ManhattanWhiteGirl's Blog

All Things NYC
DECEMBER 31, 2014 9:09AM

Hope for 2015


I do not think it is untimely to consider a message of hope for 2015. I teach argument and rhetoric to 9th-graders at a charter school in the Bronx. As part of my regular curriculum we are in the midst of analyzing the rhetorical devices used in Martin Luther/

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AUGUST 27, 2014 6:58AM

Camping with a Car—Cosmic Upgrade

The Catskills 
 My son—the new him
The new me

So we go to the car place, and everything’s going fine from there. My son did all the research, and we picked up a car in Lindhurst, NJ. ItRead full post »

APRIL 23, 2014 5:58AM

My sister’s new apt.


Check out my sister’s new view. It represents her new life. Her marriage broke up. She sold her house and moved to this new apt.

Her husband got a different job and moved off to Kansas City

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 The snow says winter but the light says spring
I think I’ve made it. And I have a week off to reflect on said feat, which I’m not going to apologize in the least for, for all you teacher-haters out there.

I started teaching at aRead full post »

AUGUST 14, 2013 8:49AM

A mid-90’s New York moment

Ever-changing, ever-hopeful—NYC
It’s a perfect morning in NYC and I started thinking(!). I moved to New York in 1994, right after Newt Gingrich and his “Contract with America” had ushered in Republican victory in the congressional election. TRead full post »
 My son fishing in Central Park—apropos of nothing, except summer
I left off with a post about Hurricane Sandy. After four days without power and water, my son and I went back to my job—I’m a high-school teacher in the Bronx. Students didn’tRead full post »
The streets on Monday afternoon were practically deserted
The Hudson River was spilling over the walkway
A lot of people were out taking pictures—this was at about 4 p.m. 
My 11-year-old son and I liRead full post »
"How to date a brown girl (black girl, white girl, or halfie)" by Junot Diaz first appeared in the December 25th, 1995 edition of the New Yorker, and later in the short story collection Drown in 1996. Diaz, for anyone who doesn’t know, went on the winRead full post »
SEPTEMBER 19, 2012 5:04AM

The false deadline of life

I taught English in Japan for two years when I was in my early 30’s, and I was already late. I was late for life. I didn’t graduate from undergrad school till I was 28, because of a series of factors, many of which had to do withRead full post »
Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 31, 2012 8:17AM

The mini-death of the end of summer


It’s happening again, that sad and beautiful time of year. Every year when summer ends it feels as if my life is ending. I don’t know how I can go through the experience again and again because it’s always the same. But I don’t get used to it.Read full post »


 At the station in Hoboken, anticipating the glory of the trip

My 10-year-old son had wanted to go camping ever since a friend of ours gave him a little two-person tent about three years ago. I’d been using evasion tactics ever since. While he spent anticipatory moments plotting vaRead full post »


Our first trip in 2010 

My son and I have become major enthusiasts of train travel in the last several years. Inspired by my son, motivated by my son, planned by my son, we first took the train from NYC to Minneapolis three summers ago, in 2010,Read full post »
  My mom
 The visiting entourage
You have to get used to walking into a nursing home. The first time it hits you like a wall of stale air and a kind of surreal, nightmarish acceleration of the slow mo. TimeRead full post »
Clegg’s Hotel—basic but great for the price 

It takes a Midwesterner to teach you about New York. I had been in NYC for 16 years before I went to Fire Island for the first time last summer. I had heard about it, the same way I hadRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
JULY 13, 2012 12:01PM

Embracing my inner single in NYC: Open call

The sun rises on another day in NYC 

I’m totally single, but to me single isn’t a defining term. It’s just the way things happen to be at a given moment. I’ve been single a lot and for a while, but I haven’t always been. IRead full post »

JULY 11, 2012 12:00PM

Just loving New York in July


As to me, I know of nothing else but miracles,
Whether I walk the streets of Manhattan,
Or dart my sight over the roofs of houses toward the sky

– Walt Whitman  

My 10-year-old son and I have perfected summer in NYC on the cheap. While others flee at theRead full post »

 Hôtel l’Abri Du Voyageur, Montreal—
we could hear music from the jazz fest night and day
Every other one of my five teaching years has ended in a halo of futility and ecstasy, but not this one. This one was different. The bigRead full post »
JUNE 20, 2012 6:16AM

Reading John Hersey’s Hiroshima

Apropos of nothing I started reading John Hersey’s Hiroshima this week. I’ve had the book on my shelf forever, since I lived in Japan—I taught English there for two years in the early ’90’s. I bought the book and many others of every kind at KinokuRead full post »

When I first started as an NYC public school teacher five years ago I was all about academics. What I mean by that is I had to think for a really long time about what kind of teacher I wanted to be. I was an NYC Teaching FellowRead full post »

Rent is an obsessive topic for anyone living in Manhattan. You wait with dread months before your lease expires. The envelope that decides your fate comes about three months before that time. I’ve lived in the same studio apartment near the main post office, PRead full post »
The 6th -12th-grade-school where I work in the Bronx got on the School in Need of Improvement (SINI) list this year for the second time. The first time—four years ago—it was because of our passing rate on the English Language Arts (ELA) Regents tests and our graduation rate. ThisRead full post »

There was a little gallery on 9th Avenue around the corner from my house and they hung pictures people had taken that had to do with 9/11. There were some unbelievable shots of the site, people on the street, firefighters and police, things that made your heart stopRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
APRIL 30, 2012 6:22AM

Why high-stakes testing ALSO wastes a lot of time


Last week and the week before were testing weeks for grades three to eight in New York state. The week of 16th was the ELA (English Language Arts) test and last week was math. I teach 8th-grade ELA, in addition to 9th-grade ELA and 12th-grade AP English. IRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
APRIL 18, 2012 7:01AM

My post-9/11, with my 5-lbs. newborn boy


Four days after 9/11 I took home a five-pound bundle in a taxi with my mom. My son was born on 9/10/01 in Roosevelt Hospital in Manhattan. I was in a room on the 12th floor and I could see the Twin Towers from my window. He was/Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
APRIL 9, 2012 9:29AM

You’ll have to come with us: My petty crime arrest

I was 23 and the cops came to my apartment and arrested me. Drug dealing? Arms trafficking? White collar crime? No. I had a series of bicycle offenses in addition to speeding and/or driving without a license, I forget exactly, and I therefore had a warrant out forRead full post »