The Block Fire of the Vanities: A Review of Brian Platzer’s Bed-Stuy Is Burning

Bed-Stuy is Burning
By Brian Platzer
(Atria Books, 326pp., $26)

Speaking in a strictly historiographical context, the borough best known for its perpetual conflagration was and seemingly will be in perpetuity: The Bronx. This markedly mellifluous reputation endures.

A Review of Sam Graham-Felsen’s Green

Green
by Sam Graham-Felsen
(Penguin Random House, 301 pp., $27)

With the death of Philip Roth on 22 May, the business of reading and then writing about Jewish American fiction seems to take place in the dark, or under water. These last weeks have proven a fine occasion to wander the Upper West Side—past Barney Greengrass, the Museum, Nice Matin—in a daze, ambling in a state not only of disbelief, but also of legitimate sorrow. This is a loss, not an absence.

Chester Johnson at The Culture Center, New York, Nov 28, 2017

On Tuesday, November 28, 2017, J. Chester Johnson spoke to a regional meeting of the ALSCW. This meeting was convened in the perpetually agreeable Culture Center at 410 Columbus Avenue, New York, NY, two blocks east of Zabar’s. The space was cheerily packed with celebrants, 35 in attendance on a pleasantly chilly November evening in New York.

Willard Spiegelman at The Culture Center, New York, May 2, 2017

On May 2, 2017, Willard Spiegelman spoke at a regional meeting of the ALSCW. The event was held at the highly agreeable Culture Center at 410 Columbus Avenue, on the Park, on Manhattan island, with twenty-five guests in attendance. The space was conducive to such convivium: a lovely, well lit room, with walls covered in images of the Buddha and mandalas; the food was very good and the wine poured freely.