Friday, February 12, 2016

Heads Up! City Boy's Coming!


Be careful today, if you are on or near York Ave. & 83 St. I'm getting ready for Sunday. Thomas Pryor presents: "My Aim Is True" ~ Stoops to Nuts Valentine Show @Ryan's Daughter

Thank you, Joe Dettmore, for the terrific art work. Thank you, Robert (Dad) Pryor, for right after taking this photo knowing I wouldn't break and stopping the bike before it & I flew into the street bed ~ Christmas 1960.



Check out my 1960s memoir, "I Hate the Dallas Cowboys - tales of a scrappy New York boyhood." at Logos Book Store, or purchase the book online at Amazon (114 five-star reviews out of 114 posted) or Barnes & Noble ~ and buy "River to River ~ New York Scenes From a Bicycle" my photography portfolio online.

Street life seen through 53 stories and 90 photos

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Storytelling & Music @ Ryan's Daughter, Sunday Afternoon

"Where are my friends?"
Storytelling & Music
Thomas Pryor presents: "My Aim Is True"
Stoops to Nuts Valentine Show
Ryan's Daughter, 350 E. 85th Street
Sunday, February 14th @ 3pm to 6pm

Pryor performs sections from his new play, "City Boy,"
a love letter to street life and our neighborhood.

Our musical artists: Nina & Son (David Terhune & Nina Terhune) and Eric Vetter with Alex DeSuze, Fernando Morales Gonzales, Jordan Okrend and Richard Binder.


"I know you miss me, and I miss you."


Check out my 1960s memoir, "I Hate the Dallas Cowboys - tales of a scrappy New York boyhood." at Logos Book Store, or purchase the book online at Amazon (114 five-star reviews out of 114 posted) or Barnes & Noble ~ and buy "River to River ~ New York Scenes From a Bicycle" my photography portfolio online.

Street life seen through 53 stories and 90 photos




Sunday, February 7, 2016

York Avenue, Sunday Morning (1939)


Armin Landeck, American, 1905-1984: “York Avenue, Sunday Morning,” 1939; drypoint. Ackland Art Museum, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, The Hunter and Cathy Allen Collection, 2013.21.26

I found this work this morning, thought the subject was perfect as a borrow for this page.


Tricia Alexandro @ Stoops To Nuts @ Ryan's Daughter
Mark your calendar. Valentine's Day, February 14th, a special Stoops to Nuts show at Ryans Daughter, 350 E. 85th Street @ 3-6 pm. I''ll perform sections from my upcoming play, "City Boy." Our musical artists: Nina & Son (David Terhune & Nina Terhune) and Eric Vetter & his Mirth Makers.

"My Aim Is True"

Thomas Pryor presents: Stoops to Nuts Valentine Day Show

Ryans Daughter, 350 E. 85th Street
February 14th @ 3pm to 6pm
Free show






directly across the street from the sketch above ~ ball field 59 St.





Saturday, February 6, 2016

Street Light Finale

After seeing my favorite sculpture, The Vine, under the sky light in The American Wing, I left the museum and walked east down 86th Street and saw a last pass of afternoon light over the closed Gristedes - part of the footprint for the planned hi-rise that will take up that large space on the block and four or five tenements on First Avenue directly across from Tri-Faith. Goodbye street light along this frontage in the mornings and afternoons.

Next Sunday, Feb 14 @3-6pm I have a free show at Ryans Daughter , 350 E. 85th St. I'll perform sections from my upcoming play, "City Boy." The play is a love letter to street life, street light and our Upper Eastside neighborhood. My guests Nina & Son (David Terhune & Nina Terhune) and Eric Vetter & his musical guests.


The show's tied to the opening of the Second Avenue Subway, an event that's triggered a surge of tenement demolition and new hi-rise construction on the Upper Eastside not seen since the Third Avenue El came down in 1955. The area's character is slipping away (so is our street light) - collecting our memories for posterity in voice and on paper reinforces our sense that this is still our community.

Thomas Pryor presents: "My Aim Is True" ~ Stoops to Nuts Valentine Show @Ryan's Daughter
Ryans Daughter
350 E 85 St.
Sunday, Feb 14 @ 3-6pm





Check out my 1960s memoir, "I Hate the Dallas Cowboys - tales of a scrappy New York boyhood." at Logos Book Store, or purchase the book online at Amazon (114 five-star reviews out of 114 posted) or Barnes & Noble ~ and buy "River to River ~ New York Scenes From a Bicycle" my photography portfolio online.

Street life seen through 53 stories and 90 photos



Thursday, February 4, 2016

Early Morning, Carl Schurz Park




Since all our NYC snow came and went in one big blast thus far. Here are a few Carl Schurz Park early morning photos from 2014.

Six o'clock, Carl Schurz Park ~ 84th Street to 90th Street between East End Avenue and the East River.


















Tricia Alexandro @ Stoops To Nuts @ Ryan's Daughter
Mark your calendar. Valentine's Day, February 14th, a special Stoops to Nuts show at Ryans Daughter, 350 E. 85th Street @ 3-6pm. I''ll perform sections from my upcoming play, "City Boy." Our musical artists: Nina & Son (David Terhune & Nina Terhune) and Eric Vetter & his Mirth Makers.

"My Aim Is True"

Thomas Pryor presents: Stoops to Nuts Valentine Day Show
Ryans Daughter, 350 E. 85th Street
February 14th @ 3pm to 6pm
Free show


Check out my 1960s memoir, "I Hate the Dallas Cowboys - tales of a scrappy New York boyhood." at Logos Book Store, or purchase the book online at Amazon (114 five-star reviews out of 114 posted) or Barnes & Noble ~ and buy "River to River ~ New York Scenes From a Bicycle" my photography portfolio online.

Street life seen through 53 stories and 90 photos

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Emotional Memories Drive Passion ~ "My Aim Is True" ~ Stoops To Nuts @ Ryan's Daughter 2.14. @3-6 pm

When I was boy my father and I took long bike rides around Manhattan. He always took his Yashica 44 camera along. On top here, is Dad's 1961 photo in Central Park taken with 127 film stock. My recent shot near same location is below Dad's photograph.




Thomas Pryor presents: "My Aim Is True" 
Our Stoops to Nuts Valentine Show
Ryan's Daughter, 350 E. 85th Street
February 14th @ 3pm to 6pm ~ Free show

I''ll perform sections from my upcoming play, "City Boy." Our musical artists: Nina & Son (David Terhune & Nina Terhune) and Eric Vetter with his partners in crime.


Nina & Son are David Terhune and his daughter, Nina Terhune. David is best known as an original member of the Loser's Lounge, NYC's long running tribute series, now in it's 22nd year . The Losers, the best entertainment bang for the buck in NYC, perform regularly at Joe's Pub and Lincoln Center. Nina grew up attending Loser's Lounge shows and started performing with her father in 2014. They specialize in the kind of harmonies that only shared genetics can produce. Accompanying themselves on guitars, their repertoire runs from The Beatles to Gram Parsons to Squeeze to X to David's own compositions.


Eric Vetter is the MC/producer of long-running NY comedy/variety staple, "No Name... & A BAG O' CHIPS". That flagship show has spawned 4 other ongoing shows under the No Name umbrella. No Name celebrated its 20th anniversary last February with an all-star show at the 3000+ seat United Palace in Washington Heights. Mr. Vetter is also lead vocalist for The Summer Replacements, the Bag O' Chips show's house band.

Yorkville author & photographer, Thomas Pryor's work has appeared in The NY Times, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and other periodicals. His memoir, “I Hate the Dallas Cowboys - tales of a scrappy New York boyhood,” was published in 2014 (YBK). Pryor’s blog: "Yorkville: Stoops to Nuts," was chosen by The NYTimes for their Blog Roll in 2008. Thomas appeared on PBS's series: "Baseball: A New York Love Story," NBC’s “New York Nonstop,” and “This American Life.” His newspaper column ran in Our Town & The West Side Spirit. For five years, Thomas curated a monthly storytelling show, “City Stories: Stoops to Nuts,” at the Cornelia St. CafĂ© that Time Out Magazine, The NY Daily News and CBS News praised. His photography portfolio, "River to River - New York Scenes From a Bicycle," was published in 2012 (YBK). Cornelia St. Cafe hosted an exhibition of his photography. NBC, NY Press and NY 1 highly recommended the exhibit and his portfolio. You can view and purchase his prints online at Thomas R. Pryor Photography. January 2017, Pryor will present his first play, "City Boy," dedicated to Herman Wouk's character Herbie Bookbinder and the old neighborhood.

Robert Burns, put his words to Scottish folk melodies. Modifying and recreating tunes he heard as a child. His emotional memories flood his work. Stoops to Nuts draws inspiration from the process of listening to a pleasing sound (prose, verse or song) that you never forget and you're compelled to tell or sing the melody from your spot. "My Aim is True," Well said, Elvis Costello.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Dad Shot Thumper

Mr. Beller's Neighborhood published an old Yorkville story of mine. 

Dad used to hunt. He didn't golf, so hunting was another made up reason to get out of the house. He never struck me as the hunting type, but once or twice a year, he'd be off upstate for a long weekend. It was a Yorkville man thing in the 1950s and 1960s.

As he was walking out the door in his Elmer Fudd hat with his rifle, Mom told him," If you shoot something, I want you to think about Bambi's mother lying in the woods bleeding to death, and she's thinking about her poor baby left with that heartless bastard father."

Dad's face did tricks when Mom said that. I never seen such complicated movement from Dad's mouth, eyes, cheeks, and eyebrows. He looked heartbroken, sad, angry, confused and through it all still came back to the look, like he wanted to kill Mom.

Well, one time he gets home from hunting, and he ain't talking. I give him a good look over, and I can see he's not playing mum because he's hungover, something's on his mind. He sits in his chair, and Mom starts pressing him.

"What the hell's a matter with you?"

For a long time, he says nothing, but Mom keeps at him, and he tears up. Up to then, I only saw Dad cry over movies. "I watched it die," he said.

"What?"
"I shot a rabbit, then I watched it die."
"You son of a bitch."
"The poor thing was in pain, I'm never hunt again."
"You bet your ass."

And that was that. While Mom and Dad were talking, I began to think about Thumper. Dad loved Thumper, he drew him and Bambi for Rory & me all the time. Dad shot Thumper. I had nothing to to say.

The next day it snowed heavy, I asked, "Dad, since you're not going to hunt anymore can I use your pigskin gloves?"

Dad gave me one of his "you're out of your mind" looks, he loved those yellow gloves, had them since 1952, then, he thought it over and said, "OK."

I flew over to Central Park with Rory and the McNamara brothers. We worked the hill on 79th Street until we were soaked to the bone. When the chills got us, we dragged our sleighs back home. Mom wouldn't let us in the house until we took off everything but our drawers in the hallway. I was hoping to go back up to the park that night, so I needed to get everything dried quick. I wrapped my dungarees and long johns around the steam pole and put my socks, sweatshirt and dad's pigskin gloves on the radiator. An hour later, I went to check on everything. My dungarees and long johns were almost dried, then, I went to the radiator. The socks were fine, but Dad's gloves looked like shrunken voodoo heads. The fingers were blackened and curled up like they wanted to take a nap, for forever. They were half their normal size. Resembled beef jerky.

Before I could say I lost them, Dad came in the house and saw me looking them over. I tried to palm them down my underwear. They were too hot. He walked up to me and took one of the gloves out of my hand. Dad didn't hit, but sometimes I wished he did, rather than deal with his leaning in, verbal assaults. I could see he was about to rip into me and I rushed to say, "Dad I'm really sorry, I didn't mean it, and you're not going hunting anymore, right?"

His face switched over, he was thinking about the bunny. He held the glove up, looked at it once, gave it back to me and walked away.


Mark your calendar. Valentine's Day, February 14th, a special Stoops to Nuts show at Ryans Daughter, 350 E. 85th Street @ 3-6pm. I''ll perform sections from my upcoming play, "City Boy." Our musical artists: Nina & Son (David Terhune & Nina Terhune) and Eric Vetter & his Mirth Makers.

"My Aim Is True"
Thomas Pryor presents: Stoops to Nuts Valentine Day Show
Ryans Daughter, 350 E. 85th Street
February 14th @ 3pm to 6pm
Free show


Check out my 1960s memoir, "I Hate the Dallas Cowboys - tales of a scrappy New York boyhood." at Logos Book Store, or purchase the book online at Amazon (114 five-star reviews out of 114 posted) or Barnes & Noble ~ and buy "River to River ~ New York Scenes From a Bicycle" my photography portfolio online.

1960s' street life

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Madame Butterfly Goes Down ~ Stoops to Nuts @ Ryan's Daughter on Valentine Day @ 3-6pm


Don't forget! Free show on February 14th from 3 to 6pm. Thomas Pryor presents: "My Aim Is True" ~ Stoops to Nuts Valentine Show @Ryan's Daughter

I'll transport you back to street life, while Nina & David Terhune and Eric Vetter & his gang deliver melodies to make you dance your pants off.

In 2009, my first short story was published hard copy in Thomas Beller's anthology, "Lost & Found: Stories From New York." Here is the true tale.

"Madame Butterfly Goes Down." 

Last Saturday night, I had smelly cheese, cashews, black bean dip, spooned Hellmann’s and three Coronas for dinner. I over-bought crap for company, it’s causing me stomach problems, but I have to finish the stuff.

Sunday morning, I met a writing editor on Cathedral Parkway who took too much money to tell me too little about my work. I left her apartment feeling down.

Driving east, I saw a woman trip in the middle of Manhattan Avenue. She hit her head. I parked along side her forcing traffic around the scene. Her face was pressed to the asphalt. It was hard to see how injured she was. Someone called an ambulance. After a few minutes, she turned her head towards me. She was bleeding from two cuts, one on her nose and one on her lip, but otherwise looked OK. Her name was Grace, an Asian lady in her sixties, curly gray hair and weak English. I knew her name because the guy helping me help her was her neighbor in the tall building across the street. Once Grace got her bearings, me and the other fellow walked Grace into her lobby. After she sat down, she tried to force an envelope into my hands.

“Take this, take this.”

“I don’t want it.”

“Take this, take this.”

The other guy said take it, so I took it. On the sidewalk, I opened it and found a single ticket for Madame Butterfly at Lincoln Center, Row A in the Second Ring. Performance started at one thirty. It was twelve thirty five.

My life-long opera experience was limited to Alfalfa’s Barber of Seville, Elmer Fudd’s Siegfried & Bugs Bunny’s Brunhilde. Despite this handicap, my interest was high because the “Un bel di, vedremo” aria was my Mom’s favorite music. Coming home from school, if I heard this sorrowful melody coming through my front door, I knew Mom was having a special afternoon. She’d have a look on her face that nothing else ever put there.

I parked the car on East 82nd Street, dropped my stuff off and hailed a cab at one o’clock. The Greek parade cut off cross-town traffic through Central Park. We ended up going down to 53rd Street, to go west, and back up Eighth to get to Broadway and 63rd Street. I made it on the button.



Walking through Lincoln Center’s plaza, I felt a breeze on my crotch through the hole in my dungarees. I remembered Mom pulling me back into our Yorkville apartment when I tried to sneak out of the house in a torn shirt. She’d be so proud.

Entering the theatre’s second ring, sitting in my first row seat at the end of the aisle, I floated back to the late ’60s when I regularly scored a single ticket for a New York Giant football game at old Yankee Stadium. Being at the opera was strange and familiar at the same time.

Despite my best efforts, Act One had me on the ropes – the dark space, the sweet music and a comfy chair conspired. I couldn’t stay awake. I was having these mini-dreams involving Sigourney Weaver, loose clothing and me. I didn’t want to stay awake. I only needed to hear Mom’s aria in the second act. Unfortunately, the lady next to me was an arm-rest hog. She was eating and swigging soda with a friend, and felt that half my air space was sovereign for her meat hook. Every time Sigourney went to lick my ear, my neighbor’s elbow took my arm out from under itself, like a judo leg swing.


At one point, my glasses flew off when my chin bounced off the wood arm-rest. In the distance, I heard B.F. Pinkerton romancing Cio Cio San in Italian, my ancestors’ tongue. I didn’t understand a word. Recovering my specs, I plotted revenge.

Gathering all the gas in my intestinal tract, I secured it in a single room right above my exit passage. I held it still. Saturday night’s meal was the perfect storm. I built pressure and blocked it. When I fatigued my sphincter muscle, I lifted my right cheek and let her blow. The strength of the release lifted the rest of my ass off my seat. Using my arms, I arched right to ensure my aim was true. The cloud sucked the oxygen out of the air. When the wind died down, I got a quick look at the woman’s face, her bushy eyebrows were waving and she was barely conscious, then I ran out to the lobby.

After the intermission, my neighbor switch seats with her friend. I had no further arm-rest issue. The cold air during the break woke me up and I was all there, listening to the beautiful soprano sing “Un bel di, vedremo” gorgeously. I cried, thought of Mom, it felt good.

During the second intermission, I scouted one of the information tables in the lobby. There was a brochure for a free Big Band concert the following week. An attractive volunteer leaned into me.

“Do you like Big Band music?”

“I adore it.” I answered.

“You’re kind of young to be into it.”

“I have all my Dad’s reel to reel tapes, Dorseys, Miller, James, Shaw and many more. We fought over music, but ended up liking a lot of the same stuff.”

“Oh, that’s wonderful. My late husband loved the Big Bands. I have 150 albums that he played all the time.” She said.

“You’re very lucky, I love vinyl.”

“I don’t listen anymore, I have most of the stuff on CD and that’s fine for me.”

“Give them to your kids.”

“They don’t listen and don’t want them. Would you like them?”

“That’d be great, but please think about it before giving them away.”

“No, no, I’ve thought about it, and they’re clutter to me. I’d feel much better if someone was enjoying them.” Edith smiled.

She and I exchanged personal information and kept talking until the chimes went off signaling the start of the third act.

As I walked back to Ring Two, I thought about my day. I thought about Grace and her cut face. I thought about Mom humming along to Madame Butterfly. I thought about Dad’s devotion to Sinatra and our fights over Francis Albert’s best song. I figured my day at the opera would give any O. Henry story character a run for their money.

I’m picking up the records next week.


Check out my 1960s memoir, "I Hate the Dallas Cowboys - tales of a scrappy New York boyhood." at Logos Book Store, or purchase the book online at Amazon (114 five-star reviews out of 114 posted) or Barnes & Noble ~ and buy "River to River ~ New York Scenes From a Bicycle" my photography portfolio online.

1960s' street life

Friday, January 29, 2016

Snow Slipping Away ~ Stoops to Nuts Soiree 2.14.16 @ Ryan's Daughter

Bright sun and warm air took its toll on Carl Schurz Park snow yesterday. Here are a few photos.

Mark your calendar. Valentine's Day, February 14th, a special Stoops to Nuts show at Ryans Daughter, 350 E. 85th Street @ 3-6pm. I''ll perform sections from my upcoming play, "City Boy." Our musical artists: Nina & Son (David Terhune & Nina Terhune) and Eric Vetter & his Mirth Makers.

"My Aim Is True"
Thomas Pryor presents: Stoops to Nuts Valentine Day Show
Ryans Daughter, 350 E. 85th Street
February 14th @ 3pm to 6pm
Free show



Check out my 1960s memoir, "I Hate the Dallas Cowboys - tales of a scrappy New York boyhood." at Logos Book Store, or purchase the book online at Amazon (114 five-star reviews out of 114 posted) or Barnes & Noble ~ and buy "River to River ~ New York Scenes From a Bicycle" my photography portfolio online.