Fly me to the … Bronx

I spent a lot of time in musty archives and reeling through microfiche to uncover a little-known chapter in New York City history but it sure was fun learning about what might have been in the borough of my birth. I hope you will enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

And, one of these days, I’m going to write the long-form version.

Bronx Airport? Denied!



Requiem for a freelance career? Unlikely

I’m just starting to settle in this week to my new job as the director of career services at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. My name is on the school’s webpage but I wasn’t expecting to see my byline in pixels anytime soon.

And then this popped up on the National Geographic website: ‘Shark Lady’ Eugenie Clark, Famed Marine Biologist, Has Died and I remembered why I was so busy as a freelancer — even when the number of bylines didn’t seem to match my work load. I was writing obituaries.

I won’t say how many obits I wrote for National Geographic but they include some very famous and amazing people about whom I learned so much during my research and interviews.

Clark, a native New Yorker who fell in love with sharks at the aquarium at Battery Park, was the first to pass away and thus her obituary is the first to be published.

Who says you can’t go home again?

I owe a lot of who I am to the City University of New York. I first became a reporter for the Lehman College newspaper, Meridian. I met my husband, then the editor-in-chief, on Meridian. And I made some friends for life at the paper as well. So, what could be more fitting after a truly wonderful career, one that has taken me across the country and around the globe and allowed me to witness history as it was being made, than to come back to New York to help a new generation of journalists get their start in this amazing business?

The answer: Not much.

Which is why I am thrilled to announce that, starting February 23, I will be the new director of career services at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. You can read all about it here.

I believe the correct response is: Woohoo!!!


A story I was born to write

Sure I’ve lived in Washington for most of the last 30 years but while you can take the girl out of the Bronx, you can’t take the Bronx out of the girl. And in this story for The Washington Post, I’ve found a way to connect the two places where I’ve spent most of my life. I hope you enjoy In the Bronx, finding hidden ties to Washington as much as I and my “photojournalist” husband enjoyed reporting it.

Think New York Is Crazy Now? It Was Much Wilder in 1647

When New York City’s Municipal Archive posted the first digitized translations of Peter Stuyvesant’s decrees, I jumped online to read about life in mid-17th century New Amsterdam, later known as my hometown. What I found made 1970s New York look almost bucolic. And it was pretty darn amusing, too. So, of course, I pitched a story to National Geographic. You can read about it here.