I was on my way to Essex station to catch the F uptown when I saw Schmecky, buttoned-down in topcoat and bowler as though he just stepped out of a Civil War daguerrotype.

“Hey hey! Samuel!” he croaked.

We shook hands. Up close he did not look good. Bags under his eyes, deep creases bracketing the mouth.

“How’s the bakery?” I asked.

His face fell. “We had to sell out. These damned Wall Street children and their trust funds. You know they turned the old Adath Jashurun into a loft? A loft with the Ten Commandments on it. Oy veh.”


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  1. Lynn Love

    We have some very expensive apartments near us that used to be paper bag factories and churches, the old religions of faith and industry subsumed by the desires of property developers. Wonderful voice and vivid characterisation, Josh

  2. Liz Young

    There’s an old church in our village that was deconsecrated and turned into a family home – I suppose it’s better than leaving it to rot, but it doesn’t feel right somehow.

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