"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice
Category: New York Minute

New York Minute

darkbags

Ad Rock’s high school daze.

TRUE YORKERS: ALL MY CHILDREN with AD-ROCK from BTG Movement on Vimeo.

Picture by Bags. 

New York Minute

china

Chinatown, My Chinatown…

Where & When: Game 69

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:

Where & When Game 69 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

New York Minute

difarrra

Way out in Brooklyn (those who come from Brooklyn know just what I’m talkin’…)

New York Minute

tumblr_nkxgtbBemX1qbhl2oo1_1280

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.

Picture by Bags.

New York Minute

ghost

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.

New York Minute

nyccccc

Man, it’s lovely out there, today. Positively springish.

New York Minute

georgie

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:

Esposito’s Pork Store, Brooklyn from Brinda Adhikari on Vimeo. [Photo Via: South Brooklyn Post]

New York Minute

escalator

Michael Daly’s got a story to tell. 

[Photo Credit: NYC Subway Rider]

New York Minute

emba

Yeah, I know I’m repeating myself but can’t say it enough–I love how Bags captures our city. 

coldcold

New York Minute

taxicity

For beautiful and evocative pictures of life in the city, bookmark our man Bags’ tumblr site.

windowlight

You won’t be sorry.

New York Minute

vday

Valentine’s Day in the air when I was down in Herald Square the other night.

New York Minute

rapper-slick-rick-star-hip-hop-gold

The Ruler’s back:

His own life offers a different take on the usual retelling of hip-hop’s origins. He did not grow up going to DJ Kool Herc’s fabled parties at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue, or grooving to Afrika Bambaataa’s turntable wizardry at the Bronx River Houses. He found his style on Fordham Road, a fitting place for a high school art student who was into fashion.

“They had stores with all the clothes, the sneakers, the jewelry,” he said. “It was a good place to go and talk to girls. The whole pace was electric, and where there is electricity, there’s fun. And where there’s fun, that’s where kids want to be.”

In a way, Mr. Walters said, all the neighborhoods were the same: places where young people entranced by an emerging culture took their shots at fame. Some with cans of spray paint wound up in galleries. Others with dazzling footwork danced on the world’s stages. As for the young Mr. Walters, he became a storyteller, with hits like “Children’s Story” and “The Show” with Doug E. Fresh.

“Ricky thinks of himself as a storyteller and that’s apt,” said Bill Adler, a former executive at Def Jam Records, which released his recordings. “It was pioneering because he was so writerly, I call it rap lit. Ricky was conscious early on about the possibilities of rap.”

Knock ‘em out the box, Rick.

New York Minute

somebody

Somebody come and play. 

New York Minute

foundshit

On my way to work each day I walk by a post office in my neighborhood. I’ve gotten to know a few of the women who work there. Today, I see one them–a sports fan–quick-stepping through the cold to the deli.

She says to me, “Super Bowl this weekend?”

Yes, I tell her and then she said, “Oh, I’ll need to get some frankfurters.”

And it occurred to me right there that I couldn’t remember the last time I heard someone say frankfurters and that it might be some time before I hear it again.

[Photo Via: Found Shit]

New York Minute

joefranklin

I was in my Bronx apartment on the morning of September 11, 2001. I watched on TV like the rest of the country. Eventually, I don’t recall if it was later that day or the following day, or the day after that, I got on the subway and went as far south as I could go–14th Street. I felt the need to get closer. I couldn’t go further downtown so I turned around and walked up 8th Avenue. As I passed the bus terminal at 40th Street I saw Joe Franklin talking on a pay phone. He was alone, a pregnant briefcase resting between his feet. I had been in a daze and the sight of Franklin snapped me out of it for a moment. It was comforting to see him.

“Hey, Joe Franklin” I said to nobody in particular and kept walking. joefre Franklin, a New York fixture for many of us, died the other day. He was 88.  

Salute.

[Photo Credit: Andrew Savulich; Illustration by Drew Friedman]

New York Minute

carverwide1.0

Here’s our pal Ivan Solotaroff on New York street football:

On the FDR Drive overpass by lower Manhattan’s Houston Street, a group of men begins assembling an hour before nightfall one steamy Thursday in late June. Some come from security, construction, or livery jobs, others from long subway rides or carpools from the Bronx or Spanish Harlem. A few have brought wives and children.

Ranging in age from 19 to 51, short and wide to superbly conditioned, they seem a ragtag group, but for the cleats around their necks, the footballs a few carry, and the insults, bro-hugs and daps they exchange as their number swells to a dozen and they head into the Baruch Projects and its 75-year-old playground. More than 90 minutes of grueling calisthenics and sprints in the shadow of the Williamsburg Bridge, it’s clear this is an elite, disciplined group: These practices are every Tuesday and Thursday night it’s not raining or snowing, 40-plus weeks a year. As twilight falls, passersby ogle the regimented testosterone on field, though not for long: The spectacle of men bonding to face the realities of barrio life is fairly common, and it rarely lasts.

These guys do, because they’re Carver Mobb — the name from Spanish Harlem’s George Washington Carver Projects, where the core half-dozen grew up in the 1970s. A team for 21 years, they’ve been the powerhouse of New York’s half-dozen seven-on-seven rough-touch football leagues for a decade. Essentially two-hand-touch taken to bloodsport level, with two 25-minute halves, a mostly running clock, and referees to nominally control the mayhem, it’s the closest these weekend warriors will come to professional sport, though many are high-caliber athletes. Most played high school ball, but only a half-dozen of the 200-plus devotees I’ll meet made it to college; two were walk-ons for the New York Giants or Jets, one played semi-pro in Coney Island, another plays Arena football.

[Photo Credit: SB Nation]

New York Minute

subwayimage

What we’re reading…pictures by Reinier Gerritsen. 

New York Minute

strand

Over at New York Magazine, Christopher Bonanos has a nice feature on the Strand:

Why is there still a Strand Book Store?

In large part because of Fred Bass. He’s pretty much the human analogue for the store’s gray column. His father, Ben, founded the Strand around the corner in 1927, and he was born in 1928. Ask him about his childhood, and he recalls going on buying trips on the subway with his father, hauling back bundles of books tied with rope that cut into his hands. (“Along the line, we got some handles.”) Ask him about the 1970s, and he’ll tell you about hiding cash in the store because it was too dangerous to go to the bank after dark. He’s 86, and he still makes buying trips, though mostly not by subway. “Part of my job is going out to look at estates — it’s a treasure hunt.” New York, to him, “is an incredible source — a highly educated group of people in a concentrated area, with universities and Wall Street wealth. The libraries are here.” Printed and bound ore, ready to be mined.

Four days a week, he’s on the main floor, working the book-buying desk in back. Stand there, and you’ll see the full gamut of New York readers. Critics and junior editors, selling recent releases. Academics. Weirdos. “Book scouts,” who pan for first-edition gold at yard sales and on Goodwill shelves. They walk in with heavy shopping bags and leave with a few $20s. Usually fewer than they’d hoped: The Strand rejects a lot, because unsalable books are deadweight. Whatever arrives has to go out quickly. “Our stock isn’t stale,” Bass says. “You come in, and there’ll be new stuff continually.” Slow sellers are culled, then marked down, then moved to the bargain racks outside, then finally sold in bulk for stage sets and the like.

[Photo Credit: Sebastian Bergmann]

New York Minute

rockettes

The train wasn’t crowded this morning, the day after Christmas. But that didn’t stop two women from yelling at each other in Spanish. They sat to my right and one of them must not have said “excuse me” or something when she sat down and boom, they was arguing.

Felt oddly comforting. Merry Christmas indeed.

rockyes

Picture by Bags and Dennis Stock.

feed Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share via email
"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver