It’s going down Saturday at 5PM.

Everyone is coming back to play some ball on the court we played on many years ago.

East 5th street park down by Ft. Hamilton Parkway.

Jackie Ryan is the man for putting this reunion on.

Can’t wait…





Billy and Mikey are sitting in Terrace Bagels. Lately, it’s become their favorite morning spot.

“Lemme guess Billy, you’re going to the Garden tonight?” Mikey wondered about his buddy on whether he was going to the Rangers game tonight against the Washington Capitals.

It was game 7.


Mikey looks surprised at Billy’s answer.

“What ya mean nope?”

Billy sips his extra large cup of coffee and takes a bite out of his plain bagel with cream cheese.

“Got a date tonight,” Billy informs him.

“Same chick as last week?” Mikey asked.

“Nah, going out with Noreen,” Billy implied.

Mikey looks surprised.


“Yep, she finally agreed to let me take her out,” Billy explained.

“Ain’t she married?” Mikey asked.

“Nah, she got divorced about a year ago,” Billy informs him.

Mikey finishes up his coffee and polishes off his Sesame bagel.

“She’s hot man, I saw her at the neighborhood reunion,” Mikey testified.

“Fuck yeah she’s hot,” Billy confirms rather enthusiastically.

“You always had a crush on her,” Mikey recalled.

Billy grabs his empty cup off the table and stands up.

“I gotta go Mikey. Yo, you know if they give coffee refills in this joint?”

“Nah man, what ya think this is?” Mikey answers. “Where ya going anyway?”

Billy wipes his mouth with a napkin, snatches up the mess he made and tosses everything in the garbage.

“Going to the gym to workout.” Billy says. “It’s been a while,” As he rubs his stomach. It’s grown a bit over the years.

Mikey smiles.

“Okay bro, good luck tonight with Noreen,” Mikey says as Billy heads for the door.

“Thanks Mikey and bet the Rangers tonight, they’re a lock,” Billy advised him.

Mikey watches Billy walk out the door and onto ninth avenue. Mikey hasn’t placed a bet in a few days. He’s even now with Roger.

Should I bet the Rangers tonight? Mikey thinks to himself as he quickly pulls out the Daily News and checks the line.

“Fuck, New York is -164,” he says out loud.

Louie is wiping down the table next to him.

“Don’t you bet the Rangers tonight,” Louie warns him.

Mikey doesn’t even look at him.  He contemplates what to do next.

“When you going back to work?” Louie asks.

Again, Mikey doesn’t say anything as he grabs the newspaper, stuffs it in his back pocket and heads for the door.

As Louie cleans up the table he thinks to himself; guy is gambling and he doesn’t even have a job.




Parking sign 9th and9th

Tuesday afternoon – May 12

“Yo Billy, don’t park your car over on ninth street,” Mikey warned his friend while they sat on the parkside enjoying a container from Farrell’s.

“Why not?” Billy wondered.

“Cause, read this,” Mikey replied, handing the newspaper to Billy.



Monday morning – May 11

It’s a little after seven, everyone in my apartment is asleep. Mom, my sister and older brother.

Our windows are wide open. Mom keeps them open during the night so we can get a breeze through the apartment. The back window in the kitchen stays open as well as the three windows facing ninth avenue.

At about 7:20 Maureen catches the 69 bus for school across the street,  outside Rae and Otto’s. I am thinking of going downstairs to say hi.  In case you don’t know by now, Maureen is my girlfriend.

I love seeing her in the morning. She’s a junior at Saint Saviour high school down on eighth avenue.  They make the students wear uniforms. To me that’s crazy.

I wanna walk her to school but I always chicken out.

Crossing ninth avenue I see her standing with a friend. They’re talking, Maureen laughs. She is always laughing. I love her laugh. A few cars zoom by as I jog across the busy avenue.

“Hi,” I uttered.

“Hey, good morning,” she says as she displays her gorgeous smile. Clearly she is surprised to see me. Normally I would be on the train headed to school.

I keep walking towards Rae’s.

Over my left shoulder I can see Maureen and her friend looking at me as I enter the empty store.

Otto, the tall German man is behind the counter looking right at me. Every time I go in the store he hawks me. Don’t really know what his problem is. Just leave me alone dude.

Bending over and picking up a Daily News I take a quick peek outside and see Maureen and her friend get on the bus. We make eye contact, she smiles and then waves.

Stupid me shows no reaction. Why don’t I wave back?

The bus pulls away and I hand Otto thirty-five cents for the newspaper.

Not before I give Otto a dirty look and mumble under my breath.

Here you go asshole. 

Walking out of the store I watch the bus roll towards 16th street and around the circle.

Why can’t I get up the courage to ask Maureen if her and I can walk to school together? I’m sure she would.

I walk back up to my apartment, sit at the kitchen table and read the sports section.

Great, the Rangers tied the series with the Caps, now they come back to the Garden for Game 7, Wednesday night.





Saturday night – May 9

Love and hope and sex and dreams Are still surviving on the street Look at me, I’m in tatters! I’m a shattered Shattered Friends are so alarming And my lover’s never charming Life’s just a cocktail party on the street.

Hanging out on the parkside listening Donato’s boom box,  it’s a beautiful night. We don’t care. Everyone is singing along to the Stones. It’s the weekend. Not a care in the world.

We’re teenagers, what’s there to worry about?

If you took a count, we probably have 25 to 30 kids hanging out tonight. Some nights it’s more, some nights it’s less.

A cop car rolls up. Everyone is looking over at the cop who is getting out of the car. Someone turns the music down.

Oh shit, should we run?

Who they looking for?

It gets real quiet.

“ANYONE SEE MIKEY?” the cops shouts.

No one says anything.

It’s like we’re frozen.

We’re too afraid.


We stand there stunned.

Wonder what Mickey did now? Guy is always getting into trouble.

The cop turns around and walks back to the squad car.  It peels out, goes around the circle and books down 15th street.

We crank the music back up.

“Wonder what Mikey did?” someone asks.

“Who gives a shit,” I scream.




Wednesday night – May 6

Been walking around now for about an hour.

The streets are empty.

Got nowhere to go. All my friends went home.

The weather is getting warmer, so glad the winter is over. The snow was all fucked up.  Too much of it if you ask me. But now, at two a.m. all I wanna do is be alone.

Life sucks.

Nobody cares.

Mom and I had a big fight.

Girlfriend won’t talk to me.

I’m hungry.

There’s a greasy spoon open 24 hours down on seventh avenue and ninth street. Smiley’s is open, maybe I’ll grab a slice. But the walk is so far.

Seems like all I do is walk.

As I pass Farrell’s I see a few guys at the bar.

I’m too young to get served.

Rangers lost tonight to the Caps; they trail the series 3-1.

These guys in here love the Rangers.

All I do is wave to them, they wave back,  I keep walking towards the park.

Crossing the circle I make my way along Prospect Park West. I’ll walk to ninth street, hang a left and go down to seventh avenue. Ninth street at night scares me. Never know who you bump into.

One time these three kids tried to jump me on eighth avenue. I ran from them.

Down on the corner of ninth street and seventh avenue I see some guys outside Smiley’s.

They’re laughing. Having a good time.

There’s a cop car parked at the bus stop.

I peek into Smiley’s, it’s pretty empty except for the cops.

I slide my hand in my pocket and pull out some money.

“Two slices and a small coke,” I say to the guy behind the counter.

“Coming right up,” he answers as he throws the slices in the oven.

I sit down at a table and stare out the window. The kids are still outside. I see one chase the other out to the street. Think they are the 7th avenue boys. We had a fight with them in the winter. Hope they don’t recognize me.

To my left are two cops eating their pizza. I’m safe. They don’t talk very much to each other. Cops are quiet until they tell you to get off the corner. All they do is chew and sip their drinks, enjoying their pizza.

I notice a tall black kid walk in and order. He looks at me.

“Red, that you?” he asks.

I look at him.

Wanting not to say anything I have no choice.

“Yo Keith, what’s up?”