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Barking at Tourists

by 06/29/2012
Neighborhood: Times Square

“You guys like comedy?” The young Armenian-looking couple stares straight ahead; their paces don’t slow as they walk past me. “No? Ok, no problem,” I mutter to myself before taking a quick drag of my American Spirit. I spot a 30-something white guy in a pressed suit; not my normal demographic but he’s walking slowly […]

Stillness is the Move

by 06/19/2012
Neighborhood: Upper East Side

It was after our third year in New York that my wife and I realized it was time to move. The deciding factor came when I’d picked up a stapler at a stationary store, looked at it in my hand, and thought, ‘Where am I going to put this?’ Our studio apartment was just that […]

Mother’s First Vote

by 06/19/2012
Neighborhood: East New York

 My mother turned twenty-one, voting age, in 1932, during the worst of the Depression. Franklin Delano Roosevelt was running for president for the first time, trying to unseat Herbert Hoover. My mother had no job, but she had a cousin who was, of all things, not just a Republican but an active Republican. A Jewish […]

Cookie Friday

by 06/09/2012
Neighborhood: Midtown

There’s no real sorrow in this account. I wasn’t working the red light district, nor had I become a Mole Person. I wasn’t destitute or physically mistreated. I was a recent college graduate, holding an entry-level position as a paralegal at a personal injury firm in East Midtown, Manhattan. In fact, with everyone talking about […]

Get Busy

by 05/22/2012
Neighborhood: East Village

My friend Flip didn’t read, he told me, because he was all about music. Slick, shiny, high-gloss music. Nothing got him more excited than discussing “production values.” He’d play dance remixes for me and practically conduct them as some new version of an awful song stomped and restomped its way through a cathedral-like reverb chamber […]

Growing Up Beastly

by 05/17/2012
Neighborhood: All Over, Letter From Abroad, West Village

In 1986 I became an international pop music recording sensation. I don’t mean that at the age of 15 I admired and tried to emulate Ad-Rock, a squeaky, strutting third of the fresh hip-hop phenomenon the Beastie Boys—I mean I was Ad-Rock. His band mates—Mike D and MCA—were my homeboys. Sure, there had previously been […]

In The Living Room Of The Beggar

by 04/13/2012
Neighborhood: Brighton Beach

He sat sprawled on the furthest side of the Q train, nose plumped with alcohol and ears flushed a chili-pepper red — laughing so hard his breath left two giant spheres of fog on the window. The rest of us were bunched on the other side, in an attempt to escape the stench of human […]

From Howard Beach To An Ashram; A Mafia Journey

by 04/06/2012
Neighborhood: Howard's Beach

All names in this story have been changed. It is not every day that one visits an Ashram for yoga and encounters a “retired” Mafia soldier, adrift there because of illness and poverty. From my end, I envisioned a documentary film covering his faded world; however, for his own security – though the events occurred […]

Date Night At The Gambling Den

by 02/15/2012
Neighborhood: Midtown

                My husband has figured out a way to play poker round the clock, save when he is at work, in the shower, reading a book or in bed sleeping. He plays it on his phone against other poker enthusiasts in round-the-clock online tournaments.  It doesn’t bother me – he’s not the type to bet […]

Robbed in Bed-Stuy

by 01/08/2012
Neighborhood: Bedford-Stuyvesant

“I was robbed in front of my apartment on Thursday night,” my ex told me the other day. “The guy said he had a gun.” “What?” I squawked, genuinely surprised. It was the week of Thanksgiving. We were meant to be discussing favorite trimmings alongside the turkey, not armed robbery. “So you’ve lost everything. Keys, […]

Bearded Strangers Unite!

by 01/08/2012
Neighborhood: All Over

I was sitting on a bench on the Lower East Side, waiting for an appointment with my barber, when a homeless lady came shuffling by, dressed in black rags. These were particularly witchy rags, it seemed to me, like she’d bought them at a store as part of a Halloween costume. Like in addition to […]

Looking For Lady Gaga

by 01/04/2012
Neighborhood: Midtown

A Barney’s window display of Lady Gaga’s work has legendary multi-media performance artist Colette’s notorious creations written all over it. Colette, whose seminal performance art and multi-media installations originated out of New York City’s vibrant art scene in the 1970’s has traveled to museums and galleries all over the world; including the Guggenheim; MOMA; and […]