Just a quick post for Real New Yorkers: Wife got a call from a new friend in the building here, where we moved in the summer of 2010. She hadn’t seen my wife in several weeks and was just calling to see if everything was alright. What a refreshing difference from our previous abode, where it was all about what you did for a living and “what could you do for me?” Wow! Did we ever move to the right place, or what?
You know all the stops on the G train. You are a regular at Pete’s Candy Store. You know where to find the best Banh Mi in the city.
So, do you know about the dirty 30? Does the name Abner Louima ring a bell? What about the Buddy Boys of the 77? What about Amadou Diallo? What about the Bushwick riots of ’77?
Yeah, that’s about what I thought. That’s the world Real New Yorkers know — from back in the day, pre-Disneyfied NYC. The world explored in Home Front (coming soon, to a bookstore near you).
But if you can’t wait for Home Front, you may want to check out Lucky Guy, a new play about the bad old days of NYC crime, as reported by the tabloid heroes of my youth. In this case, the protagonist is Mike McAlary (played by Tom Hanks), a brash, swaggering crime reporter who wants to climb the Hamill – Breslin – Daly mountain. These are the guys I learned from, the guys who reported on the folks others overlooked.
Now, we have a city run by zillionaires who threaten to veto a law that would allow workers to take five sick days a year. (More on this to come, dear readers.) Five effin sick days, our Mayor is against.
Yeah, well: Hamill – Breslin – Daly – McAlary in their prime would have had a field day with that. Meantime, compatriots, remember: NYC wasn’t always the way it is now. McCarren Park was a dump, as was Prospect Park, Central Park, Madison Park, Van Cortlandt Park and more. The East Village was wall to wall heroin and believe me, kids did NOT play in Tompkins Square Park. It was a black and white world and danger lurked everywhere.
Remember this as you uplink L Train hijinks at 3 in the morning, eat your blueberry bagels and wait 20 minutes for your mixologist to herbify your $17 cocktail.
Get a ticket to Lucky Guy. Buy a copy of Home Front. Get dirty. Be a Real New Yorker.