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Lyrics for Songs that May Never be Written

by 05/17/2020
Neighborhood: East Village, Featured

I started writing these for my dear friend and frequent collaborator, the jazz saxophonist John Ellis. We both live in Village View, a Mitchell-Lama Housing Complex in the East Village, one building over from each other. When COVID hit, I started sending him material – “rough cuts” that we might eventually work on together to […]

In Praise of Rooftops

by 04/19/2020
Neighborhood: East Village

I’m sitting on the roof of a walk-up on East 11th Street, staring into the large glass windows of a penthouse apartment across the street. It’s an early evening in August, the perfect time of night for idling: not late enough to make you worry that you’ve wasted the night, but since the sun’s gone […]

Rootless

by 05/19/2019
Neighborhood: East Village

  Sattley, California. Winter solstice 2016. We’re at my Aunt-in-law’s house, in the High Sierras, in the Egyptian room. Sphinxes, golden fabrics, a Nefertiti head. The rest of the house is faux Victorian, a modest ranch overstuffed with Costco products and kitsch. My wife, my toddler daughter, and I are curled up under an electric […]

Will Probably Be Late to the Party

by 01/21/2014
Neighborhood: East Village

I am apologizing to Michelle because I’m crying and I don’t know why. I’m not sad or anything, I’m actually having a good time. This is one of the first times that Michelle and I are hanging out outside of class, and we don’t know each other well yet. But tears keep running down my […]

Where East Village Meets West

by 01/18/2011
Neighborhood: East Harlem, East Village, West Village

Where East Village Meets West Village I’ve spent the last ten years of my life in the East Village of Manhattan, movin’ on up Avenue B. Quite literally: I first lived at 4th and B, then briefly moved to 6th between B and C, ending up on 13th and B. I lived in a shoebox […]

Number 6 at the White House

by 08/16/2010
Neighborhood: East Village, Lower East Side, Midtown

The front of the White House wasn’t that bad. The  reviews online had been awful but perhaps they’d been hasty. The doors were bright blue and no place with bright blue doors could be that bad. I heaved my suitcase over the step. At the train station, a frat boy had tried to help me […]