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The Milky Way

The Milky Way

The rich drop bombs, the poor plant bombs; armies crush their enemies en masse from above; terrorists counterattack from below in blind spasms. Above all this hatred lies The Milky…

Those Ghosts Of Bloomsbury

The four Stephen brothers and sisters, children of the biographer, editor, and mountain climber Leslie Stephen, lived in Kensington and were educated in the mummified manners of Victorian society until,…

Baggy Pants & A Bicycle

At night the band would play paso dobles in the square. When it was time for the tuba solo, the audience became quiet and in the absolute quiet the song…

Angels Of The Bicycle Rider

Although it comes late in life, when because of surgery and old age I am no longer a contender, I have discovered an infallible technique for attracting women: falling off…

P.S. 30 Chronicles

P.S. 30 was an elementary school in the Mott Haven neighborhood of the Bronx. It included grades Pre-K to 5. Mott Haven was one of the poorest neighborhoods in the…

Billie Holiday, Before Her First Song

Billie Holiday, Before Her First Song

When Billie Holiday, whose real name was Eleonora, was born on April 7, 1915, her mother was 13 years old, and her father was still a kid in short pants…

Cocoa

Her name was Cocoa. She spelled it like the beverage, not Jane Goodall’s gorilla. She looked Ethiopian with her cafe con leche complexion, high cheekbones, and yellowish brown eyes—most of…

Reunion

About 20 years ago, I was teaching a third grade class at PS 30X in the Bronx. The school was located in a very poor neighborhood in the Bronx called…

Epiphany

Elizabeth is an unattractive city in the armpit of northern New Jersey. Some important neighboring cities are Newark, with which it shares a seaport; Linden, with which it shares a…

The Trumpet of Miles Davis

It was in that Paris of the spring in the 1960s, in the Latin Quarter, whose recently watered down streets in the early hours of morning smelled of freshly baked…

Terrible Jobs, Part 1: Washing Oxygen Tents

In 1962, I needed an after-school job. I had turned 17 and wanted my own car, something my family could not afford to buy for me. Alas, I had few…

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