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A Requiem for Secondhand Books

by 07/01/2011
Neighborhood: Greenwich Village, West Village

She: I want to buy you a good book for your birthday. He: What would I do with a book? Buy me a new body! —Conversation overheard between a man and a woman. When I think of second-hand books, I think quite literally of anonymous fingers reaching out to me from beyond the grave. I […]

Tower of Rubble

by 03/20/2011
Neighborhood: East Village

My mother is watching the DON’T WALK sign blink on the corner of 6th Street and Avenue B. My twelve year old twin sister and I have been trekking with mother all over Alphabet City for what seems like hours. I am carrying a plastic bag filled with clothes that mother found a block away […]

Angel Reading

by 12/24/2010
Neighborhood: Greenwich Village

I had seen psychics in the past, but I was watching my budget. I needed some guidance but my usual clairvoyant’s fee of $150 was too steep. So when Mia suggested an angel reading at $40, it was just the check-in I could afford. Mia was an early adopter of different healing modalities. She’d vet […]

The Crack Van

by 07/31/2010
Neighborhood: All Over, Carroll Gardens

I drive a van for a restaurant. Actually it’s several restaurants but they are owned by the same people. They have three restaurant locations and two cafes, but only one location has a full kitchen and bakery. All the food is prepared at this main location and then sent to the other various restaurant and […]

You Bet Your Life

by 06/19/2010
Neighborhood: Upper West Side

After work, my father usually went to the racetrack or played poker with his pals in the Ansonia Hotel, a few blocks from our pre-war apartment on West 76th Street, so my mother and I were surprised to see him home early one evening. It didn’t take him long to tell us why. “Turn on […]

Brujeria

by 02/26/2010
Neighborhood: East Harlem

Having grown up in a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood, most of my friends were Cuban. Marly was my best friend throughout high school and beyond. I loved hanging out with her and her mother, Mirna, because their home was so exotic. I loved eating her mom’s rice and beans, okra and pork, and practicing my Spanish. […]

They’ve Finally Cut Eggy in Half

by 07/02/2009
Neighborhood: Brooklyn, Carroll Gardens

At the corner of Atlantic Avenue and Bond Street about a quarter of a block ahead of me, three young men waited at the crosswalk for the light to change. Two were dressed in thug-casual regalia: sneakers, baggy pants, baseball caps askew, and hoodies up to obscure clear lines of sight to their faces. The […]

Sex, Craigslist, and Murder

by 05/02/2009
Neighborhood: All Over, Multiple

The Craigslist murder of Julissa Brisman has left me wondering about my own choices as well as those close to me. Brisman’s murder by alleged killer Philip Markoff is a scary fact of what can happen when using the Internet for dating or other activities. I’ve been an avid fan of online dating for years […]

At the Minetta Tavern Without Joe Gould

by 11/10/2008
Neighborhood: West Village

He was puckish and presumptuous, impudent and ebullient; a bantam and bumptious, dastardly and delirious hand-out seeking hotdogger with a bare head, bushy beard, and bushels of personality. On many nights he could be found fast asleep on a bench in Washington Square Park, his belly careening with gin and ale that he had bamboozled […]

YEAH, YEAH, YEAH? NO, NO, NO!

by 10/07/2008
Neighborhood: West Village

I met John Lennon in Washington Square Park. My friend Susan and I were returning home to the Village from our jobs as drug abuse counselors in the roughest schools in Brooklyn…when we spotted him. It was 1973, and his hat gave him away: a black Beatles’ cap that had become their trademark, a newsboy […]

Air Disaster 1960

by 10/04/2008
Neighborhood: Brooklyn, Park Slope

Numerous fissures and cracks can be observed on many buildings along the intersection of Seventh Avenue and Sterling Place, in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn. This quiet, upscale neighborhood, less than a half-mile north of Prospect Park, goes about its daily business with little notice for defects in a city so rife with fissures, […]

Me and My Cane

by 07/01/2008
Neighborhood: West Village

“What happened to your knee?” Not since my pregnancy have so many people elevated a distended part of my body to public discourse. My neoprene knee stabilizer invited countless questions and unsolicited advice from friends and strangers in Greenwich Village, where I live, on the #6 train, and in the physical therapist’s office in Union […]