Your email is not valid
Recipient's email is not valid
Submit Close

Your email has been sent.

Click here to send another


Tablet Newest Original Fiction

“Coney Island Knockoff” by Susan Daitch

Print Email
Peter Feigenbaum, Pie in the Sky, digital photographic print from Trainset Ghetto, 2008.(courtesy of the artist)

Today on Tablet, the latest installment of our critically acclaimed original fiction is up and ready for your consumption.

By the time Nachmann was born, the youngest of many grandchildren, his grandfather was very old and had retired to a part of the city far from the docks. He was remembered as a small man who kept his hat on at all times, even in the house, said the word pesetas with an Odessa accent, and at some point after the Bay of Pigs Invasion, changed his name from Nischtmann, to Nachmann. Nischt, nothing, a reasonable name if you can make yourself invisible, he had said, but this was not a family skill, as proven many times over. The two stolen boxes of gold were never found intact. What did they expect? His grandfather shrugged. You give a bear a piece of meat, you expect he’s going to return it to you in the same condition in which it was offered?

If only his grandfather had been the sailor, if it had been a sailor, who figured out how to steal such a treasure. Even two boxes would have been plenty, even all those decades ago, enough to change Nachmann’s life as it reached into the twenty-first century. If his grandfather had shown even a little ingenuity instead of just sleeping on top of the all that money, Nachmann now wouldn’t be balancing in his knock-off running shoes on the edge of a Coney Island rooftop, feeling the crenellated tiling through thin soles. The ladder to the nearest fire escape down didn’t look very securely attached and some of its rungs were corroded. He could make out a sign on the ironwork that said, Anyone Placing an Encumbrance On This Balcony Will Be Fined $10. Ten measly dollars. Who cares? That’s how old it was. In the yard between the buildings lay a patch of poured concrete whose cracks resembled a topographical model of some large creature’s arterial system, bottles both glass and plastic, abandoned signage from Gross’ Aluminum Siding, and a small halal food cart.

A fantastic piece of writing. Enjoy the rest here.

Print Email

Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180

Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.

Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.

We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.


Your comment may be no longer than 2,000 characters, approximately 400 words. HTML tags are not permitted, nor are more than two URLs per comment. We reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments.

Thank You!

Thank you for subscribing to the Tablet Magazine Daily Digest.
Please tell us about you.

Tablet Newest Original Fiction

“Coney Island Knockoff” by Susan Daitch

More on Tablet:

Obama: Denying Israel’s Right to Exist as a Jewish Homeland is Anti-Semitic

By Yair Rosenberg — The president draws a line in the sand in his latest interview