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zambonirodeo-wwib.jpgJason Cohen is what Grammy Hall would call a real Jew. Time was, that wouldn’t have been a big deal, at least not in Brooklyn; the place was full of ‘em! Cohen even lived in his mother’s ancestral homeland of Midwood for a couple years in the early-1990s— Midwood! And let me tell ya’ll, Midwood before the “discovery” of DiFara’s was… in fact, it was a great place, you just didn’t have to wait more than a few minutes for your pizza. But man can’t live on half-sausage alone and since breakfast tacos were then unknown in Brooklyn, the kid split— gone, just like that. Cohen returned to Austin, Texas, then a fairly inexpensive place with a near-ideal mix of weirdos, hustlers, state government harlots and an abundant, diverse natural landscape, including that most precious geological formation, the BBQ pit. Some people can’t take the allergies, some people couldn’t take the heat but Cohen had a cat, and air conditioning: he didn’t give a fuck. Likewise, afforded the opportunity, as a freelancer for Texas Monthly to write about minor league hockey— yes, hockey— in Texas (and Louisiana, and New Mexico), he did so and he did it well. In fact, he did it so well, he kept on writing about it and the classic Zamboni Rodeo was the result. Classic?

clermont styleYa’ll never saw it, I know. Well that’s because it was only published in Canada. Just like Phil Ochs Gunfight At Carnegie Hall. Just like Leonard Cohen’s Various Positions. Time was, you had to know a Canadian, or a Cohen— who used to sell copies out of the trunk of his car— to get a copy. Today we can go back to Midwood (Coney Island Avenue and Avenue K, to be precise) and get “Canadian style” challah; tonight we can hear Jason Cohen talk hockey at

JLA Studios, 63 Pearl St, between Water and Front, 7:30 PM, FREE

That’s in so-called “DUMBO,” an irksome— that is to say jive, baby— acronym for a historically fascinating area but don’t blame the messenger. JLA stands not for the Jewish Liberation Army (which doesn’t exist) but rather Jan Larsen Art; Cohen will be there under the auspices of GELF magazine’s  Varsity Letter reading series. GELF? Goaltenders Everywhere Lookin’ Fine. Jeff Z. Klein of the New York Times hockey blog Slap Shot and esteemed Canadian journalist Laura Robinson also appear. — Caz Dolowicz



Caz Dolowicz was born on Sands Street, Brooklyn in 1923; he remembers Irishtown, Rocket Richard and many other things ya’ll can’t even imagine.

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