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Brooklyn Fields

by 10/01/2012
Neighborhood: Cobble Hill

New Yorkers have a different relationship to celebrity. You can’t swing a cat in this town without hitting a big shot, so we are more restrained or dismissive or tolerant when famous people materialize. And we are exposed to them at an early age. My first celebrity encounter was in 1984. I was playing frisbee […]

The Problem With Bliss

by 07/12/2012
Neighborhood: Uncategorized, Upper West Side

Her niece laughed in his face and squirmed out of his grasp and ran down the hall and slammed the bathroom door. Her fiancé stomped out of the room and she could hear him pounding on the bathroom door and her niece shrieking. It was good, so good that they all got along. Her brother, […]

Passing For 62

by 12/15/2011
Neighborhood: Uncategorized, Union Square, Williamsburg

Every Spring, tennis players in New York City who want to play on the city courts have to buy a tennis permit. The Parks Department doubled the price this year to $200 for an adult permit. Seniors only pay $20 . If I can pass for 62, I’ll save $180. I’m unemployed. The first time […]

Bear Patrol

by 07/19/2011
Neighborhood: Midtown, Park Slope

The door to Karen’s office was open and I waved a little hello as I entered, indicating that I would only be a second. Karen was the creative director at the magazine publisher where I was freelancing as a copy editor. I thought there was something cozy about her, something very motherly, in a distracted […]

Cy’s Place

by 07/19/2011
Neighborhood: Midtown

The voice on the phone is asking what I see, and since this is the third time we’ve spoken, I’m feeling a bit chummy. “Police cruisers,” I say, taking in the block. “A whole shit load.” We’ve been tracking each other since Penn Station, this voice and I, for precautionary reasons I’m told, and this […]

A Bar called B-Side

by 04/17/2011
Neighborhood: East Village

A skinhead handed Henry a beer. When you’re alone, other loners find you, and they are often alone because they’re fucking weird and the Lower East Side of New York City has the most professional weirdoes on the planet. “Mickey Skin,” he said. He ran his hand over his scalp, then held his fist in […]

Balloon Man

by 01/24/2011
Neighborhood: All Over

Connie was all for being a hooker, but Martin wasn’t. Connie wanted to be in the movie, Martin didn’t want her to be unless she played a nun, a Red Cross worker, or the head of the National Academy of Sciences. The trouble was, there were no parts for nuns, Red Cross workers, or heads […]

Life Imitates Art

by 01/24/2011
Neighborhood: Midtown

This weekend I went to see a film called The Wrestler. I am quite neurotic about going to the movies. Because in New York City, theaters, especially on weekends, tend to fill up and sell out quickly, I make it a point to show up about an hour early. I feel panicked when there are […]

And Bingo Was Her Name

by 02/06/2010
Neighborhood: Greenwich Village, West Village

She looked like a collection of spheres stuck together to represent the female body. Round little torso, round little head, protruding chipmunk cheeks like those on the marionettes on that TV show “Spitting Image.” Dark little eyes that glared from some bottomless well of anger and pain. Her mail came addressed to two completely different […]

Lick Us

by 09/01/2008
Neighborhood: Midtown

It’s 31 degrees on the third Saturday in February and I’m ignoring everyone on 9th Avenue. I am not a native and my ability to ignore is still a blunt instrument, numbing when engaged, so that walking down the street feels a bit like being led by a string out of a dark tunnel into […]

Mystery Goat Man at Lincoln Center

by 06/08/2008
Neighborhood: Manhattan

“You are beautiful.” “Thanks,” I say, looking up from my monitor to face the man expressing the compliment. To my disappointment he is much older than me and resembles a crooked, worn goat, with strangly strands of grey hair, shaped in a horseshoe around his baldness. He does not fit into the sterile library environment […]

Magic City: Not In Our Town

by 12/22/2007
Neighborhood: Across the River, Bronx

One of the great, underrated things about living in New York is meeting all those people who come from everywhere else. Not that Gotham natives aren’t a barrel of monkeys, but it’s cool that someone always seems to have a different frame-of-reference, a different slice of life about where they came from, which is my […]