CONTAINER DIARIES

October 23, 2014

HIT THE OPEN MAN

It’s a Wednesday night. Billy and Jimmy are hanging out in Farrell’s. Both guys just got off work. Billy’s an ironworker working on a building on Madison and forty-third over in midtown.  Jimmy’s a cop who works at the 7th Precinct in the lower east side. It’s a little after six.

“You see 30 for 30 last night on ESPN?” Jimmy asks Billy as he takes a sip from his glass of beer.

“Nah, it came on too late, I gotta get up at four in the mornin’,” Billy answers as he looks up at the TV which is showing highlights from game two of the World Series between the Kansas City Royals and San Francisco Giants.

“You missed a good one,” Jimmy muttered.

Billy takes a sip of his beer.

“They’ll show it again, ESPN is always showing those shows over and over,” Billy counters.

Farrell's Indoor Sign

Both men visit Farrell’s every night after work to get together, talk sports and talk about life.

“Knicks looked good last night,” Billy mentions as he gulps down the rest of his beer.

“Duffer, gimme another,” Billy shouts.

Duffer is behind the stick tonight, he’s been working at Farrell’s for over 30 years. He’s a local guy and it must be noted, one of the better guys in the neighborhood. He’s also a retired fireman.

“Not sure how the triangle offense is gonna work,” Jimmy added.

“Well, if Carmelo buys-in to the team philosophy, anything is possible” Billy offered. “Not to mention he has to play defense and stop being a ball hog.”

The Knicks have not won a championship in 41 years. They have a new coach, a new offense and Phil Jackson is back at thirty-third and seventh running the show.

“How’s your kid like her new school?” Jimmy asks.

“She’s coping, but she’s bummed that Ford closed.”

Bishop Ford closed it’s doors this past June forcing many families to look for another school.

“It’s a shame, Ford was the place you went after you graduated from Holy Name,” Jimmy says as Duffer places another glass of beer in front of him and pulls some money off the bar.

“Yeah, that sucks,” Billy says. “But it doesn’t matter to me, I went to Jay, and my daughter loves Saviour’s.”

Saint Saviour’s is an all-girls high school down on sixth street.  Many girls from the neighborhood go there.

The bar begins to fill up. Duffer is joined by another bartender, he’s new on the job, Duffer will be training him tonight.

“I miss the Knicks teams of the seventies,” Jimmy admitted.

“Yeah me too,” Billy agrees.

“They played the right way. Frazier, Bradley and Willis.” Jimmy added.

“Don’t forget their coach, Red Holzman,” Billy shouts. “HIT THE OPEN MAN and SEE THE BALL!”

Both men laugh and reach for their glasses and take a gulp of beer.

“Just like our coaches at Holy Name taught us,” Jimmy says as he lets out a burp.

“I miss the days of waking up on Saturday morning, running to the yard and playing three-on-three all day.” Billy says. “Kids don’t play in the yard anymore.”

Both men polish off another glass of beer.

“We’ll never see another team like the Knicks from nineteen seventy-three,” Jimmy says.

“No doubt about that,” says Billy. “And with that, I gotta get outta here Jimmy, my old lady wants to go down to Snooky’s and see some friends.”

Snooky’s is a bar-restaurant on seventh avenue.

“Don’t get into any fights with the seventh avenue boys,” Jimmy reminds his friend.

Billy grabs his money off the bar, throws a ten down and shouts, “YO DUFFER, GIMME A CONTAINER TO GO AND GIVE JIMMY A DRINK!”

Duffer heads to the stick, fills a container and swipes the ten off the bar.  Billy’s out the side door, headed down sixteenth street on his way home.

Jimmy looks up at the television. Glances at all the people in the bar and downs his glass of beer.

“Duffer, gimme a shot of Johnny Walker.”

September 27, 2014

DEBATE THIS

The following dialogue is a work of fiction.

Friday night. Late September. Two teenagers hanging out on the stoop on Windsor Place. 

“Fuck Derek Jeter!” Johnny shouted.

“Whaddya mean, fuck Derek Jeter?” answered Billy.

Johnny wasn’t having any more of the non-stop coverage on the Yankees shortstop of the past 20 years.

“I’m so tired of all this bullshit with Jeter on TV!”

“Yeah well he’s one of the greatest Yankees of all-time,” Billy assured his friend.

Everything on TV was about Derek Jeter. The New York Post, New York Times, Newsday and the Daily News all had the Kalamazoo Kid on their covers this morning.

IMG_1922

“I don’t care, and he’s not one of the best Yankees of all-time,” Johnny shot back.

Oh boy, that infamous comparison between ballplayers. You can just feel it coming. Remember Mickey Mantle, Willie Mayes and Duke Snider?

“Yeah he is,” Billy protested.

“Gimme a fuckin break Billy. Last night was bullshit. Any other manager would have walked Jeter with an open base.”

MLB Network had the game live. Bob Costas and Kim Kaat were on the call. If you were a diehard, or stuck at work, you listened to Suzy Waldman on the radio. Maybe not the radio part.

Derek Jeter had the game winning hit with one out in the bottom of the ninth. Yankees had a man on second. Some sports talk radio callers this morning wondered if Orioles manager Buck Showalter should have walked Jeter to set up a possible double play.

“Showalter was drunk!” Johnny babbled.

By now you could imagine, Johnny was a Mets fan who hated the Yankees. Billy was a Yankees fan and hated the Mets. But many Mets fans from the neighborhood respected Jeter.

“Look bro, it’s Babe first, Gehrig second, Mantle and then Joe D.” Billy added.

Johnny sits there waiting for Billy to say Derek Jeter is fifth, ready to jump all over him.

“And Jeter is the fifth best of all-time.”

“NO FUCKIN’ WAY!” Johnny shouted as an old lady walking across the street looked over at them.

“Whaddya lookin’ at, mind your own business lady!” Johnny screamed.

By now Billy was laughing his ass off.

“Leave the lady alone,” Billy barked. “That’s Joey’s grandmother.”

Johnny was pissed. Perturbed and steaming.

“I mean Billy, even Yankee fans are tired of all the coverage.”

“Here comes Scooter, let’s ask him,” Billy uttered.

“Fuck Scooter, he’s a Yankee fan. Whaddya think he’s gonna say?” Johnny stressed. “Plus he doesn’t even have cable.”

“He knows the history of the ballclub,” Billy reminded Johnny.

“Later for him, he’s like 90 years old!”

Scooter came walking by the boys on the stoop. He looked at them, stopped and started to talk.

“SHUT UP SCOOTER!” Johnny shouted. “I don’t wanna hear about Jeter, Yogi Berra or Mickey Rivers.”

The old man couldn’t get a word out so he continued on his way. Billy was laughing again.

“Look man, Jeter is good, I will give him that but this tribute shit is too much.”

Billy was a bit frustrated trying to get Johnny to understand what all the fuss is about.

“I got an idea. Let’s go up to Farrell’s, stand outside and ask every baseball fan that goes in and comes out,” Billy stressed.

Johnny stood up and spit the sidewalk.

“That sounds like a plan,” Johnny said as both boys made their way up to Farrell’s.

The patrons in Farrell’s were both Yankee and Mets fans. Same for football; you had Giants and Jets fans, split down the middle. The Knicks had way more fans than the Nets though. Matter of fact, many of the Nets fans were once Knicks fans but decided to switch over. With the Nets home arena on Flatbush and Atlantic avenues, it was convenient to root for the Nets.

The two teens stood outside the side door of Farrell’s on 16th street and waited for people.

“Yo, Frankie, is Derek Jeter one of the greatest Yankees ever?” Billy asked.

Frankie looked at Billy, then at Johnny.

“Of course he is.”

“Where would you rank him?”

“Top 10, maybe top 5?” Frankie answered as he spit on the curb and put out his cigarette before heading into the bar.

“Thanks Frankie,” Billy shouted as the door slammed.

“You know what, this is a stupid idea, let’s get the fuck outta here,” Johnny protested.

“Nah man, we’re gonna ask a few more baseball fans.”

“OK, you ask the question, Larry King.  I’m outta here,” Johnny teased as he started walking up to the avenue.

“Yo Johnny, where ya going?”

Without looking back, Johnny answered, “I’m going to get an egg cream at Rae and Otto’s.”

Billy stood outside Farrell’s.

“Yo Kenny, Derek Jeter a top five Yankee of all-time or what?” Billy asked another Farrell’s patron.

“Fuck Jeter and fuck the Yankees!” Frankie shouted as he walked into the bar.

But before he disappeared Kenny added, “Those scrubs are not even in the playoffs!”

Billy walked away and headed across ninth avenue to the Korean deli.

“You would think Mets fans would give Jeter some respect?” Billy mumbled to himself.

September 2, 2014

OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO

Filed under: Farrell's — hoopscoach @ 10:12 pm
Tags: , ,

Megan Reynolds of Brooklyn Magazine took in a few spots in the neighborhood. She gives us a brief rundown.

Can’t seem to put my finger on it, but I’m not feeling her description of Farrell’s.

You could very easily end the night at the Double Windsor, but keep it together just long enough to visit Farrell’s, conveniently located across the street. This move is probably going to be where you lose your beer snob friend, and the people that you’re with that don’t like the actual smell of a bar, but those brave soldiers that have stuck it out with you to the bitter end will be rewarded with the coldest beer you’ll find, served in styrofoam cups. It’s a dive bar in the truest sense, but really, nothing ends the night better than an ice-cold Bud. Take it to go, if you dare, or just finish it standing in the cooling night as you look for a cab.

Girls at Farrell's

July 15, 2014

YESTERDAY…

An interesting take on Brooklyn over the years. Nice mention of the neighborhood.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/13/travel/my-brooklyn-then-and-now.html?_r=0

In Windsor Terrace, Sunday-afternoon drinkers holding plastic foam cups of Budweiser spill onto the sidewalk outside Farrell’s, where Pete Hamill’s father spent many a twilight, while yammering 20-somethings pick from an impressive and rotating selection of craft beers at the Double Windsor across the avenue. I’ve happily stood at each bar when it was three-drinkers deep.

-Red

Hoops135@hotmail.com

May 9, 2014

SILENT WALKING

PPW signThursday, May 1 – Late night…

From my old apartment on the corner of Windsor and Ninth to the boys schoolyard it’s 212 steps.

Don’t believe me?

When the rain finally stopped I crossed ninth avenue, stood in front of my old door and actually counted how many steps it took me to go from my old corner to the yard.

It was quiet… scary quiet if you really want to know. To some, it was probably peaceful quiet.

Not a parking spot to be had on Howard Place. I even saw a few cars kissing each other; bumper pressed against bumper.

As I walked alongside Holy Name I looked at the black picket fence on my right. Then I glanced up at the school windows. It’s still the same.

I remember dribbling my basketball up Howard Place.  I could feel each dribble. I’m sure the residents of Howard Place hated that noise; especially at night.

Boy what I would do for a basketball right now. I’m like a junkie feenin’ for a fix.

Crossing the wet street I walked over to where the Trapp’s used to live.

Down their basement steps they kept a bunch of basketballs. If you didn’t have one, you were free to grab one, use it and return it when you were done. I’m sure if the current residents are looking out their front window, they’re probably wondering what I’m doing looking down their steps.

Just think about the cash the Trapp’s could have made by renting those balls to kids? But wait, I was always broke.

But that wasn’t what the Trapp’s or the neighborhood was about when it came to basketball.

I walk back up the block towards the yard.

Passing Tommy Houck’s house, I think back to all the whiffle ball games we played in front of his house.

Crossing Howard Place to my surprise the gate to the yard is open. I step into my “paved paradise.”

Standing on the pavement on the first court I look around. There’s an empty feeling inside of me, almost surreal.

I think back to this place when kids actually hung out here at night. I glance over at the rectory where the priests would stick their heads out the window and scream at me.

“GET OUT OF THE SCHOOLYARD!”

That thought sends chills down my spine. They scared me big-time!

Thinking back to the good old days I see John Corrar shooting his left-handed jumper from the right corner.

There’s Jimmy Rauthier getting the ball in the post and drop stepping on someone for a bucket.

How about Gerard Trapp whipping a behind the back pass to a cutting teammate?

Or, the three guys playing on the taps court, six of us playing Around the World, 21 or even one-on-one.

I start taking imaginary shots; sorta like a boxer shadow boxing in the ring but  I am shadow shooting. I just made that up. Go ahead and use it. But wait, no one does that anymore.

The guy passing the yard on Howard Place must think I’m crazy. As I watch him make a right turn on Prospect Avenue, I think of all the guys who used to line the silver fence and watch the summer league games. Some nights they were two deep.

Come to think of it, back in the day when people saw me in the yard so much, they must have thought I was nuts.

Nothing’s changed. My love for the game has grown.

I head out of the yard, up Prospect Avenue and cross ninth avenue. A couple of guys are shutting the gate at Joe’s Pizza. I see they now have a Dunkin’s Donuts on the avenue. I’m sure if my mother Carol was still alive she’d be spending a lot of time here.

The place is empty, I order an iced coffee and two donuts. That’s a lot of sugar for this time of night.  But who cares? I’m on vacation.

Sitting at a small table by the window, I pull out my newspaper and begin to read.

“We close in five minutes,” the nice man with a middle east accent, mopping the floor says to me.

After I polish off my late night treats I walk back across the avenue and down Windsor Place towards tenth avenue.

It’s amazing how empty the streets are, sure it’s a little after eleven on a Thursday night but back in the day you always saw someone out on the streets, in the city that never sleeps.  Or is that Manhattan?

I get down to eleventh avenue and bump into Buzzy getting out of his car, he works the 12-4 shift.   Buzzy has lived on Sherman Street since we were kids. To my surprise he recognizes me and we chat for over thirty minutes. He gives me the rundown on PS 154…boy has that yard changed.

We have a few laughs talking about the past.

Headed back up to the avenue via Windsor Place. I’m hoping to run into the actress Debi Mazar; but she’s probably sound asleep. She had a role in Goodfella’s and was seen on HBO’s Entourage from time to time. I thought they should have given her more love on the HBO series.

I pass Farrell’s once again. I stop in to see Duffer and we chat about old times.

Ten minutes later I head over to the circle, then to the parkside.

I sit on the totem pole and notice a few people walk by but again, I don’t recognize anyone.

My friends and I spent many nights hanging out in this area. Tonight though, it’s a ghost town.

“Where’d everyone go?”

Close to 1 a.m. I head back over to Joe’s apartment where I crash for the night. Gotta love my childhood friend allowing me to stay in his apartment for the weekend.

Hard to get that offer these days.

Well it’s getting late, I have to be up early in morning. Have a lot of people to see and places to go. Plus, I can’t wait to sink my teeth into a Sesame bagel with cream cheese from Terrace Bagels.

And, tomorrow night is the Old Timers Dinner out in Bensonhurst; I am looking forward to seeing some good friends from back in the day.

-Red

Hoops135@hotmail.com

April 10, 2014

BREAK A LEG

Front of Farrell's (Pat Feenton)No, no, no,  I’m not telling you to go out and break someone’s leg because they said something about you behind your back or maybe they owe you money.  There’s a universal phrase “Break a leg” in theatre used to wish a performer “good luck.”

Journalist, playwright, good friend and writing mentor Pat Fenton will be at Farrell’s this coming Sunday along with actors Jack O’Connell and Honor Molloy. The trio will take us back to Pat’s old Windsor Terrace neighborhood performing a dramatic reading of three scenes from his play “STOOPDREAMER.”

Pat intimates the dreams, trials and travails of just ordinary people trying to find the American dream in post WWII.

Irish-American stories about a lost part of Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn, that existed around 17th Street and 9th Avenue before Robert Moses drove the Prospect Expressway through the very heart of it in 1953, and divided it forever.

FARRELL’S BAR
215 Prospect Park West
Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn. 11215

Sunday, April 13th. 2 P.M. to 2:45.

Admission is free.

If you can’t make it, don’t worry, like Pat told me, “just pour a pint and pretend you are back in Farrell’s for the reading.”

Yo Pat, Break a Leg brother!

March 6, 2014

“BOTTOMS UP!”

Filed under: Beer,Blog,Farrell's — hoopscoach @ 3:56 pm
Tags: ,

Cool story about Budweiser beer via the New York Daily News. And if you’re talkin’ suds in NYC, gotta mention Farrell’s.

It still sells here, and it’s here to stay,” says John Powers, a bartender at Farrell’s Bar and Grill, the Windsor Terrace watering hole that was once the East Coast’s biggest seller of Budweiser.

The bar’s regulars are wise to Bud’s legacy.

“It’s the best beer in the city,” says Tom Cannizzaro, 49, a plumber in the neighborhood. “It’s a clean, fresh taste — nothing compares.”

Rich Duffy

December 31, 2013

WHERE THE HAPPY PEOPLE GO

While this blog entry is inspired by real people, places and an actual event, names have been changed to protect the innocent. 

It’s New Year’s Eve night.

IN THE BASEMENT

I was putting on my coat and gloves in the living room of our five-room, railroad apartment thinking of how I was going to ask mom for some money.  Later tonight we have it all planned out though; hit the liquor store on 16th street for some booze and despite the temperature being in the low teens, we would head over to Prospect Park, get drunk then hop on the train to Times Square and watch the ball drop.  I had been over to the city plenty of times but never on New Year’s Eve. In the past we watched the ball drop on TV. On this night it was about the bottle. Pretty soon, every night would be all about the bottle.

First I needed some dough.

“Can I have ten dollars?” I asked mom as she was sitting on the couch watching TV.

“For what?”

“Me and my friends are hangin’ out.”

Mom looked at me with a puzzled look on her face.

“Hanging out?”

I was beginning to get annoyed.

“Yeah, hanging out,” I answered. I hate when she answers my questions with a question.

“I don’t have any money,” she barked.

Frustrated, I zipped up my coat and stormed out of the apartment.

“WHY DIDN’T YOU JUST SAY THAT!” I screamed to her as I walked down the stairs, out into the cold night.

Mom would turn me down all the time.  I was getting sick and tired of having empty pockets.  I needed a job but I hated to work.  Plus I was tired of hearing her say, “Get a job.” I tried delivering the Daily News once but I had to wake up too early for that. My cousin had a paper route and boy did that suck, and I was just helping him.

I walked across the street and stood outside Ballard’s Pharmacy waiting for my friends to show up.  After dinner this was our meeting place.  When everyone arrived, we marched along ninth avenue to Prospect Park.

I hopped up on the blue mailbox that was planted on the sidewalk on the corner and watch Jason close the iron gate of the store. I notice he has a brown paper bag tucked under his arm. I’m sure it is filled with money. Probably all the cash they made from the whole day. Ballard’s was always packed.

Jason placed the bag down on the sidewalk as he reached up and pulled the gate down.

I thought of running by and scooping up the bag and sprinting down Windsor Place, I’d then have money and be able to buy some booze. Nah, I couldn’t do that, Jason knows me and knows I live across the street. They would put me in Spofford  up in the Bronx and I’d be fucked.

Looking down Windsor Place towards 8th avenue I see Missy, Naomi and Kennedy walking up the street coming my way. As they approach, I see Naomi chewing bubble gum.

“What’s up?” I yelled.

Missy and Kennedy say hi but not Naomi.

Pretty soon more and more of my friends begin to show up.  Our group, which is close to twenty strong begin to walk along ninth avenue towards Prospect Park.

We’re an army of teens about to hang out all night.  We don’t care what people say. We make our own rules.  As we pass Farrell’s, I look through the huge window in front and see a tall man holding a container.

In our neighborhood, it’s a two-step process; start out drinking on the street as a teenager, soon as you become legal, you step inside Farrell’s, walk up to the bar and order a drink.

“We goin’ over to the city or what?” Willie asks while we pass the pizzeria.

Everyone has mixed reactions. Some want to stay in the neighborhood, some want to go over to Times Square.

“Fuck yeah!” I scream out.

I’m hoping Naomi wants to go over to the city. It was just last night that we had a big fight over the phone and I broke up with her. We’ve been boyfriend and girlfriend for a few months. We’re always getting into fights.

A few of my friends start heading to the Bodega and liquor store. A cop car pulls up in front of the park and the cop in the passenger’s seat tells us to move inside the park.

No one says anything back, we do as we’re told. We’re wise-ass kids but when a cop tells us something, we listen.

About an hour later, everyone’s hanging out having a good time.

“Yo Willie, let’s go to the city,” I cried.

Willie is involved in a conversation with his girlfriend Gabby, I think they are dating.

“Yeah sure, it’s only nine, we have plenty of time,” he declared.

I walk away from him and sit on the bench.

Looking around I see groups of three and four of my friends standing in isolated circles talking and drinking. Everyone has a beer can or plastic cup in their hand. I’m sitting on the bench and haven’t tasted a drop of booze all night. How can I, I was broke.

I glance over and see Naomi talking with some kid who I don’t recognize. I get a bit jealous. Matter of fact, I always get jealous when she talks to other boys.

Getting up from the bench I leave the park and head home. I walk upstairs and no one is home. Earlier in the day I had heard mom on the phone talking about a big party down at Timboo’s.

I figured now’s my chance. I head straight for the liquor cabinet.  Mom always has a few bottles of booze in there so I grab the bottle of vodka. I also see Gin, Johnny Walker, some Jack Daniels and a bottle of wine.  Grabbing the vodka I look  at it and notice it’s half full. I stuff it inside my coat and head back to the park. No way Mom is going to miss this.  There’s beer in the fridge but I don’t like the taste. Walking along ninth avenue I have my hands in my pocket holding onto the bottle so it doesn’t slip out.

I get to the park and pull out the bottle and start sipping.  It tastes awful. Looking over at the bench I see a carton of Tropicana orange juice and a few empty cups. I play bartender and mix myself a screwdriver.  Down at Timboo’s I had seen the bartender mix this drink for my father.

Now I feel part of the group. I hear Naomi’s laugh above everyone’s talking, but the booze has some people yelling now instead of talking.  She’s standing alone with the same kid.  They are having a good time; more jealousy creeps in.

“Yo Red, Happy New Year,” Sammy screams out to me as he raises his can of beer and we toast.

I tap his can and drink up.  As I sip from my cup I glance over at Naomi and her new friend. Not sure how much longer I can take this.

Respectfully,

Red

Hoops135@hotmail.com

November 12, 2013

SITTIN’ ON THE STOOP WITH…

Cathy Gigante-Brown…

Where were you born and where did you grow up?

I’m a Bay Ridge girl, born and bred in Brooklyn. I was born at a hospital called Brooklyn Doctors which isn’t there anymore but I believe it was located at 45th Street and 15th Avenue. I grew up in Bay Ridge, on Gelston Avenue, and went to St. Patrick’s. For high school, I “escaped” Catholic school and attended Fort Hamilton, where I had great teachers who encouraged my love of writing. I was a shy kid who could write much better than I could talk and that’s how it all started. I’m also grateful to Mildred McVay, my third grade teacher at St. Pat’s, who instilled in me of a love of reading. (I thank her in the “Acknowledgements” section of THE EL.) I set a number of scenes in the book in places familiar to me growing up–a noteworthy accident takes place on the corner of Gelston, for example.

The EL

In Chapter 24, a scene in your book takes place in Farrell’s.  What was the reason for using Farrell’s?

I’ve lived in Windsor Terrace since 1994, just a couple of blocks away from Farrell’s. Even though I’m not much of a beer drinker, I’ve always loved the sense of camaraderie of Farrell’s. People celebrate there, mourn there, get jobs there…I’ve never seen another place like it. So, when I needed a place for a clandestine family pow-wow, the back tables of Farrell’s seemed perfect. The characters lived in Borough Park and in a sense, Farrell’s was a world away for them. Few people knew them there, so they could speak frankly, plot and bond. I even put Houlie into the scene (but changed his first name) even though he probably wasn’t even born yet. I wanted to pay homage to Farrell’s, to its spirit, and it seemed to fit perfectly into the plot. I hope it worked!

If you can sit down tonight and have dinner with any three people, who would they be and where would it be? (Don’t worry, you’re not picking up the check…)

I guess I should say something noble like Gandhi or Abraham Lincoln but I think I’ll be selfish and say my mom and dad Teresa and Francis Gigante, and my great-grandmother Marguerite Cirigliano who inspired the “Bridget” character in THE EL. Both of my parents have passed away (my dad almost 2 years ago and my mom 19 years ago) and I would love to have one last dinner where I could ask them things I didn’t and tell them things I should have. I’ve always wanted to meet my great-grandmother who died about 7 years before I was born. And dinner would be a home-cooked meal! To cook with Marguerite and my mom would be amazing, and to share all of the things women talk about when they cook together would be a gift.

Your three favorite books of all-time?

That’s a tough one. Let’s see. In no particular order: Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea, Gabriel Garcia Marquez’ 100 Years of Solitude and Pete Hamill’s Forever.

Are you working on a new book?

Yes, I am. The working title is “Society’s Child” and it’s set in 1979 Brooklyn, mostly the Sheepshead Bay area. It’s about a female drummer in the club-date business (aka “society music”)…you know, weddings, bar mitzvahs, etc…who’s trying to “make it” and get a recording contract. It’s very different than “The El,” written in journalistic style from the drummer’s POV, and also from the POVs of various people close to her. I’m a little more than halfway through. I wish I had more time to work on it. For “The El,” I took off six months and managed to write it. I’ve been working on my second novel a lot longer but I love being able to squirrel away any time I can to work on it. I love writing about Brooklyn and the colorful characters in it.

Cathy Gigante-Brown lives in Windsor Terrace and is the author of “The EL.”

Click here for more information on her book.

Respectfully,

Red

Hoops135@hotmail.com

November 8, 2013

THE EL

Filed under: Blog,Catherine Gigante-Brown,Farrell's — hoopscoach @ 10:32 am
Tags: ,

I’m currently reading a really good book by Catherine Gigante-Brown, “The EL.”

Farrell's Indoor Sign

There’s an entire chapter that takes place in Farrell’s. (Look for an interview here on the blog with Catherine real soon)

Click this link for more information on the book. Here’s the book description via Amazon.

The EL

A stirring historic novel set in Depression-era Brooklyn, “The El” weaves an unforgettable family saga.In the shadow of the elevated train (called “The El,” for short), a loud, lusty Italian-American clan resides: Poppa, the kindly patriarch; Bridget, his loving wife and mother of their six grown children; Rosanna, their eldest, who is married to Tony, an evil, dangerous drunk; Kewpie, their nubile teenage daughter and Tiger, their scrappy ten-year old son. A stark drama quickly unfolds as a terrible secret is revealed.Told through the eyes of a quirky, colorful array of characters, the Paradisos struggle through seasons of joy, loss and desire, and experience simple delights. Here, the ordinary becomes extraordinary. It is a place of unconditional and unrequited love, where the unimaginable is indeed possible and the whims of a violent alcoholic threaten to destroy the idyllic applecart of the family’s existence.”The El” is simultaneously homey and horrific, innocent and erotic, magical and shocking. It is a complicated mosaic of light and dark, full of savory flavors and vivid, memorable images.If Pete Hamill and Joyce Carol Oates could have a literary lovechild together, it would be “The El”…with a bit of “50 Shades of Grey” thrown in for good measure.

 Respectfully,

Red

Hoops135@hotmail.com

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