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Homesteading the Intellectual Prairie

by Thomas Beller 06/03/2006
Neighborhood: Midtown

A company called Viacom has recently purchased another company called Paramount for about ten billion dollars. This followed several months of intensive maneuvering between Viacom and another company called QVC. The competition held the businessmen and a large segment of the media in thrall. It was also good news for poets and the like. It’s […]

Robert Andrews: Safe Salesman

by 05/31/2006
Neighborhood: Midtown

I call myself a security consultant because it sounds better than salesman but, essentially, I’m a salesman. I sell security products, primarily safes. My dad preceded me in this. He was with the Mosler Safe Company starting around 1948 and, quite frankly, as a kid, the work sounded very dull to me. I wanted to […]

Spare Change

by 05/30/2006
Neighborhood: Upper West Side

It’s 10:20 p.m. on a Tuesday, and the air is filled with the unmistakable sound of coins hitting metal. The multi-colored machine generating all the noise stands almost six feet tall and looks like a cross between an oversized Lego kit and something that toddlers would be crawling over at Playspace. The high tech liquid […]

iPod on the Tracks

by Thomas Beller 05/23/2006
Neighborhood: Upper East Side

I was bounding down the stairs into the subway, three steps at a time, hoping to make the train. The stairs were wet. The air was cold. It was a day of harsh weather, a gusting snowstorm, but I had my iPod and was experiencing everything dreamily. To say it was a new iPod was […]

I know it sounds kind of cliché…

by 03/16/2006
Neighborhood: Letter From Abroad

So I fell in love with this girl named Kate. And all that remains is this sordid little correspondence that I have left from the beginning our affair. I wish it included all the walks we took on the snowy streets of Detroit or the hours we spent laying in bed daydreaming about tomorrow. But […]

Tiny Inhuman Pauses

by Thomas Beller 03/04/2006
Neighborhood: West Village

She was an old lady and for a moment I wanted to kill her. We were at the grocer, and she was taking an inordinate amount of time paying. After a long time spent peering into her purse she handed over a few dollars, and a couple of quarters, and a dime and a nickel, […]

Biking through the Apocalypse

by 02/22/2006
Neighborhood: Union Square

There is no commuter more unqualified to weigh in on the effects of the transit strike than a cyclist who lives and works in Manhattan – which is me. I have been riding a bicycle in the city for the last 12 years and have become so reliant (addicted might be a better word) on […]

Adriani For Mayor

by 01/26/2006
Neighborhood: All Over, Letter From Abroad

Today I had perhaps the most unique experience that I have ever had in my lifetime. I began walking the streets of New Orleans and speaking to people on a one on one basis. This may seem odd to you, and perhaps it is, but I canvassed New Orleans today not as a citizen but […]

The Unsung Hero: A Ford Motor Company Story

by 01/26/2006
Neighborhood: Letter From Abroad

The headline on the Detroit Free Press was bold. But it was just another clever way of stating the obvious. Ford Motor Company was going to announce “The Way Forward,” actually a way to cut back. Ron Novack sat at his kitchen table and skimmed the story about the plant closures and layoffs that would […]

Craigslist Love

by 01/19/2006
Neighborhood: Chelsea

After my boyfriend and I broke up, I was lonely so I put an ad on Craigslist. What is it about a man that makes him think sending a picture of his private parts is going to turn a woman on? A little mystery and anticipation is a great thing. I put the ad under […]

Industrial Ruins, Digital Gallery: An Interview with Lowell Boileau

by 08/05/2005
Neighborhood: Uncategorized

“Athens has got ruins, Rome has got ruins. Ours are bigger, but there’s no guidebook to them.” —Lowell Boileau Part collage, part museum, part mausoleum, and all constructed around a series of intricately conceived online “tours,” detroityes.com depicts Detroit’s past and present in a library containing thousands of vivid photographic images. For many, the centerpiece […]

My Name in a Book of Matches

by 07/30/2005
Neighborhood: Brooklyn

I have lived in Brooklyn my entire life, but my name and number appear on little black books of matches all across the city. No, I’m not a slinky sultry hot babe whose name and number decorate bathroom walls and little match books in bars. You don’t “Call Sairy for a Good Time.” On the […]