ManhattanWhiteGirl's Blog

All Things NYC

I didn’t have a good boss until I was 46, except my supervisor when I taught in Japan, and I’m going to leave that out for now. I had a terrible experience with employment, which is ironic since I’d wanted to work since I was 10. I was… Read full post »

My son, as always, came with me
I’ve been feeling like a real loser of a teacher lately. Teachers all across the nation have taken a beating this year, and at my 6th – 12th grade school in the Bronx it’s been a particularly difficult time.Read full post »
Editor’s Pick
MARCH 21, 2012 6:14AM

Mean girls in the Bronx—or is it something more?

 Photo on 2012-03-17 at 12 


Our girls are beating the crap out of each other, and we wonder what’s going on. I’m an English teacher at a 6th – 12th grade public school in the Bronx and my colleagues and I are puzzling over what seems to be a dramatic rise in girl fights./Read full post »



The corner of 31st and 8th Avenue has got to be one of the most inauspicious-looking places in all of Manhattan. The main post office is to the left, and there’s nothing wrong with it; in fact it’s quite stately, if with an aura of very faded glory.Read full post »

I had a bit of fun (a bitter laugh goes here because of the sheer enormity of the effort it required) setting up a researched argument project with the 8th and 9th grade students at my school. The topic? The November election. Whenever it’s time for a non-fiction/Read full post »
Editor’s Pick
FEBRUARY 29, 2012 6:32AM

A story about my son--born on 9/10/01



My little boy was born on the day before 9/11. I was in Roosevelt Hospital in Manhattan at 59th and 10th on the 12th floor when the planes hit the Twin Towers. You could see the towers straight from my window. People had been watching the news in the… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
FEBRUARY 22, 2012 8:08AM

Are NYC cops too aggressive? Duh?


I’m completely not anti-cop, I’m not. I have a little anti-authority built in, but I’m not anti-cop. I respect the position cops are in, anywhere, and in NYC, especially. This is a huge city, teeming with chaos, and on any given day, depending where you are, yoRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
FEBRUARY 15, 2012 7:33AM

A memory of young adulthood--growing up late


I was 20 years old before I got my own room, except for the one year when my sister went to college ahead of me. She’s 13 months older than I and we shared a bedroom all my life. When I went off to college I of course hadRead full post »

I remember how I had found him dead, how I had walked into our apartment and sensed something right away, something very terrible, so that I stopped in the hallway with foreboding, there was too much of a quietness and a stillness. There was something soRead full post »
Editor’s Pick
FEBRUARY 1, 2012 5:27AM

How I STOPPED living on the edge


The edge of the knife doesn’t have to be drug or alcohol use, dramatic love affairs, criminal activity, or anything so extreme and crazy/insane as that. In fact the mundane can be so much more harrowing and insidious. It’s what you allow to go on in your mindRead full post »

JANUARY 25, 2012 5:21AM

Paranoia will destroy ya--or will it!?


A paranoid man is a man who knows a little about what’s going on – William Burroughs 

It all started in my Spanish class the other week. It was the first class of the new session. We were in a new room, though I knew a number

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JANUARY 18, 2012 5:45AM

The worst/best winter of my life


An unspecified number of years ago I was in graduate school—for the first time, not the time I went back to get certification for my teaching job. I was getting a Masters in English after taking 10 years to finish my B.A. in the same subject. The reasons/Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JANUARY 11, 2012 5:51AM

The joys of a sick day: A single/working mother’s refuge


 Soft, afternoon, winter light from my window 

When my 10-year-old son woke up, sat on the side of the bed and promptly threw up all over the floor last Thursday I was immediately overjoyed. Don’t get me wrong, I felt bad for him, he’s my baby, but theRead full post »


You may or may not know that National Public Radio (NPR) has a three-minute fiction contest every year. The deadline is usually in fall—this year it fell on 9/25/11. A different writer judges the contest each year, and there is a theme. This year it was “Arriving and Leavin/Read full post »


I used to reflect more, and I think it’s because I had more time. In particular when I was younger I was always setting these kind of false marks—last year at this time I was doing this, a week ago today I was doing that, and so on.Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
DECEMBER 19, 2011 5:38AM

Operation dismantle raft: or, holiday blues?


I have to dismantle the above-pictured raft when I go to my sister’s in Minneapolis for the holidays. What does that have to do with anything? you might be asking. And that’s a legitimate question. But what you don’t know is that all the peccadillRead full post »

DECEMBER 14, 2011 5:20AM

How I almost became an NYC art critic


"Portrait of Adolf Loos, 1909" by Oskar Kokoschka  

After my son was born on 9/10/01 (a whole story), I was scouting around for articles to write, or something, and a friend of a friend referred me to a friend who was starting up a magazine called SeasonedRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
DECEMBER 7, 2011 5:09AM

How I learned to stop worrying and love my crazy NY neighbor



She’s tall and sloe-eyed with blond hair and high cheekbones, around 32—a real funky kind of Asian-Nordic look. My son and I asked her to take care of our fish about three years ago while we went to see our family in the Midwest. She has a… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 30, 2011 7:31AM

Megabus: NYC - Baltimore--oh, yeah


Megabus travel is the new bourgeois, that’s one point. If you didn’t already know it bus travel has proliferated in the last several years, at least in and out of NYC. And other places, too, because my son and I took Megabus in the

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Editor’s Pick
NOVEMBER 23, 2011 5:23AM

Update on affordable housing in Manhattan: there is none

A few weeks ago I wrote about how my son and I didn’t get into the new mixed-income affordable housing building going up on 25th and 9th , after almost getting into it, after thinking we were as good as in it. If that’s a confusing/Read full post »
Editor’s Pick
NOVEMBER 16, 2011 5:26AM

I run for trains: my love/hate relationship with the NYC MTA




The way I see it New Yorkers can be divided into two categories: those willing to thrust limbs and appendages (umbrellas, briefcases, backpacks, shopping bags) into closing subway doors to pry them open, and those who are not. I am of the former category. My determiRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
NOVEMBER 9, 2011 4:57AM

Bronx teacher--brilliant second career--not bad

My brilliant second career came around just in the nick of time. I was accepted by NYC Teaching Fellows when my son was five. Not a moment too soon as I was kind of a career-changer without a career. I used my sort of zigzag path to nowhere to write anRead full post »


Another thing NYC does right is the skate park on the Hudson River by Chelsea Piers. This park is pro-quality, amazing, and it’s free. It’s free in all senses of the word. The only rules are the most basic ones—no alcohol, firearms, whatever. They suggest you w/Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 26, 2011 5:19AM

Where's MY Community? In the NYC Bike Lane?

bike lane


I’m jealous of other people’s communities. I’m sometimes even annoyed that they have them and I don’t. My first Spanish class of the season started a couple of weeks ago and I was happy to see someone, a guy, who’d been in my earlier classes and I thinkRead full post »

OCTOBER 19, 2011 4:54AM

How Much is a Tree in NYC Worth?



In the ground? Priceless. In a pot? It seems about $50.00 a month. That’s why I had a fit when I came home and saw four potted conifers in the courtyard of my building. First of all, let’s qualify the meaning of courtyard. Don’t for one minute think of… Read full post »