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A Psychiatric Aide, Way Back Then

by 02/04/2024
Neighborhood: Washington Heights

I was too young to comprehend “dark energy” that pulls apart the human psyche. But at 19, I was a witness. New York State Psychiatric Institute, high up and hovering over the Hudson in Washington Heights, was, and still is, a special teaching hospital connected to Columbia University.  In the 1950s, when I worked there, […]

Crotona Park

by 03/14/2021
Neighborhood: East Bronx, West Bronx

Blanche, my mother, was past thirty, an old maid by the standards of the mid-twentieth century. She finally picked herself up and hauled herself off to a lefty resort in the Catskills, the kind of place where people were more likely to play Twenty Questions than tennis. There she met my father, Harold, who was […]

Homeward

by 03/12/2017
Neighborhood: Manhattan, Washington Heights

“Lemuel,” my mother cried out to me. “No puedo ver.” I looked up. Her eyes were shut, her grip was tight around my hand, and she was telling me she couldn’t see. We had been walking home, enjoying the lull that comes over Washington Heights at the end of the day. I was six and […]