Thursday, April 30, 2009

Marion's KV Memories: Part 4

video
Marion talks about some of the stores and the store owners including the book and toy store on Catherine Street owned by her friend Judy's mother's sister (Perlman was the family) the bakeries like Hanscom's, Savoia and St. Joseph's, the A&P and the Patrick Henry/Ramos' Bar and Grill.

Marion's KV Memories: Part 3

video
Marion tells the story of her "sleepover" with Leonard Michaels and the "spying" of Mrs. Leef from the D building across the court. She mentions the taboo of going out with her generation's peers which was in opposition with the "inbreeding" of her older sister's generation. Interesting, she talks of how many of her friends grew up in single parent families. Once again I tried to pursue the lost trail of the beautiful Cookie Orvis along with my strange fascination with the Solerwitz's

My Sister Eileen


From the 1955 film
My Sister Eileen originated as a series of short stories by Ruth McKenney that eventually evolved into a book, a play, a musical, two films, and a CBS television series in the 1960-1961 season.
The autobiographical stories originally were published in The New Yorker, then collected and published as the book My Sister Eileen in 1938. It centers on two sisters from Ohio who move to a basement apartment in the Greenwich Village section of New York City in order to pursue their careers. Older, sensible Ruth aspires to be a writer, while Eileen dreams of success on the stage. A variety of oddball characters bring color and humor to their lives.
In 1955, Columbia remade the film as a musical comedy with a score by Jule Styne and Leo Robin. Richard Quine and Blake Edwards wrote the screenplay, and Quine directed. The cast includes Betty Garrett as Ruth, Janet Leigh as Eileen, and Jack Lemmon, Bob Fosse (who choreographed the musical numbers), Kurt Kasznar, Dick York, and Tommy Rall in supporting roles. Richard Quine, who had played the drug store clerk, Frank Lippincott, in the 1940 stage play and the 1942 movie, directed and co-wrote the screenplay with Blake Edwards.
The score includes the songs "Atmosphere," "As Soon As They See Eileen," "I'm Great," "There's Nothin' Like Love," "It's Bigger Than You and Me," "Give Me a Band and My Baby," and "Conga." In the KV production Marion played Ruth

Box And Cox


A trailer for an upcoming short film adaptation of the 19th century play that Marion was rehearsing back in the early 1950's in the basement of the K building. Somehow I don't see it as a box office blockbuster.

Marion's KV Memories: Part 2

video
Marion talks about Mr. Frohlich and the Epstein's from the Normandie Pharmarcy, Leonard Michael and his family, the Grossmans and the mysteries of the basement. There was the package room, near Cherry Street, an auditorium in the K Building,and a bowling alley in the G Building. Marion was in a production of My Sister Eilenn and, no laughing now, Cox and Box

Marion's KV Memories: Part 1

video
Marion Fox is a long time Knickerbocker Village resident going back to 1937. The daughter of Irving and Anna Rosenbaum she attended PS 177 and Hunter High School and College. She has two older sibling's, Rhoda and the late Morton Rosenbaum. A member and officer of many Community Boards she is also an Assistant Borough Historian of Manhattan. I was at the Public Advocate's office today at the Municipal Building and took the opportunity to meet her at Scott Stringer's office in anticipation of the upcoming reunion. She was gracious enough to consent to be interviewed. Here's Part 1

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

KV's Own John Palumbo In Oz

video
"Be good to see Petey. He and me we came up together. And his father. His father was a legend here. Don't you worry McManus. If it's one thing we know how to do is take care of our own."
John is currently starring in the highly acclaimed Bronx Paradise

Positively 4th Street Follow Up

video
Bob made this statement in a KV chatter post about going to a Dylan concert in New Haven with Al. He was following up Marv's remark:
Marv
We went to Dylan's "Rolling Thunder Review" concert in 1975 in New Haven, Ct. Laura was already at her due date with Becky our oldest daughter and the womb was definitely rocking to the music. We occasionally remind Becky that that was the first concert she attended. She was born a few days later at Yale New Haven Hospital. I'm sure Becky would be happy to be interviewed in regards to her memory of the concert! Hey Al weren't (aren't) you a big fan of Dylan?
from Bob
I was at that concert in New Haven--maybe even with Al, I don't remember. Don't recall a pregnant woman rocking. Those were the days you could understand the words coming out of Dylan's mouth.

I don't know it's pretty cool to say you were a Dylan fan way back then, but could it be that he and Al were at a New Christy Minstrel Concert in Arizona? Check the last few frames above for some pretty convincing evidence. Part of the New Christy Minstel's then was Jackie Miller who was part of the team of Jackie and Gayle seen in this Sunday In New York video with Bobby Darin

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Jacob Javits: Follow Up


I heard from Mark and he's pretty certain that Benjamin was related to his grandfather Morris as was discussed in a previous post. At one time his father Nat lived on Stanton Street as well.

Who's Almost Who In Knickerbocker Village History: Tony Danza, Part 2


from Joe Bruno, aka Mooney, aka Joey Caps
TONY DANZA (REAL NAME ANTONIO SALVATORE LADANZA) WAS A MIDDLEWEIGHT BOXER WHO WAS MANAGED BY MY GOOD FRIEND JOHNNY CHIARCIA (CHA CHA) FROM MULBERRY STREET. TONY HAD A GREAT PUNCH AND REGISTERED MANY MORE WINS THAN LOSSES. HIS RECORD WAS 9-3 WITH 9 KO'S.
BUT ALAS, TONY DID NOT HAVE THE BEST CHIN IN THE WORLD AND WAS KO'D IN ALL THREE LOSSES. ONE LOSS WAS TO LATER-NATIONALLY RANKED JOHN LOCICERO, WHO TONY HAD DOWN BEFORE LOCICERO LOWERED THE BOOM IN THE FIRST ROUND. TONY'S BIGGEST WIN WAS A KNOCKOUT AGAINST THE CAPABLE ROCKY GARCIA. TONY GOT OFF THE FLOOR TO WIN THAT FIGHT TOO.
WHILE TRAINING FOR A FIGHT, TONY WAS SPOTTED IN THE GYM BY A CASTING AGENT, AND IN THE BLINK OF AN EYE, TONY DANZA BECAME A HOT COMMODITY ON THE TV PROGRAM TAXI.
IN 1980, WHILE STILL A TOP TV STAR, TONY DECIDED TO FIGHT ONE LAST FIGHT AT THE FELT FORUM AT MADISON SQUARE GARDEN. IT WAS TO BE THE MAIN EVENT, THE THE OPPONENT WAS NOT TO BE TOO TOUGH, OR THE SCRIPT WOULD NOT GO ACCORDING TO PLAN.
THAT IS, TONY WOULD HAVE TO WIN, OR ALL THE MOVIE STARS WHO ATTENDED THE FIGHT WOULD BE VASTLY DISAPPOINTED. LIKE NOTRE DAME LOSING AFTER BEING IMPLORED TO “WIN ONE FOR THE GIPPER.”
I WANTED TO DO A PRE-FIGHT ARTICLE ON TONY, AND AFTER GOING THROUGH CHA CHA, I WAS GRANTED THE EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW.
TONY WAS TRAINING AT THE GRAMERCY GYM ON 14TH STREET, NEXT TO LUCHOW'S RESTAURANT. SINCE NY CITY WAS IN THE GRIP A A LONG TRANSIT STRIKE, I WALKED FROM KNICKERBOCKER VILLAGE TO THE GRAMERCY GYM, ABOUT A 45-60 MINUTE WALK.
I DID MY INTERVIEW, BOTH WITH TONY AND CHA CHA AND AS I WAS READY TO LEAVE, TONY ASKED ME HOW I WAS GETTING BACK TO THE NEIGHBORHOOD. I TOLD HIM I WAS WALKING. HE SAID FOR ME TO WAIT WHILE HE DRESSED AND HE'D GIVE ME A LIFT IN HIS BLACK SPORTS CAR. IT WAS EITHER A CHEVY CAMARO OR A PONTIAC TRANS AM. THEY BOTH LOOKED THE SAME TO ME. I REMEMBER IT HAD A STICK SHIFT TRANSMISSION.
TONY DROPPED ME OFF IN FRONT OF THE PARKING LOT I OWNED AT 31 MONROE STREET. I ASKED HIM IF HE WANTED SOMETHING TO EAT OR DRINK AT THE BAR TWO DOORS DOWN FROM MY PARKING LOT, WHICH WAS THEN CALLED PATRICK HENRY'S PUB, FORMERLY RAMOS' BAR. TONY SAID SURE.
HE PARKED HIS CAR IN MY LOT AND JOINED ME IN THE BAR. SINCE TONY WAS IN TRAINING, HE ONLY HAD A COKE, BUT HE DID HAVE ONE OF THE FINE HAMBURGERS THE BAR WAS FAMOUS FOR.
THE FUNNY THING, TONY LOOKS SO MUCH LIKE A NEIGHBORHOOD GUY, NONE OF THE MEN IN THE BAR RECOGNIZED HIM. TO TELL THE TRUTH, MOST OF THE BAR'S CLIENTELE WERE NOT THE TYPE TO WATCH TELEVISION COMEDIES IN THE FIRST PLACE, UNLESS THERE WAS A HORSE RACE THEY COULD BET ON DURING THE COMMERCIAL BREAKS.
THE BARTENDER, MIKE MARUFFI, DID LOOK AT TONY QUIZZICALLY AND ASK, I KNOW YOU FROM SOMEPLACE. ARE YOU FROM THE 4TH WARD, OR THE 6TH WARD?”
TONY AND I BOTH CHUCKLED. I TOLD MIKE HE ASKED TOO MANY QUESTIONS AND TO MIND HIS OWN BUSINESS, WHICH WAS A BAD IDEA, SINCE THE NEXT DRINK HE SERVED ME TASTED KIND OF FUNNY. LUCKILY, I HAD ALREADY EATEN THE HAMBURGER.
TONY FOUGHT AT THE FELT FORUM SOON AFTER, KNOCKING OUT A MUMMY NAMED MAX HORD IN THE FIRST ROUND.
THERE WAS A CELEBRITY-STUDDED PARTY AFTERWARD AT A DISCO ON PARK AVENUE SOUTH AND 17TH STREET (I THINK IT WAS CALLED THE PINK ELEPHANT AT THE TIME.)
TONY INVITED ME AND GARDEN MATCHMAKER GIL CLANCY UP TO THE VIP ROOM. THERE IN THE VIP BATHROOM, WITH TONY AND CHA CHA STANDING BEHIND ME, A LITTLE SQUIRT, I NEVER SAW IN MY LIFE, TURNED AT THE URINAL WHERE WE WERE BOTH STANDING NEXT TO EACH OTHER, AND TINKLED ON MY SHOES, YELLING “JOE BRUNO!!!!”
TONY AND CHA CHA, WHO HAD SET UP THE WET JOKE ON ME, GRABBED ME BEFORE I COULD STRANGLE THE RUNT. I FOUND OUT HIS NAME WAS DANNY DEVITO, A STAR OF THE SHOW TAXI.
WHO KNEW??
I HAD TO ADMIT TO TONY AND CHA CHA THAT I HAD NEVER ACTUALLY SEEN HIS SHOW TAXI.
I WAS TOO BUSY BETTING THE HORSES.

Who's Almost Who In Knickerbocker Village History: Tony Danza


We'll reveal why he earned this distinction on the next post
Tony Danza (born April 21, 1951) is an American actor best known for starring on the TV series Taxi and Who's the Boss?. He also hosted his own talk show, The Tony Danza Show.
Danza was born Anthony Salvatore Iadanza in Brooklyn, New York, to parents Anne (1925-1993) and Matty (1920-1983) Iadanza. Anne was born in Sicily and immigrated to the United States with five brothers and sisters in 1929. Danza has one younger brother, Matty Jr. (born 1954), who owns a restaurant in Los Angeles called Matty's on Melrose. When Danza was 14, he and his family relocated to the Long Island community of Malverne, and Danza attended Malverne High School, graduating in 1969 and was said to score a near perfect SAT score. Danza earned a bachelor's degree in history education from the University of Dubuque, which he attended on a wrestling scholarship, graduating in 1973. It was during his first year of college that he got the Robert Crumb Keep on Truckin' tattoo on his upper right arm. In a 1985 interview in Us Weekly magazine, Danza remarked, "I was playing pool with a guy who had all these tattoos, and I wanted to be friends." Also while in college, Danza met and married his first wife, Rhonda (Yeoman) Iadanza, and they have two children together, Marc (born 1971) and Gina (born 1983; Gina was born during a reconciliation Danza and Yeoman had after their divorce).
Shortly after his college graduation, Danza was discovered by a producer at a boxing gymnasium in New York, and he then earned a spot on the television show Taxi.
From 1976 to 1979, Danza was a professional boxer with a 9-3 record, with all of his fights, wins and losses, ending by knockout.

Sunday In New York, The Movie

video
A favorite of mine, with Mel Torme singing a a bonus
Jane Fonda is delightfully daffy as the uneasy doll who keeps a bevy of baffled males on edge for an entire Sunday In New York

Sunday in New York (1963) is a American comedy film directed by Peter Tewksbury and starring Cliff Robertson, Jane Fonda, and Rod Taylor. The screenplay by Norman Krasna was adapted from his play which had been produced on Broadway the previous year. It was one of Fonda's earliest films, and she was called "the loveliest and most gifted of all our new young actresses" by Newsday. The soundtrack score was composed and performed by Peter Nero.
Eileen Tyler (Fonda) is twenty-two years old and is suffering from her breakup with Russ (Robert Culp). She comes to New York City to visit her brother Adam (Robertson), who is an airline pilot. Eileen confides to her brother that she thinks she may be the only 22-year-old virgin left in the world. Adam assures her that sex is not what all men look for and insists he hasn't slept around. Of course, Adam is lying and is in hot pursuit of a tryst with his occasional girlfriend Mona. However, Adam's date with Mona has a series of job related interruptions. Meanwhile, Eileen decides to see if she can have some fun for herself in New York, and seems to find the perfect candidate in Mike (Taylor), a man she meets on the bus. But things get complicated when Russ pops in with a proposal and a mistaken assumption.

"Falling" In The KV Playground: 1945


Back in those day there were wooden slides. A gem courtesy of Zamira Portnoy

Could It Be I'm Falling In Love


from 1977 when the Spinners were the Detroit Spinners
Since I met you I've begun to feel so strange
Every time I speak your name (that's funny)
You say that you are so helpless too
That you don't know what to do
Each night I pray there will never come a day
When you up and take your love away
Say you feel the same way too and I wonder what
It is I feel for you
Could it be I'm falling in love (witcha baby)
Could it be I'm falling in love (ooh)
Could it be I'm falling in love
With you, with you with you, with you
I don't need all those things that used to bring me joy
You made me such a happy boy
And honey you'll always be the only one for me
Meeting you was my destiny
You can be sure I will never let you down
When you need me I will be around
And darling you'll always be the only one for me
Heaven made you specially

Positively 4th Street On 92nd Street This June


"Positively 4th Street" by Bob Dylan. Footage taken from D.A. Pennebaker's "Don't Look Back" and Dylan's 1965 press conference.
Arlene Lackow's husband Bob Levinson will be teaching a course on Dylan at the 92nd Street Y this summer
A Participatory Workshop Examining Bob Dylan’s Life, Art, Music and Politics
Bob Dylan-International icon, Oscar/Grammy award winning singer/songwriter, movie-maker, earth-shaker. He’s a giant and a genius as well as a multi-dimensional artist who is universally revered and respected for his stunning achievements in music, art, poetry and politics, and now in literature as well as on film. Dylan changed America with his powerful music for the first time in 1962 and continues to do so today with mold-breaking CD’s and a ‘Never Ending Tour’ made up of startling concert performances. Say something about him and you'll get an impassioned range of adoring and/or critical responses-'He's the Voice of his Generation,' 'He can't sing,' 'Is he still around’ or, 'His latest CD is his best ever!" Dylan’s Chronicles I was a Times Best Seller and a National Book Award nominee, Martin Scorsese’s Dylan Documentary, ‘No Direction Home,’ was universally praised, winning countless awards. Bob’s on XM/Sirus Radio every week. Join us in this intellectually stimulating, unique, student-friendly workshop where we’ll examine Bob Dylan’s remarkable life, complex career, legendary music and unique forays into the known and unknown.
Class Date-Thursday, June 11, 2009
Time 7-10 PM
CED # is 9353
Section is C1
Course Title is "Like A Rolling Stone"
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Time 7-10 PM

kv chatter, from Sarah
Our 5th grade teacher, Sheila Shankman, sure was hip.  She wore her hair in a Barbra Streisand 'page-boy', after all.  One morning Miss Shankman came to class very, very excited.  She called the class to order and announced that the night before, she had seen a genius that we just had to know about.  Mrs. Lapping wheeled in the school's 'victrola' and Mrs. Shankman, slid an LP out of its cover showing a man and woman strolling arm in arm down a foggy, blue-ish, cobblestone street.  I don't know what songs were on the Top 10 list at the time but my musical tastes ran the gamut of Shelley Fabres' Johnny Angel to the Broadway cast album of Anthony Newley's Stop the World I Want to Get Off.  I am sure that my classmates were likewise musically entertained because once Mrs. Shankman placed the needle on the record and the nasal strains of Dylan's voice were in the air - we all looked at each other in stunned silence.  Had Miss Shankman gone crazy over night?  You called this music..., genius yet?  A few seconds later and as the giggles infected the entire class, Miss Shankman picked up the arm of the record player, slipped the album into the cover and went on with the lessons of the day.  That was the first time I heard Dylan.

from Marv
We went to Dylan's "Rolling Thunder Review" concert in 1975 in New Haven, Ct. Laura was already at her due date with Becky our oldest daughter and the womb was definitely rocking to the music. We occasionally remind Becky that that was the first concert she attended. She was born a few days later at Yale New Haven Hospital. I'm sure Becky would be happy to be interviewed in regards to her memory of the concert! Hey Al weren't (aren't) you a big fan of Dylan?

from Bob
I was at that concert in New Haven--maybe even with Al, I don't remember. Don't recall a pregnant woman rocking. Those were the days you could understand the words coming out of Dylan's mouth.

Coleman Oval 1950

A picture, from Walter Rosenblum's Pitt Street series, that wasn't included in the previous post. If it was literally from the Pitt Street area there wouldn't be the Manhattan Bridge support behind it, but the Williamsburg Bridge. That's the Manhattan Bridge and that's got to be Coleman Oval Park before one of it's makeovers

Monday, April 27, 2009

Who's Almost Who In Knickerbocker Village History: Walter Rosenblum

rosenblum
Walter lived at 161 Rivington Street and on Pitt Street and attended Seward Park High School. His Pitt Street series included pictures taken at Coleman Oval Park.
Biographical and Image informational sources:
The Walter Rosenblum site
The Getty Museum
The Gallery M
Walter Rosenblum was born in 1919 into a poor Jewish immigrant family living on New York’s Lower East Side. His mother died when he was sixteen and to comfort himself he borrowed a camera and began to photograph in his neighborhood. He took a photography course at the Boys’ Club where he had a part-time job as part of Roosevelt’s National Youth Administration, and in 1937 he joined the Photo League, an extraordinarily vibrant community of New York photographers. It was there that he met Lewis Hine, Berenice Abbott, Elizabeth McCausland and other notables in the world of photography. He studied with Paul Strand (who became a life-long friend), and worked on his first major project, the Pitt Street series. The League not only provided darkroom space and equipment but also organized lectures and exhibits — Adams, Cartier-Bresson, Doisneau, Lange, Weston, Weegee — and published the legendary Photo Notes, of which Rosenblum was editor for several years. Appointed president in 1941, Rosenblum would be an active member of the League until it folded in 1952 as a result of being included on the Attorney General’s 1947 list of subversive organizations.
Drafted in 1943 as a U.S. Army Signal Corp combat photographer, Rosenblum landed on a Normandy beach on D-Day morning, after which he joined an anti-tank battalion in its liberation drive through France, Germany and Austria. One of the most decorated photographers of the Second World War, he took the first motion picture footage of the Dachau concentration camp. Rosenblum had an extensive teaching career, beginning in 1947 at Brooklyn College, where he taught until his retirement in 1986. Young MinerHe also taught at the Yale Summer School of Art and The Cooper Union, as well as abroad in Arles, France, in Sao Paolo, Brazil, and in Lestans, Italy. In 1980 he received a Guggenheim Fellowship for his project, “People of the South Bronx.
Following in Hine’s footsteps, Rosenblum’s work registers the impact on ordinary people — particularly children — of some of the major events of the twentieth century, from economic depression to colonialism and armed conflict. Working in East Harlem, Haiti, Europe, and the South Bronx, he was drawn to situations that revealed the experiences of immigrants and the poor.

About some of the photos seen in the pdf document above
A group of men and boys, gathered at the entrance of Chick's Candy Store, pass the time in conversation in this photograph taken on a chilly New York day. All eyes are on one man in particular, who confidently leans against the shop window, one hand in his pocket, the other gesturing animatedly. This photograph was made in a working-class neighborhood in the Lower East Side in 1938, during the worst year of the Depression. The subjects' well-dressed appearance suggests that they are probably employed. The woman seated in the doorway beside the candy store, entertained by activity along the street, conveys the sense of dejection that many felt during this time. For generations, local shops in New York City have continued to serve as gathering places for neighborhood residents.
Rosenblum made this photograph in the neighborhood where he grew up. The image is part of a larger photographic essay on Pitt Street that was made over a six-month period. In 1950, Rosenblum returned to Pitt Street, making a second series of photographs documenting the vulnerability and hopefulness evident in the neighborhood.

Walter Rosenblum captured this image of a vulnerable young boy on a rooftop in New York's Lower East Side. Wedged into a corner of zigzagging walls and dwarfed by the city around him, the boy appears to be trapped. Behind him, the Williamsburg Bridge, which connects Manhattan to Brooklyn, hints at the world beyond the big city.
Known for its tenement housing, the Lower East Side has been home to lower- and middle-class people, particularly immigrants, since the 1900s. Its residents often found relief from crowded apartments and chaotic streets by climbing to their rooftops. Rosenblum made this photograph as part of a second series of images on Pitt Street, where he grew up. Both series' of images celebrate the common dignity of people found in a closely-knit neighborhood.

In this image by Walter Rosenblum, a young girl with polio stands apart from the crowd, staring at the photographer. Rosenblum made this portrait along Rivington Street in New York's Lower East Side. While the girl gazes at him, all other eyes are drawn toward what appears to have been a scuffle between some boys. This scene documents the type of everyday activity with which Rosenblum would have been familiar. Rosenblum made the picture in the Lower East Side neighborhood where he grew up. This image is part of Rosenblum's photographic essay entitled "Pitt Street," which documents the daily life of residents in this community. Rosenblum undertook the project in response to an assignment by the Photo League, an association of photographers dedicated to socially conscious documentary work. The Pitt Street project forecast the direction of Rosenblum's career, which has continued to explore urban neighborhoods in the South Bronx, Harlem, and Haiti.

The Photo League

Photo League
from the fundacion telefonte
Forty authors belonging to Photo-League, the leading organization of social photography in the United States, offer the portrait of a multi-faceted and socially committed New York of the 1930’s and 40’s. This is the exhibit’s first European showing, hosted by the Fundación Telefónica and PhotoEspaña 99.
In this sample, organized by the historian Naomi Rosenblum, the personal commitment of the photographers is made evident by the landscapes and simple unassuming people they photographed. Their involvement allowed these authors to capture the tone and the energy of daily life in the neighbourhoods of New York during two very significant decades in the city’s history.
Photo-League was the only organization worthy of mention as being dedicated to social photography in the U.S. It was born of an international movement in photography that had its origins in the radical political scene at the end of the twenties in Germany. This movement then extended to other European countries and to the other side of the Atlantic. Originally called the Film and Photo League, its initial purpose was to provide the leftist press with photographic and cinematographic images of the strikes and political protests. However, in New York in 1936 the group’s photographers reorganized and redirected their attention towards documenting the way of life of the working class.
Open to both professionals and amateurs who paid an annual fee, the League offered a rich contrast to the pictorial aesthetic espoused by clubs whose members were more interested in making "photographic art" with nudes, still lifes and elaborate scenes. The Photo-League maintained a Center that had space for both exhibits and laboratories; It started a school of photography and published a "newsletter" called "PhotoNotes". Its board of directors included names such as Berenice Abbot, Robert Disraeli and Paul Strand.
Since its beginning in 1936 until its disappearance in 1951, the Photo-League explored and expanded the concepts of social and documentary photography. To achieve this objective, its members decided to organize projects structured around the title Reporter Groups, made up of photographers who selected a neighbourhood and concentrated on photographing predominantly the streetlife but also life inside the homes. One of these projects, with Aaron Siskind and Morris Engel as participants, was known as the "Harlem Document"; Another, with Sol Libsohn and Sid Grossman, was the "Chelsea Document". Several members of the League chose to independently photograph different areas of Manhattan. (These photographers include Bernard Cole, Lou Bernstein, Consuelo Kanaga, Rebecca Lepkoff, Arthur Leipzig, Walter Rosenblum and Dan and Sandra Weiner.)
At the end of the forties, the thin thematic line that had initially focussed interest in documenting the working classes was significantly widened to include topics with greater aesthetic emphasis, in addition to the regular social content. As a consequence of this change, the League attracted greater diversity among its members, now including Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange, Barbara Morgan, Beaumont and Nancy Newhall and Edward Weston. This broadened perspective resulted in a more differentiated spectrum of exhibits and lectures, as well as that of the criticism published in "PhotosNotes". In 1948, at the height of its activity, the League was attacked by an increasingly reactionary government that described its activities as subversive to U.S. interests. Although no evidence of these accusations was ever made public, the blacklists and the anti-liberal political climate that soon spread resulted in the disappearance of the Photo-League in 1951.
The exhibit is organized by Naomi Rosenblum, historian and author of "A World History of Photographers" (1984), one of the basic books for reviewing the history of this medium. She has also published "A History of Women Photographers" (1994), the result of impressive research that became the basis of an exhibit held at the New York Public Library in 1996.

Jerome Liebling Follow Up


We heard from Jerome Liebling in regard to the photo entitled "Boy and Car, Knickerbocker Village, 1949
I last lived in Brooklyn in 1949. Just previous to my leaving NYC I took a course at the Photo League that was taught by the eminent photographer Paul Strand. The class was comprised of about 10 mature photographers who together selected Knickerbocker Village as a section of the city to photograph. Each of us were either working or in school and for a few months we separately roamed the streets and would return and discuss the work in class. I don't recall if Rebecca Lepkoff was in that particular class but she is an old friend and you should ask her if she was part of this group. The photograph that you located, "Boy and Car," as well as a companion photograph called "Butterfly Boy" was made at that time. The Photo League has long since been disbanded and there are very few friends from that time that I am in touch with. Thank you for the inquiry and I look forward to reading your blog.
Best, Jerome Liebling

The Butterfly Boy photo that Professor Liebling referred to is pictured above

Sunday In New York With Bobby Darin

Bobby, who lived in the Baruch Houses for a while, is a former "Who's Almost Who Designee"
The clip above is from 1965
Composed by Brooklyn born Peter Nero
New York on Sunday,
Big City taking a nap!
Slow down, it's Sunday!
Life's a ball, let it fall in your lap!
If you've got troubles,
Just take them out for a walk.
They'll burst like bubbles
In the fun of a Sunday In New York!
You can spend time without spending a dime,
Watching people watch people pass!
Later you pause, and in one of those stores
There's that face next to yours in the glass!
Two hearts stop beating,
You're both too breathless to speak!
Love smiles her greeting,
Then the dream that has seen you thru the week
Comes true on Sunday In New York!
New York on Sunday,
Big City taking a nap!
Slow down, it's Sunday!
Life's a ball, let it fall in your lap!
And if you've got troubles,
Go take them out for a walk.
They'll burst like bubbles
In the fun of a Sunday In New York!
You can spend time without spending a dime
Watching people watch people pass!
Later you pause, and in one of those stores
There's that face next to yours in the glass!
Two hearts stop beating,
You're both too breathless to speak!
Love smiles her greeting,
Then the dream that has seen you thru the week
Comes true on Sunday In New York!
Comes true on Sunday In New York!

Sunday In New York

video
Instead of the Greek Parade, Tompkins Square Park with my half Greek cousin and the last of the Fermans

Is There A KV Kalomoira?


I almost went to the Greek Independence parade yesterday to celebrate half my heritage. I only made it as far as the East Village. But I did see Kalomoira on tv with Ernie Anastas. But I was thinking that KV might have it's own Kalomoira
from wikipedia
Kalomoira (Greek: Καλομοίρα; born Marie Carol Sarantis, January 31, 1985, West Hempstead, New York, United States),also known simply as Kalomira or K-Moira, is an American singer of Greek descent who has achieved recognition in Greece and Cyprus following her participation and win on the Greek talent show Fame Story. Following Fame Story, she continued with a music career and has released four studio albums, represented Greece in the Eurovision Song Contest 2008, and hosted various television shows.
Kalomoira, known as Carol in America, hails from Nassau County, New York. She was born to Greek American restaurant owners Nikos (Nick) and Eleni (Helen) Sarantis on January 31, 1985 and has one sister.

Since childhood, Kalomoira's dream was to become a pop star. She took part in many extracurricular activities at school including drama productions and musicals. Her favorite instrument was the viola, which she studied for 9 years and played in the school orchestra.She was also Miss West Hempstead (Homecoming Queen) at her high school in 2003.
On a tip from her cousin, she entered and won second place at a music contest organized by WBLI Radio.Following her appearance, she participated as a supporting actress in several live shows with famous American artists, such as Jessica Simpson, LL Cool J and Jennifer Love Hewitt
Kalomoira entered the New York City auditions for Antenna's Fame Story 2 (licensed from Star Academy, a reality talent show similar to American Idol in the United States and Fame Academy in the United Kingdom) and was one of the two singers chosen from a group of 200 performers. Despite speaking primarily English, although nonetheless fluent in Greek, Kalomoira went to Greece after having completed one semester of college at Adelphi University where she was a music major, and competed on the three month long show. Kalomoira placed first and her professional singing career began.
After the New York City auditions Kalomoira went to Greece for the start of Fame Story 2. Kalomoira's first song was Katy Garbi’s “Μια φορά κι ένα καιρό” in which she swapped the lyrics “είμαι η Καίτη που αγαπούσες” (“I am Kaiti who you used to love”) with “είμαι η Καλομοίρα που αγαπούσες” (“I am Kalomoira who you used to love”). Her difficulties with Greek songs were not significant enough to hold her back.
Kalomoira singing on Fame Story
Following the success of her first performance, she performed the popular song "Stand by Me". The following week, the challenge became bigger as she performed the Greek song “H Γκαρσόνα” ("The Waitress"), which seemed totally out of Kalomoira's vocal and style capability[citation needed]. She was also told to perform Aliki’s song “Γατούλα” ("Pussycat"), written by Manos Hatzidakis. The songs became more challenging for the singer as her teachers in the academy pushed her to sing Greek songs[citation needed]. Her next songs were “Ανάβεις φωτιές” ("You are lighting fires") and "Dancing Queen".
The judges assigned Kalomoira with Barbara Streisand’s "Woman in Love", a song with special vocal requirements[clarification needed]. Kalomoira fared well, but in the week that followed, Kalomoira's rendition of Stavros Ksarhakos’ “Ένα πρωινό” ("One morning") left the judges unimpressed. Next, Kalomoira chose to perform "La Isla Bonita" by Madonna and managed to stay in the game. This was followed by a duet with another participant (Nikos Mihas) in "Gucci των Μασάι" ("Masai's Gucci"), which gave her a chance to remain in the show for another week.
Marinella’s "Γιατί Φοβάσαι" (Why are you afraid) was difficult for her[citation needed], but Kalomoira made it through to the next week’s "Περιττός" which was better received. She continued in the game with a performance of Britney Spears' "Oops!... I Did It Again". After many weeks of the competition, Kalomoira was one of the final six participants of the game with only two performances left. Her rendition of "Εϊ Καζανόβα" ("Hey Cazanova") equalled her success with Madonna’s "Express Yourself" in the final show. Kalomoira won the contest, earned 200,000 Euros and a recording contract with Heaven Music.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Who's Who In Knickerbocker Village History: Johnny Motts

video
Johnny singing Unchained Melody. He's in the middle of the first pic of the slide show and by himself on the second. The black and white photo is of the original Demensions.
We've mentioned Johnny,John Martinucci, before but we had a picture of Lenny Dell singing and not Johnny. Johnny lived at 32 Monroe Street
From their web site
The Demensions, (Tom Clemente, Lenny Dell, John Martinucci, Robin Robbert, Ron Scauri), are recognized as one of the finest performing acts from the sensational sixties; a decade in which they sparked a melodic crusade earning them a place in musical history.
The group is perhaps most loved for their hit record Over the Rainbow, which was originally recorded in 1960 on the Mohawk record label featuring original members Lenny Dell, "Uncle" Phil Del Guidice, Marisa Martelli, and Howard Margolin. In 1962, My Foolish Heart (released on Coral records) also soared up the top 100 chart.
The Demensions' treasured songs were enjoyed on "American Bandstand", "The Clay Cole Show", "Palisades Park", WINS Radio (w/ Cousin Brucie who was the first to play the hit Over the Rainbow), and WMCA Radio.
Today, the group carries on their musical tradition with performances throughout the northeast including, the NJ Meadowlands, the Capital Theater (formerly Westbury Music Fair), various Atlantic City hotels, and many other spectacular stages.

Who's Almost Who In Knickerbocker Village History: Jerome Liebling


I don't know how it happened, but I was searching for additional information about Sal Lombino/Evan Hunter/Ed McBain's link to Knickerbocker Village and I stumbled upon this picture on the smithsonian site
about Jerome Liebling from his site
I wrote to him to find out about his KV connection. I figure he must know Rebecca Lepkoff if he belonged to the Photo League. They are close in age.
Jerome Liebling's career as a Photographer, Filmmaker and Teacher spans nearly fifty years. In the 1940s, he studied photography under Walter Rosenblum and Paul Strand, and joined New York's famed Photo League. In the same period, he became involved with motion-picture production, and worked as a documentary filmmaker.
While a professor of film and photography at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Liebling began what was to be a longtime collaborative relationship with filmmaker Allen Downs; over the following two decades, they produced several award-winning documentaries, including Pow Wow, The Tree Is Dead, and The Old Men.
Throughout the years, Liebling has continued his seminal work in photography. His images have been the subject of many books and monographs, and his work has appeared in countless exhibitions.
Liebling has received numerous awards and grants, including two Guggenheim fellowships, a National Endowment for the Arts Photographic Survey Grant, and a fellowship from the Massachusetts Council on the Arts. His photographs are in the permanent collections of many museums, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Fogg Museum in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa. Liebling is currently professor emeritus of Hampshire College, and lives in Amherst, Massachusetts.
Liebling, an admired and influential photographer and filmmaker, has always affirmed "everyday people" as being central to his photography. His work, along with other members of the renowned Photo League, helped raise the documentary photograph to the level of fine art. Set against the changing terrain of the city, from the 1940s, when Liebling shot his earliest photos, to the 1970s and '80s, when his camera studied the ruined landscapes of the South Bronx and the vitality of the Russian immigrant community in Brighton Beach, the photographs depict the tenacity and vibrant individuality of his "ordinary" subjects.
Liebling's people range from street corner urchins to elderly women bedecked in furs and jewelry. His subjects play handball in Brooklyn, march in a May Day Parade in Union Square, Liebling, work in a New York meat market. They encompass the full range of age, gesture and circumstance. No matter their situation, Liebling's subjects reflect his abiding sense of their dignity and humanity. The documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, one of many students whom Liebling influenced, has commented on how Liebling taught him and others "to respect the power of the single image to communicate." Liebling's photos do communicate, and even when he's looking at a street filled with rubble and devoid of people, humanity is never far removed.
Liebling's early New York pictures are documentary studies in black and white. He photographed them in the 1940s, when he was a student at Brooklyn College and a member of the Photo League. Following two decades in the Midwest, Liebling returned to New York, documenting--first in black and white and later in color--the dramatic transformations of the city. Together the early and late group show us much of New York's declining neighborhoods and its durable people.

That's What Friends Are For


With the late Luther Vandross from the Alfred E. Smith Projects.
from the nytimes
Well What Are Friends For? A Longer Life, By TARA PARKER-POPE
In the quest for better health, many people turn to doctors, self-help books or herbal supplements. But they overlook a powerful weapon that could help them fight illness and depression, speed recovery, slow aging and prolong life: their friends.
Researchers are only now starting to pay attention to the importance of friendship and social networks in overall health. A 10-year Australian study found that older people with a large circle of friends were 22 percent less likely to die during the study period than those with fewer friends. A large 2007 study showed an increase of nearly 60 percent in the risk for obesity among people whose friends gained weight. And last year, Harvard researchers reported that strong social ties could promote brain health as we age.
“In general, the role of friendship in our lives isn’t terribly well appreciated,” said Rebecca G. Adams, a professor of sociology at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. “There is just scads of stuff on families and marriage, but very little on friendship. It baffles me. Friendship has a bigger impact on our psychological well-being than family relationships.”
In a new book, “The Girls From Ames: A Story of Women and a 40-Year Friendship” (Gotham), Jeffrey Zaslow tells the story of 11 childhood friends who scattered from Iowa to eight different states. Despite the distance, their friendships endured through college and marriage, divorce and other crises, including the death of one of the women in her 20s.
Using scrapbooks, photo albums and the women’s own memories, Mr. Zaslow chronicles how their close friendships have shaped their lives and continue to sustain them. The role of friendship in their health and well-being is evident in almost every chapter.
Two of the friends have recently learned they have breast cancer. Kelly Zwagerman, now a high school teacher who lives in Northfield, Minn., said that when she got her diagnosis in September 2007, her doctor told her to surround herself with loved ones. Instead, she reached out to her childhood friends, even though they lived far away.
“The first people I told were the women from Ames,” she said in an interview. “I e-mailed them. I immediately had e-mails and phone calls and messages of support. It was instant that the love poured in from all of them.”
When she complained that her treatment led to painful sores in her throat, an Ames girl sent a smoothie maker and recipes. Another, who had lost a daughter to leukemia, sent Ms. Zwagerman a hand-knitted hat, knowing her head would be cold without hair; still another sent pajamas made of special fabric to help cope with night sweats.
Ms. Zwagerman said she was often more comfortable discussing her illness with her girlfriends than with her doctor. “We go so far back that these women will talk about anything,” she said.
Ms. Zwagerman says her friends from Ames have been an essential factor in her treatment and recovery, and research bears her out. In 2006, a study of nearly 3,000 nurses with breast cancer found that women without close friends were four times as likely to die from the disease as women with 10 or more friends. And notably, proximity and the amount of contact with a friend wasn’t associated with survival. Just having friends was protective.
Bella DePaulo, a visiting psychology professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, whose work focuses on single people and friendships, notes that in many studies, friendship has an even greater effect on health than a spouse or family member. In the study of nurses with breast cancer, having a spouse wasn’t associated with survival.
While many friendship studies focus on the intense relationships of women, some research shows that men can benefit, too. In a six-year study of 736 middle-age Swedish men, attachment to a single person didn’t appear to affect the risk of heart attack and fatal coronary heart disease, but having friendships did. Only smoking was as important a risk factor as lack of social support.
Exactly why friendship has such a big effect isn’t entirely clear. While friends can run errands and pick up medicine for a sick person, the benefits go well beyond physical assistance; indeed, proximity does not seem to be a factor.
It may be that people with strong social ties also have better access to health services and care. Beyond that, however, friendship clearly has a profound psychological effect. People with strong friendships are less likely than others to get colds, perhaps because they have lower stress levels.
Last year, researchers studied 34 students at the University of Virginia, taking them to the base of a steep hill and fitting them with a weighted backpack. They were then asked to estimate the steepness of the hill. Some participants stood next to friends during the exercise, while others were alone.
The students who stood with friends gave lower estimates of the steepness of the hill. And the longer the friends had known each other, the less steep the hill appeared.
“People with stronger friendship networks feel like there is someone they can turn to,” said Karen A. Roberto, director of the center for gerontology at Virginia Tech. “Friendship is an undervalued resource. The consistent message of these studies is that friends make your life better.”

And I never thought I'd feel this way
And as far as I'm concerned
I'm glad I got the chance to say
That I do believe I love you
And if I should ever go away
Well, then close your eyes and try to feel
The way we do today
And then if you can remember
Keep smilin', keep shinin'
Knowin' you can always count on me, for sure
That's what friends are for
For good times and bad times
I'll be on your side forever more
That's what friends are for
Well, you came and opened me
And now there's so much more I see
And so by the way I thank you
Whoa, and then for the times when we're apart
Well, then close your eyes and know
These words are comin' from my heart
And then if you can remember, oh
Keep smiling, keep shining
Knowing you can always count on me, for sure
That's what friends are for
In good times, in bad times
I'll be on your side forever more
Oh, that's what friends are for
Whoa... oh... oh... keep smilin', keep shinin'
Knowin' you can always count on me, for sure
That's what friends are for
For good times and bad times
I'll be on your side forever more
That's what friends are for
Keep smilin', keep shinin'
Knowin' you can always count on me, oh, for sure
'Cause I tell you that's what friends are for
For good times and for bad times
I'll be on your side forever more
That's what friends are for (That's what friends are for)
On me, for sure
That's what friends are for
Keep smilin', keep shinin'

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Naked City In Ward 11

video
from tv.com 90. Let Me Die Before I Wake
First aired: 2/14/1962, Writer: Abram S. Ginnes, Director: Paul Nickell
Guest star: Joanne Linville (Rosie), Jack Klugman (Joe), Louis Guss (Angie), Albert T. Viola (Phil), Paul Stevens (Nick), James Farentino, Michael Constantine (Vito)
A man escapes a hit and run attempt on his life made by his wife's lover.
Jack Klugman is on East 7th Street and the priest is either in the front of the St Stanislaus Church or the Citylight Church. He then walks east towards Avenue A towards the Funeral Parlor. That funeral parlor is ow the Jarema Funeral Parlor

Naked City In Ward 6

video
from tv.com 87. The Contract, First aired:1/24/1962
Guest star: Pilar Seurat (Lotus), James Shigeta (James Kam), Robert Dryden (Surgeon), Carl York (Assistant District Attorney), Edward Chan (Cook), Conrad Yama (Busboy), Abraham Sofaer (Ling Tsieng), Khigh Dhiegh (Mr. Wong)
Shigeta is walking down Doyers Street and enters the Nam Wah Tea Parlor

The Naked City In Ward 17

video
from tv.com 84. The Face of the Enemy, First aired: 1/3/1962, Writer: Peggy Shaw, Lou Shaw Director: William A. Graham, Guest star: Sorrell Booke (Hawk) , Sylvia Miles (B-girl), Kim Hunter (Edna Daggett), Eileen Fulton (Janie Daggett), Conard Fowkes (John), Jack Warden (Neil Daggett) A former Medal of Honor winner goes on a killing spree shortly after his daughter's wedding. You can see Jack Warden staggering along 2nd Avenue around 6th Street, as well as views of St. Marks' Church, Ratner's and the movie theater that would later house the Fillmore. Lawrence Dobkin is heard delivering the celebrated two-line summation that ends each show.

Naked City is a police drama series which aired from 1958 to 1963 on the ABC television network. It was inspired by the 1948 motion picture of the same name, and mimics its dramatic "semi-documentary" format.
Filmed on location in New York City, the series centers on the detectives of NYPD's 65th Precinct, but episode plots were often focused more on the criminals and victims portrayed by guest stars. Primary writer Stirling Silliphant nurtured a focus on intelligent drama with elements of comedy and pathos, leading to significant critical acclaim for the series, and leading film and television actors of the time sought out guest-starring roles. In addition to Silliphant, who went on to win an Academy Award for his script of In the Heat of the Night, writers of Naked City episodes included veteran TV writer Howard Rodman and blacklisted screenwriter Arnold Manoff, writing under the pseudonym "Joel Carpenter."
In addition, extensive location shooting made New York as much a star of the series as any of the actors. Many scenes were filmed in the south Bronx near Biograph Studios, where the series was produced, and in Greenwich Village and other neighborhoods of Manhattan. The exterior of the "65th Precinct" was the Midtown North Precinct at 306 West 54th Street between Eighth and Ninth Avenues.
Naked City first aired in 1958 as a half-hour series starring James Franciscus and John McIntire playing, respectively, Detective Jimmy Halloran and Lt. Dan Muldoon — the same characters as in the 1948 film. While critically acclaimed, the series did not garner high ratings and was canceled by ABC after its first season. One of the show's sponsors, along with production staff, successfully lobbied the network to revive the show as an hour-long series, which premiered in 1960.
The 1960 version of the series featured Paul Burke as "Detective Adam Flint", a sensitive and cerebral cop in his early thirties who does much of the legwork in the episodes. The preceding season, Burke had appeared with David Hedison in the short-lived NBC espionage drama, Five Fingers. Horace McMahon portrayed his seasoned and crusty superior, Lieutenant Mike Parker, and Harry Bellaver played his older, mellow partner, Sgt. Frank Arcaro. Both McMahon's and Bellaver's characters were also regulars in the earlier half-hour format series.
Also in 1960, Stirling Silliphant went on to create Route 66 (TV series) using the same semi-anthology format of building the stories around the guest stars rather than the regular cast.
The series was notable for featuring young New York stage actors who later became major stars. Among the future stars to appear in the series were Rip Torn, Tuesday Weld, Jack Klugman, Peter Falk, Robert Duvall, Carroll O'Connor, Jean Stapleton, George Segal, Martin Sheen, Robert Redford, Sylvia Miles, Jon Voight, Sandy Dennis, William Shatner, Christopher Walken and Dustin Hoffman. The show also featured such established performers as Kim Hunter, Eileen Heckart, Nehemiah Persoff, Betty Field, Luther Adler, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Jan Sterling, Mildred Natwick, Walter Matthau, Viveca Lindfors, Jack Warden, Eli Wallach, Burgess Meredith, Mickey Rooney and, in a rare performance on celluloid, Sanford Meisner, the noted acting teacher
.
Nehemiah Persoff,of course, lived in Knickerbocker Village

Sal Lombino/Evan Hunter/Ed McBain Pulp Covers 2

video
audio: theme music from naked city and the police story
I wonder whether Sal knew another KV pulp fiction writer, Jack Karney, when he lived at Knickerbocker Village

Ed McBain's 87th Precinct


Created by Ed McBain (pseud. of Evan Hunter, né Salvatore Lombino; 1926-2005)
from thrilling detective
Long before Hill Street Blues, Homicide, and NYPD Blue, there was Ed McBain's 87th PRECINCT. The series began in 1956 with Cop Hater. Although not the first procedural, it was one of the first and the 87th Precinct has come to virtually define the genre. The books generally feature an ensemble cast and multiple plot lines. Although the books vary in quality, on the whole this is a major series, a classic of American crime fiction that has entertained, enlightened and influenced the genre for over three decades (and counting!).
The action takes place in and around New York City, and has even been called "the greatest sustained literary exploration of New York City in American literature," but, of course, the biggest joke is that throughout the entire series, New York has pretended not to be about New York at all. Instead, we're told that the action takes place is Isola. As the disclaimer in every book reads: "The city in these pages is imaginary; the people and places all fictitious. Only the police routine is based on established investigatory technique."
Yeah, right. It's New York, all right, spun ninety degrees, with only the names changed to protect the guilty. Isola isManhattan, Calm's Point is Brooklyn, Riverhead is the Bronx, Majesta is Queens and Bethtown is Staten Island.
Most folks know Ed McBain is, of course, the pseudonym of Evan Hunter. But that's also a pseudonym. He was born Salvatore Lombino in 1926. Besides McBain, he has also written under the pseudonyms Curt Cannon, Hunt Collins, Ezra Hannon, Richard Marsten, and John Abbott. Hunter's first book, The Blackboard Jungle, was published in 1954, and became the basis for the 50's film classic. As McBain, Hunter has also written a series featuring Florida attorney and P.I. wannabe Matthew Hope. In fact, Steve Carella and other members of the 87th play a pivotal part in the latest Hope novel, The Last Best Hope. He's created some memorable eyes, too, including Ben Smoke, Curt Cannon and Dudley Sledge.
In the early sixties, a TV series made its debut, featuring Robert Lansing as Det. Steve Carella and Gena Rowlands as Teddy. It also featured Norman Fell, Ron Harper and Gregory Walcott. Although well-received by critics (particularly Rowlands' performance) it didn't last long, although at least two comic books were rushed out, hoping to cash in. But they weren't quickie recycled TV episodes; in fact, they were relatively "adult" for a "good" publisher like Dell. The first was drawn by Bernie Krigstein, who is so well known for his E.C. horror work, and is truly a bizarre visual excursion. The second deals in great detail with drugs, and may be drawn by one of the artists who also did the Michael Shayne books, another short-lived series which Dell decided to take a similar approach to.

Sal Lombino/Evan Hunter/Ed McBain Pulp Covers

video
image source fantastic fiction
an excerpt from a January Magazine article about McBain (Hunter, Lombino..)

In Carr's The Craft of Crime: Conversations With Crime Writers (1983), McBain recalled that "I was born right here on 120th Street [in New York's Italian Harlem], between First and Second avenues, October 15, 1926, on the kitchen table. My aunt Jennie was a midwife and she delivered me and referred to me for the rest of her life as 'my baby.'" In 1944, not long before World War II ended, and just prior to his 18th birthday, the then-Salvatore Lombino joined the U.S. Navy, principally, he acknowledged, "to get out of going into the army. Anyone at the time who was drafted was being sent to Italy, to get their asses shot off," and he certainly didn't want that. Instead, he was dispatched to Hawaii, and then reassigned to Japan. It was during his navy stint that he wrote his first story, called "Chalk" ("a detective story really, a madman story -- about a guy who commits a murder, and it was sort of poetic and all that"). Though he'd once thought to become a cartoonist, "Chalk" helped convince him to pursue the life of an author, instead. After leaving the military in July 1946, he studied literature at Hunter College in New York, eventually graduating Phi Beta Kappa. He subsequently taught high school "very briefly" -- an experience he would draw upon when penning The Blackboard Jungle (1954), which he published as "Evan Hunter," a name he had legally adopted in 1952. (As his friend James Grady, a screenwriter and journalist, explains in Slate, McBain reasoned "that publishing would buy a WASP moniker more easily than the 1950s ethnic- and class-conscious marketplace would buy the books of a novelist with a name like Lombino.") That gritty tale about a young teacher whose idealism is challenged by the reality of an urban vocational school filled with troublemakers, was quickly adapted for Hollywood, the film version starring Glenn Ford and a very youthful Sidney Poitier. (Asked years later what he thought of the 1955 picture, McBain called it "a pretty good movie," though "I don't think there was a line of dialogue in the movie that came from the book.")
Curiously, despite the fact that McBain's 87th Precinct novels -- with their multiple plot lines and an ensemble cast of cops old and young, progressive and bigoted, married but mostly not -- stimulated the development of a score of memorable U.S. TV crime dramas, a 1961 NBC series called 87th Precinct, based specifically on the books and starring Robert Lansing, Norman Fell and Gena Rowlands, didn't manage to stick around past its debut year. The author had better success with movies, both for the large and small screens, several of which (including 1958's Cop Hater, 1972's Fuzz and the 1995 teleplay Ed McBain's 87th Precinct: Lightning) were adapted from 87th Precinct novels. McBain/Hunter even wrote the screenplays for some adaptations, as well as for series that had nothing to do with his books, such as Ironside and Columbo. However, he was undoubtedly best recognized as a screenwriter for having penned the script from which Alfred Hitchcock's classic 1963 suspenser, The Birds, was made.
In many ways, McBain was a pioneer. In the 1950s and 60s, his "cops resembled the real America, not the Dragnet straight arrows playing on TV sets in wood-paneled rec rooms," writes Grady, who adds that McBain "bucked the clichés of police fiction, in which cops were nearly always Irish or almost certainly white." New York Times crime-fiction critic Marilyn Stasio concurs, writing in her obituary of the novelist that he "took police fiction into a new, more realistic realm, a radical break from a form long dependent on the educated, aristocratic detective who works alone and takes his time puzzling out a case." And South Africa-born author James McClure, whose own procedurals, featuring Afrikaner Lieutenant Tromp Kramer and Zulu Sergeant Mickey Zondi (The Steam Pig, The Sunday Hangman) were clearly prompted by reading McBain's police yarns, applauded the New York writer's skill at making gold from "cop corn." McBain, he explained, "accepts things as they are; if the field that engrosses him is knee-high in clichés, so be it. In he goes, as eager and uncompromising as a child, to grasp the thistle that grows between the rows."

Who's Who In Knickerbocker Village History: Salvatore Albert Lombino, aka Evan Hunter


I recently learned from Marion Fox, a KV resident of 72 years, that Evan Hunter lived in Knickerbocker Village for a brief time after returning home from World War II.
yotube description
Evan Hunter aka Ed McBain talks about learning the techniques of mystery writing in the 1950s, pulp fiction, "The Blackboard Jungle", defining his different identities and style. The interview took place at The Mysterious Bookshop in New York, in 1984.

Evan Hunter (born Salvatore Albert Lombino October 15, 1926 July 6, 2005) was a prolific American author and screenwriter. Though he was a successful and well-known writer using the Evan Hunter name (a name he legally adopted in 1952), he was perhaps even better known as Ed McBain, a name he used for most of his crime fiction, beginning in 1956.
Evan Hunter was born and raised as Salvatore Lombino in New York City, living in East Harlem until the age of 12, at which point his family moved to the Bronx. He attended Olinville Junior High School, then Evander Childs High School, before winning an Art Students League scholarship. Later, he was admitted as an art student at Cooper Union.
Lombino served in the Navy in World War II, writing several short stories while serving aboard a destroyer in the Pacific. However, none of these stories were published until after he had established himself as an author in the 1950s.
After the war, Lombino returned to New York and studied at Hunter College, majoring in English, with minors in dramatics and education. He published a weekly column in the Hunter College newspaper as "S.A. Lombino".
While looking to start a career as a writer, Lombino took a variety of jobs, including 17 days as a teacher at Bronx Vocational High School in September 1950. This experience would later form the basis for his 1954 novel The Blackboard Jungle.
In 1951, Lombino took a job as an Executive Editor for the Scott Meredith Literary Agency, working with authors such as Arthur C. Clarke, P.G. Wodehouse, Lester del Rey, Poul Anderson, and Richard S. Prather, among others. He made his first professional short-story sale that same year, a science-fiction tale entitled "Welcome Martians", credited to S.A. Lombino.
Soon after his initial sale, Lombino sold stories under the pen names "Evan Hunter" and "Hunt Collins". The name "Evan Hunter" is generally believed to have been derived from two schools he attended, Evander Childs High School and Hunter College, although the author himself would never confirm that. (He did confirm that the name "Hunt Collins" was derived from Hunter College.)
Lombino legally changed his name to Evan Hunter in May 1952, after an editor told him that a novel he wrote would sell more copies if credited to "Evan Hunter" than it would if it were credited to "S.A. Lombino". Thereafter, he used the name Evan Hunter both personally and professionally.
As Evan Hunter, he gained fame with his 1954 novel The Blackboard Jungle, which dealt with juvenile crime and the New York City public school system. In 1955, the book was made into a movie.
During this ear, Hunter also wrote a great deal of genre fiction. He was advised by his agents that publishing too much fiction under the Hunter byline, or publishing any crime fiction as Evan Hunter, might weaken his literary reputation. As a consequence, during the 1950s Hunter used the pseudonyms Curt Cannon, Hunt Collins, and Richard Marsten for much of his crime fiction. A prolific author in several genres, Hunter also published approximately two dozen science fiction stores and four SF novels bewtween 1951 and 1956 under the names S.A. Lombino, Evan Hunter, Richard Marsten, D.A. Addams and Ted Taine.
His most famous pseudonym, Ed McBain, debuted in 1956, with the first novel in the 87th Precinct crime series. NBC ran a police drama also called 87th Precinct during the 1961–1962 season based on McBain's work.
Hunter himself publicly revealed in 1958 that he was McBain, but he continued to use that pseudonym for several decades, most notably for the 87th Precinct series, and for the Matthew Hope series of detective novels.
By about 1960, Hunter had retired the pen names of Cannon, Marsten, Collins, Addams and Taine. From this point on, crime novels were generally attributed to McBain, and other sorts of fiction to Hunter. Reprints of crime-oriented stories and novels written in the 1950s previously attributed to other psuedonyms were issued under the McBain byline. Hunter stated that the division of names allowed readers to know what to expect: McBain novels had a consistent writing style, while Hunter novels were more varied.
Under the Hunter name, novels steadily appeared throuoght the 1960s, 1970s and early 1980s, including Come Winter (1973), and Lizzie (1984). Hunter was also active as a screenwriter, penning the screenplay of the 1963 film The Birds for Alfred Hitchcock, very loosely adapted from Daphne du Maurier's short story. He was also set to adapt Winston Graham's novel Marnie for Hitchcock, but he and the director had a disagreement over a crucial scene, and Hunter was let go.
From 1958 until his death, McBain's "87th Precinct" novels appeared at a rate of approximately one or two novels a year. From 1978 to 1998, they were joined by another McBain series about lawyer Matthew Hope; books in this series appeared every year or two. For about a decade, from 1984 to 1994, Hunter published no fiction under his own name.
In 2000, a novel called Candyland appeared that was credited to both Hunter and McBain. The two-part novel opened in Hunter's psychologically-based narrative voice before switching to McBain's customary police procedural style.
Aside from McBain, Hunter used at least two other pseudonyms after 1960. The 1975 novel Doors was originally attributed to Ezra Hannon, before being reissued as a work by McBain, and the 1992 novel Scimitar was credited to John Abbott.
Hunter died of laryngeal cancer in 2005 at the age of 78 in Weston, Connecticut. He had three sons, one of whom, Richard Hunter, is considered one of the world's leading harmonica virtuosos and an expert on Internet security issues. His son Mark Hunter is a professor at INSEAD and the Institut français de Presse, and an award-winning investigative reporter and author. His eldest son, Ted, a painter, died in 2006.