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Category Archive for 'Brighton Beach'

In winter the ashen stucco houses shaped like Camel cigarette-boxes squat before the Bensonhurst bay-mist. Bensonhurst, low, flat, rheumatic marshland, is a realtor’s reclamation project. Many of the streets which may be compared to the booming oil cities of the Oklahoma country seem to have sprung up over night. The houses are a makeshift stage-setting […]

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“What Richard Abneg had carried forward, always, anyhow, was a certain sense of his own crucial place in the island’s life. He’d never copped out. And the beard, that too was uncompromised, continuous. He grew it when he was fifteen and reading Howard Zinn and Charles Bukowski and Emmett Grogan. I soaked up Harriet’s description […]

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I can feel the heat closing in, feel them out there making their moves, setting up their devil doll stool pigeons, crooning over my spoon and dropper I throw away at Washington Square Station, vault a turnstile and two flights down the iron stairs, catch an uptown A train… Young, good looking, crew cut Ivy […]

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Then late in the morning of Saturday, December 28, 1936, when the Knishe Queen announced the coming of the three new flavors (apple-cherry, sour lemon, nutty onion); after Jerky Jacob the Old Clothes Man sent out postcards to his best customers (“I am right now in a good position to make VERY terrific deals on […]

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And from their fifth-floor plus stoop, under the good first sun, they panned and picked out Gelfman drawing for himself the first soda of the day; Dopey Duhvee leaning over his triycle to drool down big, rich spit bombs that burst over his mother’s shoes; Mrs. Chepper slipping the leash off her old Pekinese, blaring […]

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With a headline nod to Jesus Colon, the pioneering Puerto Rican journalist (check out  A Puerto Rican In New York if not familar with his work), and hearty mondongo thanks to reader Glenmore Snediker for the photos (“taken somewhere in East New York,” he says), WWIB rouses itself this morning with strong coffee and the […]

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One of my favorite jazz books is Sidney Bechet’s Treat It Gentle (1960). For those of ya’ll who don’t know, clarinetist and soprano sax player Bechet is one of the towering individualists of the first half of 20th century American music— check out his recordings with Louis Armstrong of Corona via Chicago and New Orleans […]

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Cocktails and signs of “ads” flashing, light’s waterfalls, — Louis Zukofsky, from “55 Poems” (1941) Now and then there are flashes in the world of business, finance, sport, art or theatricals a colorful figure which comes we know not whence or how. But because it exerts enormous influence and kicks up dust generally, and because […]

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Is Coney Island handball or hoops? Where does Coney fish, and where does it play tennis? How did that African market end up next to a Mexican grocery? What was BZA doing on the terrace in 1982? Wasn’t she scared? Why don’t we read about multi-ethnic Coney Island more often? The Russians and the Jamaicans? […]

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Comics, before they are permitted to pass into camp ground— I think to some extent of W.C. Fields and Lenny Bruce— must suffer a sea change. Despair is downgraded to aggravation, madness is misread as eccentricity; and when from the extremes of alienation they rage and rail at us we hear or choose to hear […]

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