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Besides drinking coffee in the morning, I love reading the newspaper.

Been doing it since I was about 10 years old (not the coffee part, started that in my late teens)

Whether it was the New York Post, New York Daily News, Newsday or the New York Times, I bought it, read it and learned from it.

Rae and Otto’s was usually the place I bought my paper.

Not only did I enjoy reading the paper I also worked at a newstand and once delivered newspapers for both the News and Post. The job for the News sucked, we had to wake up way too early. As for the Post, it was an afternoon addition so I’d deliver  it around 4PM.

Speaking of newsstands, it is so easy to pick up a paper in the city; newsstands are like Starbucks, they’re everywhere. One time I was running late to work in the city. I didn’t have time to grab a paper at Rae’s. With my destination being forty-doo-op and 6th, I hopped off the Manhattan-bound ‘F’ train at Jay Street-Boro Hall as it waited for the ‘A’ to pull in the station across the platform. With enough time,  I quickly got up from my seat and hit the newsstand on the middle of the platform and grabbed my Post.

Worked out great, had exact change too. Made it back on the ‘F’ before the doors closed.

Watch the closing doors please…ding-dong

Remember the newsstand in the train station at 4th avenue and 9th street? If you switched up for the ‘R’ train, you could always grab a paper from there. But I know, I know, you’re thinking, ‘Red, the newsstand at 4th avenue was outside the turnstile, if you exited, you had to pay your fare again’.

Not so fast my friend.

I’d knock on the window of the token booth to ask the guy if I could get a paper, he or she was always cool with it.

At one point in my life it was a dream of mine to own a newsstand; especially after working at one in Penn Station for a couple of years back in the early 90’s. Free papers, magazines and candy.

When I read a newspaper I always flip it over  to the Sports section and make my way to the front.

Every story in the sports section is dissected like an Ironworker looking over a blueprint.

On a Monday morning last Spring while reading the Post in a coffee shop on Park Avenue I counted 10 different stories on the Red Sox-Yankees game that was played the previous day.

Over the years I have read outstanding writers like Peter Vecsey, Harvey Araton, Phil Pepe, Dick Young, Bill Travers, Jimmy Breslin, the Hamill brothers and Jim Dwyer. These guys were some of my favorite scribes and have become huge inspirations for this rookie writer.

I can’t forget about the Sporting News; another one of my favorite papers. Every sport covered on a weekly basis.

My love for writing comes from my addiction to newspapers. I was never a big book reader growing up but that all changed in my 20’s.

It saddens me to hear about so many newspaper people losing their jobs due to the Internet becoming the major source for information. In Michigan, the newspapers seem to be getting thinner and thinner each day.

I also enjoy visiting different cities around the country and picking up their newspapers; always a ton of info to absorb.

In a time where the Internet has been the major source for news, reading a newspaper on on-line does the trick for me but there will never be anything like holding the actual newspaper in my hands despite getting a ton of ink on my fingers.