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Haunted House

by 07/19/2020
Neighborhood: Flushing

In the beginning, it was an ordinary house on an ordinary street in Flushing, Queens, just around the corner from ours. There was an older girl, Mary Ann, who was our sometime babysitter, and a younger boy, Johnny, who was several years older than I.  A cherished childhood memory of mine concerns an afternoon (though […]

Gone to Flowers, Every One

by 04/12/2020
Neighborhood: Ridgewood

“Okay, so now whatta my gone do? Phone won’t charge. Can’t read another word. Thirteen hours sleep. Chocolate’s gone. Weed guy disappeared. Seen everything on Netflix—twice! Corona’s a stone bitch, is what it is.” Sound familiar—maybe one or two nouns changed? It’s the plague—Poe’s Masque of the Red Death, or Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, or Neville […]

The King of New York

by 03/05/2017
Neighborhood: Astoria, Queens

I. From a distance the crown almost looks like solid gold. But as I walk farther up 30th Avenue in Astoria, I can tell there is something not quite right about it. It is glinting, sure, but I realize the crown is made of curled paper. It’s from Burger King. I am now only a […]

You’re Out of the Night

by 06/17/2016
Neighborhood: Flushing, Lower East Side, Queens, Uncategorized

On Match.com, Ken’s moniker was “Dull.” He wrote that among his favorite things were office carpeting, spam, and waiting rooms. “I bet he lives in one of those storage units off the highway,” my friend Meg said as she read over my shoulder. My own profile was styled after Nancy Drew. Hair color? Titian. Hobbies? […]

Exhaustion, Faith, or Madness

by 12/12/2014
Neighborhood: Jackson Heights, Queens, Uncategorized

A group of Asian teenage boys with shaved heads slows down in front of me. It is around 7 pm, not yet dusk, not really day, and we’re passing by a series of low brick row houses with bar-covered windows on 73rd Street in Jackson Heights. The boys look kind of tough, but they are polite as […]

Beat It!

by 01/30/2011
Neighborhood: Queens

On the middle level of the ever moving station stop at Roosevelt Avenue, Jackson Heights, where the subway and the elevated meet in a shaky embrace and humanity flows on a non-stop escalator between heaven and earth, the melting pot boils over with new arrivals as trains disgorge their loads. Here reed-flute players from the […]

Two Stories About Teaching in Queens

by 09/29/2005
Neighborhood: Outer Boroughs, Queens

“The Case Of The Missing Pasta” I tried improving my second grade special education students’ skills at addition by having them count pasta. I had them line up the brown and white rigatoni into two groups. Then all they had to do was add them. It worked well – my students were learning while enjoying […]

The Jewish Holly-Go-Lightly

by 10/15/2002
Neighborhood: Queens

I try to call my Great Aunt Doris every day. She’s ninety-years old and lives alone. I love her desperately and as she gets older, especially of late as she becomes more feeble, my love seems to be picking up velocity, overwhelming me almost, tinged as it is with panic — I’m so afraid of […]