Sunday, July 29, 2012

I'm Storytelling in Hoboken Today @ Noon

Debby Schwartz
Today @ Noon, I'm telling a story at Debby Schwartz's show @ D's Soul Full House in Hoboken. 

Please come down if you are nearby in Jersey or hop over the river by PATH for a great musical and storytelling event. Hoboken's own Adam Wade leads off a terrific line-up.

Map to D's Soul Full House

Hoboken at Twilight

Manhattan from Hoboken waterfront

Friday, July 27, 2012

Monsoon Summer Night in NYC

My intention last night: walk from Yorkville to Canal and Hudson St. Paying the piper for my large Hellman's mayo consumption. The sky looked funny around 75th St. and 2nd Ave. Near Park Ave. in the low 50s it was evident this trip would go underground sometime soon.  At Times Square, Cecil B. Demille took over direction of the sky and the weather.

As I crossed Broadway it got biblical on me. Crayola colors circled the air. It was time to seek shelter and I dropped into the 7th Ave line.  Took the local to Houston Street figuring the crazy stuff was over.  Up the subway stairs I saw the show still ongoing. Went back down, paid another fare and travelled one stop to Canal St. Above things had lightened up. But I was an hour early for the event because my walk was cut short.  I strolled with my broken umbrella up and down the streets near the Downtown 92th St. Y on Hudson St. Found cobblestone eye candy on Collier and Laight Sts.

Eric Vetter and company put on a great No Name & A Bag of Chips show.  The monsoon summer night turned out just right.


Next "City Stories: Stoops to Nuts" show is Tuesday, August 14th @ 6pm @ Cornelia Street Cafe.

Our guests are Robert Conroy, Claire Jeffreys, Garland Jeffreys and Savannah Jeffreys.

Admission is $8 and that includes a free drink.

It's a Family Affair of NYC storytellers and songsmiths.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Walker Evans' Yorkville in 1930s & 1940s

Walker Evans @ Met Collection
Angela, curator of the terrific Italian Harlem blog, thank you again for leading me to the Met's collection of Walker Evans photos online. 

Evans lived at 441 East 92nd Street for many years. Here are three photos he took on or about York Avenue and 92nd Street in the late 1930s and 1940s.  

Visit the Met link above to view this historic collection.

Walker Evans @ Met Collection

Walker Evans @ Met Collection

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Mom's Hard Work & Humor Made Her My Star

"Oh, my God!" I yelled in my five year brain when I came out of my room and looked through the kitchen at the living room window where I saw a pair of legs with slippers on dangling from the inside of the closed window facing me. I couldn't see the top of the body because soapy water was spread over the glass. I knew it was Mom but I had to double check. Running over and careful not to get near either leg from the side I could see Mom in her house dress balancing her upper body on the outside of the building four stories over the backyard. A clean freak, Mom made sure every spot on the window sparkled and worked without a net. While doing so she stopped my heart.

Mom, Patricia Pryor, passed away a long time ago on July 24th. Today, I'm thinking of her outside the 83rd Street window, doing kitchen work with the dish towel over her shoulder, and making pancakes and bacon for dinner.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Looking For a Kiss

Yesterday, I spied a gent on 82nd Street looking for a kiss. Two Yorkville pigeons playing lovely dovey. On the East River Drive I saw a seaplane surfing puffy clouds, a blue boat, a silhouette river, a reflection of a  lighthouse in a Gracie Square window and a sunset up 86th Street.

Here's to the New York Dolls!

"Looking For a Kiss."

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Yorkville's Sweeney Todd & Walker Evans Photographs

2nd Ave facing south near 84th St. 1953 Walker Evans
Thank you, Angela, curator of the terrific Italian Harlem blog for leading me to the Met's collection of Walker Evans photos online. Evans one of our greatest photographers lived at 441 East 92nd Street for many years. After the building was demolished in the early 1960s the property became part of the Issacs Houses/Holmes Towers public housing development.

Evans work is awe inspiring and his shots of Yorkville are countless.  The picture here: Second Avenue looking south near 84th Street in 1953.

The barber pole reminded me of Herman the German my strange haircut executioner when I was a kid.

Here is a link to my story about Herman published by Mr. Beller's Neighborhood.

"A Barber's Portrait of Kaiser Wilhelm."

Herman the German waited for his prey. He turned a small Iron Cross over in one hand slowly measuring the length of each of its four silver edges. His quivering lip shook an inch long ash off his cigarette’s end. It fell onto the top of his Austrian sandals with the matching black socks. A loose thread sizzled. He didn’t notice. It was 3 pm. It was time.
Hanging onto the sides of the store’s doorframe he leaned out towards the street. He twisted his smooth shaved face to his left and stretched his upper body back and forth, back and forth.
At three o’five, Michael, Steven and Gerard turned the corner, marching up the avenue towards the barber shop in prison formation using their cardboard school bags as sledge hammers. They slammed the sidewalk in time while whistling chain gang-style. Herman’s heart leaped. The Murphy boys were getting haircuts. The three boys, 12, 10 and 8 years old faced their sentence defiantly. They dragged their bags into the store and dropped their butts into the three barber chairs.  

Friday, July 20, 2012

Yorkville Summer Scenes

1967 Chevrolet Chevelle and Malibu parked in Yorkville last night; York Avenue fruit stands from yesterday and 106 years ago, June 1906 on the southeast corner of 75th Street; twilight on 83rd and 85th Streets.

Tonight, I'm telling a story at Eric Vetter's "No Name & a Bag O'Chips show at Otto's Shrunken Head at 538 East 14th Street right off Ave A @ 7pm.

Here is a link to Otto's and the terrific line-up for the free No Name show.