Selected stories


Secret Sharing: A Family Story
Why do we tell the stories we tell, even when our knowledge about the past is incomplete? Lynn Z. Bloom answers for most storytellers: “to get at the truth; to make sense of things that don’t make sense; to set the record straight.” Bloom adds that “children who know the family secrets also understand the family taboos.” Telling stories about family secrets, then, is an act of both truth-telling and rebellion.

Michael McKee and the long, good fight for housing justice in New York
The fight started over a broken window, as fights sometimes do. The year was 1969. The window was in Michael McKee’s apartment on West 17th Street. And the fight? That was with one landlord in particular, and with predatory landlordism in general, and it hasn’t ended yet. (TenantsPAC)

A Lost World at Cedar Grove Beach
For the first time in 100 years, the Cedar Grove Beach Club will not open for business this summer. The enclave’s 41 beachfront cottages on the south-east shore of Staten Island still stand, but they’ve been shuttered by the City of New York. (City Limits)

Revolution in the Mirror: Life Imitates Art in the Middle East and North Africa
Mass uprisings were sweeping the Middle East and North Africa just as Sergei Eisenstein’s 86-year-old agit-prop masterwork, Battleship Potemkin, commenced a multi-city US tour. (Pop Matters)

Staten Island’s Black History, Revisited
At a local museum, a community bears witness to the black experience on Staten Island, as some of its last remaining historic structures are landmarked. (City Limits)

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: Nostalgia for the ’60s in TV
The early-’60s — Mad Men time — has become a source of endless fascination in popular culture. Timothy Ledwith investigates the many uses of nostalgia. (Pop Matters)

Book review: “Perception at the Pitch of Passion”
The Cross of Redemption: Uncollected Writings by James Baldwin, edited by Randall Kenan, Pantheon Books, 2010. (Open Letters Monthly)

And While It Lasted, It Was Wonderful
For nearly a century, a summer enclave on the edge of Staten Island offered restoration to a small group of city-weary New Yorkers. Timothy Ledwith looks back after last summer’s close of Cedar Grove. (The Morning News) 

After a lifetime of visual miscues, Timothy Ledwith finally decided to do something about his optical condition. Now comes the hard part: seeing the world through both eyes. (The Morning News) 

A View Across the Bay
The Sept. 11 attacks bonded Staten Island, the city’s most ambivalent borough, more closely than ever before to the rest of New York. Timothy Ledwith looks at the ripple effects of 9/11. (The Morning News) 

While AIDS is still a major killer around the world, it has become a manageable condition for most HIV-positive Americans. Timothy Ledwith bears witness to a time when the mortal threat was closer to home. (The Morning News) 

The Year of the Grey Rabbit
In 1979, as the U.S. became embroiled in the events that would develop into the current political climate, Timothy Ledwith set out in search of America. Today, he remembers who he, and the country, were. (The Morning News) 

Known for Her Crumb Cake
Staten Islanders are an insular crowd; but once the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge connected them to the rest of New York, everything changed. Well, maybe not everything. Timothy Ledwith remembers the night a new world opened. (The Morning News) 

Saving lives in the Horn of Africa, one child at a time
In honor of a friend and colleague: Even in the midst of a complex humanitarian crisis, it’s possible – and necessary – to seize the moment and try, at least, to save one life. (