Saturday, July 19, 2014

NYC's Bird: The Pigeon ~ Like it, Or Not

Before you complain about their crap, give the pigeon credit for dealing with our crap. Like noise and pollution. The pigeon didn’t crash the North American party. It didn’t get here on it’s own, an ocean is a long flight unless you’re made of metal and carry tons of fuel in your tank. Where would The New Yorker cartoonists be without the go to pigeon? Where would Oscar and Felix be without the Pigeon Sisters on The Odd Couple?

As long as I’m not sitting directly under one in the park while he’s reading a newspaper above me, I’m fine saluting New York City’s bird: the pigeon.

"My husband used to be the concierge but he's dead. Now I'm the concierge"

My book, "I Hate the Dallas Cowboys - tales of a scrappy New York boyhood," coming October 2014 (YBK). 

If you like TV's "The Wonder Years," add tenements, loitering and a subway - you'll slip seamlessly into my world.









Thursday, July 17, 2014

Baby Pigeons Love Thurman Munson


The last time I remember seeing baby pigeons was the day we moved into 83rd Street on Rory's first birthday in 1957. Well, I saw them again, last night and I knew that I would. 

I'm taking that excitement to Bergino Baseball Clubhouse tonight @7pm, and telling a Thurman Munson story at:

Baseball As Good Medicine©
Photo ID Foundation
Thursday, July 17 2014 @ 7:00 pm
Bergino Baseball Clubhouse


"Baseball As Good Medicine: The Amazing, Magical, Healing Qualities of Baseball - a unique variety of storytellers from sportswriters to rheumatologists to artists to umpires - each telling a story related to this theme in 5 minutes or less! An action packed fun evening of baseball, stories and judges all to benefit a cause.
The cause is a good one, offering kids with medical challenges cameras and other media tools to tell their stories. More information below. Please come out and support the children.
All proceeds from the event go to Photo ID Foundation. Our work puts cameras and other tools in the hands of young people with medical challenges/life threatening illnesses to enable them to create media projects to tell their stories and transform their experiences.



Wednesday, July 16, 2014

I Have To Get That Darn Thurman Munson T-Shirt

Like I did in 1972 at this Carl Schurz Park checkers table, I'm telling a Thurman Munson story tomorrow night:

Baseball As Good Medicine©
Photo ID Foundation
Thursday, July 17 2014 @ 7:00 pm

"Baseball As Good Medicine: The Amazing, Magical, Healing Qualities of Baseball - a unique variety of storytellers from sportswriters to rheumatologists to artists to umpires - each telling a story related to this theme in 5 minutes or less! An action packed fun evening of baseball, stories and judges all to benefit a cause.
The cause is a good one, offering kids with medical challenges cameras and other media tools to tell their stories. More information below. Please come out and support the children.
All proceeds from the event go to Photo ID Foundation. Our work puts cameras and other tools in the hands of young people with medical challenges/life threatening illnesses to enable them to create media projects to tell their stories and transform their experiences.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Baseball As Good Medicine @ 7.17.14 ~ New Book's First Dance

This coming Thursday, July 17, I'm telling a Thurman Munson story at a terrific charity event, "Baseball as Good Medicine." It all takes place at  Jay Goldberg's cool spot, Bergino's Baseball Clubhouse at 67 East 11th Street.

I love the Clubhouse, here are two of my Bergino's pieces: one on Mickey Mantle and one on Gil Hodges.


Thursday, July 17 2014 @ 7:00 pm
Bergino's Baseball Clubhouse

"Baseball As Good Medicine: The Amazing, Magical, Healing Qualities of Baseball - a unique variety of storytellers from sportswriters to rheumatologists to artists to umpires - each telling a story related to this theme in 5 minutes or less! An action packed fun evening of baseball, stories and judges all to benefit a cause.
The cause is a good one, offering kids with medical challenges cameras and other media tools to tell their stories. More information below. Please come out and support the children.
All proceeds from the event go to  Photo ID Foundation. Our work puts cameras and other tools in the hands of young people with medical challenges/life threatening illnesses to enable them to create media projects to tell their stories and transform their experiences.

Hence the theme, "Baseball As Good Medicine©"

This is the second in our series - if you CANNOT attend this event but would still like to make a donation, we would be most grateful! Please Click Here



Storytellers include umpire Perry Barber, Cooperstown Baseball Hall of Fame artist Dick Perez, SLAM Editor-in-Chief Ben Osborne, Dr. Jonathan Samuels, WNYC reporter/writer Jim O'Grady, writer/storyteller Thomas Pryor who appeared in PBS' "Baseball A NY Love Story". With special guest Rabbi Sirkman featured in HBO's Curse of the Bambino. And our exciting panel of judges including performer/writer Mary Brienza and communications wiz John Beilenson!

Among our attendees will be Marty Appel, New York Yankees historian and author of Pinstripe Empire.






We had fun at Eric Vetter's No Name show at Otto's Shrunken Head last Friday night. It was my first public reading from my forthcoming book, "I Hate the Dallas Cowboys - tales of a scrappy New York boyhood." 
(Oct. 2014, YBK)

Thank you, Eric Vetter for inviting me to a swell time, and thank you, Gordon Balkcom for the photos of me reading.








Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Stoops to Nuts in Song & Story on Cornelia Street

Nicole Ferraro
Oh boy, if you weren't there you missed it. You missed it good. Thank you, Joe McGinty, Andrea Diaz, Nicole Ferraro and Harry Rolnick for bringing the bacon home. Thank you, to a fine audience who stayed with us all the way, and thank you, Cornelia Street Cafe for letting us play in your yard. Thank you, Josh, Mike and Olivia for keeping the customers satisfied with your stellar professional service. One of my favorite Stoops to Nuts nights ever. 






Jennifer Barrett





Andrea Diaz & Joe McGinty

Harry Rolnick

Cornelia St Cafe

Nicole Ferraro
Andrea Diaz



Jennifer Barrett





Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Sunset on the River ~ Stoops to Nuts Show Tonight

Spent a sunset on the East River at 86th Street on July 4th. This is what I saw.


Our "City Stories: Stoops to Nuts, show tonight, Tuesday, July 8th @ 6pm @ Cornelia Street Cafe is a big whoop.

Our stunning artists: "The Duchess and the Fox, aka, Andrea Diaz and Joe McGinty (standout and founder of The Losers Lounge), Jennifer Barrett (Living Loud), Nicole Ferraro (NY Times) and Harry Rolnick (WSJ). We're bringing the musical side of storytelling to our show in a big way with Andrea, Joe and Jennifer merging with two of my favorite tellers in NYC, Nicole and Harry.







Sunday, July 6, 2014

The Only Living Boy In New York

I love when New York empties for a holiday. As a kid, instead of being sad because I was stuck "in the city," I found good things that resulted from us not "getting out of town." Dad didn't own a car, our vacations were rare. Three. One week in Patchogue, one week to somewhere in Putnam County and one week in Point Pleasant. Dad stayed home for that one.

The best reason I was glad everyone left town and I was still there - me and whoever else stayed put could play in the streets freely. The cars vanished and give us double the space for touch football or whatever game we were playing. We even played a couple on York Avenue in between traffic light changes. Playing touch football on an avenue with that extra width made it feel like a real football field. Much better than the tight space touch games on the side streets were there were only five plays: button hooks, down and outs in between two parked cars, fake a button hook and go after the QB pumps, fake a down and out and go after QB pumps, and a fly.

Another good reason to not go away, it made the neighborhood spooky like a good Twilight Zone episode. Early in the morning, walking around, no cars, no people, just birds, you felt like the only kid on earth.



Here are photos from the 300 block on 85th Street, 500 block on 84th St Street, York Avenue between 83rd Street and 84th Street, and York looking south from 83rd Street towards the 59th Street Bridge. And one sunset.

A fine holiday weekend in The Twilight Zone for  The Only Living Boy In New York.


Our "City Stories: Stoops to Nuts, show is this coming Tuesday, July 8th @ 6pm @ Cornelia Street Cafe  is a doozy.

Our amazing artists: "The Duchess and the Fox, aka, Andrea Diaz and Joe McGinty (standout and founder of The Losers Lounge), Jennifer Barrett (Living Loud), Nicole Ferraro (NY Times) and Harry Rolnick (WSJ). We're bringing the musical side of storytelling to our show in a big way with Andrea, Joe and Jennifer merging with two of my favorite tellers in NYC, Nicole and Harry.









Saturday, July 5, 2014

Losers Lounge Lincoln Center Soiree

The Losers Lounge performance at Lincoln Center last week was wild. The audience danced their pants off. Disco music circled the space. Summer’s here, time is right. The weather called for thunderstorms but the skies cleared and stayed that way throughout the two hour show. Think of the best wedding you’ve ever been to and times it by the number of people you’ve had mad crushes on in your lifetime. That’s how good this show was.

All my photos here, and all my photos at this link are from the Midsummer Swing Lincoln Center show.

The Losers Lounge continue to be the “best bang for the buck” music event in NYC. If you enjoy The Losers, this Tuesday, our “City Stories Stoops to Nuts,” show at Cornelia Street Cafe presents, the Loser Lounge founder, and leader, Joe McGinty, performing with Andrea Diaz, one of the finest song artists in New York and a standout Loser herself.


All Losers out there, gather your crumbled singles and put eight of them together in your pocket. Why?

Eight bucks will get you a free drink, and a front seat at “City Stories: Stoops to Nuts” to enjoy, hear and see “The Fox & the Duchess,” song set (aka Joe McGinty & Andrea Diaz) – Jennifer Barrett (Living Loud) – Nicole Ferraro (The New York Times) – Harry Rolnick (Wall Street Journal.) I’m telling one from my new book, “I Hate the Dallas Cowboys – tales of a scrappy New York boyhood.



Anna C. Cabana and Blythe Gruda

I’ve lived in NYC 60 years straight. I’m grateful to have this rare opportunity to host a fine show with stellar songsmiths and enchanting storytellers who bring their boundless talent to Cornelia Street in the West Village every second Tuesday of the month.

Hope you can make this Tuesday’s show at 6pm at Cornelia Street Cafe.