Very cool video…
Thanks to Kenny W. for the assist.
New York Times with a neat piece on New York City basketball.
Great piece of writing on Tim Lee by my guy Pat Fenton.
Insightful stuff from Pete Hamill.
Click on link below.
Pat Fenton via the Irish Echo.
Came across this story in the Daily News.
You remember Nicky Guido from 17th street?
Well read on…
The city will pay $5 million to the elderly mother of Nicholas Guido, an innocent victim slain on Christmas Day 1986 by hit men acting on bogus information from Mafia Cops Louis Eppolito and Stephen Caracappa, the Daily News has learned.
Thanks to Martin C. for this fanastic image of people on Cherry Hill.
I was more of a Three Devils and Suicide Hill guy.
January 27, 1978
It’s a little after nine.
I have until ten to get some shots up before a priest throws me out of the yard.
It’s getting colder by the minute.
But I don’t care.
People are walking by the yard looking at me like I’m crazy. It snowed earlier tonight so there’s a little snow on the court. I dribble around it. If I had a shovel I would scoop it up and toss it to the side.
All of a sudden, I see someone walk in.
Holy shit. It’s her!
Haven’t seen her in three weeks.
What is she doing here?
It’s a school night. Well for her it is, not me.
She lives way down on Church Avenue.
She must have taken the F-train two stops.
I act like I don’t she her.
Finally I glance over towards the entrance of the yard.
“Oh hi, how you doing?”
I take a couple of dribbles then shoot a back shot from the right corner. While I release the ball, I take a quick peek over at her. My coach always said to keep my eyes on the goal.
“I knew you would be here,” Maria says as she gets closer to the court.
I don’t respond.
What the hell is she doing here?
“You been here long?” Maria asks.
“Since about eight,” I respond.
“Eight? WOW!” she answers in amazement.
I see those snow white teeth.
“Ain’t you freezing?” she asks.
The moon is shining down and I can see her beautiful eyes sparkling.
“How was school today?” she asks.
“It was okay,” I answer. Damn she asks a lot of questions. But I love her voice. It’s soft and sweet.
I take a few jump shots as Maria stands under the basket rebounding and passing it back to me. She’s a good passer.
“Meet any new friends at school?”
Maria has no idea I stopped going to school.
I take a few more shots. Then without warning I dribble down court towards the church wall and pull up for a long jumper.
“Hey, you don’t like me or something?” Maria shouts from the other end of the court.
All I can do is look down at her and admire how good she looks.
She is wearing jeans, black boots and a black coat.
Maria jogs down to my end and starts to play defense. Just like she did at East 5th street a few weeks ago.
I stand there with the ball and watch her.
“Come on Red, try to score.”
I shake my head and dribble past her to the basket, making a lay-up with ease.
Looking back at her she’s standing by the foul-line.
“Hey, that’s not fair,” Maria says.
I’m thinking it’s getting close to ten. The priests will be throwing us out soon.
She’ll probably leave and then I won’t see her for another three weeks.
“You wanna go over to the park?” Maria asks.
I stop dribbling.
I don’t even think about shooting.
“The park? Sure,” I answer.
We walk out of the schoolyard and head down Howard Place.
January 25, 1978
The noise outside my apartment is driving me crazy.
My head is pounding.
Feels like someone is whacking me with a fuckin’ hammer.
BOOM, BOOM BOOM!
I hate headaches. There’s nothing worse.
I want to sleep-in but the cars, trucks, and busses on ninth avenue make it impossible. My bedroom faces the avenue. About ten minutes ago there was a guy downstairs on the pay phone screaming at someone on the end.
SHUT THE FUCK UP ASSHOLE!
I place my pillow over my head.
Fuck it, that doesn’t work too well. I get out of bed.
No one is home. The apartment is empty.
Is the fuckin’ heat even on?
Jesus Christ it’s like twenty below in here. Landlord tends to shut the heat off. But I’ll tell you about that shit another time.
My sister slept at her friends house last night. She does that a lot.
My brother hasn’t been home since Friday.
Mom? She’s probably still working her after-hours job out in Bay Ridge. On Sunday’s she usually gets home close to noon.
What about my father?
That fuck left about ten years ago.
Feeling like shit, I walk into the kitchen and open the fridge. The kitchen window is covered with frost. I’m starving like Marvin.
The light is out in the fridge. Nothing looks good. It’s actually empty. No milk, means no cereal. Frosted Flakes is my favorite. The box sits atop the fridge. I look at it.
I get dressed and walk downstairs. Heading across the avenue to get a buttered roll and coffee at the deli.
Can’t beat that combo for a buck.
Starting to snow and my head is killing me.
I got so drunk last night. You should have seen me.
Worst part of drinking is the following morning.
I get my roll and coffee and head over to Rae’s for the Daily News.
Did I tell you I like my coffee light and sweet?
I tuck the bulky newspaper under my arm and go back home.
Passing people on their way to church. I see some kids with their moms and dads. I could care less. I stopped going to church last year when I graduated from Holy Name. Who needs it.
But the families walking together sure look cute.
After church they’ll walk over to the Parkhouse for breakfast. Or they’ll wait in line at L&J bakery to get donuts.
Sitting at the kitchen table, I scan the sports section. I sip my coffee. It warms me up.
Mets made a trade.
My brother is a Steelers fan, they beat the Cowboys last week in the Super Bowl, 35-31.
I feel like going back to bed but the java has me amped up. Ever since I started drinking coffee I seem to have much more energy.
Keep in mind I am 15.
Yeah, yeah, I can’t hear you know; 15 and you’re drinking coffee? Yep, I also drink alcohol. What else you wanna know?
Sunday mornings suck. Can’t go to the yard to play ball. Last mass ends at one. The priests hate it when I am in there. I get thrown out often. Come on Father Shine, I’m just working on my jump-shot.
“GET OUTTA THE SCHOOLYARD!”
Wish I could remember what happened last night. Details are cloudy.
All I recall is hanging out in Prospect Park drinking. There were so many people. All my friends and some kids I didn’t recognize. We get kids from other neighborhoods who come around to hang with us on Saturday nights.
Kids from Xaverian, OLPH, Kearney and some come as far away as Grady.
I once had the chance to rap to this pretty girl who plays for Kearney. She was real cool. Told me she plays center for their varsity. Her height was amazing. She was like five-ten.
She had short hair and a beautiful smile.
I started with a few cans of beer at about six, then by eight I switched up to Wild Irish Rose.
By nine I was wasted.
Ninty-nine cents a bottle for the wine. Even I can afford that. I think I had four bottles. Maybe five?
My girlfriend and I spent a little time together last night. But I wish I could tell you more.
Not sure why I drink to tell you the truth. But I enjoy it. I feel so good when I have a few drinks. Throwing up sucks. It gets messy.
After reading the newspaper I walk out of the apartment and head over to the park.
I pass Farrell’s and it’s empty. They don’t open until twelve. Looking through the front window, there’s a guy behind the bar wiping off the bottles of booze. Can’t wait until I turn eighteen. Hooley can finally serve me.
Turning the corner at the circle, I see a few of my friends sitting on the bench.
All of a sudden, I feel better.
These guys are all I care about.
Love being with them. The girls too. We have a ton of girls who hang with us. It’s really a great group.
We’re all from the neighborhood.
Went to Holy Name together. Some went to 107’s and P.S. 10’s. Even have a couple of friends who went to Saint Saviour’s.
I can tell my friends anything. Well, almost anything.
“Yo fella’s what’s up?”