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Category Archive for 'Canarsie'

On August 4, 2006— the second of Louis Armstrong’s two birthdays that year and every year (Pops believed he was born on July 4, but his posthumously discovered baptismal record said otherwise)— Marshall was in the spirit! The coincident occasion was my writing about Louis’ recording of a Schaefer Beer commercial. And for anyone who might […]

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Follow? Red, the Negro shoeshine boy, waits by his dusty leather seat. The Negroes all over wasted Roxbury wait. Follow? “Cherokee” comes wailing up from the dance floor below, over the hi-hat, the string bass, the thousand sets of feet where the moving rose lights suggest not pale Harvard boys and their dates, but a […]

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When I was child, Brownsville existed in a large enclave, the outer borders of which I was only dimly aware. Surrounded by the Negro violence of the Bedford-Stuyvesant district, the Nazi “gemutchlichkeit” of Ridgewood, the Slavic solemnity of East New York, the middle-class gentility of East Flatbush and the garbage dumps of Canarsie, Brownsville was […]

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I don’t think Faulkner is worth the antebellum South, and I would rather not have had Kafka at the proce of twentieth-century European carnage. But in trying to locate contemporary American writing I look at the thirties, that supposedly meager decade if misfired artistic energy and of duped intellectuals and bad proletarian novels, and I […]

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Three things about Empire Boulevard (there are more)*: First, what’s beef? In 1989, graffiti writer JA wilding on SONI’s house as recounted in Jim Dwyer’s excellent book Subway Lives (1991): JA JA JA JA JA JA JA JA JA JA JA JA JA JA JA. And so on. This really happened and it didn’t end […]

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War Lust In Brooklyn Two super patriots, one 12 and the other 15, were in jail today because their efforts on behalf of the safety of the U.S. involved a slight disregard for the law. Radio Patrolmen Edward Murphy and Edgar Lavole were riding along at 3 a.m. today when they saw Robert Dier, the […]

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In honor of the great contributions Brooklyn’s mostly proud blind people have made to our Armed Forces over the years, I’m delighted to reintroduce this interview between a monocle-wearing historian, Brian Berger, and the nearly sightless novelist Jim Knipfel. As for Woodrow Wilson, the Staunton, Virginia native who presided over  the first Armistice Day, he […]

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HELLO! THERE, SEA SERPENT! A Brooklyn Man Says He Is Confident He Met One While Fishing Mr. M.A. Russell, of 188 Bridge street, says that he and two companions, while fishing on Sunday, about 7 A.M., off Long Beach, saw a sea serpent. There were on the boat at the time a dozen bottles of […]

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Such are the compensations of poverty to see— like an electric fungus sprung from its own effulgence of intercircled jewelry reflected on the pavement like a reliquary sedan-chair, out of a legend, dumped there, before a ten-cent cinema, a sugar-coated box office enjail a Goddess aglitter, in her runt of a tower with a ritual […]

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OR, A MAN NEEDS HIS HAT for Susan Tyrell & Curtis Cokes They say it dates back to Lene Lenape times, before there was a Brooklyn and before Kings County too. No Fort Hamilton, no Floyd Bennett, no two-fare zones, no factories; there was a St. Finbar (Feastday September 25) but he didn’t have a […]

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