Monday, October 20, 2014

"I Hate the Dallas Cowboys - tales of a scrappy New York boyhood" ~ My Book is Published

Melissa Miller & her St. Stephen's 4th grade outstanding writers
"I Hate the Dallas Cowboys - Tales of a scrappy New York boyhood" (YBK Publishers) had a smashing release.

We celebrated at "City Stories: Stoops to Nuts," at Cornelia Street Cafe on Tuesday. Friday night,  St. Stephen of Hungary's 4th graders and I had a House Party at  Barnes and Noble on East 86th Street.

We sold 220 books at the two events and  entertained 150 guests at Barnes and Noble.

Thank you, my friends who made the effort to come to my events from far away and near. Some of you literally ran there to make it. I'll never forget your kindness.

I'm grateful to St. Stephen's Katherine Peck, Nicole McCabe, Melissa Miller and the talented Fourth grade writers. I applaud Barnes and Noble and their staff: Jody Allen, Jennifer Stark, Alicia Lauricella for inviting us and the supportive audience who cheered us on, thank you!
Barnes & Noble 150 E 86 St @10.17.14
Leslie Goshko & Michele Carlo

I need an important favor from everyone who owns a copy of my book.

If you read "I Hate the Dallas Cowboys," please say a few honest words about the book and rate it on  Barnes and Noble at this link and cut and paste your comment to  Amazon and rate it at this link. 

If my writing brings you pleasure your comments mean much to me. Speak your mind.

I've been there for many of you countless times in countless ways because I love what you do. I believe in you.

I've supported the Yorkville neighborhood and New York City with thousands of photos and a bounty of stories in my published work and all over the internet for many years.

I need your help. Please say something about the book at Barnes and Noble and Amazon at the above links.
Signing at B&N












We sold out all the books at Barnes and Noble 86th Street on Friday.  Logos Bookstore on York Avenue has a limited number of copies still for sale.

Going forward, you can buy the book online at  Amazon,  Barnes and Noble,  Abebooks and other online booksellers.

If you like, you can buy a signed copy directly from me for $17 plus postage. Email me at tommy.pryor@gmail.com to make arrangements.  My pleasure.

Thank you,  Tommy
Bootleg, Gary Wood is in, Giants 12 Washington 10!

Praise for the book:

“Thomas R. Pryor has written a sweet, funny, loving memoir of growing up old-school in a colorful New York neighborhood. A story of sports, family, and boyhood, you’ll be able to all but taste, smell, and feel this vanished world.”
Kevin Baker, author of the novels “Dreamland,” Paradise Alley,” and “Strivers Row,” as well as other works of fiction and nonfiction


“Tommy Pryor’s New York City boyhood was nothing like mine, a few miles and a borough away, and yet in its heart, tenderness, and tough teachable moments around Dad and ball, it was the mid-century coming of age of all of us. A rousing read.”
Robert Lipsyte, former city and sports columnist, The New York Times
I Hate the Dallas Cowboys - takes of a scrappy New York boyhood


“Pryor could take a felt hat and make it funny.”
Barbara Turner-Vesselago, author of “Writing Without A Parachute: The Art of Freefall”


“Pryor burrows into the terrain of his childhood with a longing and obsessiveness so powerful it feels like you are reading a memoir about his first great love.”
Thomas Beller, author of “J.D. Salinger: The Escape Artist”

with Mike Edison & Judy McGuire @ Arts & Seizures radio show


Photos are from B&N Friday and one from my radio appearance on the  Arts and Seizures internet radio show yesterday with  Mike Edison and  Judy McGuire and Liz Smith, their super engineer. Thank you, Mike, Judy & Liz. It was a blast and the pizza was delicious. Thank you, Jaime Nelson for connecting me with  Arts & Seizures and working hard for the book. Thank you, Frank Flaherty, for your stellar editing on 53 stories. No Frank, no book. Thank you, YBK and Otto Barz for your faith in the text.

Here's a link to yesterday's Arts & Seizures archived show.  And a  link to a public Facebook photo album.


Starting Thursday, I'm be telling my "I Hate Dallas Cowboys" stories, and selling and signing my book at the following events all around the town:

Sideshow Goshko
This Thursday, October 23rd @ 7pm @ KGB 7pm (doors open at 6:30pm)
(85 E. 4th Street, 2nd Floor)
FREE!

The Dave Hill Show
Tuesday, October 28th @9pm, WFMU radio!
http://wfmu.org/playlists/GS

Lower East Side Stories
Friday, November 7 @ 7pm

Adam Wade Show
Monday, November 10th @ 7pm, Theater Under St. Mark's Place

City Stories Stoops to Nuts
Tuesday, November 11th @ 6pm, Cornelia Street Cafe

The Healing Artist - Internet Radio Show
Tuesday November 18th 6pm   Radio

We Three Productions Readings
Monday December 1st @ 7pm, @2A @ 24 Avenue A

City Stories: Stoops to Nuts
Tuesday, December 10th @ 6pm, Cornelia Street Cafe

No Name & A Bag O' Chips with your host, Eric Vetter
Friday, December 12th 7pm - Free
Otto's Shrunken Head
Barnes & Noble 150 East 86 St @ 10.17.14
Katherine Peck



B&N

St. Stephen's 4th grade writers


My pal, Rosanne Puccio

B&N

B&N

Stoops to Nuts ~ I Hate the Dallas Cowboys Book Release

Thursday, October 16, 2014

"Our Little Town, Yorkville" @ Barnes & Noble East 86 St ~ Tonight ~ Friday !




Tonight, Friday, October 17th @ 6pm at Barnes Noble, 150 East 86th Street, we're exploring "Our Little Town, Yorkville." Partnering with my Fourth Grade palsfrom St. Stephen of Hungary we are celebrating our neighborhood. The students start at 6pm, I follow the kids with my reading and book signing. Please come early to hear the children's fine essays. Through the eyes of a child memories of a place set in forever.
East

My family's lived on York Ave for 118 years. They left Sicily in 1896 and landed at 1403 Avenue A. I have the horseshoe that hung over their front door. My great grandparents went back and forth to Sicily separately a few times before staying put in 1903 with their three kids and a star boarder, their nephew, Charlie or Carlo. My Uncle Joe "Cheech" played baseball with 
Jimmy Cagney before Cagney made his acting debut at Keith's 86th Street Theatre.

My family has played, shopped, fought and gallivanted along 86th Street for a hundred years. The heart of Yorkville thumps under 86th Street near Lexington Avenue. I feel it under my feet each time I walk our boulevard and my memories rush back. 

Tomorrow Friday, October 17th @ 7pm, at the Upper Eastside Barnes & Noble, I'll read from my Yorkville memoir, "I Hate the Dallas Cowboys - tales of a scrappy New York boyhood." The book has 53 stories and it's loaded with photos of the neighborhood going back to 1906. Many images in this Facebook album are in my book. Several are tied directly to the stories you'll read. I promise to take you back to that world in sight and sound. Think TV's "The Wonder Years" just add taverns, subways and Checker cabs.

St. Stephen of Hungary School is my partner for this neighborhood celebration. Tomorrow at 6pm before I read, please come early and hear St. Stephen's Fourth Grade students read their Yorkville memories. 

If you like what you hear please buy my book. I've knocked myself out presenting hundreds of stories and pictures of old Yorkville on Facebook and other neighborhood digital meeting places including my blog, "Yorkville: Stoops to Nuts." If you enjoy my work, you will not be disappointed. Promise.








Wednesday, October 15, 2014

I Still Hate Dallas, But I Love My Friends

taken by Gordon Balkcom
"I Hate the Dallas Cowboys tales of a scrappy New York boyhood,"book release party last night at Cornelia Street Cafe was a blast. The crowd laughing at our stories and songs was the best audience in my seven years at the Cafe. Their eyes and ears lit up for each performer. Thank you, everyone.

I asked three artists to share the stage with me last night, Michele Carlo, Leslie Goshko and Adam Wade. Three fine writers who maintain their writing excellence while they create other art that dazzles. They inspire me. Without seeing their work, I'm not sure I would have finished my book.
taken by Gordon Balkcom

Michele paints, acts, tells stories and wrote a book with solid reviews, Fish Out Of Agua: My life on neither side of the (subway) tracks (Citadel 2010) Leslie runs a monthly storytelling show Sideshow Goshko that the NY Times, The New Yorker, and others praise, she plays piano like the Devil buying your soul, and writes for periodicals like the Huffington Post. Adam is the best storyteller in NYC and he's a wicked cartoonist and funny visual and radio actor. A few months ago, Adam shared a section of his planned book with me. Adam will be a best selling author. If you like his telling wait to read his stuff on the page. He was unable to come last night but he was in the room with us. For sure. Michele, Leslie and Adam met with me and generously shared everything they could to improve my book outreach. I'm a lucky dog with amazing friends. I never take that for granted.

Frank Flaherty the best editor in NYC and my book collaborator, thank you. It was all good. YBK Publishers and Otto Barz, thank you, for believing in the book and putting your heart into the entire process.

Thank you, Jaime Nelson and Gordon Balkcom for your promotional support and Gordon's photos here.

Thank you, Michele Pryor and Jon Calvert, for getting the show on the road last night.

Thank you, Robin Hirsch, Angelo Verga, Josh Rebell, Mike, John, Alzee and the entire staff at the Cafe for letting us play in your house. Thank you, Barbara Aliprantis, for kicking me off the branch to tell rather than read.

Robert Marantz, thank you, for directing my lost soul to Barbara Turner's writing group in Vancouver 11 years ago.

Link to more photos on Facebook.







I’ll read and sign books at Barnes & Noble, 150 E. 86 St this Friday, Oct 17th@ 7pm in the Yorkville neighborhood on the Upper East Side. 

St. Stephen of Hungary's 4th grade class will join me at B&N to read their Yorkville memories. 

You can purchase the book at Barnes & Noble East 86 St., Logos Bookstore and online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble and YBK.
taken by Gordon Balkcom


Early praise for the book:

“Thomas R. Pryor has written a sweet, funny, loving memoir of growing up old-school in a colorful New York neighborhood. A story of sports, family, and boyhood, you’ll be able to all but taste, smell, and feel this vanished world.”

Kevin Baker, author of the novels “Dreamland,” Paradise Alley,” and “Strivers Row,” as well as other works of fiction and nonfiction


“Tommy Pryor’s New York City boyhood was nothing like mine, a few miles and a borough away, and yet in its heart, tenderness, and tough teachable moments around Dad and ball, it was the mid-century coming of age of all of us. A rousing read.”

Robert Lipsyte, former city and sports columnist, The New York Times


“Pryor could take a felt hat and make it funny.”

Barbara Turner-Vesselago, author of “Writing Without A Parachute: The Art of Freefall”


“Pryor burrows into the terrain of his childhood with a longing and obsessiveness so powerful it feels like you are reading a memoir about his first great love.”

Thomas Beller, author of “J.D. Salinger: The Escape Artist”


taken by Gordon Balkcom














taken by Gordon Balkcom





Father Demo Fountain


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

My 1960s' Yorkville Memoir ~ On Sale Today!


My book party's tonight, Tues, Oct 14th @ Cornelia Street Cafe @ 5:30pm – 8pm. My special guests: Michele Carlo, Leslie Goshko & Adam Wade. 

I’ll read and sign books at Barnes & Noble, 150 E. 86 St this Friday, Oct 17th@ 7pm in the Yorkville neighborhood on the Upper East Side. St. Stephen of Hungary's 4th grade class will join me at B&N to read their Yorkville memories. 

You can purchase the book at Barnes & Noble East 86 St., Logos Bookstore and online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble and YBK.


Early praise for the book:

“Thomas R. Pryor has written a sweet, funny, loving memoir of growing up old-school in a colorful New York neighborhood. A story of sports, family, and boyhood, you’ll be able to all but taste, smell, and feel this vanished world.”

Kevin Baker, author of the novels “Dreamland,” Paradise Alley,” and “Strivers Row,” as well as other works of fiction and nonfiction


“Tommy Pryor’s New York City boyhood was nothing like mine, a few miles and a borough away, and yet in its heart, tenderness, and tough teachable moments around Dad and ball, it was the mid-century coming of age of all of us. A rousing read.”

Robert Lipsyte, former city and sports columnist, The New York Times


“Pryor could take a felt hat and make it funny.”

Barbara Turner-Vesselago, author of “Writing Without A Parachute: The Art of Freefall”


“Pryor burrows into the terrain of his childhood with a longing and obsessiveness so powerful it feels like you are reading a memoir about his first great love.”

Thomas Beller, author of “J.D. Salinger: The Escape Artist”




Friday, October 10, 2014

The Pope, St. Francis & The Devil Dog


On October 4, 1965, the feast day of Saint Francis of Assisi, Saint Stephen of Hungary's student body marched up to Third Avenue to wave to Pope Paul VI driving by on his way to Yankee Stadium in his limousine. This was important to me on a few levels:
We were getting out of sixth grade early.
The New York Yankees stunk in 1965 and having the Pope say a Mass on their home field should help the team.
I'd have free rein to look at all the older girls in the school, and they couldn't do anything about it.
"What are you looking at?"
'Ha, ha,' I'd think, not say.
The Franciscan priests in our parish were good guys and the nuns and the students got into the spirit of the day each year, whether the Pope showed up or not. Plus, I loved the guy. St. Francis was cool. I loved animals and he blessed them. Unlike Doctor Doolittle, St. Francis could really talk to them. And, St. Francis was in my grandmother's holy trinity along with St. Anthony for lost objects and super duper St. Jude for hopeless cases ~ a biggie for our family.


Every two years, the school ran a movie of the Life of St. Francis in the auditorium getting us out of a class for a Friday afternoon. The movie wasn't bad, and I admired the comfort of only wearing a robe with a rope belt, best uniform every invented, and Italy was beautiful and I considered it a place I definitely would visit down the road. After lunch, we lined up outside the school and like a gaggle of 300 geese we waddled up 82nd Street to the avenue, where we stood against police saw horses on the east side of Third between 81st and 82nd Street.

Earlier that morning, I served eight o'clock mass with a guy in my class, Michael Toth, who was a big pain in my ass. One of those guys that always had to be first in everything: out the door, on line for the water fountain, first at bat in punch ball. Toth located a Siamese pipe connection right behind us against a building, and used it to sit on, its shape perfect for a kid's bottom. We waited a long time, and Toth also planned on standing on it when the Pope went by for a better view. Toth kept coming over and telling everyone how comfortable it was and how he was going to have a perfect view, and if anyone tried to sit there he'd run over and throw them off. We all wanted him dead.

While he's doing this, I'm eating a Devil Dog the long way, taking the two cake parts apart and starting to lick the crème out of the middle, when Toth comes over to tell Freddy Muller, "Ha. Ha, I've got a great seat," While he's yapping to Freddy, I slip one half of my half licked Devil Dog onto the Siamese connection, crème side up. Toth satisfied with himself, sits on it and he's so caught up he doesn't notice, the nun, sick of Toth popping up and down moves over to straighten him out, Toth pops up again on his way over to brag some more. The nun notices the Devil Dog sticking to his pants and smacks Toth in the head thinking he's an idiot. After she hits him she says, "Wipe yourself off, wood head."


Toth puzzled about everything, reaches behind and grabs most of the cake, and I could tell by the look on his face he was praying it wasn't dog crap. Meantime, the Pope's a half block north of us. I missed him, Toth missed him, and the nun hit Toth again because she missed him, too.



I returned my focus to the older girls.


“I Hate the Dallas Cowboys – tales of a scrappy New York boyhood.” My book release party is this Tuesday, October 14th @ Cornelia Street Cafe @ 5:30pm – 8pm . My special guests: Michele Carlo, Leslie Goshko & Adam Wade. I’ll also read and sign at Barnes & Noble, 150 E. 86 St next Friday, October 17th@ 7pm in the Yorkville neighborhood on the Upper East Side. You can pre-order the book online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.


Early praise for the book:

“Thomas R. Pryor has written a sweet, funny, loving memoir of growing up old-school in a colorful New York neighborhood. A story of sports, family, and boyhood, you’ll be able to all but taste, smell, and feel this vanished world.”

Kevin Baker, author of the novels “Dreamland,” Paradise Alley,” and “Strivers Row,” as well as other works of fiction and nonfiction


“Tommy Pryor’s New York City boyhood was nothing like mine, a few miles and a borough away, and yet in its heart, tenderness, and tough teachable moments around Dad and ball, it was the mid-century coming of age of all of us. A rousing read.”

Robert Lipsyte, former city and sports columnist, The New York Times


“Pryor could take a felt hat and make it funny.”

Barbara Turner-Vesselago, author of “Writing Without A Parachute: The Art of Freefall”


“Pryor burrows into the terrain of his childhood with a longing and obsessiveness so powerful it feels like you are reading a memoir about his first great love.”

Thomas Beller, author of “J.D. Salinger: The Escape Artist”

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Timeless Yorkville Sunset ~ 1964-2014

If you were to compare photos from tonight's Yorkville sunset on the East River with photos taken fifty years ago, few things have changed. Imagine yourself younger strolling the Drive on a warm autumn night. A timeless evening on the river.

Join me with St. Stephen of Hungary's 4th grade at "I Hate The Dallas Cowboys: tales of a scrappy New York boyhood" ~ Thomas Pryor's Book Event @ Barnes & Noble 150 E. 86 Street. We will share our ageless Yorkville memories.