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The secret to a good bar has nothing to do with what beers are on tap or what its décor looks like. The only valid measure of a bar is its character, it supersedes all other measures. I’ve been in bars that reeked of piss and fruit flies that were a thousand times better than… Read more »

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Local Law 11 is the ordnance in New York City that requires all air conditioners be installed with proper reinforcement on multi-dwelling buildings. It’s good that this law exists because too many people are doing what I did and installing their air conditioners with a jerry rigged effort involving a 2×4, cardboard and tape. People… Read more »

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August 1961, Rory is 5, I’m 7 and it’s 96 degrees. We have shorts, tee-shirts and sneakers on. Mom couldn’t take the heat in our airless apartment and dragged the three of us over to Central Park. We start racing ahead down the path to the Alice in Wonderland statute after my father yells, “Who’s… Read more »

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Weekends during the spring and summer are crowded in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. You can tell how bad the crowds are when you pull off the highway and every inch of available parking and then some is taken up on 111th Street. Keep in mind that a minority of people arrive by car too. When you… Read more »

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New York Means Expected Excellence   A recent report from the New York City Comptroller found that New Yorkers work the longest weeks and have the longest average commutes in the U.S. What makes the report so disturbing is that the two top cities with the longest commute times: New York and San Francisco, are… Read more »

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The Borough of Queens is taking applications for its poet laureate, and I’m going to throw my sweaty hat into the ring. I think my chances of being accepted are low, but fuck it. I’m as good as anyone else and I like this borough very much. Queens was where I lived when I moved… Read more »

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This past Friday, my band Blackout Shoppers was fortunate enough to be one of several bands to play for the last time at The Trash Bar. A great music venue, The Trash Bar has been a great place to see a show. They have a great sound system and manage to bring a wide array… Read more »

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The Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) is the blessing and the curse of life in New York. Our transit system makes the city a livable place considering its population density. If everyone who works in New York City drove to work, we would be in a state of surreal permanent gridlock. What the city has seen… Read more »

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The holidays are a time when many of us are reluctantly pushed into public places to go through the motions about being happy about the holidays. Sometimes the very happiness of the holidays are mocking and angering. Sometimes the very image of others’ happiness is a slap in the face, and the holidays give other… Read more »

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The Losers Lounge has inspired my writing since 1999. It took four years to write my first story and then I couldn’t stop. Each show rich tales are laid out in song. If you want a creative push see the The Losers Lounge at Joe’s Pub. Here is a photo album from Thursday night’s Elvis… Read more »