Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Yorkville: Stoops to Nuts ~ Last Night's Show

My memory is electric with images and music from my youth in Yorkville.

I remember the first day Rory, Mom, Dad and me moved into #4R in 517 East 83rd Street. It was June 20, 1957. Rory's first birthday. I was three and three months to the day. It was very warm, Mom let Rory and I run straight into the apartment before my aunts and uncles brought the furniture up.

At the window was the fire escape, on it a nest of baby pigeons. Rory squealed and I felt the same way. Rory said one of his newly learned words, "Wow!"

"Mom got to see it, birds, lots of them!" I yelled over my shoulder.
Mom came over took one look, gave Dad a look and said, "Bob, stay here. I'm taking Tommy and Rory for ice cream."

On the stairs we passed Uncle Mickey and Aunt Joan carrying a piece of our bunk bed.

When we got back from the store with our ice cream sandwiches, Rory and I ran to the window. No birds. I asked Dad, "Where they go?"

"The mom taught them to fly and they took off."

I had no ammunition, I said nothing but knew something fishy happened. I had a good cry, Rory saw me, and he started crying too. Rory didn't know why he was crying he just liked to cry when I cried.

Last night's show was wonderful, Saara, Myles, Jon, Amanda, Barry, Andre, and David worked so hard and performed so well. I'm awed and grateful.

If you come to my apartment, you see dad's paintings, sketches, miniature houses & furniture, sculptures, postcards, trivia, drawings, doodles, pins, buttons, teddy bears, pictures, film, books photos, 45s, lps, mom with her finger up her nose, trophys, hats, pee wee herman, william powell, barbarella, woody, joe dimaggio, an angel with a barbie doll head and the man who reclaimed his head. i cannot go ten minutes without telling you a fact or making up a game to play trivia, or showing you a picture. I've done this since I could talk. Dad drilled it into me.

My head is full of photos, pictures, songs and loose change that roll around my brain.

Saara Dutton's Mama D's Arts Bordello is an inspiration to me. I'm grateful to Saara. Thank you. Mama Ds' is a risque bawdy show and Saara owns her character, a sexy and naughty Sophie Tucker, Last of the Red Hot Mamas' hostess. As the leader, Saara brings out the demonic in the terrific talent she attracts to the Bordello.

Mr. Beller's Neighborhood is an inspiration to me. They gave me my first outlet for my stories and reminded me of the countless books, movies and plays I've seen that are driven by this same theme. Thank you, Tom, Patrick and Jean Paul.

Losers Lounge inspires me. Westbeth to Fez to Joe's Pub. Everybody with day jobs, working their asses off to put on amazing shows. Thank you Ed, Amanda, David, Nick, Mary Lee and Lianne.

I'm not risque and most of my work isn't naughty. I never leave my neighborhood. I'm a rabbit in a warren. My stories, my pictures, my art all reflect the neighborhood as it was and sometimes, magically still is. My theme is locked. My audience looks for a nostalgic peek back to their youth. I try to oblige.

I have a hundred old neighborhood stories. I'll tell them along with my friends' art, photos and songs. The show examines stoops and nuts in Yorkville. The neighborhood will keep me busy for a long time. My friends will bring in work that connects to the neighborhood theme.

hugs, Tommy

No comments: