Thursday, March 1, 2012

Steve Northeast "Another Day" ~ "A Giant Love Affair" John Totaro

Steve Northeast
I’m supporting two friends who are terrific artists. Steve Northeast’s splendid well reviewed new album, “Another Day,” is released and available on iTunes. The first single off the record, “You’re the One,” is  in rotation on mainstream radio. Steve performs live in NYC ~ last month, he was part of our "City Stories: Stoops to Nuts,” storytelling show at Cornelia Street Café. Here is a link to Steve’s web site. Check it out,  If you like Steve's music please go to and vote for "You're the One," in the "vote for mainstream page."

I’m a long standing parishioner in the Church of Mara. It’s been a month since the Giants won the Super Bowl and it's time to hear something about Big Blue. My friend, John Totaro, wrote a heart felt essay, “A Giant Love Affair,” about his life long love for the Jints. Here's an excerpt and link to the entire essay at John’s blog, “Totaro Talks: PR and More.”

1961 NY Giants Defensive Line

My brother-in-law, Frank, 17 years my senior, went to all the games when I was a kid and is responsible for addicting me to “Big Blue.” He would bring me the game programs and would spend time talking to me about that afternoon’s contest. I would read the program cover-to-cover and memorize the roster and the player’s numbers, which I can still recall today, Webster, #29… Gifford, # 16….Conerly,#42….Huff,# 70….well, you get the picture.

I remember sitting next to the radio listening to Marty Glickman (home games were blacked out in those days) describe the action, in his exciting and colorful style. I visualized Alex Webster “twisting into the line for 2, 3, 4 yards…” as he would say or a “….high, spiraling kick,” booming from the leg of the Giants punter, Don Chandler.

I would often squirm in my seat, talking to the radio, urging the team to stop its opponent on a third and one, or prompting a Giants’ runner to… “go, go go,” as Glickman painted the picture of him bursting past the line of scrimmage and into the open field.

On October 27, 1957, Frank took me to my first game at Yankee Stadium and, if I was not already hooked, that day fully seduced me to a life-long love affair with The “G-Men.”

I remember that the game was against the Washington Redskins, a team the defending champion Giants were supposed to beat, but did not. I recall that Charlie Conerly was the QB for the Giants and Eddie LeBaron was the QB for the Redskins.

Thanks to profootball my memories were confirmed. The Giants lost to the Redskins 31-14. They committed five turnovers and QB Charlie Conerly was intercepted three times. What the website reminded me of was that the Giants’ offensive coordinator that day was Vince Lombardi and the defensive coordinator was Tom Landry, both of whom went on to become two of the most successful coaches in the history of the NFL, though not with the Giants.

What I remember most vividly about that day was coming out of the portal that led to the bleachers of Yankee Stadium in the far end zone, -- where I would end up watching countless more games from with a school G.O. card and later as a season ticket holder which I became at the age of 17, -- and seeing the grid laid out on the bright green stadium grass, the horizontal white chalk lines, drawn perfectly from each of the sidelines every five yards with large chalk numerals identifying the positions on the field, and smaller chalk lines indented within the five-yard markers.

As the game drew closer I recall looking to the far end of the field directly opposite from where we were sitting and seeing a cluster of blue figures, with glistening blue helmets, ascending from the steps of what was the Yankee dugout during the baseball season. It was the home team getting ready to come out onto the field. As they did, the crowd noise began to build to a deafening welcome for the home team. A bellowing cheer of goooooo……giiiiiiiiiants….reverberated around the stadium. It is a cheer that my buddies and I still echo in the parking lot prior to each home game.

Moments earlier, a herd of white jerseys with gold pants and scarlet helmets had trotted across the tundra from the visitor’s dugout and assumed their positions on the far sideline.

The ball was kicked off, a brown sphere tumbling end-over-end towards the goal line, climbing -- it seemed to this nine-year old boy---higher than the famous Yankee Stadium façade. The game was officially under way, and so was my life-long romance with the New York Football Giants.

John and Steve cheer me up, take a look at their work. It might do the same for you.

Our next City Stories: Stoops to Nuts show is a beaut.  Our artists are Claudia Chopek, Joe McGinty, John Newell, Rick Patrick, Thomas Pryor, Rivka Widerman & Ward White.  I'm giving away ten drinks.  Getting my Irish up, it's my birthday week, bring your best trivia game. You win ten, you get ten drinks. None of this crap you can only win once. Best answer, drink of choice.

Here are photos from the Battery, Bowling Green and lower West Side.

Center Piece ~ WTC Plaza

17 Battery Place

West Beth

Transfer Station 69th Street

West Street

Bowling Green Kiosk


Hudson River Park

West Beth

Bowling Green

Yorkville Boys ~ February 29, 2012

Spring Springing

Fraunces Tavern

No comments: