Tag Archive for nyc

Fourth Saturday

Wind gusts, tires’ chains clink,
Snow tapping on jacket’s hood,
Snowplow’s mighty roar.

Horizontal rail,
Slanted snow, roiling river,
Twirling windborne leaf.

Sledding children laugh,
Spin down pine grove’s slippery hill,
Tumble into drift.

Second Saturday

Tower on far bank
Glows in shaft of morning sun
Against charcoal sky.

Tide at highest point.
Just twelve pilings visible.
Hundreds more submerged.

No ships. Slow south wind.
Long low swells slide into shore,
Slip along seawall.

Hey, NYers! Here’s a book worth winning!

Not mine, not Eating in Translation’s, but Oxford University Press’s SAVORING GOTHAM.  You win it at Eating in Translation, one of my favorite websites, so check out the contest rules.  It makes a great holiday gift.  As does, of course, a 2016 SJ Rozan Calendar.

Happy holidays!


Fiftieth Saturday, one day late

Pair of soccer balls
Float slowly on river's glass,
Glow in morning sun.

Two paddling gadwalls
Slicing through waveless water
Raising tiny wake.

Long low swell rolls in,
Angles against seawall, breaks,
Single wave rolls out.

And don't forget your 2016 SJ Rozan Calendars!

Perfect for every room in your house.
Also, your friends' houses.
Every room.

I Love New York

Construction site coffee break.

Hardhat #1 takes out cigarettes.  “Hey,”  he says to Hardhat #2, already smoking.  “You got a light?”

Hardhat #2 takes out matchbook, strikes match, holds it out, lights Hardhat #1’s smoke.  “Thanks,”  says Hardhat #1.

Hardhat #2 shakes match out, claps Hardhat #1 on the back.  “For you, buddy, I’d burn this whole fucking building down.”

I love New York.


A short course in the short story

Some of you have asked whether I teach workshops in NYC.  Well, this winter I will.  I’m teaching a six-week course in The Crime Fiction Short Story, Saturday mornings starting Jan. 23.  Details on the CFA website, so check it out and come on down.

I Love New York

Into my subway car today come the doo-wop guys, who play the subway a lot.  They four-part their way through “Jingle Bells.”  The only people who put money in their little silver shopping bag besides me are the grinning young Asian guy with his hair in a man bun, and the Sikh in a purple turban.

I love New York.

Forty-ninth Saturday

On wrinkled river
Helicopter's shadow slides,
Ferry's white wake froths.

Tall construction crane
Looms over trees, low buildings:
Iron dinosaur.

Dog jumps on next bench,
Sticks cold nose in hand, wags tail,
Refuses to leave.

And don't forget your 2016 Calendars!

River report

Lots of fog in the past few days, much of it beautifully low-hanging enough to dissolve the tops of the towers on both sides of the river. Cormorants huddling on the pilings, gulls swooping, and a red-tail who seems to be making the neighborhood his home. Fingers of gold leaves from the locust trees lying in criss-crosses on dark wet stone. This morning, sudden silver bursts of fish jumping from the water right in front of my bench. I watched for a while hoping they were being chased by a seal who’d eventually surface. Seals from New England do winter in Jamaica Bay, but they don’t often come this far up the Hudson. I’ve only seen one here, about four years ago.  Did not see one this morning.  In the end I had to admit the predator was probably just a bigger fish.




Harry Houdini’s grave


Because I know you want to see it.  Houdini was a Hungarian Jew, the son of a rabbi.  Born Erich Weisz, he later spelled his last name Weiss because it was easier to explain. When he became a professional magician he called himself Harry after Harry Kellar, and Houdini after Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin, two magicians he admired (though he later went on to expose Robert-Houdin as a liar, if not exactly a fraud).

Houdini’s buried in Queens, in what’s called the “cemetery belt” on the Terminal Moraine.  (Really.)  This is not the world’s best photo of his grave, but I had to take it from outside the fence, because when we went to see it, the cemetery gate was locked. That kept us out, though of course there’s no reason to think it’s keeping him in…