October 29, 2014


Filed under: Brooklyn,Windsor Terrace — hoopscoach @ 6:17 am
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Bumped into an old friend tonight (On Facebook, not on ninth avenue)

We reminisced about the days of growing up in the neighborhood.

NYC Sign about parking

A couple of hours later I came across this piece from the New York Daily News on a writer who left New York City.

Here’s the author of the story with an interesting comment; he has since moved to a small town in Colorado.

I was born and raised in middle-class Brooklyn, and imagined one day raising my children in the neighborhood I grew up in — one I will never be able to afford as the row houses and apartments intended to house ordinary New Yorkers have become multi-million-dollar luxury housing, out of reach for those without Wall St. jobs or family money.

So I left, and am happier for it.

At times I have thought of writing a piece on why I left the city. And some day, I may get around to it.

One reason I left was due to the high cost of living. I was paying close to two thousand dollars a month for an apartment down on eleventh avenue. One bedroom apartment.

This was back in 1996. Seems such a long time ago.

There’s no telling what the landlord charges 18 years later.

I am not bitter nor am I jealous that I no longer can afford to live in the neighborhood where I grew up. Time heals all wounds.

I’m sure others were in the same boat. I know people from the neighborhood who have moved to Staten Island, New Jersey and Upstate New York. Pretty close to the city. It’a different though if you have moved across the country or down South.

I like where I am, I really do. It’s not crowded. There’s zero traffic. I can drive everywhere. I can walk and bike too.

No more crowded trains where someone next to you might get upset because they’re having a bad day.

It takes me just a few minutes to get to work.

Our schools are wonderful and most important, I have met some good people.

Tonight my friend on Facebook mentioned to me that she was jealous of where I lived. I’m sure she would like it out here.


July 22, 2014


Filed under: Blog,Spanking — hoopscoach @ 7:40 am
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New York Daily News with the story of spanking your child when they act up. You know, a form of discipline.

The courts say it’s kosher.

We all got hit back in the day when we were out of line.

How about at Holy Name? Mamma Mia!

Listen to Kiko from Long Island City, the father of a 9-year-old boy who is quoted in the story:

“A father has to educate his son, has to spank a little to protect his kids from growing up wrong.  Some kids, if you don’t smack them a little, they won’t learn any respect.”


December 3, 2012


Filed under: Blog — hoopscoach @ 6:25 am
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I came across this tribute to the late Danny Mills who passed away four years ago.

Click here to read what the Mighty Quinn of the NY Daily News had to say about the former Farrell’s bartender.

“Danny was always there to listen to what was going on in your life. The last time we stopped in to see him over the summer, I had cut my finger. On my father’s advice I asked Danny if he had a Band-aid. He just happened to have one in his wallet and he handed it to me.”


November 22, 2012


It’s just like back in the old days on 12th street where Denis Hamill would grab a stickball bat, step up to the plate and smash a home run!

Denis hits this one three sewers!

Do yourself a favor and read this article by Denis from today’s New York Daily News; one part has to do with Mickey Breen’s daughter Kelly, who lives in Staten Island and the other about a Staten Island native who was saving people left and right during Sandy.

Thanks to Willy and Gladys for passing this clip along from ‘Help Me Howard‘  courtesy of PIX 11 News – a solid report on Kelly’s ordeal with a real estate agent.




October 26, 2012


Filed under: Blog — hoopscoach @ 7:42 am
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One of my favorite writers of all-time, and a huge inspiration, seventh avenue’s own Pete Hamill has a new book coming out.

Simone Weichselbaum of The New York Daily News takes us on a trip back to Pete’s old stomping grounds where they checked out Pete’s old apartment.

“The Christmas Kid: And Other Brooklyn Stories,” on sale Tuesday, is composed of 36 short tales depicting a bygone era when bloody street fights, heartless murders and torrid love affairs were all part of everyday life on and around the Seventh Avenue strip.

This new book sounds awesome!

Good luck Mr. Hamill


December 28, 2011


We loved TV as kids, right?

Today they talk about ‘too much TV being no good’ for our kids.

Give me a break with that B.S.

I learned a lot from watching my favorite shows.

One of my favorites was ‘The Honeymooners’ with Jackie Gleason, Audrey Meadows, Joyce Randolph and Art Carney. (Wow, I remembered all those names from the opening of the show).

Gleason played Ralph Kramden, a bus driver from Brooklyn.

By far Ralph was the most famous bus driver in all of Brooklyn at the time. But that has changed.

Let me introduce you to a hero; Reuben Cornick.

Thanks to Maureen Rice, a frequent contributor to the blog for this story – click here for the link from the Daily News on the bus driver returning a whole lot of money he found on his bus.

Here’s Maureen in her own words:

In defense of city workers we only hear about them when a small minority screws up, or as in recent news a police officer loses his life or a firefighter is horribly burned. The truth is, the overwhelming majority of the people who serve our city are decent, hard working, regular people like you and me albeit with better pensions. People who get up and go to work each day serving a city that I love it is a little sad that someone gets press for doing the right thing, but, that being said, I am glad I wrote in to Voice of the People and I am happy to see Reuben Cornick getting some recognition!



December 8, 2011


Filed under: Blog — hoopscoach @ 8:14 am
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The New York Daily News on the HNS-IHM merger. A good read with some interesting comments.

Parents at the Immaculate Heart of Mary school said they were optimistic yet concerned about the move because the building on Prospect Park has classrooms that have not been updated in years.

“The kids should be placed in a building that’s much safer and more modern,” said parent Nancy Markovinovic, mother of four children at the school.

“The building is over 100 years old and we have some concerns,” said Monica Diaz-Tafa, whose daughter, Giana is in the third grade.

The parents from IHM has some concerns?

Have they been inside Holy Name? Because a building is over 100 years old, that makes it unsafe?

This goes back to my theory about everyone complaining.

Why not be part of the solution instead of the problem.

Their quotes seem to be a bit on the negative side, no?

Why can’t everyone come together and make it one outstanding school?



October 29, 2011


Filed under: Blog — hoopscoach @ 7:38 pm
Tags: ,

Our guy Denis Hamill at the NY Daily News, will not be on his usual assignment any longer.

Seems like the boss wants him to cover bigger news stories.

No one covered the streets like the D-Man!

Good luck D.H.



October 13, 2011


Filed under: Blog — hoopscoach @ 12:21 pm
Tags: , ,

Once again, I was informed of another person from the neighborhood that has left us.

Along with posting positive memories of the neighborhood on the blog, I often get an e-mail, a phone call or even a text message letting me know someone from the neighborhood has passed away.

It saddens me to hear the news but I don’t mind – please keep sending me the messages. Our loyal readers, some as far away as Texas, need to know this information.

My favorite writer, Denis Hamill of the New York Daily News writes about his friend Mickey Breen who recently passed away.

As the years tumble forward from the tie-dyed days of Hippie Hill in Prospect Park when hundreds of us hung out on the grassy knoll just up from the Corinthian columns designed by Stanford White at Bartell Pritchard Square, you just keep on grabbing the black suit from the closet to go see another one of your flower power pals from Woodstock take his turn in the coffin in the front of a flowery room.

Guys like Dennis (Tiny) Reid, John Rice, Red Riley, Tommy Lenahan, Joey Corrar, Bruce Campbell, and my sweet brother, Joe Hamill.

This time, it was Mickey Breen, and he was a kind, funny guy who attended Power Memorial High where he befriended Lew Alcindor, before he became Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Mickey loved his daughter Kelly, his five grandkids, his lady Gladys, his sister Colleen, his cat Cheech, the music of Jeff Beck, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novels, and cold beer and big laughter and this place called Brooklyn that he called home until last week when he was waked in Hanley’s Funeral Home on Staten Island, where a slide show of old photos played on a loop as the Rolling Stones sang his favorite song ever, “Sympathy for the Devil.”

I didn’t know Mickey, but after reading D-Hamill’s story, I feel like I hung out with him on the parkside.

Mickey Breen, R.I.P.



October 5, 2011


Filed under: Blog — hoopscoach @ 12:11 am
Tags: , , ,

Denis Hamill of the New York Daily News with a great story about his addiction for his Blackberry.

I’m addicted to my Verizon Blackberry. It’s the one thing, besides my keys, I always make sure I have when I leave the house.

How did we ever grow up without cell phones? Here’s a small segment from Hamill’s piece.

I hip-holstered the little rectangular machine like an alky concealing his flask and made oatmeal, cursed the empty teabag canister, trotted up two flights to raid my office stash, and rushed down to microwave “a wee cuppa” – as the Irish call it. Then trotted downstairs to the basement to take my kid’s school shirt out of the dryer with my own laundry, which I huffed up to my second-floor bedroom, hanging up my shirts, folding pants, balling socks.

Then trundled back down to the kitchen, where the microwave beeped like a flattening machine, signaling the tea was made. I splashed in milk, added Stevia in the Raw sweetener, sat at the dining room table where I scarfed my oatmeal, gulped tea, thumbed the Daily News, and talked baseball with my son. As he dressed I plopped on my living-room chair, watching the TV weather channel, amazed that there was such a thing as Aches and Pains Index under the Allergy Report.

I popped a Claritin and reached for my phone to send a pal a text.

Gone …



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