| Feb 1, 2009
A good dancer does more than just defy gravity; he seems to have his own personal supply -- a force field that shapes space and time around his movements. Every impulse has weight and no energy is wasted, even in the enervating trial and error of...
| Jul 23, 2008
Estelle Getty, whose acting career bloomed late in life with her Emmy-winning performance as Sophia Petrillo, the wisecracking mother of Bea Arthur's character on the popular NBC sitcom "The Golden Girls," died Tuesday. She was 84.
Getty, who also won...
| Dec 16, 2007
Oh, you can groan when the preschooler in your life crawls into your lap and demands, "Read this one to me." But you know you love it. You know you love to watch them learn -- you can almost see the little mental gears turning (or, to use a more modern...
| Jan 13, 2008
Some small hotels have lobby cats. The Lower East Side's Blue Moon Hotel presents the reception area mom.
"What kind of tea do you want? Is it in there?" Rita Settenbrino asks while I sort through a small continental breakfast buffet that has...
| Nov 8, 2009
Save the Deli
In Search of Perfect Pastrami, Crusty Rye, and the Heart of Jewish Delicatessen
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: 320 pp., $24
The wandering of the Jews is frozen in the marble of the corned beef on rye. The fall of the Temple, the...
| Nov 15, 2009
As he watched the World Trade Center towers implode, Bill Cain, playwright and native New Yorker, felt a surge of fury pass through him. But as an ordained Jesuit priest, he was able to tap into another, equally powerful emotion. "I knew the only way to...
| Jun 21, 2009
The Essays of Leonard Michaels
Farrar, Straus & Giroux: 206 pp., $26
Until Leonard Michaels was 5 and learned English in school, he spoke only Yiddish in the Lower East Side enclave where his Polish-Jewish parents raised him. And maybe...
| Aug 2, 2009
Farrar, Straus and Giroux:
286 pp., $14 paper
Full disclosure: I am thanked in the acknowledgments section of "Ground Up." Yes, I was one of the anonymous "very, very few patrons" of Café Trotsky, the kaffeehaus that...
| Aug 24, 2009
The kernel of Betsy Carter's third novel, "The Puzzle King," is a powerful bit of family lore that takes up no more than a paragraph of her 2002 memoir, "Nothing to Fall Back On": the story of the time, in 1936, that her mother's German-born American...
| Sep 6, 2009
" Vampires have quite the pop culture cachet," says the excellently named Cubby Freeze in Charlie Huston's blood-soaked "My Dead Body" (Del Rey: 302 pp., $14 paper), itself the last in a series of books that can be shoehorned -- along with the "Sookie...
| Sep 13, 2009
Morris Dickstein's "Dancing in the Dark" is not exactly the syncretic "Cultural History of the Great Depression" that its subtitle promises -- at best, the book treats inferentially the broad political and social trends of that desperate, crucial era. Let...