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Christmas Eve

by 12/24/2010
Neighborhood: Windsor Terrace

On Sundays, we had a big roast beef or pot roast or leg of lamb which we ate Monday as leftovers. Tuesday was meat loaf or roast chicken with my Mom’s tasty gravy. Wednesday a lamb or pork chop. Thursday’s was Italian–spaghetti with meat sauce, not bad considering we were dopey Irish. Friday was Mrs. […]

The Egg, Cheese and Tomato

by 11/24/2010
Neighborhood: East Village

They often amuse me, the touchstones that have become the rituals of my life. Jiggling the doorknob to make sure the door is locked. Stacking my self-help books according to dysfunction. Making sure no one is watching when I enter my weight and age into the elliptical training machine at the gym. Checking for ear […]

The Diner

by 04/09/2009
Neighborhood: Brooklyn, Williamsburg

The Diner in Williamsburg is a 21st century institution now, I guess (just celebrated its tenth anniversary)—you can get arugula there! And the rest of their food is good too. It’s pleasant at their sidewalk tables if the weather’s fine, though you have to watch your step if you don’t want to trip over two […]

Fruit Man = Bad Man

by 11/07/2008
Neighborhood: West Village

Yesterday I left for work without having eaten anything all morning. For a person with a normal schedule this would be no problem, but I start work at 12:30 PM and don’t take “lunch” until about 5:00 PM. My office is on Hudson and King Streets and I take the C train to the Spring […]

Sharing Vectors with Jesse Lee

by 03/07/2008
Neighborhood: Chelsea

“Do you know–” “Of any sports bars around here?” I interrupted. The towering man paused, chapped lips parted in a bewildered grin revealing white teeth caulked with white material. “You looking for one too?” “No,” I said, “you asked me that last week.” We stood this December afternoon on 22nd off 6th. Last time, 19th […]

The Check Thieves

by 08/31/2007
Neighborhood: Brooklyn, Carroll Gardens

In my downtown Brooklyn neighborhood were raised a breed of men who are check thieves. A rare breed of men who are slowly becoming extinct. Their turf is Court Street to Smith, Degraw Street to President. These are the sons of the older generation men, who would never let a woman pay for a check. […]


by 07/20/2007
Neighborhood: East Village

When I was a kid, Avenue B was a neighborhood for the working poor. Old guys would sell hot knishes from a portable oven on wheels for a nickel, and in my family, that was considered “eating out.” We didn’t have a phone, or even a radiator, until the city made the landlady put one […]

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 […]

Raw Like Sauerkraut in the Market at Leinfelden-Echterdingen

by 12/31/2006
Neighborhood: Lower East Side

Today it hit. I woke up with the usual thought—coffee. Despite the heat that caked my mouth like cracked paint, my craving kicked in immediately. I rolled out of bed and as I walked toward the kitchen it suddenly hit. My heart was broken. The heartbreak had been triggered the week before but the realization, […]

A Brush With Death: AIRPORT ’75 vs. the Bikers

by 12/31/2006
Neighborhood: Letter From Abroad

I took Bobbi Zymanski to see “Airport ’75” at the Holiday Showcase movie house near the airport in October of that same year. It was our first date and I thought the timeliness of seeing an “Airport” movie near an actual airport in the same year that was in the title would sort of sanctify […]

Lobster Bisque on City Island

by 12/31/2006
Neighborhood: Bronx, East Bronx

Listen to this story: I always stop whenever I see “Lobster Bisque” on the soup menu, and I smile. That isn’t because lobster bisque is a particular favorite of mine. I never had much interest in “lobster anything,” unlike the people who rave about lobsters and have to order them whatever the cost, even though […]

Units of Measurement

by 12/31/2006
Neighborhood: Midtown

Finally we were meeting for dinner. I called him at just the right time when he happened to be in the neighborhood. That meant that he had class at Hunter and I was on his way home, in between him and Fort Greene. “Why don’t you come up here?” he asked. “Because I’m down here, […]