Monday, October 31, 2011

October Snow & The 59th Street Bridge

On this last day of the month, I thank everyone who has been reading my stuff and looking at my pictures for the past three years. I began my blog,“Yorkville: Stoops to Nuts,” in the Beach Haven Library on Long Beach Island in October 2008. The librarian kept kicking me off the computer every half hour, and I had to put my name on a list again to use the computer for another half hour even though there were three computers and no one but me was using any of them. I love librarians but not nearly as much as I love nuns.
To acknowledge the pleasure I get from writing about the city I love and in particular the Yorkville neighborhood, I’m putting October snow storm pix up along with pictures of my favorite bridge on earth, a hearty tea drinker, a Halloween shot and a shot of the Beach Haven Library to offset the wintry weather.

Thank you, for telling me you enjoy my work.  My job as a kid was to make my mother laugh.  She’s gone now, so all of you are my present targets.  It’s my job. I love it.

Friday, October 28, 2011

It Ain't Nothing But A House Party!

I saw Peter Wolf one of my rock & roll heroes Wednesday night at the Bowery Ballroom. Peter leaves his blood all over the stage. Before Peter was a musician he was a younger brother who dug all his sister's 45 records and the way her and her girlfriends danced.  Then he was a top DJ in the Boston area and his first love, the music and the people who made it, haunt his live show.
Peter is cut from the same cloth as the legends he reveres.  He channels them and their spirits wrap themselves around Peter. If you love R&B, if you love the Blues, if you love J Geils, Rock & Roll, see Peter, it ain't no old timer show, it's the real thing.  My life is better because Peter is in it. "It Ain't Nothing but a House Party."  
Peter & The J Geils Band Looking For a Love in 1973.

Here are some pictures and an old J Geils story I told on my blog.   

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Radio Free Europe on MacDougal Street

Radio Free Europe, one of my favorite REM songs came to mind as I walked down MacDougal Street Tuesday night on my way to join Diana Navarro on her terrific radio show "Working Things Out."  You can listen to the Oct 25th show on archive at this link @ Diana's home page @ Centanni Broadcasting Network.  Just go the bottom of the page and click on The Diana Navarro Show 10/25/2011.
It was my first time back on the radio since January when I took a sabbatical from my "Yorkville: Stoops to Nuts" radio show to work on a few projects. It's fun being back on the airwaves. Diana and her co-host Anthony made me feel warm at home.
Here are a few pictures of MacDougal Street, Union Square, Fifth Avenue & Diana, Maria, Anthony & I from the restaurant.
Diana's show is every Tuesday @ 6pm live from Chez Jacqueline @ 72 MacDougal Street in Greenwich Village right off the corner of Houston Street. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Radio! Radio! Tonight @ 6pm ~ I'm Dropping a Dime

Tonight, Tues, Oct 25th @ 6pm I'm joining Diana Navarro on her terrific radio show "Working Things Out."  You can listen live at the Centanni Broadcasting Network on this link.
We'll be at Chez Jacqueline @ 72 MacDougal Street in Greenwich Village right on the corner of Houston Street. Come down and say hi.
A few weeks ago, walking around lower Manhattan I took some pictures. Here are a few of my favorites.

Monday, October 24, 2011

"I'm Going to Friggin Kill You!"

It happened a hundred different ways. Here is one.
3:15pm on a rainy school afternoon in 1963. No where to play, Rory and I came indirectly home from school, drenched because we fought through and dove into every puddle on the way to our house from St. Stephen's.
It started on the 4th floor landing when we tried to get in the apartment door and Mom pushed us back into the hall.
“Sons of bitches, I just bought  those shoes, they come out of my house money! Undress, there!”
Rory and I get down to our drawers and took off our blue socks. Mom arrived at the door to see how we were doing.
“Holy Christ, half the sock’s dye is on your feet, into the bathroom.”
After Rory and I belted each other around the tiny bathroom while soaping off the blue stuff, I came out and went in the refrigerator leaving Rory in a ball stuck between the toilet and the tub. I gave the fridge a thorough look see and said to Mom, “How come you don’t buy more cake and soda like my friends mothers do?”
After receiving a death ray from Mom’s cold blue eyes she said, “How come your father hasn’t raised my house money in five years?”
I didn’t completely finish saying, “you should take that up with him,” when Mom’s swinging foot brushed my head still bent over in the fridge.  Her wild miss spun her body around.  By this time, Rory was back in the kitchen and we both ran away while Mom yelled, “I’m going to friggin kill you!” 
Rory & I sang that right back to her, first in falsetto voices then deep in a monastery chant, “I’m going to friggin kill you.” Really stretching at the "yooouuuuu."
Whatever she said from that point on, we sung it back to her word for word. We could harmonize, we were pretty good, “Take it, Phil!”
But Mom didn’t appreciate this. If we kept it up she would leave the chase, go to her bedroom and come back with Dad’s belt.  We’d carefully look at her eyes, if they had rolled up into the back of her head, she was seeing black and we were in real trouble. We’d run to our bedroom and get under our bunk bed going all the way to the wall.  Mom had short arms and though she tried she couldn’t reach us and we’d be there giggling as she wildly swung the reversible brown/black 34 inch belt. Only after exhaustion struck did she stop and with heaving breath say, “Wait till your father gets home.”
And she waited, in a chair in the kitchen holding the belt cursing to herself.  We used this time to locate items we had lost under the bed weeks before and thoughtfully picked dust balls off each other.
When Dad got home it never worked out the way Mom wanted.  He’d be in a good mood or self absorbed in something, she’d be feeling semi-guilty about getting the belt in the first place, he’d say, “where are the kids?”
Rory would come charging out, “Hi Dad!”  I’d come out cautiously keeping a sharp eye on Mom while she looked me over and weighed her next move, and there usually wasn’t one.  It was just another typical rainy afternoon on 83rd Street with nothing to do.


Tomorrow, Tues, Oct 25th @ 6pm I will be a guest on Diana Navarro's terrific radio show "Working Things Out," you can listen live at Centanni Broadcasting Network on this link.


Saturday, October 22, 2011

New York Skyline From Top of One World Trade Center

Made plans weeks ago to tour the World Trade Center construction site. Not feeling too swift was not going to stop me. Biked to the location and met my friends.
We saw everything below ground and skyward from the 73rd floor of One World Trade Center. At times it was surreal, then it turned majestic. Especially, when we climbed to the crow's nest with the wrap around view of New York's Skyline. Thank you, Garland Jeffreys for writing this beautiful song. Here's a peek. More coming during the week.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

You Can't Dress Him, You Can't Take Him Anywhere

First the good news, strawberry, apple & banana stains come out in the wash. Now the other news.
Yesterday, I pulled a doozy. After putting a lot of the above fruit in a blender with four ice cubes I hit the “crush ice” button and periodically poked it around with a knife until it turned to mush. Then I poured my first pint of poor man’s smoothie.  I took the glass to the computer and sat to enjoy my treat.  My phone rang, I answered it put it on speaker and placed it down on the desk. It was my cousin Jimmy.  He went to Green Bay this past week to see a Packers game, his first time at Lambeau Field. I got pretty excited talking with Jimmy about the hallowed place but especially my fondness for the Packers throwback game jersey. Blue background with a yellow circle on the front with a blue number in the middle.
Does it get better? For some reason it reminded me of The Who’s Quadrophenia. Rock & football. Oh, yeah.
When I get excited my hands start taking off like Frank Crosetti in the third base coach box waving Yogi Berra in on a homer. 
One of my hands whacked the glass. It started tipping towards the computer keyboard, but luckily, it fell back on my lap. Unluckily, it poured half itself on my new Droid phone.
“Jimmy, I just dropped a glass of lava on my lap, call you back.”
Got up started wiping myself, the floor, the rug, before I noticed my phone made a strange noise. Wiping it off I saw two things: two icons on the phone’s screen. One was a waste paper basket with a demonstrative arrow coming out of it and standing next to the basket was an icon that looked like an incredibly sad R2D2. I said out loud, “this ain’t good.”  
I changed my pants and came back to see if there was any change in the phone’s status, I sat in the chair and felt a creamy cold sensation against one of the apples of my ass.  I forgot to clean the chair and picked up some of the fruit lava on the new pants, the good pants.
Hour after the mishap, the phone came back to life, and the evil icons went away. I hope I learned my lesson but it’s more likely The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore.

Fyi, Our Town & The West Side Spirit published my column about“Half-Birthdays.”