Sunday, March 30, 2014

Sunday Memories: Tribes, Lost And Found

The Mariner is adopted. Nice family, great childhood, even had a forest at the end of the block to wander through.  

But, even with all the love in the world, both giving and receiving, he sometimes felt like a visitor.  And even though everyone was very supportive, nobody quite got that he had to write, that not writing felt like not living to him. 

One day, he was about 48 at the time, his mom told him the name of his biological mother.  Who was a writer.   

Four years later, he met, for the first time, a biological relative, his cousin.  And eight years after that he met her children, his cousins, once removed.  

Like Dave.  Who is... a writer. 

And has the same (warped) sense of humor.

And wears the same blue, checkered shirts he does.

And loves to set out without a plan - calling it spontaneous adventuring.

Both have partners who are smart, strong, women who...

...BECAUSE they organize and have a plan (I'm not saying, I'M JUST SAYING) ...

... ensure things get done and sights get seen.

Of course, these two cousins who just met last year...

... and got to visit again just the other day...

... might disagree about that. 

Related Posts:

Family, Of Several Sorts

Sunday Memories' Of Days Like This That Didn't Include Food Poisoning

Friday, March 28, 2014

Friday's Child Is Loving And Giving And One Hot Studly Babe!

Why does Her New York post
Friday's Child once a week?



Jamal is just one of many handsome hunks of love at Social Tees.   And remember, if you are writing the Great American Novel, you need a cat like Jamal.  Cool, calm, collect and hanging around you so you don't go checking facebook instead of thinking of character development.


Little Candice (Dachshund Chi mix!) is a real lover. 4 years old and 19 pounds...very affectionate and easy on a leash, and she'll follow you around the room asking for petting and kisses.


Peter, Catahoula/Lab, is a big lover of a boy -- he's 3 years old, 65 pounds, and 100 percent mush. He's great with everyone he meets and other dogs, and he's totally housebroken!

Come Volunteer!!! 
Come Visit!!!!
 Come On In!!!!!

Social Tees  
325 East 5th Street, NY, NY 10003

Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Long Road Back And The Company Kept

The old gym was packed.

Young people crammed into insanely priced studios with five other people, catching a deal on exercise equipment, trainers working carefully with the less fit, the 60, 70, 80 year-olds grimly biking, running, gliding, walking, stepping, pushing, pulling, the children stoically on treadmills with watchful parents nearby - the neighborhood.  All here, in beat-up sweats and chic stretch.

An old knee, eager to remember younger days of bike messengering and the once-easy commute to City College, joins the crowd and begins a new journey slowly peddling in place through the neighborhood crowd.

Related Posts:

Couch With A View

Sometimes You Can Go Home Again

Sunday Memories: On The Road

 It Was Her City College, It was Her New York

Ghosts Of Christmas Past

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Let There Be... And There Was...

This is Jean.

She's lived on 11th Street longer than 11th Street has.   Same apartment too.  Before, she was just a normal neighbor in a normal neighborhood.  Now, she's an anomaly.   We bump into each other once a year, sometimes twice.   I just ran into her at the post office.

She loves light.  All of us performing and jumping around on 11th Street, Jean was going to work, running big theater lights in big theaters, not small clip-ons in tiny store fronts.  I remember hearing she got into the union.  It was like hearing someone became an adult and won the lottery on the same day.

She's been running the follow-spot at City Center for a long, long time.  Started part-time in 1988, went full-time in 1997.  She's going to retire from there.

Every week she gets to turn that big spotlight onto another dancer from another company from somewhere else in the world coming to New York to perform.  What they want, what they need, how it should look, in French, Spanish, English, back to French, back to English, then Spanish again... she waits five seconds after every decision is made, and then welcomes in, on the sixth second, their change of plans.  Again, in French, Spanish, English, back to French, back to English, then Spanish again, until at some point what they want is clear and firm... or not... and then she waits another five second just to make sure...

...but the minute she flips that big spotlight's switch, and that white-gold, yellow-glow pours out onto a body moving in and out of space, all the words in all the languages shimmer away.  And in their place a love unfold, just like when Fred takes Ginger in his arms and twirls her through the air like she was a feather.

Only it's Jean, with arms made of light, taking those dancers into an embrace and twirling them, and twirling them and twirling them and twirling them...

Related Posts:

Before The Days Of Air And Conditioning

Returning To An Old Embrace, We Suddenly Gathered

City Center

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Sunday Memories of Stairways To Heaven And Other Worlds Where Art Thrives

"Awww look at the peeling lead paint," El said.  "I'm going to miss this place."

But the building is about to be sold.

And the studio on the third floor where musicians can record their dreams for a reasonable rate will disappear into massive renovation bringing with it who knows... bars, discos, boutique hotels...places that allow the fantasy of having an after-party for some great work never accomplished.

Sorta like  Disneyland's Pirates of the Caribbean ride.

Related Posts:

Elisabeth's World

Sunday Memories:  Stairway to Heaven

In Defiance Of Being Silenced

Sunday Memories Of High School Stairs

Sunday Memories: Stairway to Heaven (Loews Movie House - Delancey Street

Friday, March 21, 2014

Friday's Child Is Loving And Giving And Springing Into Spring!

Why does Her New York post
Friday's Child once a week?


Lily and William are the most endearing little BFFs you could imagine. They've spent their whole young lives together.  They snuggle, sleep, and trot around like they're two halves of one dog.

They're about three years old and both have gorgeous silver coats. Lily is 12 pounds and needs some help with walking on the street because she's nervous on the sidewalk. William is 19 pounds and much bolder -- he's a great little stroller!

Both are amazingly affectionate as soon as they become familiar with you. Bend down and they will frantically scamper into your lap and lick your face like it's their job. They adore curling up next to you or in your lap while you work on the computer or watch TV, and they're great with cats.

Lily and William are up for adoption but need a foster home in the meantime. Please help! They'd be so much happier in a home than here at the shelter

Email if you can open your hearts and your arms to this dynamic duo!!


Social Tees just got loads of puppies and small dogs in yesterday, and a few of the foster homes we had lined up for them bailed on us. PLEASE HELP!!!  Fostering lasts one or two weeks.  All dogs and puppies are under 20 pounds and super sweet. 

Email or now if you can help!!!!!

Come Volunteer!!! 
Come Visit!!!!
 Come On In!!!!!

Social Tees  
325 East 5th Street, NY, NY 10003

Thursday, March 20, 2014


...and not just between foreign bodies or opposing countries, but between fingers and keys, vague ideas and actual words, daydreaming and action, lovers and love, friends and friendship, making art and earning money, hunger and food.

Related Posts:

A Labor Of Love

Sunday Memories: Disciples Of Soul

Répétez, S'il Vous Plaît

Sunday Memories: On The Cusp Of Marilyn 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Now Is The Winter Of Our Discontent

the ferry between one cold place and another

The bewilderment of not knowing how to do something you never had to do before... like grieving fifty years together, a dream that flew by in the blink of an eye and ended in a nightmare dragging through centuries...

But, not knowing, someone told me long ago as I clung to sanity, was like opening a door to a vista filled with grace. An undiscovered world, an unexplored land, a trip to another place.  All one had to do was survive, one moment to the next, the bitter wind and brutal cold in a winter of discontent.

Related Posts:

Sunday Memories Of Days Like This That Didn't Include Food Poisoning

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Sunday Memories:
Having Cake And Eating It Too

Sometimes home appears in unexpected places, like a restaurant hundreds of miles from my favorite bodega on Second Avenue.

I spotted that cake through the window of the restaurant as we walked towards the front door.   Sitting on the counter.  Clearly being doled out in slices.

Luckily, our reservations had been delayed.  That meant standing next to the counter and reading 'Happy ... something... something' upside down.   So of course,  the Mariner asked if that cake was on the menu.

It wasn't.  It was for staff to celebrate the nine years the restaurant had been in business.

And would we like a piece?

"You're shameless," Ben said, but even that didn't stop me from graciously accepting.

One bite and it was like embracing an old friend I hadn't seen in decades.  Like when you hug them and you remember in that instance every nuance of the friendship, even though you couldn't remember what you did yesterday.

A rare event, eating cake in my childhood. Once a week at Gramma's.  Twice a year when I got invited to a birthday party.

But, once in my own home on Second Avenue, the ferocious freedom of buying cake whenever I damn wanted to led to many a late night scooping up a package of Suzy Q at the bodega on the corner and then heading home for a 2 a.m. private party of eating and watching whatever was being rerun on the T.V.  If those so-called halcyon days had actually been halcyon, cake would not have been the answer.

But it was and it was bliss.

Then health demanded a presence in my life and cake, along with cigarettes, too much booze, and fried foods were escorted off the premises.  Boring, sad, but definitely a better feeling waking up each morning. And then of course the happiness late night cake had promised but never delivered also had to be sought in different ways that didn't come in a cellophane wrapper.

Still, I didn't know how much I missed that cake until tonight.  That first bite, obviously better than anything Hostess could have done, catapulted me back to young years, late nights and biting into something that promised great happiness.

So, when the owner offered a second piece, of course I took it.

Ben shook his head. Shameless.  The Mariner just laughed.

I did say no to the third piece.  But only because I didn't want to appear greedy.


Related Post:

Stranger In A Strange Land

Sunday Memories: Over The Hills And Through The Woods To Grandmother's House We Go

The Blue Paddle Bistro

Friday, March 14, 2014

Friday's Child Is Loving And Giving And Looking For Love In All The Right Places!

Are you the right place?

The second batch of pups from Social Tees' Los Angeles rescue mission have arrived !!!

With heartfelt thanks to everyone for their generous donations and spreading the word, the next step is FOSTER HOMES! 

All the pups are under 20 pounds, great with other animals, and sweet as pie.  And of course, ALL ARE AVAILABLE TO ADOPT!!!  

Please email asap if you can foster one, and look for details on Social Tees' Petfinder page if you know anyone interested in adopting.

A picture is worth a thousand words.  Goldie is home.

For more Goldie reports, click below!

Friday's Child Is Loving And Giving And Makes A House A Home

Sunday Memories:  Forgetting The Past

And if you want to find out
why Her New York 

posts Friday's Child once a week, click here!


Social Tees  
325 East 5th Street, NY, NY 10003

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Standing Witness To His New York

This is Damani.  He's on St. Marks looking for another onyx stud to replace the one he lost. 

He's always worn two onyx studs, ever since he saw that man in the Starbucks on Sixth Avenue.

He was in that Starbucks one day when a home attendant wheeled in a very old man who could barely sit up.  She set him up by a table at the window with a crossword puzzle. 

"Are you sure you're going to be OK while I do errands?" she asked him.  He nodded. But it was that very, very old nodding that took all the effort and energy he had.

The old man's hands moved even slower than his nodding as he began his crossword puzzle.  Damani was about to look away when something caught his eye.

Two onyx studs, one in each ear.

That old man may have been so infirm that he could barely sit up in a wheelchair or nod or jot letters in boxes down and across,  but he was still who he had always been.   A dashing man with style and flair, one who still lived in His New York.

As Damani does now.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

"Pick One. The Rest Will Follow."

There was so much to do.  Clean so I could breathe again, not have my eyes tear from the cat fur, return the overdue book to the library, tend to the cats especially the one getting so overweight he no longer could jump on the bed the first time, do all the physical therapy exercises so that one day I could walk comfortably again, call all the calls I needed to call, answer all the emails days old... Do Do all this even though the smallest move felt like moving through sludge.  How, then, how to start? 

"Pick one.  The rest will follow," this ancient woman once said to me. 

I am her age now.  And I still don't know how...

The cat made it easier.  Start at the beginning.  Stop running around and sit so you remember who you are and how you are supposed to be here.

Related Post:


Répétez, S'il Vous Plaît

Another Night Home On The Range

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Sunday Memories: The Difference

Stuck between her high school diploma and her mother's scrapbook of her achievements, were several copies of a professional 'headshot' of Florence and this picture.

The headshot has Florence against a white backdrop, gazing into the distance with subtle glamor befitting a young Julliard pianist. She's floating in some cloud that we are all part of.

But this picture tells a different story. It must have been taken at the same time because Florence is wearing the same dress and makeup.

But its attempt at being a professional photo of a  young Julliard pianist falls short.  It's when you look closely that you realize you are not in some artistic bubble of comfort and genteel intellect.

No.  You are in a tenement, probably the one on Hester Street where Florence and her mother Sophie lived in for many years. 

The window sill is beat up.  The radiator  cover a bit worn. There are  blinds on the window, not something one might find in a lush home.  And barely visible, but clearly there, are the bars of a fire escape. 

 I looked at this picture and cringed.  It reminded me all too well of Florence's and my own attempts to step into a world beyond our own wallets, thinking we were representing our work just like everyone else, but in fact revealing how far away we lived from the world we were trying to enter.

Related Posts:

Sunday Memories:  Along Came Bialy

Sunday Memories:  Upstairs Downstairs

Friday, March 7, 2014

Friday's Child Is Loving And Giving
And Leaping Forward Into Time

Why, you might ask, 
does a blog that explores New York's 
disappearing landscape, family and home, 
write about cats and dogs up for adoption?

Why indeed.

Click here to find out.
Meanwhile, at Social Tees 
 cats and dogs, 
kittens and puppies 
are just waiting to show you 
what real love is all about
Just like one kitten did to me not so long ago.



ANOTHER SOCIAL TEES SUCCESS STORY! Sissy and Piper (fka Esmeralda and Tabitha) were adopted a few days ago!!! 

"Adopting a dog, let alone two, wasn't even a passing thought, but when a friend shared the Susie's Senior Dogs post about these girls, something just clicked.  I immediately fell in love with their adorable little faces! Throughout the next day, I couldn't stop thinking about them, so I decided to take a visit to Social Tees and from the moment I saw them, I knew there was no going back. Their sweet cuddles, kisses and personalities melt my heart. 

We love nothing more than going for a stroll in the park and going home to snuggle up.  Especially after everything they've gone through together, I am so grateful to be able offer these little senior sisters a home where they have no shortage of the gentle care and love they deserve! 

A million thanks to Social Tees and Susie's Senior Dogs for helping me find what I didn't know was missing and the opportunity to give these girls the best rest of their life "



They're bringing approximately 20 tiny dogs (under 10lbs) to NYC this morning, FRIDAY and need short-term foster homes for these babies! They are all fully vetted and sweet as can be! 

But they're still in dire need of short-term foster homes for these tiny doggies.  They can ONLY bring as many as there are foster homes.  

PLEASE HELP -- Can you short-term foster one these sweet babies starting Friday??

Please email NOW to:


Fostering lasts a few weeks, and Social Tees can provide supplies if you need them.  Fostering is SUPER important because it's much healthier for our animals to be in homes than in cages, and it expands our shelter virtually.

AND for every cat and dog that is placed in a foster home, Social Tees can pull another out of the kill shelter. So if you are an animal-lover with commitment issues, FOSTER!!!

For more info on fostering, check out our FAQs here.

And your life will be love-rich forever!!!

Social Tees  
325 East 5th Street, NY, NY 10003

Thursday, March 6, 2014

It Was Olga's New York

An email went around.

Flowers appeared on the lobby's mantle.

The news broke our hearts. 

Had lived in the building fifty years.  Had been a good wife there.  Had raised her kids there.  Had doted on her grandchildren there.

While the neighborhood swirled around her, melting its SROs and porn houses and drugs and hookers into one of the city's most expensive neighborhoods for youngsters wearing knitted caps in the middle of summer, Olga had pushed her big shopping cart, almost as big as she was, through daily errands.

But that's not the story of Olga or her New York.  Telling that story would be like telling the story of how light made a baby's giggle dance or revealing the mysteries of a poem.

Gathering at the same funeral home where her husband had laid in repose 15 years earlier, we described wisps of her life, to one another, to her children, her son no longer the little boy who had that merry stride as he headed to the elevator, her daughter, no longer the teenage girl attempting to hide her romancing a boyfriend in the shadows of the staircase.

But even those remembrances, even those could not come close to telling the story of Olga or her New York.

It was when we heard that Robert, our mailman for as many decades as any of us could remember, had come by in full uniform to pay his respects ... it was only then that the story of Olga and her New York could begin to be told.

Related Posts:

It Was The Day Right On Christmas

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Encore: Only The Light Fixtures Are Different

During difficult times and, on the heels of family loss, the unexpected death of a dear neighbor, an encore where life in Her New York was business as usual. Originally posted May 3, 2011.

There used to be tons of florescent lit places to go to in the middle of the night for a quick bite only a couple of dollars. Now even the 24-hour post office closes at 10 and the all night diner on 34th is really expensive.

Luckily for us, the pizza joint down the street - "one of the top ten!" David points out - is still open and in the lovely faux brick and marble, we eat our slices and pour talk of putting on plays in kindergarten, whether UPS is hotter than FedEx, the necessity of therapy to keep sane in an artist's life, concrete vs. trees - discuss, the fact that Devil in Miss Jones is the only porn film in existence with a plot, and the pressing need of a support group for cats of writers.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Sunday Memories: Rock Of Ages

The basement was cavernous.  Straight out of the kind of movie where people wandering in basements got killed but not before they screamed a lot.

So of course I had to wander.  I felt drawn to the twisting path winding between old suitcases and massive amounts of repair materials.

There was one last corner to turn. It was darker than the rest of the basement.  The bare bulbs had ended way before this bend in the road.

So of course I had to turn.

I was shocked. 

For there, facing the last wall, was the rocking chair I used to, over forty years ago, crawl into to soothe myself.

There had been no rocking chairs in my New York home.  Rocking chairs were only in fairy tale stories that turned out alright.   But, exile and diaspora to Philadelphia for my last year of high school brought a new home, a new family, a new school, a new city and a new world.

Nothing looked the same - there were too many trees and everybody drove everywhere.  Kids my age had their own cars and horses.  All the buildings were short.  Nobody stayed out after evening light faded.

I was terrified.  I didn't understand it at the time because I just kept smiling and nodding and doing every task and chore I was given.  It was only at night when my new young family went to sleep that I would crawl into their rocking chair, put on headphones, and comfort myself into some peacefulness while listening to music that reminded me of home.  A home that no longer existed, if it ever had, but one I needed to live in.

Related Posts:

Ben's Birthday

Sunday Memories: Let There Be Light

Sunday Memories: His New York His California His Home - Part Three

Knock Down Seven...

The Obituary of Judith Joseph 

In Memory Of Cindy: The Land Of The Quartchyard