My Photo

December 2022

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
        1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31
Blog powered by Typepad

« Love Loses The Day | Main | Genius »

December 04, 2008



Nice read, Alex. However, I have a couple corrections; "Slocko's" name is/was Zlatko and the 86th street gang was actually the 84th street gang. A fun little bit of trivia is that they jumped Steven Crandall and me in front of Mimi's Pizzeria on Lexington and 84th street and kicked our sorry little asses just for being there. Steve and I had been wandering around looking for a good video game to dump quarters into. Steve ended up with some bumps and scrapes and I got a busted nose.

EV Grieve

I enjoyed this, Alex. Thanks.


I think you were too hard on yourself - it is a nice memorial piece to childhood that effectively sums up who you were during that period, with NY as the backdrop.

I am particularly jealous of your very detailed memories of very specific places, something I like due to years of inhaling when I should have been pretending to.

As a parent of a teenager that was raised in a very tiny East Village walk up, I can honestly tell you (I think I've gone on about this before to you so you are likely thinking I should shut up, but I won't) that I find very little to worry about. He is free as a bird, and we don't worry about drunk driving or crystal meth, the 2 great teenage killers of the suburbs.

My son and his friends are, very likely just like you, brought up in the city, incredibly intelligent, self-sufficient smart asses who are going to be their own masters of the universe someday very soon. That is if they don't get arrested for jumping turnstiles, smoking pot or stealing from the salad bar at Whole Foods.


great post, I often wonder what it was like to grow up in NYC during that era. you are very lucky indeed.

m coleman

this is a hugely contentious issue w/my seventh-grader right now. he walks around the neighborhood solo but we feel nervous about him taking the subway alone from the UWS to Chelsea for school. erring on the side of over-protective, perhaps. maybe if my wife or I had grown up in NYC we'd be more relaxed.

anyway this post addresses something I've been thinking about lately. funny how that works.


Hi M Coleman
This isn't the appropriate place to post this, but I feel compelled to respond.

I agree, it is a huge issue, but I would suggest that the subway is the least of the problem, it's about as safe a place as you can be. If you have taught him well, he should know how to read the maps, how to ask a cop for help, and to get off if he feels at all a weird vibe.

I am actually more concerned when my son is with friends than not - because he tends to pay less attention to his surroundings when he is engaged with someone. When he is alone, he's focusing on where he is going and what is going on around him. For example, he's more likely to step into an intersection without looking when he is talking than when he is alone.

It's where they end up at the end of the ride that can be worrisome. I would advise you to stop worrying about the subway and focus on where he is going and with who.

I was given some really good advice and I want to pass it along because it really helped me figure out how to deal with the uncertainty of not knowing where your kid is at all moments, which is a big change, but one well worth embracing.

Make sure that his friends come to your house as often as possible and get to know them. Call their parents and get to know them too, even if it's just by phone - make sure they know they can call you any time of the day or night so you can compare notes and help each other if there is trouble. It really helps to know who your son is with and phone numbers to check up in case he is late, or you think he isn't where he says he is.

Having this knowledge leads to a sense of confidence that your son is making good choices about the people he hangs out with, so you feel less worried because you know he is with kids you like. (What if you don't like them? That, I can't answer, it hasn't happened to me yet.)

Sorry to be so long winded on your blog, Alex. I have a big mouth, can't help but butt in. (I so much want families to be happy in the city and not leave to the 'burbs)

Alex in NYC

No worries, Jill -- I so welcome the dialogue. This is useful info indeed. My blog is your blog, as they say.


You wrote about my neighborhood as I still see it. Thanks.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)