A NYC art gallery said on Facebook it would host an exhibition of George W. Bush’s paintings, so because I cover the really important stories, I had to chase that down. End result: It was a hoax, but I did have an excuse to post this shaggy dog painting again.
Bob (Bengie) Powers, who grew up in Brooklyn in the nineteen-fifties, had his first drink at eight years old, stabbed someone at twelve, was out of school by sixteen, and was taking drugs at eighteen.
Bruce Davidson, the iconic photographer known for his pictures of the New York City subway, The Dwarf, East 100th Street, and the Brooklyn Gang, also photographed the street gang called the Jokers, of which Bengie was the leader. Nearly forty years later, Bob Powers got in touch with the Davidsons.
Emily Haas Davidson, Bruce’s wife, has spent over ten years talking to Bobby, and, in “Bobby’s Book,” they recount his tumultuous young years of violence, drug addiction, crime, love, and loss.
“I think back about how the alcohol and drugs got me to be so mean. It’s like I don’t even think it was me that I’m talking about. I’m a totally different and changed person. It’s like the guy I’m talking about is a guy that I once knew. He doesn’t really exist anymore. This guy is dead, and I can tell you all about him because I hung out with him, I was very close to him. But I’m not that guy.”
Here’s a look at Bengie and his Brooklyn gang from “Bobby’s Book,” recently published by Seven Stories Press: http://nyr.kr/X8uem7
Erik Knapp was just 7-years-old when he took his first turn on the Cyclone, Coney Island’s famed wooden roller coaster. His mother had insisted that he was too young to ride the old rickety coaster, but his grandfather took him anyway, and to hear Knapp tell it, it was love at first ride.
In the years since, Knapp, who is now 47, estimates he’s ridden the coaster “at least 2,000 times” and says he’ll ride it until the day he dies. As proof, he points to a gigantic tattoo of the Cyclone he had inked on his right bicep many years ago. It’s a permanent depiction of the coaster’s iconic red Cyclone sign and a train of passengers falling on the ride’s first major drop. Seated in the front seat alone is a skeleton.
“That’s me,” Knapp says, grinning. “This ride is such a part of my life. I have never lost the thrill of it, and I don’t think I ever will.”
While the network has yet to complete a deal, it has made a commitment to Jimmy Fallon, the current host of its “Late Night” program, to have him succeed Jay Leno as the next host of “Tonight,’’ according to several senior television executives involved in the decision. The show would move from Burbank, Calif., back to New York, where it first started in 1954 with Steve Allen as host.
Some details remain to be worked out, including an exact timetable for the switch, though it is expected to take place by the fall of 2014 at the latest, the executives said in interviews this week.
NBC has quietly begun work on a new studio in its headquarters building at 30 Rockefeller Plaza as the home for the new “Tonight” show. The studio is part of a general reconstruction of the building being undertaken by Comcast, which this week completed a full takeover of NBC Universal.
An NBC spokeswoman declined to comment on the move, other than to say the network was building a new state-of-the-art studio for Mr. Fallon.
If this turns out to not come to fruition, the last part there about a new state-of-the-art studio for Fallon is at least true and confirmed by the network.
“Everybody knows about the Rockaways and Staten Island and New Jersey. … But I don’t think most people know about the carnage that took place at the Seaport. Unless you’ve been down here, nobody knows how bad it really is,” said Adam Weprin, whose family owns the historic Bridge Cafe on Water Street, which is still closed. “Walking around here at night, it’s like Chernobyl.”
A day of skating practice in Central Park in 1935 offered thrills, chills and the inevitable spills for these racers, identified as Betty Flynn, Kay Leftwich, Marjorie Potts, Shirley Fick and Nada Isaacs. Photo: The New York Times