I live alone. It’s been a very long year.

Illustration of a person dressed in winter clothes walking alone on the sidewalk with swan necks silhouetting in the foreground.

It has been one year since I’ve been properly hugged. I have never been a casual hugger, and yet it was this fact I kept coming back to as we approached the first anniversary of the pandemic. …


A hand holding a Polaroid photo of NYC up to the NYC skyline at evening.

Welcome to New York City’s #NoFilter era

A running joke on social media among New Yorkers who stayed put for the pandemic roller coaster ride these last seven months is to match evidence of joyful city life that has exploded everywhere against proclamations of the city’s death. “New York Is Dead!” run the headlines next to photos…


Those of us who stayed in New York are faced with the task of keeping the city alive. We aren’t going anywhere.

GEN asked two writers to explore what it means to stay in New York, and what it’s like to leave. Meghan Daum left New York to quarantine in Appalachia. Glynnis MacNicol stayed in the city:

New York City is not as deserted as the pictures will lead you to believe.


Since I turned 40 I’ve encountered disbelief that I could possibly be enjoying my own life. But then there’s the other unexpected gift of this age: just how little concern I have for others’ opinions.

A few months before my 42nd birthday, I was out to dinner with friends and found myself seated next to a well-known older male writer.

I happened to be in the final stages of finishing a proposal for a memoir about being a single woman over 40 without children and…


Glynnis MacNicol on being single, childless, and suddenly motherless in her 40s

For someone who has always been bad at math, I have a weird fixation on numbers.

Take my mother’s death. Officially my mother died on March 20. A Monday. This is the date on her death certificate and the date on her gravestone. This is also what the staff at…


Subway Closure Reveals Much About Cuomo and Media’s Understanding of City

As the snow settles from the Blizzard of 2015, that wasn’t (at least in New York, New England is another story) it’s becoming clear that Monday night’s historic shutdown of the New York City Subway system had less to do with public safety than Governor Andrew Cuomo’s power-hungry ego.

There…


Help me, multi-gazillion dollar toy industry, you’re my only hope.

When I was growing up my childhood devotion was split between two women: Princess Leia and Laura Ingalls.

At first glance these may seem like divergent idols: One a fictional, intergalactic princess, the other a real-life 19th century pioneer girl. But to my mind they were two sides of the…


And other jaw-dropping advertisements from New York Magazine’s Oct. 1969 issue

The other day I came across a 45-year-old issue of New York magazine. I quickly cracked it open and eagerly paged through expecting to find some journalistic gems. New York in 1969 was in the early golden days of its legendary Clay Felker era. Begun as an insert in the…


Walking hots, placing bets, and learning to drink like a ‘lady’

In the annals of strange summer jobs held by teenage girls my high school stint as a “hot walker” at the racetrack from age 16-19 must rank near the top. It’s not unusual for girls to go through horse-crazy phases. …


Arriving in NYC before the Internet

In the last few years I’ve gotten in the habit of telling people I moved to New York before the Internet. That when I first arrived here in the late nineties, I was immediately advised by those in the know to linger in front of the Village Voice offices on…

Glynnis MacNicol

Glynnis MacNicol is a writer and author of the memoir NO ONE TELLS YOU THIS (Simon & Schuster, 2018).

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