Thursday, December 8, 2011


An old girl, Rags went quickly.

Ann Marie had found Pat's door open, which rarely, if ever, happens. So she went to make sure Pat was OK.

Ann Marie then got John who was on maintenance duty who told me as I walked in from my trip to Astoria. I joined him, Pat and Ann Marie and we all tended to "Pet", Pat's nickname for Rags.

After, in between Pat's family calling from around the country, Pat and Ann Marie drank wine, I had whiskey and we talked of our New York and writing and journalists who were household-names and old friends of Pat's and great actresses who were household-names and old friends of Pat's and whose Lady MacBeth Ann Marie saw in the 60's and about the days when cigarette smoking was normal and how Carola gave me whiskey after Florence's memorial.

wandered in and out of Pat's, but only after Constance, the mom of Jackson came downstairs to get her cat Scarf from my apartment which he got into because my front door was open as I ran back and forth to put up the notices that Rags had died.

I don't know much about other buildings but here we gather in small and tender ways, our faces intimate and familiar to one another as only they can be when traveling together for so long. We recount one another's history. We bear witness when life happens on life's terms. We keep company when company is needed.

We are at home in our building, And we are neighbors.

Originally posted August 4, 2011

This Is Pat and Rags' New York

Pat and I have lived next door to one another since 1976. Rags moved in much later. She was Stephen's.

Pat's the real thing.

Grew up in the Bronx, worked the newspapers when newspapers were still newspapers and journalists were still journalists. Knows everybody who's anybody who made New York reporting the kind of reporting they make movies about, including all those tough guys that actors imitate when they have to play a "real" reporter.

Jupiter is still in love with Rags but completely confused about it ever since Rags stopped ignoring him and started visiting us. So now Rags runs into the apartment, Jupiter runs away, Rags sniffs all the rooms, Jupiter runs after him, Rags eats all Jupiter's food, Jupiter watches, Rags runs out, Jupiter follows and then after Rags goes home or to the park, Jupiter sits at her door and sniffs for about an hour.

This is home and this is our New York.