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Bensonhurst Nicknames ca. 1966 – 1980, Annotated.

by 11/12/2012
Neighborhood: Bensonhurst

[This list contains all the nicknames of kids I can remember from my childhood (age 7 – 21, approx.) in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn.  See explanatory notes for each nickname below.] 1. Angelo Head 2. Rabbit 3. Ape 4. Frankie Airlines 5. Joey All-Star 6. Vinnie Barbarino 7. Turtle 8. Tortoise 9. Harry O. 10. Frank Asshole […]

Doc Pomus

by 10/03/2012
Neighborhood: Upper West Side

My songwriter friend Robin called me with an opportunity to make some easy money, fast. She gave me the name and address of a friend of hers and, although I was pretty busy kicking drugs and booze, I jumped at the chance of making some money. I hopped the number two express on Seventh Avenue […]

Passing Paper

by 09/09/2012
Neighborhood: West Village

Back in the late 80s, my friend worked as a narcotic detective for the NYPD. The 27 year-old Brooklyn native belonged to an elite squad, trained to raid crack houses and dealers’ apartments in the Red Hook Houses, Brooklyn’s biggest housing project. His job was simple, but dangerous. Once their battering ram smashed down the […]

The Green Sweater

by 08/20/2012
Neighborhood: Midtown

It’s 5 AM and I am awake, too sharply awake, so sharply that reality is obscured. Chills crawl like ants on my skin, and I search in the dark for my green sweater. I have been wearing this sweater all summer. The sweater goes on and then is pulled off, repeatedly, each day, in my […]

15 Seconds With Andy Warhol

by 06/09/2012
Neighborhood: All Over, East Village, Midtown

When I was a kid, Campbell’s Tomato Soup almost tasted home-made, especially if milk was added as suggested by the directions. Everyone ate it in 1964. The rich, the poor, the in-between and twelve year-old boys like me, so I was pleased to read in LIFE Magazine that a New York artist had painted large […]

Get Busy

by 05/22/2012
Neighborhood: East Village

My friend Flip didn’t read, he told me, because he was all about music. Slick, shiny, high-gloss music. Nothing got him more excited than discussing “production values.” He’d play dance remixes for me and practically conduct them as some new version of an awful song stomped and restomped its way through a cathedral-like reverb chamber […]

175 Bleecker Street

by 02/13/2012
Neighborhood: Greenwich Village, Uncategorized

Annie was the whitest, white girl I ever did see. A walking anemic, she looked in perpetual need of a blood transfusion. If she were to walk through the halls of the high school dragging an I.V. pole with a bag of blood hanging off the top, I don’t think anybody would have batted an […]

Café Espresso

by 09/19/2011
Neighborhood: Little Italy, Uncategorized

When I moved to Little Italy in the fall of ’82, my ground floor studio on Mott Street was directly next door to the Café Espresso. This did not appear to be a fact that bore much significance, as the café was a broken down mess of a place, with faded gold letters peeling off […]

Down The Hall And On Your Left

by 08/31/2011
Neighborhood: Upper West Side

In the spring of 1989 I rented an apartment on 75th St., between Columbus and Amsterdam. The apartment, if you can call it that, was approximately the size of your average fitting room at TJ Maxx, but not nearly as nice. Though I was thrilled to be paying next to nothing for this space (a […]

I Can’t Go!

by 08/16/2011
Neighborhood: Lower Manhattan

“Jeez, I hope he hurries.” The doctor said to his nurse. “I don’t want to miss my train.” “Me, too. I’ve got to get my kid by 5:30pm.” Her answer tinged with aggravation. Hearing this exchange through the bathroom door, my bladder shut down. I was on the 60th floor of the Woolworth Building, the […]

Don’t Feed The Crackheads

by 03/06/2011
Neighborhood: Bedford-Stuyvesant

Tay Tay was my first friend in Bed Stuy. Yes, she stole my money, and yes, she nearly got me kicked out of my apartment, and yes, our relationship further alienated me from my neighbors, but she stuck around. Tay Tay, she was like glue. Let me explain.  Crackheads are like seagulls: you feed one, […]

The Singing of God Bless America By A Woman Condemned To Death

by 02/14/2011
Neighborhood: Lower Manhattan

Throughout the 1950s Stan Novick was locked up at least four times in “The Tombs,” Manhattan’s now-closed city jail and holding cell on White Street. Pictures from that time show “The Tombs,” now torn down, as a Dickensian sort of place with looming towers and small windows. Photos of Stan Novick at that time show […]