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January 01, 2012


Genius! Please write a memoir, soon to be a major motion picture.

Thank you very much, Frank.

What Frank said.

Thanks Robey. I was telling Chris Mara that I had thought about doing that; wrote about 100 pages a few years ago. These days, I am more interested in hearing other people's stories, maybe putting together an oral history of that time. I mean seriously, what a fricking time it was in the city, and in our little piece of it. Just a tinderbox. Anyway, we'll see. Glad to put it out there now and if people dig it, I am thrilled xx

Astonishingly good, Nancy. You have quite a gift.

It is hard to imagine the Heights as it was then in today's Brooklyn. I had a front row seat working on Montague as a teenager and was friends with many of the people you write about but also the old timers in the Bossert Lounge like Eddie the Hump (Ronnie's step dad as I recall). Then there were the denizens of the Piano Bar and Danny's on Montague who were largely taken by the AIDS epidemic. It was both a more economically diverse but also insular community that in many ways resembled a small town. I have been told the Bicentennial celebration in the harbor that drew thousands to the Promenade changed the neighborhood forever as it became a destination for people all over Brooklyn. Anyway, I would love for it to have a chronicler in the way that my home neighborhood, Boerum Hill, has in Jonathon Lathem. Only better.

Nancy you and Sarah brought color to the 70's in the hood. Nice job keeping it real. Movie for sure.

What a great trip down memory lane! My wayward teen years were in Chicago in the early 70's, but we have so many points in common. I graduated from an alternative high school that my parents called "the diploma mill". Moved to NYC in my late 20's and now live in Boerum Hill and work on Court Street. Montague Street is all SUV strollers and tourists now. Sometimes I yearn for the good old, bad old days. It was painful at the time but it was also a lot of fun. Thanks for this - you really made it come alive.

Wow Nancy, you had bigger balls at 13 than I have at 52! (Alas, I am still working on them though.)

What an amazing story & great blast from the past! Thank you!

Will discuss in private… REALLY happy to see you mining those memories. I know you left the 'hood, Brooklyn and the East Coast with not much warmth in your heart…But you touched, no - SHAPED, many lives while you were here, one of those lives being mine. Thank you.

Thanks for captured so much of the oddly diverse flavor that existed at that time....the various groups from the private school kids to the Catholic School crews and others like Benny, Dave, Nicky, Arnie and many others that come to minds...I also ended up with a stint at City As in 1981 though I never actually showed up for more than the first 2 days to pick internships and then was off playing video games or riding the trains for the next 4 months....great stuff...and Steve the eskimo dude who lived on Hicks I think...he had a nickname that escapes me....I was a hair younger but remember he was quiet and violent...and seem to remember an epic throwdown between him and Joey Giacinto...memories a flooding...keep going with all this!

Could also relate--Iwas in the suburbs and thre years older, but could relate to the anomie & structurelessness.

Great writing, Nancy. My daughters, who went to that same unnamed private school are either a tad younger or a tad older. One of them worked at that Baskin-Robbins, the other hung out at the mailboxes. And guess what : we lived in the same building as you and your Mom and your late (and greatly missed) stepfather.
Fascinating stuff, your teen years in a land just down the street but light-years away. Write a novel. Please.

I really enjoyed this piece. Thank you. This was such a funky time in NYC and most of the stuff I've been able to find is from the CBGB crowd. I like the pure adolescent perspective here. Nice work.

Amazing! You brought me right back to 1977. I was a little older (a year older than Arnie if I'm not mistaken) and I knew a number of the characters. I didn't grow up in BH but did get befriended by Arnie in 1977, who brought me to Montague Street to hang out.

First stop was at the back apartment to meet papi Nick, who Arnie described as "able to tip over a garbage scow with his bare hands". Nick came at me with a pair of scissors and threatened to cut off my long hair.

I have enough stories about Arnie to fill a book. Some of them involved his antics at work, others with him skateboarding under a moving tractor-trailer crossing 34th St and 7th Avenue. I also remember a sweet 16 party at Max's Kansas City for one of Arnie's young girlfriends. Yes, the Heights was very different in those days, but then so was the entire city (I lived in Chelsea at that point, and was able to afford my own studio on a not much more than minimum wage job...try that one today!)

It's been so many years, I remember Nicky and Titi (Nicky "filled in" on the job as Arnie a couple of times), and Dave and Benny. I also remember Paul. I'm not sure who it was, but a bunch of us headed into the city to hear the Mumps at Max's, and probably stopped at half the bars between Tribeca and Union Square.

I am going to read the memoir being at City As during that time 77, 78. Fond memories of my guidance counselor Fred, other resource coordinators. (Irv, Pat, etc) Hanging out and getting high at the "private promenade" by the Grace Reformed Church. Selling tokens, going to the park near the bridge for gym, and Pacific H.S. for class. I only hung out a little bit with Basquiat who was neck deep in the SAMO stuff. I am lifelong friends with both Katims brothers that went there at different times. Had some great resources: Better Business Bureau, Brooklyn Graphic, Learning to Read Thru the Arts etc. Hung out a lot in the village Studio 10, CBGB's and on and on. We used to win liquor when the festival came to town at the Church across the street on Schermerhorn.

What a great time in NY...yea set me back a little but......! Can't wait to read.

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