Patch Town an essay by Nancy Gendimencio

“Patch Town”

I can’t get a certain Franz Kline painting out of my head. Pennsylvania Street Scene, 1947, is of a row of shack-like houses huddled together on an empty street. They droop as if weighed down by the troubles of the people who live in them. Weather-beaten wood shingles are made with gray and white brushstrokes. Some windows are dark, like eyes peering out onto the unpaved road. An orange-red sky

Nancy Gendemencio Narrative Magazine

“Hong Kong”

After I moved to New York City, my mother rarely called. Instead, she sent letters. In return, I’d dash off postcards from places I’d visited on my quarterly business trips to Asia. I did not mention my exhaustion and stress during these two- and three-week-long journeys. Yet she sensed my struggle to maintain the high standard of perfection I’d set for myself. How I looked and how I performed on

“My 11th St. Story”

There’s nothing left of my old apartment at 112 E. 11th St. except a sign on a wooden partition with the address. Behind that is rubble, a bulldozer and wide-open space between Third and Fourth Aves. I’d been monitoring progress of the demolition since the announcement was made last summer when Pan Am Equities sold what was once my home along with the neighboring building, 114-120 E. 11th St., to

“Stories From My Closet”

I tried on the black lace shell. Sleeveless and hip skimming, it fit as if it were designed for me and was like nothing I’d owned. The label said made in Austria for Bonwit Teller. I didn’t need the top. I had a closet full of items I’d wanted more than needed. When I’d wandered into Stella Dallas, a vintage store on Thompson St., one August day 20 years ago,


The summer between junior and senior years of high school, I worked at a state home for people with special needs. My job came through a ‘70s era government program that helped disadvantaged teens. I did not want anyone to know my family was barely making ends meet. But it was hard to hide this in our small town in Northeastern Pennsylvania, an area once known for coal mining. The