Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Yorkville Under a Crayola Moon

The full moon gave the night sky a box of 64 Crayolas and told it to go crazy cuckoo nuts this week. Here are photos from the art class I attended mostly near Yorkville churches and delis between York and Third Avenue.

"Yorkville: Stoops to Nuts" storytelling show is coming back to Ryan's Daughter on Wednesday, April 3rd.

Last fall we had a standing room only crowd that cheered us on and it's time to do it again. Our artists: Michele Carlo, Abbi Crutchield, Luke Thayer, Eric Vetter, Adam Wade and other persons of interest. Ryan's Daughter is located at 350 E. 85th Street, fun starts @ 7pm.

More to follow as the line-up fills in.

Here is a link to a public album of Yorkville Full Moon photos from the past few nights.

Please drop by Cornelia Street Cafe to see my photo exhibit "New York Scenes from a Bicycle," on view through March 31st. Framed work and my book "River to River: New York Scenes from a Bicycle," are for sale at the Cafe, my prints are for sale at Thomas R. Pryor Photography, my book is available online through Amazon.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Turning Pages with Peter Wolf

I saw Peter Wolf one of my music heroes last night at the City Winery. He leaves his blood on the stage. Before he was a musician, Peter was a younger brother in the Bronx who dug his sister's 45 singles and the way she and her girlfriends danced. Later while studying art in the Boston area, he was a DJ and his first love, the music, the people who made it, haunt his live show. Peter is cut from the same cloth as the legends he reveres. He channels them and their spirits wrap themselves around him. Peter always sends me home with a shit ass grin. If you love R&B, if you love the Blues, if you love J Geils, Rock & Roll, see Wolf, he's the real thing. My life is better with Peter in it.

In “Over Her Dead Body,” my soon to be published short story included in “Have A NYC 2” New York Stories anthology (Three Rooms Press, May 2013) the J Geils Band plays a prominent role.

A memory of mine: In 1979, my friends and I struck gold in Central Park. A group of us who played rugby together for St. John’s were good friends with a bouncer at the summer Doctor Pepper concerts in the Woolman skating rink. Tony rucked for the Long Island Rugby Club. The deal: we met Tony at the VIP gate shook his hand and he palmed the five-dollar bill we each gave him. This gave us access to the third row in the orchestra right behind the press and special guests.

J Geils was our band. We started that night with a cocktail hour inside Ekis’s apartment before the Mom came home. “Looking For A Love,” was our go out song from the Lp “The Morning After.” Important element for beginning a solid evening. Light rain fell before the show. Since it was a sprinkle they let us in at the normal time. In the third row, we used our shirts to dry the rain off the seats. As I turned to sit down I looked up over the Plaza Hotel and saw a breath-taking cloud racing towards us. A minute later it dumped buckets of rain. So intense, I laughed and welcomed it. A stream raced from my head to my chest to my lap to my feet. My sneakers were squeaking, my tee-shirt and shorts attached to me like suction cups. After a “It’s never going to stop,” ten minutes, the sun pushed through and edged the cloud away. It was over, but there was three inches of water under our seats. “Canceled,” I thought. We sat glum waiting for them to tell us to leave.

Two minutes later, Peter Wolf came out on stage looked over the less than half filled space and started laughing. Then the band joined him. He looked directly down at us, six wet rats alone in the row. He instructed us to do a new dance, “The Canoe.” Wolf’s arms went back and forth like he was traveling upstream without a paddle but thought he had one. We did the same thing, Stephen Jo Bladd banged the drums and the band began “It Ain’t Nothing But A House Party.” They played for two hours and forty minutes. We did “The Canoe.” Life was good.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Desire Paths Built With My Five Senses

Walking the city streets I create desire paths. Routes that please me for a variety of reasons and unless I'm in a rush they are usually not the quickest ways to where I'm going, if I'm going anywhere. I apply the same reasoning when I bicycle. I enjoy countless places, circles, terraces, avenues, streets that have elements my five senses eat up. Bluestone sidewalk, uneven brick lines, spice and coffee aroma, trees that stretch across a street bed to entangle and touch other, frame houses, buildings with changed uses, sturctures that lean, signs of a widen street where a building was sliced off the end of the block, the #7 Flushing line concave El between Rawson Street and Bliss Street, old trolley tracks pushing up through cobblestone, walking on granite blocks of pavement, elaborate fire escapes bursting with workman pride. All these things engage my five senses: I see, touch, smell and hear them, and in the case of the Sunnyside concrete El, I sing on the top of my lungs and hear my echo roll back to me. I did it as a boy and I still do it. It please me.

78th Street is one of the blocks that runs my imagination.  There's a row of houses built between 1861-1865. Construction was slowed by the Civil War causing a supplies shortage. These homes preceded the Third Avenue El built in the 1870s to accommodate Steam Engine service. Imagine a dirty steam engine train rattling pass your open window on Third Avenue?

Here are photos of the block and other sights from there to 79th Street and First Avenue. Just look around when you go from one place to another, it's all there.

"River to River: New York Scenes from a Bicycle" my book of photography available at Cornelia Street Cafe and online at Amazon.

If you are in the West Village on a walkabout please visit Cornelia Street Cafe to see my photo exhibit, "New York Scenes from a Bicycle," running through March 31st.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

New York City a Newspaper Town

Today, NY 1, Time Warner's TV station made "New York Scenes from a Bicycle," a "Pick of the Week."

My photo exhibition @ Cornelia Street Cafe runs through March 31st. Please drop by.

Last week, I passed this 86th Street newsstand on the south side between 1st and 2nd Avenue. It reminded me of old Yorkville with every newsstand selling several daily newspapers ~ morning, afternoon and one star evening editions. Freddy Muller used to to hit the bars at 830pm selling the one star Daily News and the Mirror, made out like a bandit when a ball game was on. He bought the papers cheap, 7 cents then a dime and sold them for a quarter or better - depended on the level of alcohol consumption by the tavern regulars who all liked Freddy.

Can you name all the newspapers on the stand when you were a kid?

"Pick of the Week ~ New York Scenes From a Bicycle" 

NY1's weekly segment "Your Weekend Starts Now" shows entertaining picks for great things to do this weekend all around the city. NY1's Frank DiLella filed the following report.

Thomas Pryor: "New York Scenes From A Bicycle"
Another exhibit worth a ride-by is Thomas Pryor's photo exhibit "New York Scenes From A Bicycle," currently on display at the Cornelia Street Cafe. Take a look at pictures the photographer snapped while riding his bike throughout the city over the years.

"River to River: New York Scenes from a Bicycle" on sale at Cornelia Street Cafe and through Amazon online.