Showing posts from September, 2010

Zorro, Zorro, He Signs His Name With a Z!

Father Frederick McKeever dismissed me off the St. Stephen's altar for singing the "Zorro" theme song under my breath to make the other altar boy laugh during Sunday mass. I failed to measure Father Frederick's mood well. He was still upset over disciplining Benny Romano, John DiVita & myself for performing our Flying Fucinellos' act on the sacristy's marble floor where the priests got dressed for mass. Benny & I would lie on our backs and pass smaller John back and forth through the air with our feet.

Abbi & Baseball ~ Two of My Pals

Thank you, Abbi Crutchfield for being a generous guest & friend. Last night's radio show was a hoot! We played The Platters & Rosemary Clooney. Rich music from our childhoods. Songs that were out there for a long time before us, that we found and tickled our ears and warmed us up the way quality music can do. The songs were jukebox staples for decades and it's no surprise when you find these songs still there on a tavern's jukebox, but no longer a dime away.
If you'd like to listen to last night's show here is the link. Abbi tells a sweet, funny middle school reverse crush story, and I ask all good men to, "Bring Me the Head of Ira Chapman." Ira, Satan's messenger, lived on 83rd Street in 1969 and broke skin on my lower leg with his fangs just to say hello. Ira could talk, he was my chum. Listen in.

Yorkville: Stoops to Nuts 9/28/2010 with host Tommy Pryor & guest Abbi Crutchfield

Abbi's two favorit…

Abbi Visits the Stoop Tonight @ 9pm @ Centanni!

Tonight on Yorkville: Stoops to Nuts radio, my special guest is Abbi Crutchfield. Abbi performs stand-up and sketch comedy all over New York City and is a staple of the underground scene. She produces The Living Room Show at Postmark Cafe in Brooklyn, Positively Awesome at Cellar 58 in the Lower East Side and Ladybits, a new all-female comedy show at Cornelia St Cafe in the Village. She has been featured on VH1 and MTV as well as several national commercials.
You can catch her many parodies on and her hilarious one liners daily on
This will be a silly show, we're playing four heavy jukebox selections from the 1950s'. Songs that stood tall and stayed in the tavern's rotation right through the sixties. Songs that ate many of my dimes.

I feel like an Isley tune


Thinking of my friends today. The picture on the left was taken on July 4, 1…

And They're Off!

58 years ago today, Father Edward O'Halloran married my parents in St. Stephen of Hungary on a warm Saturday afternoon. Mom from the St. Joseph's parish loved St. Stephen's church, Dad was indifferent. It was a dry wedding. That was smart. The fireworks would have started an hour into it. The Pryors and Ryans could hear someone giving them the finger through a brick wall. Best they could, Mom & Dad loved each other deeply with a lot of stuff blocking the effort. I love them.

********************** Abbi Crutchfield is my guest tomorrow night on Yorkville radio show @ 9pm on the Centanni Broadcasting Network. Abbi performs stand-up and sketch comedy all over New York City and is a staple of the underground scene. She produces The Living Room Show at Postmark Cafe in Brooklyn, Positively Awesome at Cellar 58 in the Lower East Side and Ladybits, a new all-female comedy show at Cornelia St Cafe in the Village. She has been featured on VH1 and MTV as well as several n…

'Readin' & 'Ritin' & 'Rithmetic

To the left, I present St. Stephen of Hungary's First Grade drinking milk at their desks right before Sister Beatrice told them to put their heads down for a nap break on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving 1962.
Thank you, Katherine Peck, principal of St. Stephen's, for your gracious gift. Yesterday, at the 82nd Street St. Stephen's Street Fair, Ms. Peck led an alumni group on a tour of the school from the auditorium to the rooftop with the bell tower. Thank you, Marty Milisits, for working with Principal Peck to make the tour happen. Thank you, Steve Geosits, for pulling St. Stephen's people together for this event and online at your St. Stephen's Facebook site.
The tour was amazing, visited my 1960 first grade classroom and the seven others including fifth and sixth on the roof. I was ill yesterday, and regretfully missed hanging out with St. Stephen's classmates later on. It was wonderful to see everyone, a few friends for the first time since 1968. . I spied t…

Cornelia Street Cafe ~ Artists Exchange

Thank you, Robin Hirsch, for being my guest last night on the radio show. The history of Cornelia Street Cafe plays perfectly into the theme of neighborhood, stoops & nuts.Listen to the show on archive:Yorkville: Stoops to Nuts 9/21/2010 with host Tommy Pryor & guest Robin Hirsch When Angelo Verga first invited me to read at the Cafe two years ago, I was thrilled. As a new writer, I was clueless about significant performance venues, but I knew the Cafe was a special place. I joyfully learned the Cafe is a neighborhood. Angelo, Robin, Nicola, Tom, Steve, Tiffany, the Cafe's staff & colleagues, the talent, the regulars, it's home, it's welcoming. Whether I'm there to eat, drink, chat or play downstairs. The gang of scoundrels, thieves, fools and charmers make each visit a treat. Cornelia Street Cafe makes me feel like I did when I was a boy and walked into Loftus Tavern alone. Jack Loftus, the owner would greet me with a newspaper and a coke with a cher…

Did You Get Your Half-Birthday Card?

Yesterday, I saw a calendar and remembered it was my half birthday, that reminded me of Uncle Norman. Mom had this thing with shoe stores. She always complained her feet hurt. We’d go in and out of Yorkville’s many shoe stores looking for the perfect comfortable shoe that she never found. Rory and I played on the store’s big ladder on wheels flying it back and forth across the floor with one of us hanging off with one arm free in front of the customers. This usually stopped when the clerk or Mom threw something at us. Then we’d pick up the foot measuring device. It was all metal and looked like it held some secret code with its side measuring knobs. It must have been expensive because the clerk went bananas when we threw it. Rory tried on spiked heels he grabbed from the store’s front window display. He’d wobble up and down the carpet smiling from side to side. I studied him with one hand to my chin and my elbow to my leg. Involuntarily, my head swayed with him as he traveled back and…

Summer's Last Kiss

The birds are going crazy!

They just found out ~ tomorrow night on Yorkville radio, my special guest is Robin Hirsch, co-founder of the Cornelia Street Cafe in 1977. Robin is the Minister of Culture, Wine Czar, and Dean of Faculty. With the magnificent aid of Angelo Verga and other superb curators, Robin produces 700 cultural events a year; and finds time to perform and write (Last Dance at the Hotel Kempinski, MOSAIC: Fragments of a Jewish Life, FEG: Stupid Poems for Intelligent Children).

This week "Yorkville: Stoops to Nuts" radio presents: The History of the Cornelia Street Cafe ~ A West Village neighborhood institution for 33 years. Listen live to the show @ 9pm @ Tuesday, or anytime on the archive:

The Last Saturday of Summer ~ Coney Island

Today is the last Saturday of summer. I biked to Coney Island along the seawall. At the beach, I locked my bike to the rail on the boardwalk and chased a flock of birds like I was a dog. Two of the birds looked at me funny as if to say to each other..
"He's human?"
"What's with the chasing?'"
"I don't know." .
I wanted two hundred birds to take off at once and roll across the sky like a biblical plague. I didn't have terrific luck, and I know there will be payback, birds always get even. . End of summer always makes me wistful. Good things end, like swimming, sunlight deep into the evening, roof parties and picking out clothes to wear in ten seconds. Summer's three months long, but it never completely satisfies and always leaves me wanting more, and the thing that keeps despair at bay is I know it's coming back next year as long as I don't kick the bucket. Two songs on my mind, one reminds me of the beach and fa…