Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Pete Rose Took No Prisoners

Buddy McMahon is 56 today, Happy birthday, Budwick, my lifelong Yorkville & LaSalle Academy pal.

Buddy is one of the survivors from kids who grew up on the 400 block on 80th Street. My Dad said one summer when he was young a traveling circus came to Yorkville set up their tent on that block and never left. The second problem with Buddy's address was he lived right across the street from his grammar school, St. Monica's. That's nuts! If I lived right across the street from St. Stephen's I'd imagine the nuns would have visited my parents on the weekend to tell them everything I did bad during the week. I figured since I lived two blocks away from the school I was getting away with murder. Poor Buddy.
July 1970, Buddy invited me Upstate for the week. His family owned 107 acres in Worcester, 17 miles outside Cooperstown. I showed up at 429 East 80th Street at 8am with one of Dad's Barber Shipping Line client gifts: a collapsible tartan fabric suitcase, not much bigger than the one Jerry Mahoney used when he visited Knucklehead Smiff. Inside the suitcase were two pairs of underwear, two pairs of socks, three T-shirts, one pair of shorts and 5 bottles of Red Ripple.

Buddy's father was aware of our stash but said nothing, Larry was a good man.

Later in the week, July 14, Buddy and I went up to the woods and started a fire, roasted potatoes on sticks, and listened to the radio trying to get a bead on the All-Star game from the new Riverfront Stadium. All we could pick up were local religious shows. For one clear moment the Kinks came through, Lola.

After finishing our near wine and eating blackened cold-inside potatoes, we went back to the house to watch the end of the game. As we walked in on the small black and white TV we saw Pete Rose steaming down the third base line and Buddy's Dad watching impassively. Then, "Holy shit," just two words came out of Buddy's father's mouth as Pete Rose crashed into the catcher, Ray Fosse of the Indians ending Fosse's All-Star career. Pete Rose would have been right at home in Yorkville in 1970.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Piano on the Mall

Few days ago, a piano and a guy set up in front of the band shell in a nearly empty Central Park Mall. It didn't take long. The little blond girl didn't move for most of "Maybe I'm Amazed."

Walked south on Madison out of the park, spotted a pretty bistro around 30th Street, walked through Madison Square Park and down Fifth to the arch. It was hot, I was in a park fountain mood. Love the spray.

Here's one of the best covers ever by the Faces:

Monday, June 28, 2010

Two Dogs Agree ~ We're Going to Tommy's Reading Party

Casey did her touch-her-nose trick for Ted but failed to cheer him.
"Ted, what's up?"
I don't know, Casey, just feeling blue."
"Let's play our singles."

Casey took the 45 bin out from under the bed and picked "Epistle to Dippy." Ted choose "The Pied Piper."

This made Ted sadder because Crispian St. Peters the Pied Piper singer just died. Casey struggled with a solution to Ted's sadness and decided it was time for live entertainment.

Casey and Ted will attend Tommy's Reading Party at Cornelia Street Cafe this coming Wednesday @ June 30th @ 6pm. Free party, free drinks. Let's get together and cheer Ted up. Claudia Chopek, Ward White, Angelo Verga, Robin Hirsch and Tommy will weave tales for you to laugh and sigh, or throw rotten fruit.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Cloudy ~ Old Friends

On a rooftop in Williamsburg last night, I joined a group celebrating Natalie, Marc and Ansley, the hosts & birthday kids. The evening sky was magical: puffy clouds, then a grey drizzle, followed by the sun peeking out and saying good night. The dark fell in rich blues and greens.

Natalie, Marc and Ansley delivered a terrific mix of delicious treats, drinks, and friends.

Darkness on a roof, being in a mix of mostly new people, can make me sad. At this party, I felt the opposite. Sometimes you make a new friend and realize you've been introduced to an old friend. Life is good.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Tammi Terrell Stopped Clocks

In case, you forgot how cute Tammi Terrell was watch this video

ps read the first comment on this video at youtube:

I once robbed a gas station and while i was in pursuit this song was playing, good memories, got caught tho... dang!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

LaSalle Forever

LaSalle Academy, the Christian Brothers led boy's high school has been on East 2nd Street since 1856. This month LaSalle closed it's doors.
Due to fiscal realities, LaSalle, an East Village historical custodian, long termed leased their 44 East 2nd Street building to another educational organization and will move it's school operations to space in St. George Ukrainian Catholic School on Sixth Street. A sad day for teachers, students, alumni teachers and students, and friends of the school. Things change, but fortunately there are intuitive generous people who salvage and preserve for the good of everyone.
Patrick Cullinan, former LaSalle teacher, made a record, and what a record it is. Between 1968 and 1973, Pat took thousands of photographs of school life on the premises and around the East Village that is the equal of any such work about the Lower East Side & a New York City neighborhood during this rich, complex time in our country's history.
All these photos are yours to view at Pat's link below. In addition, Pat visited the school yesterday for one last time, and took over 700 pictures inside and outside the school. One last walk along the halls, one last kick at the locker imagining it was the head of that pain in the ass kid in Geometry.
Here are links to Pat's LaSalle photos. Thank you, Pat.
LaSalle 1968 ~ 1973
LaSalle ~ final day before turnover ~ June 23, 2010

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I'm Just In That Kind of Mood

There once was a note, pure and easy,
Playing so free, like a breath rippling by.
The note is eternal, I hear it, it sees me,
Forever we blend, and forever we die.
Peter Townshend, "Pure & Easy"


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

I'm Free!

Two days ago, Mayor Bloomberg announced he would not participate in the early retirement program being offered to New York State employees. This announcement (I'm gambling he doesn't change his mind) ended my flirtation with returning to work, and closed out my public service career yesterday.

To celebrate, I made sure I was in Central Park at 5pm on my bike. This is what freedom looks like.

To balance my mood, the heavens sent me a flat tire. I walked my wounded ride to the best bike shop in Manhattan ~ Bicycles Plus NYC at Third Avenue & 79th Street. They fixed the flat in five minutes and mended a nagging hitch in my gears for free. Jeff, Nick and Stefan are three of the dynamite staff at the store. They greet you courteously and always solve the issue. The shop is a throw back to the golden era of Mom & Pop service with a smile. If you are in the Yorkville neighborhood and have no mechanical skills, know your bike is in good hands.

Larry & Jeff's Bicycles Plus NYC
1400 Third Avenue (bet. 79th & 80th St.)