New York Stories



Fames Fortune

October 12, 2007– The Wall Street Journal
The Hall of Fame for Great Americans sits on a bluff in the Bronx overlooking the Harlem River. A sweeping 630-foot open-air colonnade, designed by Stanford White, on what is now the campus of Bronx Community College, the hall enshrines 103 great Americans, though the last bronze busts were added in 1973 when Franklin Delano Roosevelt was voted in.

Anatomy of a Mafia Mole

"How's your health?" asked the prosecutor."So-so," Burton Kaplan replied. It was the most boastful thing he'd say in three days on the witness stand, where he blithely recounted his many crimes as a 40-year associate of the Lucchese family. THE WHOLE STORY

The Price of Justice
Feb. 12, 29006--The New York Times
OVER the past several decades, the scope and clout of the city's administrative law courts have swelled to the point where there are now at least 500 administrative law judges scattered among a dozen agencies. While the judges hear very different kinds of cases, many of them face a conflict of interest: they are supposed to make independent judgments about the agencies that pay them. THE WHOLE STORY

Birds Flock to These New York Islands

July 13, 2006– The Wall Street Journal
Floating between the Bronx and Rikers Island, just north of Hell Gate, is an island that was once home to Typhoid Mary and is now a world-class breeding ground for egrets and herons.


Shooting Pool in Grand Central

October 7, 2004 -- The Wall Street Journal
If the the rat race has a starting line, it might well be Grand Central Terminal. There, 700,000 commuters scurry daily from the baronies of Westchester and Connecticut to their places of gainful employ. There are those who opt out. Danny Basavich, a professional pool player and unabashed hustler, is one. But last weekend he, too, was at Grand Central. And Mr. Basavich, aka Kid Delicious, stayed to work. THE WHOLE STORY

A Day After At The Races
June 8, 2004 - The Wall Street Journal
On Saturday, more than 120,000 fans attended Belmont Park to see Smarty Jones win the final leg of horse racing's Triple Crown -- and he almost did. The crowd was by far the largest ever, and the third straight 100,000-plus crowd for the Belmont Stakes. Hipsters joined the throng, sensing that this was the place to be, and they were right as Birdstone, a 36-to-1 shot, beat Smarty Jones by a length, covering the mile-and-a-half in 2:27.50, the best time since Tabasco Cat won in 1994.The next day the scene at Belmont told a different story.

The Man in the Yellow Cab: Sam Sloan

June 30, 2004—New York Sun
Next time you take a taxi, check the driver's name, and if, by chance, it's Sam Sloan, ask for a long ride - to Kennedy Airport or to Rockaway and back - even if you had intended to go just up the street. If Mr. Sloan is at the wheel, you'll want to extend the trip so the driver might tell you about his life.  THE WHOLE STORY

Causing a Racket in Grand Central Station
February 24, 2004 - The Wall Street Journal
Squash is a tough sell. There is little or no television coverage here, and even the thickest sports section rarely finds room for it. So, with little in the way of media to draw people to the sport, John Nimick has been bringing the sport to the people.

And in This Corner, The Insurance Broker

August 21, 2002 - The Wall Street Journal

There is a sign on the wall at Gleason's, Brooklyn's storied boxing gym, posting an invitation from the poet Virgil: "Now whoever has courage, and a strong and collected spirit in his breast, let him come forth, lace up his gloves, and put up his hands."  THE WHOLE STORY


Cycles on Wall Street

August 6, 2002 - The Wall Street Journal

Cyclists in Manhattan have to dodge potholes, maneuver around buses and face traffic that is all stop and go. For the Pro Cycling Tour race in the financial district on Sunday, organizers fixed the cracks and cleared the streets to the point where the race was all go. THE WHOLE STORY


Manhattan 5-0
July 2, 2002 - The Wall Street Journal

The world's most important outrigger canoe race takes place just where you'd expect: in Hawaii. Called the Molokai, the course crosses the 41-mile channel between the islands of Oahu and Molokai. But perhaps the third most prestigious race took place on Saturday, where you'd least expect it, off the island of Manhattan. THE WHOLE STORY


Banned in the Bronx
Nov. 1 2001 - Web Exclusive
I got a call yesterday from my law school buddy Bill Fredericks, an avid Yankee fan, asking me if I wanted to go to the World Series.  Bill knows I am a Met fan, so he put a condition on the offer: I could not be emotionally neutral.  THE WHOLE STORY


Bronx Cheer For Due Process

July 23, 2001--The New York Observer

There is a scene in the movie The Verdict where Paul Newman, playing attorney Frank Galvin, insists to Charlotte Rampling that the idea of a law court is not to dispense justice. The court, Mr. Newmans character says, exists to give people a chance at justice. But even in this ideal, the New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission has a problem, because most cabbies believe that in the T.L.C.s courts, they have no chance. THE WHOLE STORY

Baseball in the Land of Pure Possibility 
Summer 2000 - Web Exclusive
If you take a ride on the Staten Island Ferry and then board the S-62 bus, and ride it to the end, and then walk east another half mile or so, you will see something that may surprise you: a field of dreams.  THE WHOLE STORY

The TLC is Driving Cabbies Nuts

June 2, 2000--The Daily News

A few months ago, I was spending a lot of time in taxi garages reporting on a story about the lives of immigrant cabbies. Nearly every cabbie I spoke to told me that what I really should be writing about was the Taxi & Limousine Commission and its courts. "Kangaroo courts," the drivers said. THE WHOLE STORY

Round Midnight, A Poet Cruises
April 2, 2000- The New York Times
Midnight. Mid-week. Mid-Universe. Cruising Times Square, Mark Allan, licensed taxi-driver and metaphysical poet, is halfway home.

The Big Man in Shrimp
July 2, 2000 – The New York Times
YEARS ago, Donald Julich Sr. was eating lunch at Sweets, the famous South Street restaurant, now defunct, when a man came up behind him and said, ''Excuse me, I understand you're the shrimp king of the Fulton Fish Market, and I'd like to shake your hand.'' The voice was familiar, and when Mr. Julich looked up, so was the face. Burt Lancaster was smiling at him. THE WHOLE STORY