Where Am I?

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Where To Begin

by 10/14/2011
Neighborhood: Upper West Side

I was late to the 79th Street Boat Basin, which meant I had missed the introductions of name and sailing experience. Convenient, since of the two, I had only a name. My new boss was telling us our mooring was at NW2. I scanned the orientation packet: bowline, jib, vang. I had thought the position […]

Spring Training

by 08/02/2011
Neighborhood: Westchester

I spent a few days last week in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, and while the beach season is still some weeks away, something beyond the college Spring Break assault is on the front-burner for many Floridians: Major League Baseball’s spring training. It’s on TV, in the newspapers, and I overheard hotel guests at breakfast talking about […]

Spanked

by 07/08/2011
Neighborhood: Chelsea

WHAP! The paddle hit my ass. The first time I recall getting spanked, I was four. I had stolen a box of matches and lit a fire behind my house. My father spanked me down the hall. The last time I recall getting spanked, I was 25. I was in Paddles, New York City’s main […]

The Bocce Courts of Dyker Park

by 03/20/2011
Neighborhood: Dyker Heights

Nestled in the shadow of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, Dyker Park is renowned throughout New York City for its lush golf courses. Proud Brooklynites, always ready to boast about their home borough, might inform you that these Dyker courses spawned a legend: Tiger Woods’ father, Colonel Earl Woods, caught the golf bug there in 1972 while […]

Guns Guns Guns

by 12/19/2010
Neighborhood: Upper West Side

Kids in America are supposed to like guns. Our movie heroes majestically wield weapons on the silver screen and TV cops dance through primetime gun ballets. Armed with air rifles and plastic weapons my friends and I played WAR in the woods behind my house. Imaginary bullets tore holes through the make-believe Nazis and Japs. […]

Gotham Girls in the Burbs

by 10/31/2010
Neighborhood: Greenwich Village

This was the first year we had joined the Westchester Youth Soccer League, and the urban parents on our daughters’ travel team were business executives, academics, social workers, and creative directors—just like they were. Some of us had left our parents’ Westchester or Long Island suburbs to raise our children in the “inner” city of […]

Three Basketball Vignettes, 2001

by 06/03/2010
Neighborhood: Chelsea, West Village

1. March 25th, 2001 Basketball City Chelsea Piers There Were Horses A pick up game at Basketball city. Cold Sunday afternoon. The academy awards that night. Dreading them. Miserable but psyched about the game. We ended up playing four on four full court. On the other team were the guys I play with in my […]

At the Polo Grounds

by 04/06/2010
Neighborhood: East Harlem, Yorkville

"Hey Dad, who were you just talking to down at the end of the bar?" "Oh, that’s Al Dorow, the quarterback for the New York Titans." It was fall 1961, Dad and I were in Loftus Tavern after throwing the ball around outside on York Avenue. My two teams, the New York Giants, football, and […]

Number 89

by 04/06/2010
Neighborhood: Staten Island

Walking toward the Staten Island Ferry on my way to work, I noticed a boat departing, when it should have been arriving. Being in the exact spot it would normally be, but headed in the wrong direction, it was, at first, disorienting. I checked my watch: 2:53. “This is not good,” I thought. Making my […]

Citi Something-else Place

by 04/06/2010
Neighborhood: Flushing

“Citi Field,” the New York Mets new home, is a misnomer. Someone needs to coin a word to describe a venue that is part amusement park, food court, a Brooklyn Dodger mini-museum, sports specialty shop, tourist trap, and that by the way, also happens to contain a poorly designed baseball playing field. My first visit […]

Trolling Whores for Coke: How to Get Started

by 03/17/2010
Neighborhood: Chelsea, Washington Heights

So you’ve got the wife and the kids. You’ve got and are just barely hanging onto, the co-op in the chic enclave, you’re so middle-aged. Some men, finding themselves adrift in a wood in their middle years, go to the gym: I troll whores for coke. After you’ve seen the horrors of Chelsea Pier’s ice […]

Street Ball

by Thomas Beller 08/09/2009
Neighborhood: West Village

Poke, poke, poke went his finger against my head. I was playing basketball at my local basketball court and some static had developed between me and a guy nicknamed Homicide. I stared straight ahead, trying to ignore his jabbing finger. “You stink!” he yelled, barking right into my face. “You know that?” He was six […]