Thursday, September 30, 2010
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
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 favorite guys, Luke & Max, listened in last night. Max is the prince pup bulldog, and Luke is Abbi's cool, basketball playing husband. Luke is a dynamite comedian and & Ms. Crutchfield's comedic partner. Their shows are amazing, check them out at the links below.
For Abbi, Luke & Max, The Platters
My scorecard below is from Mantle's 500th Home Run game in May 1967. I dragged Dad to three straight games to make sure I saw Mickey hit it. Third game Sunday, he did it, and we were in the right field upper deck. I thought the ball was coming right to me and my glove, my heart was whacking my rib cage, when it dropped safely into the lower deck and the crowd roared, Dad and I jumped, hugged, and cried for five minutes.
If you are watching the Ch 13 show, look behind Bob Costas head on the left, that's my scorecard, and my 1961 Yankees program and Mantle New York Daily News newspaper headlines are flying through the background during each broadcast.
It was a blast pulling all my stuff together, and remembering my reckless obsession with sports that made me deliriously happy as a kid, and how connected all this made me to Dad. If we were talking sports, I couldn't lose.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
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
Youtube.com/curlycomedy and her hilarious one liners daily on Twitter.com/curlycomedy
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.
Thinking of my friends today. The picture on the left was taken on July 4, 1978 in upstate New York. It was a Yorkville Road Trip, one of the best ever. We played whiffle ball on the farm's front lawn where there was a huge salt lick for the deer that we used for a foul pole. We played full contact soccer until we bled. John Cupo starred as Giorgio Chinagila throwing his body around like he was a stage dummy, John approached street tackle on the York Avenue with the same reckless insanity. Genesee Cream flowed free. In the picture from left to right, John Cupo, Yvette Baez, Denny McMahon across three laps, Joe Menesick, Buddy McMahon & me on the floor. Picture below, Buddy & me, two weeks ago. Visited my parents and brother, Rory's grave at Calverton then spent a very nice time with the McMahons.
Monday, September 27, 2010
Sunday, September 26, 2010
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.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
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
I joyfully learned theCafe 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 cherry in it (started doing this when I was 8 ~ often, Jack would slip me a dime for the jukebox). I could sit with him at the bar for as long as I wanted. Jack never chased me and I watched all the regulars and learned how it was done, this drop by and stay a while thing. I love dropping by the Cafe and staying awhile.
Divino and Giovanna's have started a similar outpost in East Harlem. Great food, fine bar, artists are welcome at all times. Centanni Broadcasting Network is delighted to partner with Divino in making Giovanna's Restaurant a sanctuary for wandering artistic souls looking for a place to call home. If you let people play, wonderful things can happen. Cornelia Street has led the charge for 33 years, Giovanna's is building a home, it will be beautiful. Three cheers for Cornelia Street Cafe and Giovanna's Restaurant!
" If you listen closely, you can almost hear the clatter of espresso cups as the next songwriter unfurls a manuscript, tapes it to a bar stool and sings what until this moment has not yet been sung."
Robin Hirsch from Cornelia Street: Songwriters Exchange liner notes
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
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 forth, back and forth.
Rory and I liked two shoe stores best. One was “Salamander Shoes” on
Mom delivered her look. First of all, I never cared whether I had any shoes much less new ones. I only cared about new sneakers. The only thing that triggered me getting a new pair of shoes was a good rainstorm after a hole in my shoe’s sole developed. Either, I’d get home from school and Mom would notice my socks were wet, or I’d take off my blue socks and Mom would notice my feet were blue from the sock’s dye. Only then, Mom said, “Tomorrow we go for new shoes.”
The other store’s gimmick was a beauty. Salamander was the high-end shoe store in the neighborhood. If you had orthopedic needs, this was the place. I tested the laws of gravity by dropping my body from rarefied heights. My feet took most of the damage and had orthopedic needs. Here’s the gimmick. Salamander gave you a balloon with every pair of new shoes. What the cheapskates failed to give you was helium. The balloon was nice but filled with mere air; to hold it aloft Salamander’s management decided to put it on a straightened out metal shirt hanger. You left the store flying your balloon majestically above the stick of metal. Most kids never made it a full block before the metal punctured the balloon. This left an extremely disappointed kid carrying a straightened out hanger with a shred of rubber dangling from its tip. Most times, the kid took his frustration out on another kid.
If you were lucky, you might witness two kids leaving the store with their balloons at the same time. Walking in the same direction, smiles on their faces, arms outstretched, hoisting their balloons toward the clouds, screaming without sound, “Hey look at me!” “No, look at me!”
Suddenly one of the balloons burst. With no pause, the victim turned toward the still breathing balloon delivering a deathblow. The two aggrieved parties ~ a midget reenactment of the Hamilton-Burr incident, with hangers replacing traditional pistols, dueling to the death or stopping when a parent carefully intervened.
Pictured above n/e corner of 83rd Street & First Avenue ~ Sept 2010
Tonight 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 celebrates: 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 Centanni archive:
Monday, September 20, 2010
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:
Saturday, September 18, 2010
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.
"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.
Summer Wind ~ Sinatra
Lonely Ol' Night ~ John Mellencamp
(heads up, unavoidable commercial prior to the song playing)
This week on "Yorkville: Stoops to Nuts" radio ~ My special guest is Robin Hirsch, co-founder of the Cornelia Street Cafe in 1977. He 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 radio presents: The History of the Cornelia Street Cafe ~ A West Village neighborhood institution for 33 years.