Hello, I must be going…
Mitchell studied at the University of North Carolina without graduating and came to New York in 1929, at the age of twenty-one. Kunkel traces the young exile’s rapid rise from copy boy on the New York World to reporter on the Herald Tribune and feature writer on The World Telegram. In 1933 St. Clair McKelway, the managing editor of the eight-year-old New Yorker, noticed Mitchell’s newspaper work and invited him to write for the magazine; in 1938 the editor, Harold Ross, hired him. In 1931 Mitchell married a lovely woman of Scandinavian background named Therese Jacobson, a fellow reporter, who left journalism to become a fine though largely unknown portrait and street photographer. She and Mitchell lived in a small apartment in Greenwich Village and raised two daughters, Nora and Elizabeth. Kunkel’s biography is sympathetic and admiring and discreet. If any of the erotic secrets that frequently turn up in the nets of biographers turned up in Kunkel’s, he does not reveal them. He has other fish to gut.
From reporting notes, journals, and correspondence, and from three interviews Mitchell gave late in life to a professor of journalism named Norman Sims, Kunkel extracts a picture of Mitchell’s journalistic practice that he doesn’t know quite what to do with. On the one hand, he doesn’t regard it as a pretty picture; he uses terms like “license,” “latitude,” “dubious technique,” “tactics,” and “bent journalistic rules” to describe it. On the other, he reveres Mitchell’s writing, and doesn’t want to say anything critical of it even while he is saying it. So a kind of weird embarrassed atmosphere hangs over the passages in which Kunkel reveals Mitchell’s radical departures from factuality.
It is already known that the central character of the book Old Mr. Flood, a ninety-three-year-old man named Hugh G. Flood, who intended to live to the age of 115 by eating only fish and shellfish, did not exist, but was a “composite,” i.e., an invention. Mitchell was forced to characterize him as such after readers of the New Yorker pieces from which the book was derived tried to find the man. “Mr. Flood is not one man,” Mitchell wrote in an author’s note to the book, and went on, “Combined in him are aspects of several old men who work or hang out in Fulton Fish Market, or who did in the past.” In the Up in the Old Hotel collection he simply reclassified the work as fiction.
[Photo Credit: Therese Mitchell/Estate of Joseph Mitchell]
Happy Pesach, y’all.
[Photo Credit: Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images]
Soul strut. Is there anything more attractive than watching a woman who knows how to walk moving her way through the city streets?
Picture by Bags.
Welcome back for yet another challenge from Where & When! This one was a challnge in itself to find, which I will explain in a little bit (and I have to wonder if it’s worth the trouble to find it for what I intended to set up with it…) Well, for now:
Okay, so here we are in one of our favorite places to look for vintage architecture and associated stories. There is another picture floating around that faces the front side of these buildings and contains the subject of our two-part bonus. For now, let’s you and me figure out where we are and when this took place. Plenty of clues to help you here, so I don’t need to add anything, you’ll figure it out relatively quickly if I know you folks >;)
Now for the bonuses…
The first bonus relates to a particular business and resource that happens to be one of the best friends of this feature. Sure, they’re not around anymore, but they have provided an enormous wealth of records about this city’s past as well as other cities; all of which officially reside in a very important place (very important if you’re into copyright law, in fact).
The second, which is the cause of my angst for the past few days (you can say I was trying to be cunning), relates to the title of this post. There is a place that exists off-screen at this location today. If you know the location, then you know exactly what I’m talking about. The timing is perfect, and with what Fearless Leader has been sharing with us of late on the Banter, it can’t be more appropriate. What’s on you’re mind, sir? >;) (Feel free to roll your eyes when you find the answer, I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity for such an elaborate reference, even if it is sophomoric.)
You know the drill, find the answers, explain your math, root beer float or hot chocolate depending on the weather for the winner, cream soda or tea for the rest of us, slice of Motorino Pizza or a great cupcake for the bonuses (I just threw those last two in there since I’m in such a “giving” mood). Gotta go to work (you might spy me under an aerial lift near Grammercy Park this evening); I hope this was worth the effort. Enjoy!
And no peeking at this: Photo Credit: Skycraper City
Emily and I had dinner plans downtown on Saturday night. Even though it was raining in the afternoon we trooped around SoHo and the Village for a few hours running errands. Man, it was dead out. Even in SoHo with plenty of people on the street, it was so quiet. People just weren’t ready to be out yet I guess. We walked through the streets, through Washington Square Park, and enjoyed ourselves and the subdued mood.
This morning I was sitting on a crowded IRT train, headed for work. At 86th street I looked up and noticed a beautiful young woman standing not too far away. Dark looks, thick eyebrows. Her face was as inviting as a cherry tomato and I imagined that it might look more like a beefsteak tomato when she got older. How much work does she put into trimming her eyebrows, I wondered.
At the next stop a blonde haired Latina woman got on the train with her son, kid must be about 9 or 10 years old. They stood next to the girl with the face like a cherry tomato.
I remembered back to a book I read last year by a therapist who is also a Buddhist. The therapist told a story about a patient who objectified women like I was doing now. The patient tried to move past his lust and imagine what women’s lives were beyond his sexual fantasies. I am often conscious of trying to do this while I look on with admiration at a woman’s looks.
After a few stops a seat opened and the boy sat down. He wasn’t directly in front of his mother, who was still standing, but a seat away, still within reach. I got a better look at her now. She wasn’t nearly as pretty as the other woman but her figure was something else–full bossom, round hips and a zaftig bottom. I thought about my mother, who was a single parent raising 3 kids when I was that boy’s age. Mom was also full figured and beautiful though with a more European sense of style.
Then, I saw the boy reach over for her hands, trying to get her attention. I looked up and saw a tear rolling down the side of her face. The boy held her hand and said something but I couldn’t hear him because I had my headphones on. She looked away from him and up to the ceiling. I turned and looked at my shoes, not wanting to stare. For a moment, I thought about my mom and then myself as a kid. I looked at the boy once more as I got up to leave the train at my stop. I wasn’t thinking about his mother’s tits and ass anymore.
If you are ever in Carroll Gardens stop by Esposito & Sons. I lived in that neighborhood from 1996-2000 and was a regular at Esposito’s–their pickled eggplant alone is worth the trip. Plus, John and George are Yankee fans.
I was happy to see this:
Yeah, I know I’m repeating myself but can’t say it enough–I love how Bags captures our city.
For beautiful and evocative pictures of life in the city, bookmark our man Bags’ tumblr site.
You won’t be sorry.