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Showing posts from October, 2005

Someone You Didn't Know

This school where I once taught writing is located in the South Bronx, surrounded by a police station, a Salvation Army, McDonald’s and White Castle, a methadone clinic, a Spanish restaurant, and a combination sporting goods-gun store. So. You could gobble down a couple of Egg McMuffins before swallowing your dose of methadone, slap a few bucks on the counter for a raincoat previously worn by a well-meaning Park Avenue matron, grab a few cuchifritos for lunch, purchase a football and a rifle, throw off a few shots into the air, and obtain a free trip around the corner courtesy of the New York City Police Department before the last bell rings signalling the end of another school day.

For me to get to this utopia, I traveled down to the George Washington Bridge via the A train and climbed the sticky stairs out to the bus stop across the street and walked under a cloud of exhaust from the endless cars, buses, trucks, and mini-vans that cross the bridge each day. The BX36 would swing aro…

The Dinner Party

Arlene Schulman

The first time I attended a dinner party comprised of mostly writers took place about ten years ago. I showed up at the door waiting to be seated at a Dorothy Parker-type round table surrounded by witticisms and criticisms tossed about by literati glitterati drinking an endless supply of ruthless martinis and smoking cigarettes. The table turned out to be a long rectangle, a round of drinks might have helped, no one smoked, and the conversation didn’t exactly glitter from people who had published. The talk ranged from an alarmingly slow progression of yes-and-no answers to the sounds of forks clanging against plates like churchbells ringing across a desolate countryside. This other species didn’t speak to each other and didn’t even look at me so I knew it couldn’t be my complete lack of credentials or my overwhelming naivete. I wondered if this would be my last foray to a literary soiree.

“Have you been to Mexico?”, I asked the writer sitting next to me.

Okay, I had to st…

Helpful Links - Washington Heights Online: This is a wonderful website that offers a calendar of neighborhood events, history of the neighborhood, and links to other sites. - The Ring Garden is always looking for volunteers! It’s a terrific space at the base of Seaman, Dyckman and Riverside Drive. - The Dyckman Farmhouse Museum was constructed in 1784. It’s the only remaining farmhouse in Manhattan. Currently closed for restoration, the Museum will re-open in Spring 2005. It’s located on Broadway at the corner of 204th Street. - see also

Michelle Tourigny runs an Inwood/Washington Heights event blog. Check out - Well-know abstract painter Knox Martin is a long-time resident of Washington Heights. - Check out black and white photography by the editor of the Manhattan Times.

Living in Upstate Manhattan: Inwood

Arlene Schulman

My small part of Northern Manhattan is continually evolving and I encourage our neighbors to patronize our local businesses. Searching for an unusual gift for the hard-to-find friend or relative? Stop in and say hello to Guy and Lela at Scavengers, an antique store on 218th Street right off the park which is chock full of great goodies. One of our neighbors raves about Busch Electronics on Broadway between Dyckman and Academy (across from the supermarket) where she purchased air conditioners and had one cleaned, a television and a DVD/VCR. The owners of this small store will trot up to your apartment to carefully measure and install your new air conditioner. If you pay in advance at Kleener King on Dyckman Street, your dry cleaning is discounted. And if you need fast turnaround, they can easily handle this for you, too. Our local C-town at Broadway and 207th Street takes special requests and the management is keeps the store in touch with what people want, including a …