Posts Tagged ‘Washington Heights’

Have you not seen the latest symptom of this noxious scourge of gentrification, this affront to our community? Have you not been outraged as you approach the corner of Edgecombe Avenue and 159th Street by the sight of a rainbow-colored umbrella and outdoor tables, where you can drink a cup of coffee and enjoy a […]

Those arriving in Washington Heights for the first time are often surprised to hear splintering, cracking sounds in the distance, sounds which like breaking bones or the felling of ancient trees barely need to be identified to be recognized. “Oh yes,” we nod impassively, but then feel compelled to elaborate. “The shoreline is rocky and […]

Since we last saw the hills around Saratoga a few days ago, they have become drab and mundane, the color of an unwatered suburban lawn, while further south the Catskills have grown equally tired and pedestrian. Did we really talk with any enthusiasm about wanting to visit either of these spots? Even the Hudson River […]

The thuds you hear on the roof? No, it is not rain or sleet or thunder, or at least not in the meteorological sense of these terms; rather, it is a rain of debris brought down upon us by the merciless gods who throw garbage from the windows.

There is a tawdry quality to the buildings lining the main street into town that even we find it difficult to romanticize, as it does not recall an excess of abandoned grandeur (in this regard we have been literally ruined by Washington Heights) but a desperate, opportunistic desire to skim off the hordes (us among […]

It is not only that the C delivers us to Washington Heights, while the B veers east at 145th Street to the Bronx; there are, most notably, the seats; on the B they are oddly flat without the slight trough that allows us to lean back, to settle in and resume our contemplations. And is […]

Thank you so very much for your keen insight and generosity, your willingness to come all the way up here to protect us! Your words have been so reassuring; we feel so much better knowing that you will do everything in your power — including next week’s important meeting with the mayor — to prevent […]

Of all the outer boroughs, Brooklyn seems to offer the least potential for the gay recluse in search of refuge and contemplation. Having once lived in Park Slope — there, we admit it — we remain mystified by the unceasing torrent of adulation heaped upon the borough — and in particular, we address these comments […]

In response to the criticism by us and many others of her article on Thelma and Louise, Judith Warner in her latest column in The Times has come back to the table, prepared to admit how “shocked” she was by the reaction, but nevertheless maintaining that “[since] the 1970s and 1980s… I [can] attest to […]

The oily black smoke of 100-year-old boilers disperses daily across the rooftops in Washington Heights, heedless of those who suffer from pneumonia, asthma and tuberculosis. Officials and politicians? Not even footnotes in this story, which is about the aggregation of capital and the relentless rise of the metropolis.

To those who complain about our subway station, we will not dispute your claims regarding the legions of rats who live on the upper platform, the large underground cavern now filled with trash that has long been closed off to riders; nor will we deny that the smell of piss is pervasive, and that at […]

There are many games of dominoes in Washington Heights, but we prefer to avoid those on Broadway — populated by noisy, drunken louts — in favor of the more intense and serious version found on the side streets leading up to Amsterdam. Here the diamond-studded drug lord steps out of an armored SUV to take […]

Of all the groundcovers we have introduced into the garden this year, Corsican mint (Mentha requienii) has attained a particular affection for us as we consider it now, with the growing season on the wane. Although it has thrived in several places in the garden, it is most spectacular in the crevices of our stone […]

On Walt Whitman


On Broadway last night we passed a man, older and bearded, wearing a broad-rimmed hat. We felt his eyes on our back and then — more alarmingly — a hand on our elbow. But the grip seemed far more imploring than threatening, and so we did not protest as he guided us toward the nearby […]

Of all the Manhattan venues available to the gay recluse, Washington Heights is undoubtedly the preferred. Here we live among extremes of material decadence and breathtaking neglect, apparent in the crumbling cornices of Ft. Washington Avenue and eroding limestone facades of St. Nicholas, not to mention the tiled mosaics in the entrance foyers of the […]