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Al Pimsler: A Man’s Men’s Illustrator

by 01/20/2015
Neighborhood: Uncategorized

A dapper anomaly in those still shaggy post-Woodstock years, he walked with purpose and panache to the Saks Fifth Avenue offices where he took up residence at the drawing table. Handsome. Diminutive yet self-assured, debonaire, even–an outdated word, but it suited. With a full head of white hair waving back from a fulcrum of dark […]


by 12/12/2011
Neighborhood: Upper West Side

I bumped into Tim Gunn again the other day. That Tim Gunn, Project Runway guru Tim Gunn. It is Wednesday afternoon, right before Thanksgiving, and I had two seconds to get to the ATM before my son Leo’s ride dropped him off. As I am crossing Broadway, talking on my cell to my mother, I […]

Mayfair Boys Club & Barbershop

by 08/31/2007
Neighborhood: Clinton

If not for the classic red, white and blue rotating stripes on its barber poles, the Mayfair barbershop on 39th Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenues might go unnoticed among its garish neighbors. Fabric stores clutter the view, along with the other big business in the area: Porn. The sex shops and “XXX” theaters easily […]

Here I am in Bergdorf Goodman

by 08/24/2007
Neighborhood: Manhattan

Here I am in Bergdorf Goodman, and not for the first time, holding up the left half of a pair of $900 boots with the kind of delicacy usually reserved for fine antiques and newborn babies. It’s an exercise in frustration, a form of self-inflicted torture: I barely have $900 in the bank, let alone […]

Foreign Tongues and Native Toenails

by 07/02/2007
Neighborhood: Upper West Side

Pretty much every woman in New York City gets her nails done and why not? There are at least six or seven per two-block radius, give or take. It’s a cheap and standard luxury here, courtesy of lots of supply, lots of demand. For those who tote their bright all-smiles and pleasant politeness, it’s the […]

Trying on Murray Hill Girl

by 06/09/2007
Neighborhood: Murray Hill

One Halloween, I decided to wear something different than my usual orange shirt from the 1989 Westchester Girl Scouts Jamboree. On the evening of disguises, I tried on a very local one. I dressed as a stereotypical “Murray Hill” Girl, a costume that required an explanation and a bibliography. The costume evoked a particular New […]

The Naked New Year’s Eve Bartender

by 12/31/2006
Neighborhood: Tribeca

The job sounded perfect: bartending a gay sex party in a private loft in Tribeca. If I had to be stuck in New York for New Year’s Eve – a very depressing thought after having spent four New Year’s Eves in Cape Town – then I might as well work, earn some money, and just […]

My Technicolor Dreamcoat

by 12/31/2006
Neighborhood: SoHo

When you buy a secondhand coat, you never really know what you’re getting into. The lining was a little ripped but something about this vintage coat spoke to me, though I couldn’t tell you what. This coat, with its uncelebrated designer, I found at Legacy on Thompson Street in SoHo. It is fitted on top, […]

Cold Storage

by 11/16/2006
Neighborhood: Chelsea

I’ve always preferred to do things the hard way, without anybody’s help. For the first five years my husband and I lived in New York, half our things were in storage. The other half were crammed into a 280-square foot apartment on the fifth floor of a tenement building overlooking the Queens-Midtown Tunnel. The place […]

A Blue Day in Tight Skin

by 10/01/2006
Neighborhood: Midtown

Day talked about those skintight hologram jeans for weeks. It was 1978, and they’d look nice for shooting heroin in the basement lavatory at CBGB, especially in the snazzy lilac color with the lime iridescent overlay, and they’d look nice later–complementary–when she turned blue outside on the sidewalk. The jeans cost $65.00, a considerable sum […]

Gallagher’s: A Brief History Of Now

by Thomas Beller 08/04/2000
Neighborhood: East Village

There are few retail establishments in New York that try as hard not to be noticed as Gallagher’s Magazine Archive and Gallery at 126 East 12th Street. A sign the size of a Post-it announces the store’s presence and directs one down a flight of stairs to the basement entrance. Stepping inside reveals a dim […]