Our columnists are Upper West Siders to their core. For some of them, it goes beyond their core: the neighborhood has actually become lodged in their spleen and they need special surgery to remove it. Some were born here, some moved from somewhere else, but all of them care about where they live and love to write about it. If you would like to join their esteemed ranks, contact me at avi at westsiderag dot com. Meet our columnists below:
Katie came to the Upper West Side a few years ago from Ohio, with an interlude in Newark, New Jersey. To earn a living, she has waitressed, walked dogs, played the saxophone in the subway and typed memos in charmless cubicles. She also writes for ESPN’s Page 2, which has sent her to exotic locales like New Mexico and Toronto for shovel races and pillow fighting contests.
>>Columns: AN UPPER WEST SIDE HOARDER LETS GO; WILL SHE MISS ANYTHING?, SOFTBALL AND THE SINGLE WOMAN: “SHENANIGANS ARE CERTAIN TO HAPPEN”
Harriet is an entrepreneur in art print publishing who has begun advocating for Upper West Side seniors to “age in place.” She wants to encourage a sense of community among active seniors. Her column in the West Side Rag will focus on that topic. Born in Brooklyn, she walks throughout the City, is an active summer bike rider, and winter theater and concert goer.
>>Columns: A BETTER WAY TO AGE, IN A SMALL TOWN KNOWN AS THE UPPER WEST SIDE
Shirley is a community activist who lives in the Amsterdam Houses, a housing project on Amsterdam Avenue between 61st and 64th Streets. She has raised three children here, and she sticks up for her neighbors with fearlessness and loyalty. She’s also not a fan of people allowing their dogs to urinate everywhere. You want Shirley on your side.
Marjorie has lived on the Upper West Side since the mid 60’s. A big fan of the neighborhood, she fought crime on the grassroots level as Executive Director of the Westside Crime Prevention Program/Safe Haven for more than 20 years. Now, with WCPP’s mission accomplished, Marjorie is concentrating on writing and editing. She is the author of seven travel books. At the West Side Rag, she will explore the neighborhood’s history.
>>Columns: THE ENGLISH COUNTRY VILLAGE INSIDE THE UPPER WEST SIDE, THE UPPER WEST SIDE’S GRAND HISTORIC HOSTEL, PRESERVING UKRAINIAN HISTORY IN A CLASSIC UPPER WEST SIDE BUILDING, A MAD HATTER COMES TO THE UPPER WEST SIDE: HEADWEAR EXHIBIT IS JOYOUS AND FUNNY
Laura is a journalist with experience writing about food, travel, and education, among other topics. She recently published the critically acclaimed “Ice Cream: A Global History” and she runs the blog Food and Things. She also teaches journalism at NYU. Laura will debate any and all comers about the best restaurants — and the best ice cream — in the neighborhood.
>>Columns: GLITZY UPPER EAST SIDE FAIRWAY JUST AIN’T THE REAL FAIRWAY
Cheryl is a New Yorker by chance and an Upper West Sider by choice; she’s been in the ‘hood for almost 10 years now. A nurse practitioner with a penchant for fashion magazines, she recently started a career as a fashion and beauty writer–you can find her musings at Fashionista and Elle.com. And she is a firm believer that there is indeed style on the Upper West Side, as her blog Upper West Side Style attempts to prove (sometimes with mixed results.) Don’t judge her too harshly if you see her around the neighborhood wearing an old Chicago Cubs hat and sweat pants.
>>Columns: GASP! LOCAL FASHION WRITER IS A STAR AND A NOBODY AT GORGEOUS ZAC POSEN SHOW
Richard is a lifelong New Yorker and an Upper West Sider since 2006. He’s a writer, but until his writing can cover the bills he works a day job in digital advertising. He also runs the literary magazine Split Quarterly. When he’s not slaying emcees or fighting crime, you can find him masterminding a novel, which is far better written than this blurb. Follow him on twitter @kriheli.
>>Columns: A NEW FATHER WRITES AN OPEN LETTER TO THE UPPER WEST SIDE
Maria Gorshin is a born and raised Upper West Sider who writes about the neighborhood as it was during its grittier times and as it is today. She is a NYC enthusiast! She writes for the travel, leisure and entertainment industries and is currently the lead writer on a children’s animation series. Read her stories and updates about the Upper West Side at CityGirlWrites.blogspot.com and on Twitter @citygirlwrites.
>>Columns: CAUTION TO THE WIND! AN UPPER WEST SIDER EMBRACES BIKE PATHS, THE UPPER WEST SIDE NEEDS ITS “OBSTINATE, NEUROTIC FIGHTERS”, YES, UPPER WEST SIDERS, EVEN YOU ARE “BRIDGE AND TUNNEL” NOW, THE NEIGHBORHOOD SHOWS OFF FOR THE TOURISTS, RIVERSIDE PARK, RENEWED, THE UPPER WEST SIDER’S GUIDE TO THE END OF THE WORLD
Melissa is a native Upper West Sider who briefly defected the city but has returned and brought her insights and her dog with her. Her walks with her dog, whose witness protection name is Esau (yes, the hairy guy from the Bible), form the basis of her witty blog Out Walking the Dog. She’s also a playwright working on a new play about soldiers in Afghanistan called “The Red Animal” and runs a blog by that name.
>>Columns: UPPER WEST SIDE WILDLIFE SCURRY AS STORM APPROACHES,
Malcolm readily admits he spends too much time writing when he already has a perfectly fulfilling day job as a real estate broker. So it was a thrill to convince him to share his thoughts on real estate with readers of the West Side Rag. When not helping sell apartments, Malcolm publishes an indispensable blog that you can find linked on his Service You Can Trust website.
>>Columns: REAL ESTATE: IS THAT VIEW OF THE RIVER (AND JERSEY) REALLY WORTH THE PRICE?, OUT AND ABOUT: LOCAL “FOR SALE BY OWNER” SELLER WILL GET WHAT HE DESERVES, OUT AND ABOUT: I’M IN LOVE, ALAS UNREQUITED, UPPER WEST SIDE FACADES THAT INVOKE LUST
Susanne Beck is a journalist who writes across a broad range of topics, from business to education, sports and philanthropy, and her favorite, city life, especially on the Upper West Side. To maintain some degree of marital harmony, she and her husband split their time between the West Side Rag’s home turf and Boston, with his (underscore) dog Dudley. They also have three seemingly adult children. Susanne can be reached on Twitter any time of the day or night, @Sbeckmonster.
>>Columns: How a Toy Store Stayed Afloat During Covid By Expanding Its Product Line — Even to Toilet Paper; Anointed by His Grandma, Danny Koch Is Shepherding the Iconic Town Shop Through the Pandemic; Toscana Shoe Repair Saves UWS Soles While Trying to Survive; Harry’s Shoes Leans on Family Traditions, A Slipper Boom and a Remarkable Knack for Shoe Sizes;
The Neighborhood’s Small Businesses are in Crisis; One Helper Sees It All and Does What He Can