Being Poor is a LOT of Work

I had my first appointment with the NYU College of Dentistry, where I’m getting all my dental work done. I got there at 5, I left at around 7:45. They forewarn you that it’s going to take a lot of time. While treating you they are also training young dentists. When I asked the dentist doing my intake where she was from she said, “I am from a country called India,” like India might be a country I’d never heard of? I didn’t get any actual work done. It was all xrays and lots of questions and waiting. I go back Thursday to learn my “treatment plan.”

It was exhausting. The whole process also made me feel bad. I’m not sure why. I’m getting good care for affordable prices, I should feel great about it. But the process was demoralizing.

I walked around Gramercy Park on my way over, at least. That area is one small pocket of heaven. Every building surrounding the park is more beautiful than the next. I think I had a Gramercy Park ghost story in my book Unbelievable. I did! Here is is:

A 1942 piece titled Haunted New York told the story of a young family who had moved into a Gramercy Park apartment, not knowing that a girl had thrown herself from the window of what was now their 2-year-old son’s bedroom. One night the child woke up screaming. When they ran into the room he was pointing to the window crying, “The lady jumped out.”


Stacy Horn

I've written six non-fiction books, the most recent is Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York.

View all posts by Stacy Horn →

3 thoughts on “Being Poor is a LOT of Work

  1. THere’s a house on the north side of the park that has Wisteria all up the front, like 4 stories. I try to get down and see it at least once every year when it’s in bloom.

  2. Thanks, Stacy! I love a good, clean ghost story. And it struck me that you put it in the same post about dental work. There’s a connection there I’m still trying to figure out and it’s got something to do with invasion of personal space, but I’m not quite making it yet at this hour. Thanks for the stuff to think about!

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