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A Verizon Connection

by 03/14/2013
Neighborhood: Prospect Heights

The buzzer rang and I jumped like I always do. It was a loud, harsh cross between a buzz and a ring that seemed to annoy even the cat, judging by the way she raised her head, giving me that look, before settling back to sleep. I tossed the book I was reading to the […]

A Comparative Analysis of the Heroic Exploits of Antarctic Explorer Ernest Shackleton and Downtown Resident Brent Shearer During The Five-Night “Sandy” Blackout

by 02/07/2013
Neighborhood: Lower East Side, Tribeca

October 1915 – Shackleton’s ship the Endurance crushed by ice after drifting for nine months. October 28, 2012 – 7:30 pm: Shearer hikes two blocks from residence at 90 Hudson St., #6B, to Hudson River with stated goal of checking out storm surge and keeping feet dry. Forced to wade through three feet of water […]

Ellis Island

by 02/03/2013
Neighborhood: Ellis Island

The following sonnets are excerpted from Robert Viscusi’s forthcoming book, Ellis Island, which will be published in March 2013 by Bordighera Press. Random arrangements of lines from the 624 sonnets that comprise this epic work can be discovered via the Random Sonnet Generator at ellisislandpoem.com. This is the first time these poems have appeared as written […]

I Know The Way To Brooklyn

by 01/15/2013
Neighborhood: Prospect Heights

I went to the Bob Dylan concert at the Barclay’s Center around Thanksgiving. We are contemporaries. I love his recent work and I thought it was about time I went to one of his live performances. I got a ticket, took the subway from the Upper West Side to the newly-christened Atlantic Ave.-Barclays Center stop. […]

Starry Night

by 12/04/2012
Neighborhood: Downtown Brooklyn

“If stars are lit…” – V. V. Mayakovsky Had the receptionist been Dante Alighieri, he might have strung a banner along the wall of the windowless waiting room advising visitors to “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.” But the person who pointed me in the direction of this circle of Hell was no Dante–nor […]

The Threat

by 12/04/2012
Neighborhood: Flatlands

The wailing woke me at 3:00 AM. I tried to ignore it. I had to get up for work in a few hours. A bus and two subways, my commute to Manhattan was substantial. At first, I thought it must be a dog crying in the cold winter’s night. But after a few seconds, I […]

Hurricanes in the Hamptons

by 11/26/2012
Neighborhood: East Hampton, Uncategorized

One glorious and balmy summer weekend in the late 1990s, I sat in the house my parents built for their retirement, enjoying the spectacular view of Gardiner’s Bay. A flotilla of sailboats lilted in the wind, guided by red buoys that demarcated a channel in the otherwise shallow waters. My gaze shifted southeast, towards Napeague, […]

Bensonhurst Nicknames ca. 1966 – 1980, Annotated.

by 11/12/2012
Neighborhood: Bensonhurst

[This list contains all the nicknames of kids I can remember from my childhood (age 7 – 21, approx.) in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn.  See explanatory notes for each nickname below.] 1. Angelo Head 2. Rabbit 3. Ape 4. Frankie Airlines 5. Joey All-Star 6. Vinnie Barbarino 7. Turtle 8. Tortoise 9. Harry O. 10. Frank Asshole […]

Crust, Mantle, Core

by 10/23/2012
Neighborhood: Bay Ridge

A sinkhole is threatening to swallow up 79th Street in Bay Ridge. Police, fire, city workers are on the scene. Supposedly, the sewers had something to do with it.“The beginning of the end,” laments a longstanding neighborhood resident on local TV. He is wearing a trucker hat and gold chain and undershirt. Behind him, elders […]

The Love Seat (A Ghost Story)

by 10/21/2012
Neighborhood: Yorkville

As a boy in the early 1960s, I’d go up my grandparents’ second floor apartment on York Avenue several times a week. Their hallway was lit by one low watt exposed bulb. The dark hall frightened me. Sometimes my fear was compounded when I’d hear fuzzy radio sounds coming from the usually locked basement. I […]

Hiding in a Transparent City

by 10/10/2012
Neighborhood: Upper East Side

When I was fourteen, I auditioned for the School of American Ballet and was accepted. The school was too far from my home to travel back and forth everyday, so I lived in the dormitory at Lincoln Center during the week and travelled back to Long Island on the weekends. Every Sunday night, after a […]

Larry’s Bench

by 09/25/2012
Neighborhood: Upper West Side

Larry Polshansky, dead. I cannot believe this. He wasn’t that much older than my husband, Gregory, who died of melanoma at age 56, five years ago. Larry chain-smoked, I remember. Maybe it was lung cancer that got him. I am walking my two dogs, Sophie, an eager-to-please golden retriever, and Henry Longfellow, a less-than-eager-to-please piebald […]