Archive for the ‘New York Stories’ Category

Officer Education

Posted on January 8th, 2020 by Viveca

One of my earliest memories of life in NYC was stopping two police officers to report that someone on the subway platform was … and then I couldn’t think of any word that wasn’t obscene or childish. For some reason I didn’t think I should be either of those things in this context, so I […]

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Grad Giveaway Grief

Posted on June 29th, 2014 by Viveca

Test prep materials

Test Prep Materials (Williamsburg) Teachers’ materials for SAT, GRE, SHSAT, and GMAT. Mostly 2005-2012, some with notes on them. That’s what I posted on Craigslist. In the interest of not bogging down this story, I’m going to try to let it tell itself. It’ll be whatever the modern, electronic version of epistolary is. Well, almost. […]

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Personal Identification Crisis

Posted on January 9th, 2014 by Viveca

Personal Identification Number

PayPal told me to enter my four-digit security code “one digit at a time.” How else do people type them in?

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The Good, the Fair, and the Right

Posted on December 14th, 2012 by Viveca

Two blow dryers

Sometimes doing what’s fair doesn’t result in doing good. Smart people analyze how this counter-intuitive truth affects big issues. James Surowiecki discusses it in the context of the Eurozone crisis (The Fairness Trap from The New Yorker, June 4, 2012), and Malcom Gladwell raises it with regards to solving homelessness (Million-Dollar Murray, also from The […]

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Take My Sheets… Please!

Posted on November 11th, 2012 by Viveca


I got some new sheets as a gift and decided to offer my old ones free on Craigslist: Queen-sized sheets (Williamsburg) Three sets queen-sized sheets, some pillowcases. Old, used, and stained but clean and un-ripped. Three people responded. One of them wrote this: Where in williamsburg I wrote back my exact full address and added: […]

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NYC Trivia

Posted on June 23rd, 2012 by Viveca

Times Square NYC

After 9-11, there was a brief period during which the rest of the country liked New York. This might have never happened before, and although I’m generally missing that wheeler-dealer gene, I wanted to capitalize on the love zeitgeist. This was also a period of “nesting,” when it was cool for young adults to stay […]

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Posted on April 17th, 2012 by Viveca


Want to hear the grossest thing ever? Okay not ever, but still gross enough. My car’s check engine light came on a few days ago. I mostly stopped driving although I didn’t feel anything wrong with it and even lent it to Matt and Jen. While they had it, the power steering went out, so […]

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Directions & Perspective

Posted on April 14th, 2012 by Viveca

school backpack on hook

For a while now I’ve been eying some of the brightly patterned back packs my students carry. Today one girl let me check hers for tags, but I couldn’t find a brand. I asked her whether she knew where she got it, and to my surprise she said she did. I asked where. She’s in […]

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Lost Wallet

Posted on April 13th, 2012 by Viveca

Lost wallet

I lost my wallet on the bench in the subway station near my house. Is it called a wallet if it carries cards but no cash? Anyway I must have had it to swipe my MetroCard entering the subway, but I didn’t have it when I wanted to swipe for the bus to finish my […]

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Complaining Like Americans

Posted on April 12th, 2012 by Viveca

Complaint department

Substitute teaching survival English: The topic was returns, complaints, refunds, and exchanges, stuff like that. I tried to get them talking in groups, but they were all staring at me silently. Finally one student said she didn’t understand what theywere supposed to be doing (the English level in the class was much lower than I […]

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More News


January 2020
« Jan    

The End of the Line

Fence cling

A: Howard Beach/JFK, Queens

Wednesday, May 22, 2013 Damaso and I were both in town ...

SIR: St. George, Staten Island

Monday, April 9, 2012 Spring break for the Salisbury (CT) public ...

3: 148th Street/Harlem, Manhattan

Tuesday, November 15, 2011 I read a bit of that Quran, ...

S: Franklin Avenue, Brooklyn

Thursday, August 11, 2011 Boy if I thought Damaso changing his ...

NQ: Astoria/Ditmars Boulevard, Queens

Tuesday, August 9, 2011 It’s been almost five months since our ...

JEZ: Jamaica Center/Parsons Archer, Queens

Tuesday, March 29, 2011 We take the J because we both ...

SIR: Tottenville, Staten Island

Saturday, March 26, 2011 Holy end-of-the-line, Batman, Staten Island is really ...

2: Wakefield/241st Street, The Bronx

Thursday, March 24, 2011 We pull a last-minute switcheroo on our ...

R: Bay Ridge/95th Street, Brooklyn

Sunday, March 20, 2011 Ooph. No beautiful glowing glass art at ...

L: 14th Street/8th Avenue, Manhattan

Friday, March 18, 2011 This trip feels oddly important. It’s the ...

1: South Ferry, Manhattan

Tuesday, March 15, 2011 Sometimes, admittedly not as often as I’d ...

L: Rockaway Canarsie, Brooklyn

Sunday, March 13, 2011 After 18 years here, the cultural associations ...

6: Pelham Bay Park, the Bronx

Monday, February 21, 2011 We went to Manhattan. We went to ...

M: Middle Village, Metropolitan Ave., Queens

Saturday, February 19, 2011 Yesterday kids were playing basketball outdoors in ...

A: Inwood-207th Street, Manhattan

Thursday February 3, 2011 The idea had been hanging over my ...