Transportation Tuesday – The Atlantic Avenue Tunnel

Until December 2010, at the intersection by the Trader Joes on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, you might find a few traffic cones surrounding a popped manhole cover. Dozens of people queued on the nearby sidewalk. Between green lights, a few … Continue reading

Tenement Treatment for Tuberculosis – The Cherokee Apartments, New York City

Others have blogged about the Cherokee Apartments before, and I just have the benefit of making them my home today. In a neighborhood of sagging late nineteenth century tenements and dull white brick 1960s high rises, the Cherokee Apartments are … Continue reading

Transit Tuesday – Central Railroad of New Jersey’s Communipaw Terminal

Staring out over New York Harbor, the Central Railroad of New Jersey’s (CRRNJ) Communipaw Terminal was an early and major powerhouse of New York City transportation and where two thirds of immigrants landed after their stop at Ellis Island. The CRRNJ … Continue reading

Poem

This is something I strung together after arriving in New York, around 2004. Around the Neck In the teeming urban underthicket A simmer eludes us, Writhing behind shades drawn Mistaken and squirming. Enthusiasm bruises Blue and so painful the minute … Continue reading

Iro Iro: My Brief Moment as a Japanese Classical Dancer

Kimono? White makeup? Shamisen music? In New York City? I spent a few years as part of a semi-professional kabuki dance troupe here, as a student. Many westerners might think white makeup when “kabuki” is mentioned, but they might be … Continue reading

New York Calling – and gets voice mail

If there’s one thing I felt after reading the excellent New York Calling: From Blackout to Bloomberg ( eds. Marshall Berman and Brian Berger, University of Chicago Press, 2007), it was a compulsion to challenge the statement that newcomers to New York … Continue reading

SRO – The Acronym for Hotel Living

Single room occupancy. For country kids like myself, this form of spare urban housing lives under the radar. SROs refer to permanent residency in hotels. Technically, this refers to everything from high style at The Plaza to sleeping on the … Continue reading

New York Disappeared: The West Side Highway

I love this Super 8 of the abandoned elevated West Side Highway, built in 1937. On December 15, 1973, it collapsed under the weight of a truck that was working on repairs to the road. The abandoned roadway became a place to … Continue reading

Stack Lurker: Some Love for Libraries

In late 2009, I was on the dating circuit. Via Match.com and OKCupid, I was meeting a couple of new potential beaus each week. To one, I mentioned that I loved libraries and that I had just been in one … Continue reading

Transit Tuesday: New York Penn Station

New York Penn Station, thy name is Melancholy. More than one website chronicles the beauty lost that was Penn Station, so I’ll skip the details about McKim, Mead, and White, Jane Jacobs, and Madison Square Garden. But every time I … Continue reading