Selected Publications

Why DeStefano’s Is the Ultimate Brooklyn Steakhouse

Food & Wine
An ode to a stalwart in the shadow of the Peter Luger colossus.

Birth of Punk: The Ramones 40th Anniversary Exhibit at Queens Museum

The Queens Museum is marking the 40th anniversary of the The Ramones’ debut album with
“Hey! Ho! Let’s Go: Ramones and the Birth of Punk,” a retrospective exhibit that opens April 10.


Surely you’re familiar with Instamodels. They’re the ones whose bikini selfies get more “likes” than most people have followers. Now they’re being plucked from their feeds and thrust into high fashion by modeling agencies cleverly leveraging their camera readiness and, most importantly, their coveted following.

Revenge of the Nerds

When the lights snapped off, Anja Keister disappeared. Not a sliver of skin could be seen nor the white of an eye. Before that moment, she had dominated the room, every gaze fixed upon her — all motion, brimming with rhythm.

How Grief Spurred Me to Start Smoking — and to Quit

The Atlantic
I smoked my second cigarette on a dour July afternoon when I was 15. When I was younger, in the years of Captain Planet and after-school specials, I had been stridently anti-smoking. I would hide my uncle and aunt’s cigarettes, or harangue them to quit, fruitlessly but to the best of my 10-year-old abilities. I smoked my first cigarette around that time, when I snuck into my uncle’s place and lit the longest butt in the ashtray just to be sure I didn’t like it.

In a Brooklyn Lumber Yard, ‘Graffiti Mecca’ 5Pointz Lives On

Nearly a year after the masterfully spray-painted walls of 5Pointz were torn down to make room for a pair of luxury high-rises—towers that could, somewhat unbelievably, bear the name of the fallen graffiti mecca—its familiar logo can be seen emblazoned above a Williamsburg lumber yard.

Deep Thoughts on Sci-Fi Nihilism and Humanity With Roche Limit’s Michael Moreci

Paste Magazine
Held up against some of its more digestible genre contemporaries—thought-provoking gems like Black Science or Descender —Roche Limit is… Well, it’s kind of weird. The comic doesn’t so much provoke your thoughts as much as it demands them. Profound ones, in fact. At this comic’s bedrock lie some of our heaviest philosophical questions concerning souls, consciousness, the hereafter and our place in the universe, and it leaves those questions unsettlingly, if unsurprisingly, unanswered.

Remembering Brooklyn’s Maspeth Holders, Demolished in 2001

They weren’t sleek. The broadest parts of their bodies were an earthen tone, like old clay pots. I remember it as a darker beige, though it could have been gray, taupe, or an ashy brown, the type of utilitarian color that characterizes life under a communist regime in the movies. The Maspeth Holders, the two towering natural gas tanks that stood in Greenpoint, were an icon of northern Brooklyn for decades.


It’s been a long time since comics were just for kids. And even when they were, they kind of weren’t. From their inception, sex was as integral an ingredient to escapism as exotic adventures and, eventually, superpowers. Following the lead of pulps, comics were populated with rough-knuckled he-men. But the ladies of comics have long since shed the trappings of distressed damsels.

What Alex + Ada Can Teach Us About Avoiding the Robot Apocalypse

Paste Magazine
In the future, android butlers will dote on you, serving your dinner and wiping up your spills. Cyborg soldiers will replace human troopers on the battlefield, largely unfazed by shrapnel and bullets. Robo-firefighters will brave burning buildings, their vital circuits encased in protective insulation. With robots to tend our bars, drive our cars and do all of our heavy lifting, we’ll enjoy a wonderful world populated by automatons programmed to do our bidding. A whole class of cyber-servants created, more or less, in our image. Which is unfortunate, because we’re a bunch of jerks.

State of the Art: Amy Reeder Builds Place & Personality in Rocket Girl

Paste Magazine
In Rocket Girl, Amy Reeder and writer Brandon Montclare present a very specific view of the future—not as we would imagine it today, but rather how we envisioned it back in the 1980s. Rocket Girl’s future is a darker place.

It’s 2014 & There’s Still a Blacksmith Working in Central Park

The Airship
Larry Hagberg looks like a guy who hammers steel for a living. He’s tall with large tattooed arms and a barrel chest. His hair and beard are silver, his hands black with soot. He’s a throwback to a forgone era of ruggedness, not just the kind of guy who has a workshop but one who tightens bolts by hand. He was bending scrolls for the fence at Peter Detmold Park in Midtown when I visited his workshop.

Astoria Staple Fatty’s Cafe Will Reopen in Mid-April

The Village Voice
Fernando Peña had been working in restaurants since his early 20s, but when he saw a “For Rent” sign in a vacant shop on the corner of Crescent Street and Ditmars Boulevard in Astoria, he knew he wanted to build a restaurant of his own. He began envisioning Fatty’s Cafe (45-17 28th Avenue, Queens).

State of the Art with Moon Knight’s Declan Shalvey

Paste Magazine
From his early work on the blood-spattered pages of 28 Days Later to the loping action of his runs on Deadpool and Venom, Declan has always put his artistic focus squarely on storytelling. “The most challenging, and rewarding, part of drawing a comic is taking those words on a page and making them images,” he said. “It’s really frustrating sometimes, and you’re banging your head against a wall to make it work. Those are the bits that keep artists awake at night but also make them want to get up in the morning and figure it out.”

Father of Astoria: The Amazing Story of William Hallett

Astoria Life
I was sitting at a bar when I learned about the tabloid fodder – Murder! Scandal! Insanity! – enmeshed deep in the roots of my two neighborhoods. Born and raised in Maspeth, I moved to Astoria nearly two years ago. A few months in, I found myself drinking alone at William Hallet, an American bistro on 30th Avenue with a comfort food menu – turducken sandwich with bacon and bourbon ketchup, suckling pig with yam cakes and collard greens – and commendable beer list. Don’t get the wrong idea though. I was meeting someone, and I sipped a dark stout as I waited.

Allergies Aren’t Just For Kids

The New York Times
Last weekend’s cover story hit home for me, not because I was an allergic child, but because I am an allergic adult. In my mid-20s I suddenly found myself toting an EpiPen and looking more closely at menus. It started about two years ago, when I resolved to be healthier. I swore off Doritos for breakfast and bought a juicer. A few months into my new lifestyle, I started to cough after drinking a tall glass of fresh carrot-apple juice. I coughed until I threw up. My skin tingled and itched, it turned beet red — from my face down to my chest. Hives started creeping out from under my sleeves toward my hands. I consider myself fortunate that my symptoms didn’t include my throat closing.

Nostalgia Drunk at New York Comic Con

Paste Magazine
If you’ve never been to New York Comic Con, you should really fix that…unless you’re a geek with poor impulse control, in which case you may end up leaving with a life-sized cutout of Colm Meaney, from Star Trek: The Next Generation, and all the Funko POP! vinyl figures you can carry. And probably a sword. The sheer scale of things you’ll want — and, oh, how you’ll want them! — can be a lot to take in all at once. A sensory overload of costumes and collectibles that must be what Vegas is like for lovers of inexpensive buffets and nickel waterfalls.

B for Burlesque: A Nerdlesque Tribute to Alan Moore

Paste Magazine
A hush crawled through the crowd as a familiar “hurm” growled from the speakers and Moe Cheezmo stepped on stage, an ink-blotted white stocking stretched across his face. He broke from his Rorschach grumblings and into the steady baritone of a disc jockey to welcome everyone to “Who Strips the Strippers?” Excelsior Burlesque’s tribute to Alan Moore. “I assume everybody’s here because you love the work of Alan Moore…” he announced.

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