Tuesday, January 20, 2015

A Vision on Bleecker Street

 21-19 Bleecker Street ~ 2015
Last night, I got off the #6 train at Bleecker Street early for a Jonatha Brooke show at Subculture and walked around. Down to LaSalle Academy's old building next to NYC Marble Cemetery on 2nd Street east of Second Avenue, along Bond Street and The Bowery and back up to Bleecker Street towards Lafayette. The one thought in my head coming back up Bleecker: I still an urge to punch Carmelo Spinelli in the mouth. No, not just for looking at me funny, I haven't seen him since LaSalle graduation on June 12, 1972. No, I wanted to pop Carmelo for another reason.

1968, my mother's torturing my fourteen year old sad-sack body with yells, pushes and shoves to get up, "you're going to be friggin' late again!" Ten minutes later, another push out the door for a run/walk to the subway and ride to school that took a little over an hour.

Arriving downtown on the #6 Local, I'd run up the stairs pushing through other almost late LaSalle students who had no interest in seeing Brother Michael Dean of Discipline's sick smile waiting for late students, or better for him and worse for you, late without ties.
72 yearbook

Carmelo "Don Mel" Spinelli
I'm on my way down the north side of Bleecker Street towards The Bowery  and who pops out one of these doorways (houses in the photo on top) whistling and tying a perfect Windsor knot in his tie like he doesn't have a care in the world?
Carmelo Spinelli, and he says to me, "Hi, Boyass!"

I still can't tie a tie well. I wore a clip-on Freshman year until I couldn't handle the humiliation anymore. Even the lunch lady made fun of me.

For that alone, I want to hammer my red LaSalle schoolbag over his head, but all I'm feeling is deep sadness thinking he gets to sleep an hour longer than me every Monday to Friday morning.

Our antagonism lasted until Veterans Day in our junior year 1971. On the old grass field on 15th Street right off the FDR Drive next to the Con Ed plant my classmates and Yorkville friends played a tackle football game in the rain against Carmelo's classmates and his Little Italy buddies. We beat them on a pass I threw to Kevin King, a 6'6" stick figure of athletic excellence. Nothing like contact sports to stop the bullshit between snotty boys. After that game, we called each other whatever we wanted with a smile and respect.  

Back on Bleecker Street last night, Jonatha Brooke was excellent.

Our "City Stories: Stoops to Nuts" finale at Cornelia Street Cafe is Tuesday Feb 10th. It's a good one to go out on.  Our artists: Barbara Aliprantis, Phillip Giambri, Jim Hawkins, Adam Wade and Sherryl Marshall, one of my favorite musical talents on the planet will present a showcase set.

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