Monday, August 26, 2013

John Jay Pool August 26, 1969

August 26, 1969, my Aunt Joan went into labor. I bet Tommy Smith a quarter it would be a girl while we sat on his 516 East 82nd Street frying in the mid day 94 degree heat.

"Want to go to the pool?" Smitty suggested.

"Nah, I don't have a bathing suit." I was too lazy to walk one block to my grandmother's to get one also knowing I'd probably be ordered to go to three stores.

"I'll give you my father's?" Smitty offered. Since I was loopy from the heat, I said yes.

Sonny Smith, Tommy's father weighed north of 200 I was 152 when I was 15. (the day before I was weighed at tackle football practice with the OLGC Rams). Sonny's boxer trunks could of doubled as surrender bloomers for my big grandmother.

After we put our sneakers and junk into the wire baskets and got our wrist bands, I ran outside to a blast of heat and jumped in the John Jay water holding the suit up with both hands. The material came up all around me like a science fiction sized jelly fish. I didn't care, the zipper was broken and that became my main concern. I spent my pool time juggling: holding my trunks up and keeping my stuff locked up. I won a quarter though. Joan had a girl, Christine.

Here are photos from 1969: Tommy Smith, Ray Bellinger ~

Uncle Mommy and me, godparents at Christine's christening

and a link to photos of John Jay Pool, Cherokee Place and 78th Street.












Sunday, August 18, 2013

Surrounded by Water ~ A Gift

Pictures here were taken on the 69th Street Pier, the Brooklyn landing for the Staten Island ferry that ceased service in 1964 when the Verrazano Bridge opened. The views from the pier: Bay Ridge, The Narrows, New York Bay, Staten Island and lower Manhattan in the distance about 8 miles away.

A Facebook photo album with other photos is at this link.

Yorkville Creperie changed the dates for my photography exhibit in their restaurant. The tentative date for the opening reception will be Tuesday, October 1, 2013 in The Saloon next door to Yorkville Creperie. I will confirm this week.











Wednesday, August 14, 2013

August Storytelling on Cornelia Street

August storytelling at the Cornelia Street Cafe last night was rocking. Thank you, Jim Hawkins, Lorraine Hartin-Gelardi & Karen Pillsworth for a wonderful"City Stories: Stoops to Nuts" show. It's my honor to share a stage with each of you, watch you perform, and observe the audience fully engaged in your telling. Thank you, to everyone in the crowd that made us welcome, you brought out our best stuff. Please come back soon. Thank you, Paul and Matt for taking care of us, making sure the room was cool and the sound perfect. Thank you, Robin Hirsch, Angelo Verga & Joshua Rebell for letting us play in your home.

Here are photos from the neighborhood before the show, I will put up others tonight. I love NYC. Our next "City Stories: Stoops to Nuts" show is Tuesday, September 10th @ 6pm.









Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Friday, August 9, 2013

Time Out Magazine Picks Bachelor # 1 ~ "Stoops to Nuts"

Thank you, Time Out Magazine, for picking "City Stories: Stoops to Nuts" as a swell thing to do this Tuesday, August 13th at Cornelia Street Cafe.

Our next "City Stories: Stoops to Nuts" storytelling show is Tues, Aug 13th @ 6pm @ the Cornelia Street Cafe. 

Our artists: Lorraine Hartin-GelardiJim Hawkins and Karen Pillsworth.

 I'll host and tell an old Yorkville yarn. Admission is $8 and that includes a free drink. 




Right after Labor Day, The Yorkville Creperie will host an opening reception for their two month exhibit of my photography. I'll announce the party date in a few days. All Stoops to Nuts pals are welcome!


Yorkville Creperie
1586 York Avenue
between 83rd & 84th Street






Thursday, August 8, 2013

"Life" ~ Missing Sly Stone & Next Stoops to Nuts @ Aug 13th

"Life, life, tell it like it is, you don't have to die before you live," sung Sly Stone, one of my musical heroes, who lost his way while building one of the greatest song-filled roads ever laid down for our listening pleasure.

Paisley passively agrees with Sly by lying in front of the cereal box.

"Yorkville: Stoops to Nuts" is a Time Out Magazine pick of the week.

Our next "City Stories: Stoops to Nuts" storytelling show is Tuesday, August 13th @ 6pm @ the Cornelia Street Cafe. Our artists: Lorraine Hartin-Gelardi; Jim Hawkins and Karen Pillsworth. I'll host and tell a Yorkville yarn. Admission is $8 and that includes a free drink. Time Out Magazine thinks this show is a swell thing to do.

The week after Labor Day, The Yorkville Creperie will host a reception to open a two month exhibit of my photography. I'll announce the opening date in a few days.


Yorkville Creperie
1586 York Avenue
between 83rd & 84th Street




Sunday, August 4, 2013

Carl Schurz Memories ~ Next "Stoops to Nuts" @ Aug 13 ~ Photo Exhibit @ Yorkville Creperie after Labor Day

Kids in Carl Schurz playground
After a week of stomach pain I felt OK yesterday and took old writing notebooks down Carl Schurz Park. I laid them across a checker table to see what I've missed.  I have countless Yorkville stories but this exercise always helps me find an old memory or a good word still in there unused.



Looking up towards the playground from the checker table reminded me how kids end up in Emergency Rooms.

At the northern end of Carl Schurz playground is a semi-circle area we called the "Horse Shoe." The path that winds around the "Horse Shoe" dips down towards the river and the wall climbs from two feet to 12 feet across from the Hockey Field.


Tommy's work station


In the 1960s, a fleet-footed and skinny athletic kid with a good grip on his sneakers, say Freddy Muller, would take a running start at the high wall and drive one foot off the stone block, push himself up off that first sneaker, plant his second foot higher on the ridged stone and with his outstretched arm grab the fence above him and pull himself onto the ledge at the top of the wall. Freddy walked the ledge triumphantly, one hand in the air waving or he climbed over the fence at one of the light poles into the "Horse Shoe."(easy access at the pole where you didn't have to worry about getting your nuts caught on a spike).


Wall up to playground and Horse Shoe


If a clumsy chunky want-to-be athletic kid tried to do the same thing. Say me! Here goes!

I felt my love handles jiggle as I ran my fat ass over the grass towards the wall. I planted my worn-out Keds sneaker somewhere on the stone, this lifted my Husky dungarees and me a few feet in the air but with no further momentum I fell backwards before my second foot got anywhere near the wall. Freddy had a good laugh and a great view of me on the ground from the top.




Repeated tries raised the odds I'd be visiting Doctors Hospital Emergency Room. And I did, twice.


Our next "City Stories: Stoops to Nuts" storytelling show is Tuesday, August 13th @ 6pm @ the Cornelia Street Cafe. Our artists: Lorraine Hartin-Gelardi; Jim Hawkins and Karen Pillsworth. I'll host and tell a Yorkville yarn. Admission is $8 and that includes a free drink. Time Out Magazine thinks this show is a swell thing to do.

The week after Labor Day, The Yorkville Creperie will host a reception to open a two month exhibit of my photography. I'll announce the opening date next week. 

Yorkville Creperie
1586 York Avenue
between 83rd & 84th Street




There are new photos and new galleries at my site, "Thomas R. Pryor Photography."

Visit and view places you love: Yorkville, Carl Schurz Park, Central Park, Hudson River, Around NYC, Scenes From A Bicycle. Upcoming galleries: Coney Island and Rockaway Beach.

Prices are reasonable. Get a piece of Yorkville and NYC on your walls. Gift your friends who miss the old neighborhood.

Stop by "Thomas R. Pryor Photography."





The Drive towards the Triboro







82nd St last light

500 block 82 St
\

York & 82nd

Up York from 82 St