Showing posts from April, 2010

God Bless, Curious Friends ~ Third Avenue El Memories

If I had a collaborator working with me on Yorkville memories as talented as John F. Harvey, the fellow who organized the postcard history of Maplewood at the link below, I'd be in research heaven.
Today John's 55. Happy Birthday, My Curious Friend! . Check out John's book, it's terrific.

The Third Avenue El and my grandfather are on my mind today. Thomas E. Pryor was born on the third floor at 820 Third Avenue on December 15, 1900 while steam engines going up and downtown rattled by the apartment's front windows (a 1940 picture of the block frontage is below). The rail was electrified in 1904 after the IRT came uptown. Thomas belonged to the St. Patrick's parish. He was baptized in the Cathedral and that certificate (below) has his correct birth date and baptismal date. . Thomas's parents, James and Mary, died of pneumonia in 1909 when he was …

Sunshine Came Softly Through My Window Today

Good day sunshine!
Good day sunshine!
Good day sunshine!
Between the ages of 3 to 13, I slept and woke up in three Yorkville apartments:

517 East 83rd Street, #4R, .
1582 York Avenue, #2S .
1616 York Avenue #1S
The morning light came into each household differently.
517, a rear apartment faced northeast. My bedroom saw no light ~ it was on an air shaft. I woke early on the weekends, crept into the living room and turned the TV on low and sat right on top of it. Watched black & white cartoons immediately after the flag and the National Anthem signalled broadcasting was restarting. My favorite cartoon: Farmer Brown tortured by mice running up and down his walls. He chased them with a pitch fork. The bright light coming in our two yard facing windows warmed the back of my pajamas.
1582 ~ I slept on the punishment couch in the junk room, there was no light, one of my Italian grandmother's giant cabinets blocked the air shaft window. Mom said Nan b…

Time Has Come Today

Time has come today for Buddy McMahon. As the student body heads back into the building after the fire drill, Buddy & his plastic LaSalle school bag cross Second Avenue heading for the # 6 on Bleecker Street. He's on his way to the Living Room in Park Slope to see a terrific comedy show.

Tonight, I'll perform a story @ Luke Thayer & Abbi Crutchfield’’s show ~ The Living Room at Postmark Café (free admission) ~ 326 6th Street (between 4th & 5th Avenues) ~ Park Slope, Brooklyn.

3 blocks from the 9thStreet R station & the 4thAve/9th St. F stop.

Come down, throw fruit!

All photos by Patrick Cullinan

I Think That I Shall Never See

I attended a rally at Sheep Meadow in Central Park on the first Earth Day. Several of my LaSalle classmates gathered at Union Square. Here are a few pictures from that day from Pat Cullinan's collection. . My photos of Joyce Kilmer's plaque & tree just east of Sheep Meadow are below. .

TREES Joyce Kilmer (1886-1918) THINK that I shall never seeA poem lovely as a tree.A tree whose hungry mouth is prestAgainst the earth's sweet flowing breast;A tree that looks at God all day,And lifts her leafy arms to pray;A tree that may in Summer wearA nest of robins in her hair;Upon whose bosom snow has lain;Who intimately lives with rain.Poems are made by fools like me,But only God can make a tree.

Sleep Comes Down ~ Tommy's Next Reading ~ this Fri, Apr 23rd @ 8pm @ Living Room, Park Slope

From 1968 through 1972, I performed weekdays at LaSalle Academy for classroom audiences of 40 students. At lunchtime, the East Village mob grew to 200 in the school's gymnasium. A tough crowd, I grew thick skin. I've invited a few of my LaSalle chums to roll down memory lane with me on Friday.

I'll perform a story this Friday, April 23rd@ 8pm.
It’s part of Luke Thayer & Abbi Crutchfield’’s terrific comedy show ~ The Living Room at Postmark Café (free admission)
326 6th Street(between 4th & 5th Avenues)
Park Slope, Brooklyn.3 blocks from the 9thStreet R station & the 4thAve/9th St. F stop..Come down, throw fruit!.

Smith Brothers ~ Lauded Thespians

I forgot to tell you, I went to high school with the Smith Brothers. Yes, the world famous Smith Brothers attended LaSalle Academy on East 2nd Street. Struggling to stay ahead of the Luden family in the cough drop business, the Smith parents shaved costs by taking the boys out of an exclusive Geneva private school and placing them in the East Village institution in 1969. Unable to socialize smoothly with their family trademark beards, the Smith boys found comfort in the small LaSalle theatre company. They left their mark in noted productions of Uncle Vanya and Duddie Come Home. .
Biked the Westside last week ~ the blossoms were out in Riverside Park. I looped Central Park but cheated, using the 102th Street transverse to get to the westside. I rarely do the hill from hell at the north end of the park. I have no problem going up the hill, but I don't like the long coast down. I lost my recklessness a few summers ago, when I took a piece of meat out of my forehead when I fell off the…

Rhapsody In Blue

Attended Zack's writing group tonight. Heard excellent new writers read their work. We wrote on the West 79th Street roof. These photos were taken on the roof or on my walk to the meeting.

Wrestling the Menesicks

I have many negative photographs that I am just beginning to explore. The quality is limited, but once I learn photo editing this will improve. Three negatives here, and two photos. From the top, 1964 ~Paddy MacNamara, Rory Pryor, Tommy Mac, & Mike Cacciolli on n/e corner of 83rd Street & York Avenue. 1962 ~backyard of 1616 York Avenue, Lennie & Helen Ryan with Patty Pryor. Yes, I had a backyard on York Avenue. 1967 ~ Sanita Hills Scout Camp ~ Joe & Dennis Menesick, Eddie Hauser & Artie Betz. 1961 ~Dennis & Joe Menesick, baseball in Central Park. 1961 ~ Rory pinning me to living room floor 517 E. 83rd St.
Happy Friday, Tommy