The Dynamite Brothers Meet The Slapper



188 East 3rd Street ny 10009

Neighborhood: Lower East Side

I was sitting in my 4th floor fire escape window on a hot summer afternoon, watching the sparse street life on 3rd St., a few people sitting around on our buildings stoop, a couple of guys had lawn chairs, a few guys standing outside the bodega…like that.

Mine was a junky/hippie building, yeasty like the rest of the neighborhood, shit happened regularly. At about 2pm a Latin kid said something to a guy standing outside the building across the street from me, the guy slapped him, he left after a few more words and all was quiet again. I was back in the window at 4pm. Then, in an instant, out of nowhere, appeared “The Dynamite Brothers,” kids in leather jackets with their colors; they filled the intersection of 3rd and B, packed tight they overflowed past the 3rd rail bar on the corner. Maybe 200 to 300 of them. Just as quickly the people on the block disappeared into buildings, and they started up the block. They had chains and garbage can lids to shield against the crap that people soon began throwing at them from windows. They systematically smashed all the car windows and threw garbage cans in the street. about this time I broke off to call 911. There is no way the cops didn’t get another hundred such calls (the cops showed up after 50 minutes and a good 10 minutes after the Dynamite Brothers disappeared with the same military dispatch with which they had shown up).

After a couple minutes they closed ranks in front of this building across the street and one of them started yelling in Spanish, I assume it was demanding that the slapper come out. After several minutes the slapper did come out. A brief and, all things considered, suprisingly civil conversation ensued, and then The Slapper was shot in the face with a pistol, and The Dynamite Brothers quickly melted away down Ave. B.

This happening was not newsworthy, nothing in any of the papers, nothing in the media, but so help me God this happened just as I say.


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§ 4 Responses to “The Dynamite Brothers Meet The Slapper”

  • Jacob says:

    Grew up on East 3rd and was 12 years old in ’72. I remember the Dynamite Brothers all too well. This is the first time I’ve ever seen anything written that mentions them. You capture the hazy, marginal, and sometimes frightening ambiance of the block very well. Great piece.

  • Beller says:

    Dear Jacob,

    This was one of the earlier pieces to come floating in to the site after Mr. Beller’s Neighborhood opened in 2000, and it remains a personal favorite. I am glad you liked it, too. If you have anything to add to the Dynamite Brother’s legend you should try and write it and send it in.

  • rookie says:

    My brother halfpint or little pint was down with dynomite brothers he past away in july of 1980 ..

  • editors says:


    Why don’t you write something about your brother and his life on that street and send it to us?

    editors, Mr. B

§ Leave a Reply

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