Browsing Month January, 2000

Kitty

She tells me she has to leave New York after she finishes her master’s degree. She’s been here eight years, minus a year and a half in the Peace Corps in Ecuador. She’s a social worker, operating as a community organizer in the Bronx, in Manhattan, in Brooklyn. It’s not what she thought it would more…

Lacy and Roy

Lacy is a college student, young, from Connecticut and from money. Nice girl, but with a tough jaw. She’s 19. The students are all back now from holiday and so I saw her on the street. She was carrying a 35-millimeter camera by its huge lens, a nylon camera bag over one arm. She squats more…

Prey

One time, sitting and watching a three card monte game, a different older couple approached me. What with my shopping bags and dough-boy complexion, they judged me a tourist. I was their prey. The woman came to my left. She engaged me in conversation, kept peering around my head to catch my eyes and draw more…

Pickpockets

The first time I actually saw a pocket picking take place was on the downtown IRT, the 1 train. It’s not crowded in the car, but most of the seats are full. A tall white guy, harried, carelessly dressed in better than average clothes climbs aboard at 79th Street. He grabs the pole and we more…

Freelance

Back again years later. Same place, physically. Different every other way wise. Lenny and I, we stand out of place. In that environment, where the exposed, scorched and shellacked oak beams thrust up the ceiling, in which success and youth and vigor thrum through the room, in that world, our unease is taken as aloofness, more…

Queen

Recorded 8 January 2000 on 14th Street between Second and Third Avenues. Thirty-eight degrees Fahrenheit, sunny. Broke a formality, again, of photographers: no hit and runs. Gotta stick around, get the story, get names, find out what’s happening. But I was late, and so snapped a few and took off. Obviously a photo shoot, but more…

Three-Card Monte

It’s June, I’m downtown. Canal Street, a little west of Broadway, Chinatown. It’s high tourist season. The white tennis shoes and the mid-Western hair-dos are everywhere. Kids from all neighborhoods are hanging out. Everything’s for sale. Shopping bags everywhere. It’s three card monte paradise. During the last seven years, I’ve made a habit of casual more…

Carnies

Carnies. Buck let this slip in an unguarded moment. He won’t repeat it to let me record it, so here’s what I can reconstruct from notes I made right after. “I used to work for a carnival. For a year. It was great. I was a guesser, guessed weights and everything. Ages, weight, height, birth more…

National Lampoon

National Lampoon. Platform, uptown No. 1 at Houston Street. Guy sits down on the wooden bench two seats from me. Not From Here. Late forties, khakis, penny-loafers, outdoorsy woodsy LL Beansy jacket. Gray hair, round head. Short. Inexpensive looking. “Is there a train schedule? What time does the next train come?” No, there’s no schedule. more…

Airport

Airport. I say this all the time: When I return to the home state and step off the plane, there seems to be a large convention of band students, or Mormons, or Jehovah’s witnesses or some other group of flubbery white people dressed in similar clothes and similar hairstyles. Turns out every time, though, that more…