the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

A Tour of my Childhood Bedroom in Queens


I know the photo is awful.  Give me a break.  I just got off a plane from LA. 

This is the room I grew up in.  I lived here until college.  Behind me, is where my old, comfy bed used to be.  Now it is a “convertible bed” that my father put in several years ago  to make my room “more adult.”  You can actually feel the metal coils sticking into your back.

The clock in the background has not worked in twenty years, but no one has ever thought about taking it down.

The poster at the top right has changed throughout the years, from that of the New York Mets to long-forgotten rock groups.  The current poster is of Sophia acting in a children’s play she directed in Israel. 

My pants belonged to my father, but I don’t think he ever wore them.  My t-shirt is from a Target in Los Angeles.  I’m using an old digital camera that works so-so.

After taking the photos, my mother made me a turkey sandwich and we watched “What Not to Wear,” which is pretty much the same thing I would have done if I was sitting on the couch with Sophia.  


  1. Mr. Fabulous

    So you CAN go home again…

    I had no idea.

  2. Lynnster, yeah

    I don’t have a childhood home intact for things like this, but I do have a clock in my house that stopped working 10 years ago and still is on the wall. However, it’s way high up on the wall and I’m 5’2″. That one doesn’t look so out of reach, heh.

    Enjoy your trip!

  3. better safe than sorry

    awww, what an absolutely lovely touching post, you are home. i bet your mom is thrilled!

  4. Charming, but single

    My childhood bedroom now has an entertainment center, a flat screen TV and two easy chairs in it … so, you know, I guess they don’t want me to come back …

  5. The Retropolitan

    What’s the occasion for being back east?

  6. Two Roads

    With a little distance, without my glasses and without reading your post, I thought the picture on the wall was daffy duck. I was also confused as to why you were taking the picture looking into the mirror instead of just taking a picture of the room. Oh I get it,you wanted us to see you within your room to prove you really are in NYC not Redondo Beach. I do hope that wasn’t your travel clothes…..

  7. Mo

    I think you are trying to show off your belly with this picture 🙂

  8. Dave2


    Wow… it looks just like the monster in that episode of Scooby Doo! DARN THOSE MEDDLING KIDS!

  9. Nance

    But you left out the most important detail, Neil: Mayonnaise or Miracle Whip?

    I’m a Miracle Whip girl myself. This is an issue I had to have settled before I would consent to marriage. Some things are just better aired out, ya know?

  10. Elisabeth

    Behold this bit of wisdom: A clock that does not work at all shows the accurate time more often than one that is a bit too slow or too fast.

    Cool thing that you still have your old room. There is something really lovely about that picture. Your belly showing is a delightful bonus too.

    After both my brother and I had moved from my parents’ house, my father turned my room into his “office,” which soon became cluttered with papers and books. My mom turned my brother’s room into her “work and sewing room,” and it was cluttered too. Around 1998 or 1999, she sold the house.

    This past summer, I took possession of my daughter’s bedroom (she is now a Junior in college, comes home maybe three times a year, and usually does not spend much longer than a couple of days here.) It took me an entire week to clear up her junk, and I did consult her a bit before throwing anything away (and I ditched tons of stuff!). Now, my “old” room serves as my daughter’s room and “guest” room (I never have overnight guests!). The room passed muster, my daughter likes it, although it still needs to be repainted and decorated a bit.

  11. Jenny

    I spy a belly-botton peircing. Or maybe just a reflection from the flash.

  12. Postmodern Sass

    Copycat. And my borrowed digital camera was way older than yours, nyah nyah.

  13. buzzgirl

    Is that a ghost?

  14. Dagny

    Awww. My mother tried to leave a museum to me but I gutted that room years ago. Told her I would not be moving back. Now it’s used for storage.

  15. CrankMama

    An in tact childhood home? I can’t imagine… Must be nice, but also sort of weird.

    It’s like a Neilotchka Museum.

  16. ms. sizzle

    those convertible beds are never comfortable. 🙂

  17. Neil

    Oh no. I’m on dialup. It is SOOOO slow…

    Jenny – that is belly button lint.

    Postmodern — Your famous towel shot!

  18. V-Grrrl

    I like the PJs. : )

    I miss having a home to go home to.

  19. tiff

    Your own personal museum – how cool. Also, the tummy shot – cool.

  20. tiff

    Awlso (said in the bestest new yourk accent I can summon up), if your mom lives anywhere near Myrtle Avenue in Ridgewood, then your family was practically neighbors with mine back in the day. Ah, Underdonk Ave!

    Happy post- T-day.

  21. Grad School Reject

    But when Sophia comes with you are you allowed to share a bed? My parents were very slow to warming up to the idea of one of their sons sharing a bed in their house with a woman (even if it was a wife). In fact, the first night my brother and his wife shared a bed my father tied a cow bell under the bed so that if there was any type of “movement” the whole house would hear the rininging.

  22. Pearl

    Neil, you’d better behave yourself in that childhood room of yours!
    I’m sure that your mom is enjoying your company. Enjoy hers, as well!

  23. Scarlet

    Aw, that’s adorable:)

  24. footpad

    What is it about mothers (okay, step-mother in my case) and turkey sandwiches. One of my few fond memories of childhood.

    Thanks for sharing!

  25. wendy

    Neil, Have you been eating?? You look a little thin to me…Go eat a sandwich.

  26. Two Roads

    Wendy, Bravo comment!

  27. michelle

    i could report you to the blogpolice if those pajamas were one centimeter lower. neil, how scandalous!

  28. kristen

    Are you taking your fashion pointers from all the local Queens teenagers and wearing your pj pants on your hips? You rebel!

  29. othurme

    So….that’s where all the magic happened! (and by magic, I mean Dungeons & Dragons)

  30. Linda Freedman

    I’m pretty sure that taking down old clocks is really, really bad luck.

  31. Neil

    Dungeons and Dragons? No way. Strictly an old school gamer — The Game of Life, Trouble, Scrabble.

  32. Roonie

    I like your stomach.

  33. littlepurplecow

    Love it. There is no place like home… esp. when your mom makes the sandwich. Nice pants.

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