What The Hamptons Is & Isn’t

When people tell you about their weekend in the Hamptons, remember that the truth of it is all traffic…neighbors blaring Katy Perry…the construction next door…as well as 45-minute deli lineups. And, only if they’re lucky, maybe 10 minutes of what they claim.

Overlooked New York: Knickerbocker Post Office

New York native Washington Iriving coined the name Knickerbocker in his 19th Century writing to exemplify the New York character – graceless, indomitable freethinkers – and soon enough the name dotted the city. The Knickerbocker name is ingrained, especially in the older corners, such as the Knickerbocker Post Office, an old brick building on East Broadway in Chinatown. The Google reviews on are less than positive: “Lack of Customer Service! wasted my morning!” “Very negative experience with staff” “The package was either lost or stolen in this USPS location.” Knickerbockers one and all.

Lady Smashes Cell With Old-School Receiver

She didn’t look that mad as she turned toward the phone booth, cell phone in hand, and then placed it on the dirty metal grill where the phone books used to be. That’s when she let it have it – one phone on the other – bringing the pay-phone receiver down like a hammer, once and again, until her cell toppled to the ground, appropriately smashed. She wasn’t done. The pay-phone receiver still swinging, useless, she picked up her cell, and walked ahead, muttering, all the way to the corner, and carefully, angrily, shoved it down between the grill of the storm sewer. “Try calling me again! You try that!” She vanished, phone-less, into the subway station.

Overlooked New York: Liberty Park

Liberty Park has recently been opened atop the parking garage immediately south of the 9/11 Memorial in Downtown Manhattan.It has the same design aesthetic as the Chelsea Highline but is much less crowded, although it is also marred by an excessively almost angrily worded memorial, America’s Response Monument.And so, while the crowds of the 9/11 Memorial may not be here, this statue can give the feeling of impending doom

Overlooked New York: African Burial Grounds

North of City Hall and the World Trade Center Memorial is a spot much less frequently visited: The African Burial Grounds National Monument. Africans – enslaved and “free” – were buried here, outside the boundaries of what was then called New Amsterdam in 1690-1794. The grounds were rediscovered in 1991 during the planned construction of a Federal office building. It’s as good a place as the 9/11 Memorial – and far fewer people.

Safe on the Island

I’ll write a book where people scavenge and socialize far from home and then, in the later hours, scurry back to their island. It’s going to be called Safe on the Island.

Overlooked NYC: Frank Campbell Funeral Chapel

What do Fatty Arbuckle, Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Irving Berlin, Joan Crawford, Mario Cuomo, Judy Garland, John Lennon, Jackie Kennedy Onasis, Igor Stravinsky, Mae West, The Notorious B.I.G, Heath Ledger, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Ayn Rand all have in common? A funeral service at the Frank Campbell Funeral Chapel on the corner of Madison and 81st Street – just two blocks from Central Park and the Metropolitan Museum. As far as funerals go, this appears to be the last place to be seen.