Archives for posts with tag: New York City

Ron Chapple licensed
American Landmark
by Howard Richard Debs

In 1995, celebrating 30 years together
we went, my wife and I, to New York
New York to visit the Big Apple.
It was a splurge. We stayed
at the posh Peninsula Hotel,
once called The Gotham built in 1905;
upgraded to a deluxe suite
on high, I can’t remember why
we looked out a window
then impressed by much,
we saw Trump Tower right nearby.
We took in the sights, the Met,
a carriage ride in Central Park,
the Carnegie Deli a now closed classic,
serving insults and mile-high corned beef
since 1937. We hit The Great White Way:
Smokey Joe’s Café music by Leiber
and Stoller; the Tony winner too, Crazy
for You, based On Gershwin tunes from
Girl Crazy, their show of 1930,
American songbook all.
Then to the Lower East Side, the
Tenement Museum, where walls
reverberate with immigrant
voices yearning. We took the
ferry from Castle Clinton at
Battery Park where Grandpa Ben
in 1886 arrived, Ellis Island not till 1892
a point from which to disembark.
Once there, we walked back
in history—12 million passed through
before us in search of their dream.
They first were sent to the baggage
room then down a staircase, watchful
eyes upon them, into the Great Hall
for inspection and examination
to be cleared or detained; the gateway
to the golden door shut and abandoned
in 1954, a developer bid to make it a resort
rescued in August of 1965 by President
Lyndon Johnson’s pen I’ll not forget,
that good thing happened when
my wife and I were wed.

PHOTO: Aerial view of Ellis Island with the Statue of Liberty in the background, New York City, by Ron Chapple, used by permission.

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NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: My paternal grandfather, Benjamin Debs was born in Riga, Latvia, in 1884 to Charles and Yetta (nee Markuza) Dobrowitz. Arriving in America at the tender age of two after a brief stay in New York his family moved to Chicago. Among a number of successful enterprises through the years, he established a millinery manufacturing business in the Maxwell Street area, Chicago’s equivalent to the Lower East Side. He is a shining example of the immigrants to America who raised themselves up from poverty through perseverance and hard work. It was a privilege to have his name added to the Ellis Island American Immigrant Wall of Honor.

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AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: My wife, Sheila (foreground, right), pictured in the Great Hall at Ellis Island during our visit to New York City in 1995. To me in this picture she seems to be pondering what it must have been like.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Howard Richard Debs is a recipient of the 2015 Anna Davidson Rosenberg Poetry Award. His essays, fiction, and poetry appear internationally in numerous publications. His photography is featured in select publications, including in Rattle online as “Ekphrastic Challenge” artist and guest editor. His book Gallery: A Collection of Pictures and Words (Scarlet Leaf Publishing), is the recipient of a 2017 Best Book Award and 2018 Book Excellence Award. He is co-editor of New Voices: Contemporary Writers Confronting the Holocaust, forthcoming later in 2020 from Vallentine Mitchell of London, publisher of the first English language edition of the diary of Anne Frank. He is listed in the Poets & Writers Directory.

Yankee Stadium in New York
Yankee Stadium
by Patrick T. Reardon

Look! There, at first base, that’s
me, leaping right full-length to nab
a flaming, screeching liner from the
brawn bat of Willie McCovey — in
my dreams — following Saint Lou
Gehrig, still ox strong until, at 37,
martyred to robber disease, luckiest
man at foreign microphone, here
near first base bag but far distant,
baseball tragedy, wasted away,
weak who had been so powered,
smiling and glee-ed behind his thick
New York accent, high voice, broad
continent of back, naked to the
heat in the slo-mo newsreel shot
of a sun-bake batting practice, a
.340 hitter, MVP, good guy, goofy
in the cowboy one-reeler, playing
himself and stopping the bad-guy
bar-fight by throwing pool balls at
them, giggling, knocking sense into
them, as America was going to have
to knock sense into the Nazis — too
late for millions, world of tragedies —
in the war that started after he was
gone, hugged by the Babe who lived
a decade longer, gaunt at the end,
who had been so beefy over dainty
feet, leaning on a bat here, pained
in painful loose uniform, who had
been Falstaff to Lou’s straight man,
hot-dog-eater to Lou’s rare steak
and mashed potatoes, hot dog to
Lou’s altar boy, as I was, amid the
church gold and echo chants, alien
incense and soaring arches, heaven
-like, who hit .111 in Little League,
talentless on the diamond except
for Major League yearning to follow
Lou with my first baseman’s glove
which, still, I take to the Stadium
(original and new) every time I go,
who will never play first base for
the Yankees, will never nab a
ballistic liner off anyone’s bat
but, wherever here, will wear
Lou’s gleam-white pinstriped home
jersey, 4. Look! There I am.

PHOTO:  Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York City, NY, October 2019 by Gabriel Murad, used by permission. Opened in 2009, the stadium replaced the original Yankee Stadium, which operated from 1923-2008.

GehrigLou NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I have many stories about how I — a Chicagoan who loves Chicago and has lived here all my life — fell in love with the Yankees and remain in love.  The deepest reason is Lou Gehrig.

PHOTO: Lou Gehrig (1903-1941) was a first baseman with the New York Yankees for 17 seasons, from 1923-1939.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Baseball great Lou Gehrig was renowned for his prowess as a hitter and for his durability, which earned him the nickname “The Iron Horse.” In 1939, he was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame and was the first MLB player to have his uniform number (4) retired by a team. In mid-1939 be was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, an incurable neuromuscular illness now commonly referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease.” The disease forced him to retire at age 36, and was the cause of his death two years later. The pathos of his farewell from baseball was capped off by his iconic 1939 “Luckiest Man on the Face of the Earth” speech at Yankee Stadium. (Source: Wikipedia)

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: A three-time Pushcart Prize nominee, Patrick T. Reardon is the author of eight books, including the poetry collection Requiem for David and Faith Stripped to Its Essence, a literary-religious analysis of Shusaku Endo’s novel Silence. His poetry has appeared inSilver Birch Press, San Antonio Review, Eclectica, Esthetic Apostle, Ground Fresh Thursday, Literary Orphans, Rhino, Spank the Carp, Main Street Rag, The Write Launch, Meat for Tea, Tipton Poetry Journal, UCity Review, Under a Warm Green Linden, andThe Write City. Reardon, who worked as a Chicago Tribune reporter for 32 years, has published essays and book reviews widely in such publications as the Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Crain’s Chicago Business, National Catholic Reporter, and U.S. Catholic. His novella Babe was short-listed by Stewart O’Nan for the annual Faulkner-Wisdom Contest. His latest book, The Loop: The “L” Tracks that Shaped and Saved Chicago, will be released on November 26, 2020, and is available for preorder. His Pump Don’t Work blog can be found at patricktreardon.com.

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Liberty Quarantined
–virtual tour, May 2020
by Marjorie Maddox

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PHOTO: “Statue of Liberty,” Liberty Island, New York Harbor, New York City, NY by Jeff Burak on Unsplash.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Because I’ve only seen the Statue of Liberty from the outside, this story at CBS News inspired “Liberty Quarantined.”

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Winner of the 2019 Foley Poetry Prize and Professor of English and Creative Writing at Lock Haven University, Marjorie Maddox has published 11 collections of poetry—including Transplant, Transport, Transubstantiation (Yellowglen Prize); True, False, None of the Above (Illumination Book Award Medalist)Local News from Someplace ElsePerpendicular As I (Sandstone Book Award)—the short story collection What She Was Saying (Fomite); four children’s and YA books—including  Inside Out: Poems on Writing and Reading Poems with Insider Exercises and A Crossing of Zebras: Animal Packs in PoetryI’m Feeling Blue, Too!Common Wealth: Contemporary Poets on Pennsylvania (co-editor); Presence (assistant editor); and 600+ stories, essays, and poems in journals and anthologies. Her book Begin with a Question is forthcoming from Paraclete Press in Spring 2021. For more about her work, visit marjoriemaddox.com.

EDITOR’S NOTE:  The Statue of Liberty (Liberty Enlightening the World; French: La Liberté éclairant le monde), a gift from the people of France to the people of the United States, was designed by French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi and its metal framework was built by Gustave Eiffel. The statue was dedicated on October 28, 1886. (Source: Wikipedia.)

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9 ways of viewing the Brooklyn Bridge
by Joan McNerney

1
from far away as if
a child drew 2 bright
triangles in the sky

2
empty newspaper truck
rattling over violet bridge

3
rain sweeps through giant
silver spider web

4
obscured by N train
its metal doors reflect freight
boats and painted containers

5
tipping from side to side
listening to loose tracks

6
passengers huddled in tight circles
woolen gloves around steel pole

7
1 square of sunset
in the sticky window

8
orange ball bounces beside
bridge…slides into blue water
white waves

9
black sky black sea
yellow moon climbs
over buildings
3 foghorns

PHOTO: “The Brooklyn Bridge” found at Pixabay, used by permission.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I am originally from Brooklyn, and always loved the Brooklyn Bridge. I could glimpse it riding the subway to work each day.  It was the first bridge to span its way to Manhattan and has a remarkable history. When it was finished, the entire city celebrated, because we know how New Yorkers love to party. Lastly, kudos to Wallace Stevens and his wonderful inspiration for this poem.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Joan McNerney’s poetry is found in many literary magazines, such as Seven Circle Press, Dinner with the Muse, Poet Warriors, Blueline, and Halcyon Days, as well as in four Bright Hills Press anthologies, several editions of the  Poppy Road Review, and numerous Spectrum Publications.  Her latest title, The Muse In Miniature, is available on Amazon.com and Cyberwit.net.  She has four Best of the Net nominations.

Roig_front door
Thresholds
by Kerfe Roig

I have known
so many doorways–
ideas
of home–so
many entrances always
followed by exits,
portals to
moving on. They say
each door is
renewal,
a fresh start, but I long for
extended middles,
openings
that tell me to stay.
Here I am,
sequestered
still behind one of hundreds
of plain white metal
rectangles
along corridors
guarded by
multiple
locks. The world comes in through my
window—subways, sea
gulls calling
and Venus and the
moon fading
into dawn.
The playground below listens:
abandoned, forlorn.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Having just moved (again), the familiarity of my world has been entirely upended.  I feel lucky that I am able to turn to creating words and images to ease the unknowns of my enforced solitude.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kerfe Roig currently lives behind the door of her thirteenth residence since arriving in New York City at age 19.  She hopes to move one final time, a goal currently derailed by the uncertainty of the times.  She likes to play with words and images and sends them out to the world at kblog.blog.

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We asked the 97 contributors to the Nancy Drew Anthology (Silver Birch Press, October 2016) to send photos featuring the book in their home environments. Author Anne Borne provided this portrait of herself and the collection from the ever-wonderful New York City. Anne contributed the story “It’s Not the Books, It’s the Library” (featured below)  to the 212-page anthology.

It’s Not the Books, It’s the Library
by Anne Born

It’s easy to identify the Nancy Drew and Dana Girls mysteries as my favorite children’s adventure stories. When I read those little books, I wanted to be the one with the answer, the one to solve the crime, the one to show the grownups that this teen could do it. These girls were resourceful and clever. What’s interesting to me now is that, for the life of me, I cannot recall a single episode, and I couldn’t name more than one title. I do not remember just exactly what these plucky heroines accomplished. What I do remember is my cousin Diane.

Diane was much older than me. She was a child of the 1940s whose father served in WWII. She spent countless hours with my grandparents and her aunt and uncle, laying a foundation of trust and love for all of the cousins to follow. We all knew that we were important, and we knew that our family had something special—and a good bit of that came from the first cousin on the scene: Diane.

I came to know Nancy Drew because Diane collected the books. As far as I can remember, it was a complete set. I could borrow them, read them one at a time or a couple at a go, and return them to her collection. But it was never about the plot of the books, it was that Diane could read and when she did, she did it up in style. I could take books out of the town public library certainly, and I did that nearly every week I was in school. But Diane had a library and that was exciting to me.

Because my family did not have a budget line for book buying or the means to get to bookstores very often, and because I spent so much time at the library, I have only a dozen or so books from my childhood. I do not have all the great pirate books that I loved. I don’t have the stories of Pompeii that I remember so clearly. And I don’t have the Nancy Drew books. I vowed that when I had my own children, I would buy them books instead of just taking them to the library. I wanted them to know what Diane must have known, that there is tremendous comfort in being in a library, but there is something so much more powerful in owning a library.

Diane left us a few years ago. She had a heart ailment that would take her from us way too soon. In writing this, I am sad she doesn’t know the lifelong impact her choice in teen fiction had on me. I want her to know that her collecting Nancy Drew and Dana Girl mysteries, and sharing them the way she did, instilled in me a love of libraries as well as a love of a great mystery story. My library has books about everything!

I’m reading my own copy of The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey now with my book club and even though it does not feature a boyfriend with a slick convertible or helpful aunts and uncles, it does remind me of the debt I owe to my cousin Diane. It’s great to have a library card, but it’s even better to have a library.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Anne Born is the author of A Marshmallow on the Bus (2014), Prayer Beads on the Train (2015), and Waiting on a Platform (2016). She is the editor of the award-winning anthology of stories from The Late Orphan Project —  These Winter Months.  (2016). Anne is a regular contributor on The Broad Side, and her essay on Hillary Clinton’s religious faith was included in Love Her, Love Her Not: The Hillary Paradox  (2015), edited by Joanne Bamberger. Her work has been published in the Newtown Literary Journal and in “Me, as a Child,” “All About My Name,” and “My Prized Possession,” Poetry & Prose Series published by Silver Birch Press. Anne’s essay on her cousin’s collection of Nancy Drew novels was published in the Silver Birch Press Nancy Drew Anthology (2016). Her poetry has been featured in New York at Boundless Tales, Word Up Community Bookstore, and the Queens Council on the Arts. She has been a featured performer in several venues with Inspired Word NYC, at the New York Transit Museum, on Queens Public TV in “The World of Arts,” and with the International Women’s Salon on Salon Radio. Anne divides her time between New York and Michigan, and the Camino de Santiago in Spain. Follow Anne Born and The Late Orphan Project at The Backpack Press, and on TwitterRedbubbleWattpad, andInstagram @nilesite. Listen to her in the Bronx podcasts on Our Salon Radio.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: This is me at the subway station in my neighborhood, the beautiful South Bronx. Snapped by a girl walking by who saw me balancing my cell phone and the book. She says, “Wow! I love Nancy Drew!” So I gave her the book.

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NYC Driving
by Lourdes A. Gautier

Hot sun, summer in the city and we were headed for Jones Beach.
Car windows rolled down, hair flapping in the breeze
Barbra Streisand letting us know via the radio that people who need           people
Are the luckiest people in the world.

Every time my cousin shifted gears, stepping on the clutch
Expertly moving from first to second and on to third in his Renault
I wanted to be able to do that too!
But fourteen-year-olds were not allowed to drive in New York City.

Fast forward six years, still cruising in New York
This time rush hour traffic filled with homeward bound drivers.
Jockeying for space on West 28th Street, the heart of Chelsea
Boyfriend stops car, walks to passenger side so I have to scoot over.

You said you wanted to learn how to drive, right?
Thirty feet from Eighth Avenue and bumper to bumper traffic?
Are you crazy? No. But I was and off we went around the corner,
Then around the block as I slid into a spot in front of my building.

I might just as well have driven cross country based on the satisfaction
Of not crashing the car or having anyone honk their horn at me in           exasperation.
A natural, that’s what I was or so I secretly thought
Though it would be four more years before I’d actually get my license to           drive.

Thanks to that experience, I can drive anything, anywhere, anytime.

PHOTO: New York City, Mulberry and Broome Streets, 1960s. Posted by Daniel Stroh at Hemmings Daily.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: The 14-year-old going on 30 who fancied herself driving a foreign car eventually became the 20-year-old whose reality was driving an automatic American-made sedan.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lourdes A. Gautier is a poet and writer of short fiction and nonfiction. Born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and raised in New York City, she earned a Masters degree in Theatre and post graduate credits in a doctoral program at the City University of New York (CUNY) focusing on Latin American Theatre. She taught courses in acting and theatre history and criticism at CUNY, Drew University, and Jersey City State University and language arts in a special grant funded program at Rutgers University. Most recently, her short story, “1952,” was published in the May issue of Acentos Review. Her poems have appeared in Calliope and in the Silver Birch Press All About My Name, My Perfect Vacation, and My Metamorphosis Series. Currently an administrator at Columbia University, she is working on a collection of poems and stories.She has performed at the Inwood Local open mic night in New York City. Currently an administrator at Columbia University, she is working on a collection of poems and stories.

voss PHOTO: Poet Rachel Voss with her copy of The Great Gatsby Anthology in Astoria Park (Queens, New York) overlooking the East River/Triboro and Hell Gate bridges (not quite the Valley of Ashes and the Queensboro Bridge that Fitzgerald wrote about in The Great Gatsby — but not far).

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rachel Voss is a high school English teacher and lives in Queens, New York. She graduated with a degree in creative writing and literature from SUNY Purchase College. Her work has appeared in Hanging Loose Magazine, WORK, Blast Furnace, The New Verse News, Newtown Literary, and Unsplendid, among others. She contributed her poem “Villanelle on a line from The Great Gatsby” to The Great Gatsby Anthology.

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The Subway at the Lake
by Anne Born

The subway doors open at Columbus Circle
and the air on the platform is suddenly fresh.
Trees from Central Park, the dew of the morning,
the warming heat of August coming up from the damp grass.

And I am back at Indian Lake, at my grandpa’s place there,
playing with my cousins.
Sailboats at the dock, the pier stretching out like train tracks
into the blue-gray water around.

Me, terrified of the dull green grasses
that grow just off shore, hidden beneath the surface
of the water.

My dad, teaching me to swim so my face stay’d dry
and I could see where I was going without my glasses.

My mother, cool sipping from a fragile Martini glass
while she sits on a lawn chair, her feet up on a stool.

My grandmother in the house.
Fish caught by grandpa for supper,
Cards and dice played after coffee,
Marshmallows toasted over the fires on the beach.

Fireflies light up the night sky,
ducking in and out of the bushes.
Wet swimsuits hang on the line.
I can taste the icy too-sweet grape Nehi.

Then the double doors shut on the subway train,
and I am heading down to Seventh Avenue now.

I wish I remembered how to play Pinochle.

PHOTOGRAPH: The author as a child in her green cowgirl outfit.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I wrote “The Subway by the Lake” on the downtown B train [in New York City] one morning in August 2014. The poem appears in my second collection of stories written on the MTA — Prayer Beads on the Train. It describes the memories prompted by the rush of fresh air into the train car as we pulled into the Columbus Circle station one morning on my way to work. The moment lasted only as long as the train car doors were open — roughly 15 seconds. But I felt refreshed by it and found myself quickly writing down the images on the way downtown.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Anne Born is a New York writer whose blog posts have appeared on Red Room, Open Salon, Bubblews, and as a feature in Non-Fiction on Wattpad (as Nilesite). She is a regular contributing writer on The Broad Side. Her writing focuses on family and life in a big city after growing up in a small one in Michigan. Anne published her first collection of MTA stories, A Marshmallow on the Bus, in June 2014. Most of her writing is done on a city bus or train. Anne is a performing artist in the Platform Series at the New York Transit Museum and has featured as a Local Poet at Inwood Local, as an author at We Heart NYC Writers sponsored by Inspired Word, and as a poet and storyteller with No Name at Word Up Community Bookstore in Washington Heights. Her poetry has also been featured at Boundless Tales at the Astoria Bookshop in Queens, New York. She is a participating member of Poetry & Coffee. Anne is a photographer who specializes in photos of churches, cemeteries, and the Way of St. James in Spain. Her photos are sold on Redbubble (Nilesite). Follow Anne Born on Twitter and Instagram @nilesite and at http://thebackpackpress.com and http://tumbleweedpilgrim.com.

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HIGHRISE
by Victoria McGrath

I’m standing on the fifth floor balcony of my life and
you’d think that, from here, the view would knock your socks
off. I thought I’d see spectaculars: the Thames, Times Square,
the Sydney Opera House. At least the Eiffel Tower’s frilly

underpants. But the canopy hangs at just about my elevation,
dubious and loose, and not that easy to see through. I thought
there’d be some sense of accomplishment living at this height,
a particular felicity. But it pains me to say that all I really feel

is a little dizzy. Below, in the shadows, I can almost recognise
fragments of the sweepings that I’ve lost from the ramparts
over the years. Phone numbers, passwords, keys. Everything
to do with calculus, and some critical bits of the 12 times table.

Names. So many forgotten names. And purpose. Not-quite-born
babies. My father’s face. It’s terrible to hover over history
like this. It threatens to remove me. I find it hard to focus on
people anymore and I’m surprised when I realise this comes as

a relief. I once liked them better, liked their privacies, their
collective contradictions. These days I admit I can’t work them
out. They imitate each other. Their user-names congregate on
the lower storeys, where they fumble through their judgements

like a bum rummaging in a bin for crumbs, before desperately
trying to beat the Joneses up the back stairs. To be honest,
it’s all getting to be a bit of a slog now. The stairs are steep,
and perilous with slippery memories. I’d really like to settle in

to some comfortable armchair for a while, high-backed and
made of leather, indulgently polished by other backsides
that like to read and ruminate. But the joints get restless
and I can’t help wondering what might await me when

I emerge onto the roof at last. With my luck, I’ll stumble up
that final step only to be confronted with a cold metal slammer,
firmly bolted and embellished with the declaration:

          FIRE DOOR – PLEASE KEEP CLOSED
 
Right now my framework feels ramshackle and remote, almost
empty, except for the faint drone of lonely poets, the gamy glow
of boasts and blundering, and the simple hum of an accountant
down the hall, who’s hard at work depreciating the high life,

busy totting up the cost of pots and black kettles.

IMAGE: “The Radiator Building” by Georgia O’Keeffe (1927).

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Victoria McGrath is an emerging poet who lives in country New South Wales, Australia, and is a graduate of the Australian National University. She has won a number of poetry awards and was shortlisted in 2013 for the prestigious Newcastle Poetry Prize. She has been published in journals and anthologies in Australia and the U.S. and has performed in a range of events, including twice as featured poet at the Bundanoon Winterfest. A publisher has expressed interest in her first, not quite finished, manuscript.