All posts tagged: New York

Summer at the Brooklyn Army Terminal

By SUSAN HARLAN

Pier

Brooklyn, New York, US

This July and August, I stayed at my friend Sarah’s apartment in Brooklyn while she and her family were in Vermont. The original plan was that I would cat-sit their black cat Buster, but they had a mouse problem at their Vermont place, so after ten days or so, they drove back into the city to reclaim Buster and put him to work.

Willa JarnaginSummer at the Brooklyn Army Terminal
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Un Walker en Nuyol

New York 1980s

“Exaggerate to exist.”
―W. H. Auden, The Age of Anxiety (1948)

[1] From El Gueto

Friday, January 4th, 1985. It is 7:50 am. The temperature outside is below freezing.

“The city” isn’t altogether alien to me. I have seen it featured in a thousand movies. As a boy I came with my father, a theater actor, to buy Broadway plays. I am familiar with its grammar. Indeed, I make my way through conversations, although, in all honesty, my English is still precarious.

This time around, though, I am alone and I am learning to cope with it. I barely have any money. The $67-a-week I make shelving books at a local library are barely enough. Collect calls are expensive. I used to write long letters while I lived in the Middle East, but I have lost practice. Plus, for now I don’t feel like sharing my thoughts with others.

I have landed in a small apartment on Broadway and 121st Street, next to The Jewish Theological Seminary. They have given me a scholarship to study philosophy. I share the apartment with three other young men, one called Francesco from Italy with a heavy accent, Arno from Canada, and Ritchie from the United States. It has taken us time to get acquainted with one another. I understand what they all tell me, though I am at a loss every third or fourth word, especially with Arno’s lingo. He speaks fast and uses strange words. He says I talk English like a “primitive.” Franco’s syntax isn’t good either. His accent is heavy. He helps me when I fumble.

Olivia ZhengUn Walker en Nuyol
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Spring, New York: Pt. 2

By KIRK MICHAEL

This is the second part of a two-part Dispatch. The first part is available here. 

I navigate by haphazard emotion, glancing over the wonderful cards that describe the provenance of the art, the investments of the rich across centuries. Willem Claesz Heda’s “Still Life with Oysters, a Silver Tazza, and Glassware” has what the title says it has and also a stamped checkerboard knife fitted for Old Dutch clutches, Schermerhorns buying up property on the docks of New York, New Amsterdam, monochrome banquet pieces slapped onto walls like flatscreens, overturned chalices and cutlery, tarnish and husk, the bitter translucent lemon dripping gold leaf citrus, succulent on the table, the pip as acidic as the pupils in my eyes.

Emma CroweSpring, New York: Pt. 2
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Spring, New York: Pt. 1

By KIRK MICHAEL

This is the first part of a two-part Dispatch. The second part is available here. 

“Beginnings are always delightful; the threshold is the place to pause. 

My luggage trips over the pavement and the brownstone bella vista is dappled by trees I will soon learn are called Callery Pears, the ones that smell of semen, vulgar but pleasing, high on the listicle of “Disgusting Smelling New York Trees, Ranked,” a sign that I have finally arrived in Brooklyn in proper spring, the jizzy crush of it.

Emma CroweSpring, New York: Pt. 1
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Bannerman Island

By MARIA TERRONE 

There is something in me that loves an island. I live on one (Queens, New York, on Long Island, across the East River from the isle of Manhattan). I’m attracted to all kinds—those buried by volcanic eruptions; adrift in a blue void endless as the cosmos; locus of nearly extinct languages; and even the fictitious Island of Lost Souls ruled by the mad scientist Dr. Moreau.

Emma CroweBannerman Island
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Westchester County

By OLIVIA WOLFGANG-SMITH

Today’s service is the blessing of the animals, and the congregation is clustered on the lawn with designer dogs on extendable leashes and mysterious scuttling boxes lined with hand towels and one leopard gecko that, waiting for its blessing, relieves itself on its young owner’s father. He scrubs at his shirt at the sink in the church basement, where J and I are helping to set up for the post-service coffee hour, halving banana bread and quartering bagels and decimating cantaloupe. The man blessed by his son’s gecko may need to be reminded of the copy on the service’s tri-fold program: We do not bless animals to make them holy; we bless them because they are already holy. The program asks us to save animals like Noah, to care for them like Francis. It reminds us of upcoming youth group events.

Emma CroweWestchester County
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Nighthawks at the Dennis

By ELLIOT SILBERBERG

We were staying on the Upper West Side, 15th floor, view of the Hudson. Two hawks nested on the fire escape outside our bedroom window, their baby hawk’s head popping out of its shell. The male was wary. Very. One day, X ray vision on, he stormed the window from afar, a bolt from the blue looming larger, nearer, yeeks! Shot skywards just shy of crashing into the window.

Emma CroweNighthawks at the Dennis
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