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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 […]

A Fair Trade

by 12/31/2006
Neighborhood: Outer Boroughs, Queens

Somewhere, over the din, a thin voice called out, “Open!” I darted around, swaying from one foot to another, but before I could realize what had happened the elderly woman in line behind me had already scampered around to the newly opened lane. In her shamrock green coat and stiff knit hat, she leaned over […]

I $^(&$#*! NY

by 12/31/2006
Neighborhood: Lower East Side

6:30 A.M. I’ve only been able to sleep about six hours because there are three bars downstairs which close at around 3 A.M. It’s just getting light. I’m in a corner apartment on the 6th floor overlooking Orchard and Stanton Streets facing South and East. The morning sky is streaked with indigo, pink and brown. […]

You’re Supposed to Make Mistakes

by 12/31/2006
Neighborhood: West Village

“Just like a boxer in a title fight you’ve got to walk in that ring all alone You’re not the only one who’s made mistakes but they’re the only things that you can truly call your own” –Billy Joel I was looking at some apartments with my realtor, Harriet Loshin, just west of Union square, […]

Locust Horde

by 12/31/2006
Neighborhood: Brooklyn, Park Slope

“Those Goddamn kids! I swear to God I can’t take it anymore. I can’t even get coffee without running into a giant mass of those little bastards at the Starbucks. It’s like a fucking daycare center in there during the mornings.” I looked up from the book I was reading at my brother, who had […]