My Vassar College Faculty ID Makes Everything OK

The fourth time a Poughkeepsie police officer told me that my Vassar College Faculty ID could make everything OK was three years ago. I was driving down Wilbur Avenue. When the white police officer, whose head was way too small for his neck, asked if my truck was stolen, I laughed, said no, and shamefully showed him… » 11/29/14 5:47pm 11/29/14 5:47pm

The Door Between Things

A few years ago, I stood outside of my ex-boyfriend Billy's house. I was there for the second time that day, this time to take him to an appointment he had with his psychiatrist. It was an unusually sunny day for a Seattle February and I hadn't thought to wear sunglasses because it's not often that you need them here… » 8/02/14 9:12pm 8/02/14 9:12pm

Stretch For Power: Sergey Kovalev's Krusher Workout

Sergey Kovalev, the WBO light heavyweight champion of the world, flew into New York last Friday from his training camp in Florida and took a car directly to the Russian part of Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. He was heading to the Underground Boxing gym, which is on the third floor of a building just next to the Q train… » 7/30/14 3:31pm 7/30/14 3:31pm

When God Grabs You By the Balls

I'm not a doctor but I'm an expert. In the locker room, guys exchange a wealth of age-old wisdom. A couple of times, I reset broken noses. Usually my own, but once my friend Gabriel was in bed with my friend Josephine and accidentally kneed her, and I reset her broken nose. She's still complaining, but it would have… » 6/01/14 8:50pm 6/01/14 8:50pm

​Inside My Shopping Cart: Food, Culture and Geographic Yearning

I am in the kitchen of the house I grew up in, holding a head of cabbage stable on the cutting board with both hands, while my mother thrusts a cleaver into it, slicing it in half. The leaves are densely packed in a squiggle of translucent white and green. She hands the knife to me, instructing me to cut the cabbage… » 12/15/13 10:39am 12/15/13 10:39am

Two Years Ago, I Saw a Sad Black Boy Named Donald Glover

What train do you want to take? my date asks. I don’t answer, because I have no idea where we are. It's Halloween 2011 and we're going to Brooklyn Bowl to see Donald Glover, the writer/actor/comedian touring the country with his buzzy new album, Camp. I am told that Donald performs under the computer generated rap… » 12/07/13 6:42pm 12/07/13 6:42pm

The Remarkable Tale of Hunter, the Real-Life Rescue Dog

Wives and husbands come and go, children leave, friends fade into abstractions on Facebook. The dog is generally there for life, all of his or all of yours, whichever comes first. Hunter, who died Sunday night at home and surrounded by his people, was there for life. It was really his second life, which began when I… » 11/19/13 12:52pm 11/19/13 12:52pm

Black Girl Walking

It was exactly two weeks ago today that I first heard of Renisha McBride. I read half the story—the 19-year-old African American girl, shot in the face by a 54-year-old white man, after she'd been in a car accident, walked down the road, and knocked on his door seeking help—and dutifully posted it to the hate crimes… » 11/16/13 12:22pm 11/16/13 12:22pm