and I wonder what he is doing. I want him to come out so I can ask him what he is doing. But if he did come out I wouldn’t be able […]

From Howard Beach To An Ashram; A Mafia Journey

by 04/06/2012
Neighborhood: Howard's Beach

All names in this story have been changed. It is not every day that one visits an Ashram for yoga and encounters a “retired” Mafia soldier, adrift there because of illness and poverty. From my end, I envisioned a documentary film covering his faded world; however, for his own security – though the events occurred […]

Queen of the Plaza

by 03/17/2012
Neighborhood: Midtown

St. Patrick’s Day promised to be another disaster for the Retail Collection of the Plaza Hotel. Hordes of green-clad spectators streamed down the escalator into the basement. Their eyes averted the luxury goods on offer, as their destination was the hotel’s public bathroom. Within the first hour I had given directions to the toilet over […]

Can’t Say No

by 01/24/2012
Neighborhood: Cobble Hill

You didn’t say no. You never said no. You wouldn’t even think of saying no. So, when he arrived at the door of my tenement apartment at 1AM, unexpected, unannounced, I didn’t say no. I let him in, against all my instincts. “Hi. I was at the community center. We just finished working. We were […]

The Clerk, the Librarian, the Hobbit and the Cop

by 01/08/2012
Neighborhood: Zuccotti Park

“This,” I realized, “I’ve got to see.”   In and out of grass-roots politics my entire adult life, I’ve marched, demonstrated, phone-banked, written letters and e-mails, signed petitions, sold buttons, attended meetings, gone on the radio, made documentaries, and helped with organizational duties. Early this October, I had joined in one Occupy demonstration in Washington […]

Looking For Lady Gaga

by 01/04/2012
Neighborhood: Midtown

A Barney’s window display of Lady Gaga’s work has legendary multi-media performance artist Colette’s notorious creations written all over it. Colette, whose seminal performance art and multi-media installations originated out of New York City’s vibrant art scene in the 1970’s has traveled to museums and galleries all over the world; including the Guggenheim; MOMA; and […]

The Singing of God Bless America By A Woman Condemned To Death

by 02/14/2011
Neighborhood: Lower Manhattan

Throughout the 1950s Stan Novick was locked up at least four times in “The Tombs,” Manhattan’s now-closed city jail and holding cell on White Street. Pictures from that time show “The Tombs,” now torn down, as a Dickensian sort of place with looming towers and small windows. Photos of Stan Novick at that time show […]