Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Hobo, Owl & Pussycat on 85th Street


After being picked up from St. Stephen's first grade on Halloween 1960 (I believe Sister Beatrice stayed in her nun costume but wore those funny glasses with the fake nose) ~ Rory, Mom, Nan Ryan & me visited my Aunt Joan's apartment at 321 East 85 Street. Rory was The Owl & The Pussycat (can't figure how he pulled both of them off at the same time, brilliant acting on my brother's part) and I was a Hobo. We bought Rory's costume for a buck ninety nine and my Bum mask for 39 cents at Woolworth's (staples and rubber band included with a one hour warranty) and raided my grandfather's old clothes for my costume when he went out for a walk. He didn't miss a thing, as predicted by my grandmother.

321 was a usual haunt for Mom, Rory & me. Mom visited her sisters, Joan and Barbara, two to three times a week. Counting my two grandmothers, I had five mothers.

The now pictures are all of 321 East 85th Street's stoop. As you can see, hardly anything has changed in over 50 years, and I still dress like a hobo.

That's Alison the Ghost in 1988. Here's a silly thing I wrote for her years ago.

“Dungarees be Free!”

Hot summer night, a run on the track.
Fear struck hard! I turned my back.
Adjusting my eyes to see what was there,
A little fat man with long green hair.
“My debt I’ll collect,” he snarled at me.
I proceeded to run up the nearest tree.
“I have all night you may as well come down.”
Before he finished his remark, I fell to the ground.
'What do you want, leave me alone!"
Knelling over me, I smelled his cheap cologne.
“You borrowed my jeans and I want them back!”
“They're dungarees, they are not slacks!
You’re a fruitcake I don’t own any jeans.
Go far away your breath stinks like beans."
I rushed home, as he jumped up & down.
“You’ll never be safe. I’m not leaving town.”


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My Halloween story, "The Love Seat," is in Ask A New Yorker this week


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If you visit the Upper Eastside sometime soon, my framed photographs are on display at Yorkville Creperie through the end of the year. Please drop in and see my work and enjoy their excellent food and service.


hosted by Yorkville Creperie through December 31, 2013

1586 York Avenue  (bet. 83 & 84 St.)





Tuesday, October 29, 2013

"The Love Seat" ~ A True Yorkville Ghost Story


"The Love Seat," A true Yorkville ghost story. Boo!

Previously published in Mr. Beller's Neighborhood.



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If you visit the Upper Eastside sometime soon, my framed photographs are on display at Yorkville Creperie through the end of the year. Please drop in and see my work and enjoy their excellent food and service.


hosted by Yorkville Creperie through December 31, 2013

1586 York Avenue  (bet. 83 & 84 St.)

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Paisley Tells a Winner

Did you ever hear a cat tell a joke? It's pretty good. On the left, Paisley is in "A State of Grace," listening to an angel tell her a good one, then she repeats it to me, while I take it in she plays like nothing happened. Angel visits? Cats talking? Who knew?






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If you visit the Upper Eastside sometime soon, 14 of my framed photographs are on display at Yorkville Creperie through the end of the year. Please drop in and see my work and enjoy their excellent food and service.


hosted by Yorkville Creperie through December 31, 2013

1586 York Avenue  (bet. 83 & 84 St.)

Friday, October 25, 2013

Richie Ujvary, One of the Good Guys

Richie Ujvary on drive in Carl Schurz Park
Met an old St. Stephen of Hungary friend, Richie Ujvary, (class of 1965) for lunch today.

We walked the neighborhood, then we stopped at the Yorkville Creperie where Rachel's wonderful service took care of our hunger and thirst.

Rich was one of the older altar boys that helped me through my first year of Latin in 1962 and guided me on handling the various Mass styles of the parish's fickle priests: some liked fast services, some liked more wine, some liked light bells, some liked Hosannas in the Highest.

Richie taught me the ropes. When an older Yorkville guy was good to you, you never forgot him (unlike the bully woodheads). 

Richie was a sharp kid from 518 E. 81 Street who never signed up for Yorkville's serial killer training program. Great to see him again.

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If you visit the Upper Eastside sometime soon, 14 of my framed photographs are on display at Yorkville Creperie through the end of the year. Please drop in and see my work and enjoy their excellent food and service.


hosted by Yorkville Creperie through December 31, 2013

1586 York Avenue  (bet. 83 & 84 St.)



location of Kronk's Soda Fountain at 87th & York Avenue
York Avenue looking south from 84 Street

Carl Schurz Park

Fire at 515 E. 82 Street on 10.24.13
fire @ 515 E. 82 Street

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Stoops to Nuts Monthly Show on Video!

Last month's storytelling show @ Cornelia Street Cafe, here you go,

"City Stories: Stoops to Nuts."

Thank you, Robin, Angelo & Josh.

hugs, Tommy










Sunday, October 20, 2013

Losers Lounge John Lennon Tribute at Joe's Pub

Peter Hess
At The Loser's Lounge tribute to John Lennon on Thursday night at Joe's Pub every artist left a piece of their heart on the stage with their outstanding performance.  

Thank you, K.B. Berton for making us welcome in your house. Thank you, Joe McGinty, David Terhune and all the Losers for sending us home with our usual shit eating grins. The Loser's Lounge remains NYC's best live music bang for the buck. 

Here's a link to my Loser's Lounge photo album from Thursday's late show.

"And We All Shine On" sang John Lennon one February night in 1970 as I listened to the Scott Muni show on WNEW-FM and first heard "Instant Karma." Lennon's voice and spirit circled the front room of my grandmother's railroad apartment. Life was good, John was back.


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If you visit the Upper Eastside sometime soon, 14 of my framed photographs are on display at Yorkville Creperie through the end of the year. Please drop in and see my work and enjoy their excellent food and service.


hosted by Yorkville Creperie through December 31, 2013

1586 York Avenue  (bet. 83 & 84 St.)



Joe McGinty & Paul Oakley Stovall

Susan Neuffer

Joe McGinty & Nick Danger

Anna Copa Cabana

Jed Parish

David Milone at the mike

Julia Joseph

The Losers Lounge @ Joe's Pub

Ward White

David Terhune

Royce Peterson, Julia Joseph, Tricia Scotti, Connie Petruk

David Terhune & Joe McGinty

Saturday, October 12, 2013

"Go Get Him"

This afternoon I wrote and worked on a park bench near Sailboat Lake. I saw a few trees that looked familiar and thought back.

As a boy, I'd climb trees in Central Park never looking down, go up as far as I could, then I'd look down. My heart relocated to the outside of my chest and I'd freeze with fear. Rory, a half monkey, climbed over me, under me and around me, telling me I was going to fall and die, and then, I'd be sorry. I'd stay up there overlooking the Great Lawn, Sheep Meadow or Poets Walk until Mom a little worried, bored or tired sitting on the bench below told Dad, "go get him."

While Rory continued circling me like I was a prize banana, Dad ascended the height easily as if he was an Indian who's day job was building expansion bridges over great rivers. Forcefully, he unhinged my arms wrapped around the tree limb I didn't want to leave. Ever. He'd start down, carrying me like a beer barrel tucked into his chest with his right arm. Back on Earth, he'd say don't do it again, I'd lie and say OK as Rory giggled above us, and Mom shook her head slowly side to side lighting a Marlboro from her soft pack.





Fourteen of my framed photographs are on display at the delicious Yorkville Creperie through the end of the year. Please drop by and see them when you can.


hosted by Yorkville Creperie through December 31, 2013

1586 York Avenue (bet 83rd & 84th Street)








cat & alice


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Nuts Telling Tales at Cornelia Street Cafe

Life is good
Thank you, Barbara Aliprantis, Slashtipher Coleman, Karen Levy and Kristin Pedemonti for a marvelous City Stories: Stoops to Nuts show at Cornelia Street Cafe last night. Thank you, Matt & Lily for keeping the customers satisfied, and especially, thank you, Robin Hirsch, Angelo Verga and Joshua Rebell for opening your home to our antics.

Here's a link to more photos from last night @ Facebook.


Fourteen of my framed photographs are on display at the delicious Yorkville Creperie through the end of the year. Please drop by and see them when you can.



hosted by Yorkville Creperie through December 31, 2013

1586 York Avenue (bet 83rd & 84th Street)

Karen Levy

Kristin Pedimonti

Barbara Aliprantis

Slash Coleman

Tommy Pryor

Cornelia Street Cafe

Pope Paul & the Devil Dog page

Carmine Street

6th Avenue

Cornelia Street

Life's still good