Friday, July 30, 2010
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
“I said, hi.”
“Where’s my Happy Birthday?”
“I wished you a happy birthday on the 23rd and made you a card, its right there on top of the TV.”
“Today is my birthday, too.”
Involuntarily, my head started shaking. I was used to my grandmother’s inquisitions but I didn’t understand this one and needed assistance.
Nan was delivered by Saveria Palermo, a mid-wife from the Yorkvilleneighborhood on July 23, 1906 in her family's apartment at 1403 Avenue A, later named York Avenue, two buildings in, off 75thStreet.
When the lazy mid-wife filled out her Board of Health birth certificates the following Monday, July 30th, she used the same date, Saturday, July 28th, for all the babies she delivered that week ~ so, Nan had two birthdays, July 23rd & July 28th.
My great-grandfather, Antonino Cuccia, a fruit stern, and his wife Giovanna couldn't read or speak English so they never fixed the certificate, but they always celebrated Anna’s birthday twice.
She was the baby of the family and a spoiled brat. She told me.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
On the radio show tonight, my guest, Edward Rogers & I are going lightly through the past using music to tickle our brains. Edward, songwriter, musician, yarn spinner, has a terrific new album, "Sparkle Lane." We'll play old ones and new ones and muse over what it all means to us.
Please listen to, Yorkville: Stoops to Nuts, @internet radio, Tuesday @ 9pm @ the Centanni Broadcasting Network. Here's the link:
Monday, July 26, 2010
Last week, I told two Yankee baseball memories to a TV camera, I'll leave it at that until I'm sure there's a show and I'm in it. I brought a ton of material with me after ransacking my place looking for stuff I swore I intelligently put away the last time I needed them: photos, letters, clippings, tix stubs, programs, etc. When The New York Times published my New York Giant & Yankee stories in 2008 and asked for same things, my apartment looked like I was robbed by mean, thing-breaking thieves. Dyslexic Anti-Dewey decimal freak I am, I did it again. Why do I do this to myself? My nerves are shot, I've wasted three days re-organizing my stuff. But this time I did it right, shoved everything in those long wooden Dewey decimal drawers in the antique library filing cabinet I picked up in the 4th Avenue Antique store. Only kidding, but all items are now filed, boxed or snugly put away in photograph storage things. Almost done.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Mitch Miller Has No Pants On ~ But He's Still Listening to Yorkville On The Radio Tomorrow Night @ 9pm
Sunday, July 18, 2010
I get teary during the first bite of a great slice the same way I well up over Bambi’s mother getting shot in the movie. I learned young, that if I made believe a girl was a delicious cheese bubbly slice I paid greater attention to her. Girls know that, too. Not that you’re thinking they’re a pizza, no, that you’re listening.
Last night, I stopped in a pizza place on
Washington Square Park's fountain was happening last night, with a sweet evening breeze.
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Last night, I rode the N train out to the Poor Man's Rivera. Dying of thirst, I went directly from the Stillwell Avenue station to Abb Ganny Deli on Mermaid and grabbed a 20oz Doctor Pepper. Waiting to pay, I heard this exchange between a customer holding a dollar and the clerk behind the counter.
"Give me two."
"Give me one. "
The clerk gave the guy a quarter back and one cigarette. A lucy costs 75 cents in Coney Island.
Coming out the Deli's door I intercepted a pass between two young brothers playing catch with a football while running up the street. I put the soda in my knapsack and tagged along with them for two blocks. Nice, kids still let you break into a throw. And I could tell they liked each other. Made me think of Rory. I never played catch with my brother, but we played stick with an ice cream stick and a Spauldeen, you know, stand apart, throw the ball towards the ground, hit the stick get a point.
It was deep twilight, I walked over to the Parachute Jump then started walking east. The show was about to begin.
"It's Now or Never," "Summerwind", "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida," "Sunshine of Your Love." How's that for song progression? Well, if you were at Cha-Cha's last night on the Coney Island Boardwalk that's what you heard. Every Friday night for the rest of the summer, All Mobbed Up is playing terrific music, what style of music defies description, all I promise is you will enjoy yourself. The band, the audience, the boardwalk crowd all look like they stepped out of a group photo taken, than drawn, by Robert Crumb. My friends, Barry and Brian Stabile are in the band, and Baby Doll dances fast on stage throughout the show. Doesn't matter what song, what speed, Baby Doll dances fast. I smiled all the way home.
For a good time: All Mobbed Up @ Cha-Cha's @ Stillwell & the Coney Island Boardwalk @ every Friday through Labor Day @ 930pm
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Mickey Fiorillo, my first guest & I revisited the Yorkville neighborhood of Mickey's youth, the 1930's, 1940's & 1950's. He and I still have a lot to talk about. Mickey's coming back next week to finish our conversation. I'm bringing my copy of the 1939 WPA Guide to New York City with me, we are going to dive into the Yorkville neighborhood section and see what we can find out about the place 71 years ago. They'll be music, too!
Closed the show with Dion's cover of Tom Waits, "Looking for the Heart of Saturday Night." My Aunt Barbara former Kronk's patron was pleased.
Davino, Giovanna's owner is a terrific chef and host. Come down to 1567 Lexington Avenue @ 100th Street and try it out. Thank you, Luis and Anna for taking care of us so well last night. Thank you to my friends for being there and supporting me.
Please visit Giovanna's any Tuesday @ 9pm for "Yorkville: Stoops to Nuts" ~ the radio show.