Entries by Ross Barkan

The Long Winding Road to Publishing a Novel

From the ages of 18 to 27, I wrote fiction compulsively. I did this while holding down part and full-time jobs, while going to college, while daydreaming on the subway about being the next Fitzgerald/Roth/Mailer/Great White Writer of Yore. This doesn’t make me unique. It makes me another writer. Maybe I was unusually obsessive and […]

How Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Changes Everything

It was, apparently, as Joe Crowley, the 4th-highest ranked Democrat in Congress, belted out an off-key rendition of Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run” in honor of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the 28-year-old organizer who throttled him in a primary Tuesday night. Crowley, who liked to play avuncular music man when he wasn’t gnashing behind the curtain as […]

Corruption Is Destroying New York State

Zephyr Teachout, a 2014 candidate for governor, with Joe Percoco and Gov. Andrew Cuomo. (Screengrab: NY True) The news today that Joe Percoco — a man who was like a brother to Gov. Andrew Cuomo — was convicted of collecting cash bribes is another embarrassment for New York and our democracy, or what passes for one here. Corruption means waste, […]

Bigotry and Politics

How does a politician represent people? How does a single individual with a single upbringing and worldview entirely influenced by a particular culture, class, religion or race seek to speak for, stand up for, or listen to everyone? It’s not a simple task. It’s especially a challenge for a politician who hasn’t endured the discrimination, […]

Who Is Fit to Hold Office?

I have lived in Bay Ridge for almost my entire life. I’ve walked in Ragamuffin Parades, pitched in the 68th Precinct little league (team Gold), and spent many an afternoon and night biking this lovely neighborhood, winding down from the promenade to Shore Road and up 3rd, 4th, and 5th Avenues, taking in the place […]

Why I’m Protesting the MTA Tomorrow

I’ve covered a lot of protests in my life and taken part in my share of actions — I traveled to D.C. for an anti-Iraq War protest, once upon a time — but tomorrow, I’ll be attending a protest in a new capacity: not as a journalist or bystander, but as a candidate for State Senate. The MTA is […]