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]
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
Welcome back for another intermittent game of Where & When. We hope that the winter hasn’t gotten you too bogged down in slush and cold; if it has, we can try to warm you up with this little challenge:
What I like about this picture is that it’s taken in front of a significant building and a significant landmark, yet we see what surrounds those features, giving a full sense of character to the neighborhood as it was at the time. I believe you’ll be surprised by the location, especially compared to what exists today (clue). I’m not going to give too much on this because those with good wit will be able to find this almost immediately, but again you’ll have to put on your work gloves and your thinking cap for this one (which is always my goal, thus he long intermission between games >;)
So have at it; A large mug of cocoa for the winner (location/date) and rum chocolate candy for the rest. Bonus for identifying the two significant landmarks I mentioned earlier (as they were at the time the picture was taken), double bonus for those whom can identify what buildings are standing in place of the ones pictured here. Hope it doesn’t take you too long to figure out, but also hope you enjoy the journey. Talk with you later, have fun and no peeking at the credit!
Photo Credit: Ephemeral New York
Welcome back to another exciting round of Where & When! Let’s pick up where we left off with the interest from our last post as we continue to stir the cocoa on the hot stove. What other kind of ordinary moves will Cashman spring upon the Yankee faithful? Meh, not our issue here...
This is another place where I’ve worked in or near in the last few years. Of course it doesn’t have this kind of style anymore, but what goes on indoors is obviously something else entirely. All we need to decide here is where this place is and when this picture was taken. As a bonus, perhaps you’ll know what does go on inside at that time and now. So you know the rules, have at it. Hot chocolate for the winner, rum candy for the rest (and maybe a shot of bourbon for the bonus). See you later!
Photo Credit: Once Upon A Town
Happy New Year! Welcome back to another round of Where & When; where distinction knows no clock or calendar. Nevertheless, I know some of you have been waiting patiently for the next game to pop up randomly; to that end you can thank Mr. Alex Belth for his fervent support for the game by referring a new source to me to pick from. Already I can tell I can find some worthy places to highlight; to wit, here is the latest post for the newest year:
When I was a temp, I worked “up the block” from this address. There is a lot of history not only to this particular region, but the address in general; especially within my current career field. What can I add to this particular post? How about a hint: no bull.
So you know the deal, figure out where this is and when the picture was taken, and bonus brownies if you can give us any particular information about the building featured as to why it is a standout feature among other buildings in the region. First person with correct or nearly correct (as the case may be) will get a large and steamy mug of hot chocolate with whipped cream, and the rest of us who play will share a piece of rum-infused chocolate to keep us warm. Have fun, folks, no peeking at the link (but if you come across it during your research, it’s okay). See you again at or after the HoF announcement!
Photo Credit: Once Upon A Town
Happy Holiday Season and welcome once again t0 Where & When! Our random scheduling has swung around to catch us up in its web (random vacation time), so I have time to post a new one for you to look over and talk about. So here goes!
I was trying to decide between two pictures for this location because both were interesting and historic, but this one won because I didn’t have to manipulate it to make it presentable and it’s a little more of a challenge. I ask you all to figure out where this picture was taken and when; the challenge is more in the when because the clues in the picture indicate a somewhat historic event. Plane aficionados will likely get the reference and of course the bonus questions of what kind of plane that is and who it belonged to, which would certainly indicate when this picture was taken (wowzers, a hint! It was for the second occurrence of the use of this plane connected with this location.)
So there you go; a big warm mug of hot chocolate with whipped cream for the winner and a half-pint carton of chilled chocolate milk to share with the rest for the stragglers. And how about a warm plate of brownies for the bonus questions? That might help us welcome in the official start of winter (yesterday), and keep the hot stove season hot (I’m intrigued so far), so you know how the game goes and have fun. Happy Holidays!
Photo Credit: Geocitiessites (pend.)
[Photo Credit: RonG]
Check out this great photo gallery of Chinatown in the early 80′s at the ever-amazing blog, In Focus.
Hello again, welcome back to Where & When! As we return to our regularly scheduled mayhem after the holiday, we adjust our pictures to take a peek into the past and ponder this photo as it unfolds:
A relatively easy one to figure out; obvious clues and all. Perhaps we can find out the name and address of the edifice above, as well as the date this photo was taken, then the first person to correctly deduce both will get a nice barrel of root beer to enjoy throughout the week. The bonus of course would be to tell us both the history of this building and what, if anything, stands in its place now; that will garner you a sundae of your choice. All the rest of us will receive a complimentary glass of cold cream soda.
So, you probably know the rules at this point so don’t let us down; enjoy and we’ll see you back in the afternoon. Cheers!
Photo Credit: Shorpy
Hey there, got time for another game of Where & When? Well so do I; I was so busy with early and long calls last week that I couldn’t get a post in edge-wise. But the holidays are approaching and the weather is starting to get a bit frightful (or annoyingly inconsistent if you’re in the east like me), so why don’t we take advantage of this little smattering of downtime and press our luck on this:
Another easy one, so I won’t offer any clues. What I would like you to do is figure out the location of this photo and when it was likely taken, plus give us at least five modern landmarks that obviously don’t appear in this picture when it was taken (they could also be in the general vicinity if not exactly within the range of the photo). As a bonus question, name one landmark that was fairly recently replaced by another, in or within range of the picture (tough one for you non-Noo Yawkuz out there!) Here’s a hint for that: “whatever it is I think I see…”
So have at it, people. In respect to the weather, I think I’ll substitute a bowl of chicken noodle soup for the first person to get all the answers I seek, and a bottle of cold root beer for the bonus. Everyone else gets a fortune cookie… don’t ask me why, I’m just playing it by ear today because of the weather.
Have fun, show your math and complete answers for credit. Don’t peek at the photo credit and I’ll chat with you later!
Photo credit: NYC Past
Well now, how about another round of Where & When? We’ve had a pretty good week with some interesting challenges, and I certainly would like to keep that run going. So everyone grab their root beer mugs and their cream soda flutes and follow me:
Plenty of clues in this one and definitely a set year this photo was taken. So what I’d like for you to find out are the names and locations of the low building in the foreground and the tall building in the background as well as the name of the general area, plus the evident year this photo was taken. As usual, a cold mug of root beer to the first person to give us all the answers and how they determined them, and a tall glass of cream for the rest of us. I’ll be checking in throughout. I think this is a pretty easy one, so no bonus today unless you come up with something really interesting about something in the pic or some event that occurred in the general region at that time.
Have fun and don’t peek at the credits!
Photo credit: Wired New York
I used to eat here all the time. The food wasn’t great but it was more than tolerable and the prices were right. When I worked in the movie business, Cafe Edison was a go-to spot for lunch.
Hello again, welcome back to Where & When. Yesterday’s game was a bit too easy for my tastes (though it was a very nice pic I couldn’t pass up), so I thought I’d track down another tough one and throw it at you. This one is tough not so much for the location, but for the time. Here, you take a look:
As you can see, there are a lot of clues about the location, but not too many about the time. I suppose if you’re a history buff you can pinpoint the year by certain visual evidence and deduction… the resource I have doesn’t have a conclusion, so it’s up to us to gather where and when this was taken.
A cold barrel of root beer of choice for the one who can actually get the answers with specific references supporting both answers, a cream soda for everyone who plays. I’ll throw in a scoop of french vanilla for anyone who might get my inside reasoning for possibly choosing this photo (and I know, it’s not fair but keep it to yourself and use any specific term or phrase I’ve often used if you get it).
Have fun, folks and I’ll be back again soon. Show your path to enlightenment and don’t peek at the credits!
Photo credit: New York City Black & White
Welcome back to Where & When; our third episode of the new season. Let’s keep the ball rolling along with a new stumper; I loved how you guys all teamed up with your clues on the last game, so lets put our noggins together on this little brainteaser:
This shouldn’t be too hard to figure out, since it’s fairly distinctive and there are very strong clues all over. Figure out the location and time period of this photo and you’ll get the usual first prize of a thought of cold root beer swishing around in a frosty mug approaching your mouth. All of our contestants will get to pacify themselves with cool thoughts of a sweet cream soda doing the same thing. As usual, I’ll check in when I have time throughout the day to cajole you if necessary and maybe even declare a winner. So as always, have fun, feel free to share your stories and don’t peek at the phot credit!
Photo credit: NYC Past
Greetings ladies and gents and welcome to a new season of Where and When! No, it wasn’t a dream or a passing fancy of some lunatic minds, it was and is a rather fun puzzle game for our readers to utilize their deductive skills in tracking down the answers to life’s important questions… well, trivial maybe, but all games involve a certain amount of seemingly useless knowledge. Back by popular demand (and a moment to spare in a busy work schedule), I’ve brought to you something new to disseminate and ponder. But before we get down to the nitty-gritty, a little background for the newcomers to Bronx Banter and/or this game we play…
Earlier in the year, Alex posted an interesting picture here from another site of a New York City landscape from the early part of the 20th century (so near, and yet so far) in which the writer asked help in identifying the location depicted in the picture. After some pondering and sharing of our observations within the picture, several of our loyal readers (myself included) concluded that the picture was an early photo of Manhattan’s West Side along the Hudson River; facing north from the busy piers near Midtown and peering far into the distance where the George Washington Bridge was just under construction. By this we were also able to determine the probable date the photo was taken. Riverside Drive was the dominant roadway, but the Henry Hudson Parkway was also under construction at the moment the picture was taken.
It was a fun undertaking, as I later wrote to Alex, and I suggested making a game out of it. “You’re hired” he responded, and I’ve been the administrator of this effort ever since. I’ve experimented with rules and formats throughout, trying to make it fair and more involving for everyone as our readers are so widely dispersed that some miss out on the game due to the difference in time from here to there part of the globe, but I’ve compensated in creative ways to involve them as well. In the end, I settled for a free exchange of ideas and suggestions with the stipulation that whoever answers he questions fully explain the process they used to find the answers (the journey can be equally as, if not more entertaining than the destination itself). The winners (the first person to answer the questions correctly) would receive a theoretical root beer; a Banter tradition that began with the jinxing of anyone who posted an identical comment to the comment prior to his or her own. The rest of the players were given cream sodas as a consolation prize for playing. I had something special in mind for the person who tabulated the most wins in a year, but because my work schedule began to interfere with regularly scheduled postings, I tabled that idea for the time being (but it’s still under consideration).
About the scheduling; I tried to adhere to a two or three-a-week schedule of games, but I ran into two big problems: life (big problem, supersedes everything fun) and supply. I am a bit of a perfectionist, so I try to find interesting challenges for these games and generally avoid stock footage of standard New York City easy-to-identify landmarks. There are many sites with different photos of many places around the city, but even some of those are nondescript and would not provide a fair amount of clues to present as a challenge. So with those limitations, I’ve often found myself painted into a corner concerning what to present. Alex and I have discussed this at length and he has encouraged me to open my definition of what I consider interesting challenges as it were, bearing in mind that some people may be seeing these locales for the first time. With that in mind, I am being more open minded about what to present so that I don’t run out of material and also to allow one of my main goals to come into fruition: to educate and enlighten our readers and players about the history and appreciation of our great city and its region of influence. The most important thing to remember is that it is a game and was born from and meant for fun.
So let’s have some fun, shall we?
Here we have an aerial photo of a region within the city that you may or may not recognize from certain features within the picture. I think this is an easy one, but I’m sure that those of you not native to the region will want to look up some of the details in whatever manner you use to research. I can say this much, the features in this picture give a good indication of the time period of this photo, so I don’t have to drop many hints. If you get it within the correct decade, you’ll get credit for the when answer. So, if you answer Where this picture dipicts and When it was likely taken, you will win our traditional first prize, a frosty mug of high-quality root beer (which is always up for discussion). As a bonus, if you can identify at least two major features within this photo with proper names from the time it was taken, you will get a scoop of ice cream to add to your root beer, making it a root beer float of course. All players who participate in the discussion will receive a cold mug of cream soda for your efforts. I will try to return during the latter part of the day to reveal the answers and discuss any trivia or history that’s associated. You are all free to discuss whatever you like about it, but please avoid using the direct link in the photo credit (unless you find it during your research) and also as discussed before, show your math.
So ladies and gents, welcome back and have fun!
photo credit: Wired New York