Showing posts with label jan newberry. Show all posts
Showing posts with label jan newberry. Show all posts

Saturday, June 11, 2011

From The Archives: The NYC Slides, Part 2

By Jack Brummet
Chief Archivist

A couple of months ago, I began scanning a box of slides we have from the years 1973 to around 1983. I posted them on Facebook because many of the surviving subjects/participants are on there. I always intended to also put them on All This Is That. And, now, I am finally getting around to it. This new batch is from the years we lived in Manhattan and Brooklyn (1977-1982). Coming next, Bellingham, Seattle, and Europe.

Click all photos to enlarge. Right click to download.

Jerry, Vicki, Kevin in the garden next doot yo 158 W. 84th St.

collaped lung/double pneumonia, 1977

Frances, 1978, in NYC

Jack, Cheryl, and Keelin outside a cabaret

Colin and Karen ??, NYC, 1977

Vicki and Jack on the subway

Pinky and Jack at work @ Carl Fischer, 62 Cooper Square

Keelin at a dairy restaurant in Chelsea?

Jack, Julius Caesar, and Kevin/Franco

Jack and Jack at 158 W 84th St

Colin Curran, 1966

Jack on the Brooklyn Promenade with WTC in the background

Keelin on our rooftop of our loft at 351 Jay Street

Vicki, Jack, and Jerry at 158

Jack and Mary Durkan-Jones outside our apartment on Chrystie Street near The Bowery

Friday, June 10, 2011

From The Archives: The NYC Slides, Part 1

By Jack Brummet
Chief Archivist

A couple of months ago, I began scanning a box of slides we have from the years 1973 to around 1983.  I posted them on Facebook because many of the surviving subjects/participants are on there.  I always intended to also put them on All This Is That.  And, now, I am finally getting around to it.  This first batch is from the years we lived in Manhattan and Brooklyn (1977-1982).

Click all photos to enlarge. Right click to download.

Parade in Brooklyn, shot from our fire escape at 324 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn

Franco, Claudia Curran, Nick, and me at President Nixon's brownstone, 1980

Jack and Franco, late at night on the UWS

Me, Nick, and Franco on our stoop on West 84th Street

Me with a wonderful painting Pinky and Cheryl Loaned us for the entire time we lived on 84th St

Jerry Melin and Jan, Upper West Side, 1981

Me, with my gal and my pal.  In heaven, or what?

Keelin, across the street from our apartment in Brooklyn

Keelin, Jan, and Jack in Brooklyn

Franco posing near faux armor, NYC

Franco and Nick outside a theatre in NY?

Nick, Franco, Jack, and Topiary

Miya (heart)

'Moto. but not quote sure probablyis not Manhattan

'Moto, Nick, Kevin, and Jack on our stoop @ 158 W. 84th St. NYC

Nick, 'Moto, and Franco aka Kevin

Sean, on our fire escape at the Atlantic Avenue Parade

Pinky, turning Japanese.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Fish, Part 1 - My life at Carl Fischer, Inc.

Click to enlarge - view of The Fish from Cooper Square Park or The Bowery

I moved to New York City in the spring of 1977, arriving at the Port Authority after a $50, eighty-three hour ride on the Greyhound Bus from Seattle--an excruciatingly cramped and bumpy ride in the back of the bus through Washington, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York.

Click to enlarge. A shot from 4th avenue/E 8th (St Mark's Place) just north of Cooper Square. I think!

Keelin had already been there since September, along with a dozen other students from Fairhaven College, including the adorable and funny Jan Newberry who became one of our main partners in crime. For the next couple of months, we lived in a loft on Jay Street in downtown Brooklyn, then in a loft in the Houston street war zone near The Bowery, and later back to Atlantic Avenue in the Boerum Hill section of Brooklyn and for the last three years, at 158 W. 84th Street on the Upper West Side.

I walked through these doors every day for over four years.

The Son of Sam murders were in full swing and the New York Daily News and New York post were filled with Son of Sam headlines every day--almost daring him to strike again. Mayor Abe Beame continued his haphazard and befuddled stewardship of the city. It was dirty, the subways were not air conditioned, there were transit strikes, garbage strikes, litter everywhere, and Times Square was still filled with strip clubs, grindhouses, bad Irish bars, pickpockets, and three card monte players.

New York City was at one of its various low points. . .but it would get worse. Within a year, the first people began showing signs of H.I.V., and the AIDS epidemic began to devastate the city and pick up steam as it spread. The crack epidemic had not yet hit. Punk and new wave music were in full flower and theatre was flourishing. The Boss roared to life. The Yankees were hot. We would attend a World Series game the next year. In fact, we would sneak in using a password for which we'd paid rogue stadium employees. But these random memories are not why we're here. We're here to talk about The Fish.

I bounced back from my first disastrous job at Brewburger (See My Worst Jobs, Part 3), and from my near-death experience in Long Island College Hospital from a collapsed lung that blossomed into double pneumonia (I was a patient there for 23 days). While I was in the hospital, on July 5th, 1977, I watched as the lights of the World Trade Center, and every building across the river and all around me, blinked off. Within a few hours massive looting broke out in the city, and they had to re-open The Tombs to hold the three thousand arrestees. The lights came back a couple of days later. At the worst of it, the hospital was around 103 degrees.

Click to enlarge. July, 1977 - By the time this was taken, it was was no longer touch and go after a collapsed lung devolved into double pneumonia (which the first resident diagnosed as T.B.!) I recovered from double pneumonia after a week, and the pneumothorax was cured in two days once they realized they hadn't actually put the chest tube in the right place. They realized this 20 days in to my 23 day hospital stay. I did not file a lawsuit.

After a week of recovery at home, it was time to hit the job trail again. I grabbed a copy of The Village Voice and New York Times and started firing off resumes and pounding the streets. The letters and resumes: crickets. You were competing with Ivy League grads and their impressive resumes filled with prestigious internships and lists of community services and awards for even lowliest jobs at book publishers.

The silence from potential employers was deafening. I heard nothing back, and received a ream of polite mimeographed turndowns. In September, 1977, after a month of fruitless searching, I received two phone calls and one letter--all on the same day. The first was an offer from a publisher of adult fiction. I would receive a dollar a page for writing pulp porn. They would furnish a bare-bones plotline and list of characters, and after that, it was up to you. You would essentially write a book a week for a couple of hundred dollars.

The second offer of employment was with an adult "novelties" manufacturer and distributor. The job was manning the complaint desk and fielding phone calls , and mostly letters, from their consumers. Their largest product lines were dildos, "restraint devices," blow-up dolls, and a line of scented lubricants. My job would be to answer complaints and negotiate refunds and exchanges for defective merchandise for $2.35 an hour.

The third job offer came from a famous music publisher in the East Village near Broadway, Washington Square Park, and NYU, right across from Cooper Union, and just a couple blocks north of CBGB--Carl Fischer, Inc.

I did the sensible, but foolish thing. And along the way, I met some great friends like Pinky! and Cheryl, Neil Clegg, Crazy Richie, Fuzzy, Susan Ward nee Lurie, Dot Melin nee Jennin, Jim and Pamela Ahlberg, DelRoy, and Mary Farmer. And, in the end, probably missed out on a thousand hilarious stories at the novelty factory. I took the job at The Fish. It was a union job (the AFL-CIO Motion Picture Workers) and paid just under $10,000 a year.

Next up: The Fish, Part 2 -- How Fuzzy (aka Dwight Henry Thompson) taught a hillbilly boy from Seattle the ropes; how we came to be known at The Fish as White Dwight and N***er John. Fuzzy introduced me to Joey Ramone, Klaus Naomi, the poets Ted Berrigan, Tuli Kupferberg, and Allen Ginsberg. And mafia strip clubs, leather and S & M bars, gorgeous transvestites, the joys of chasing down anisette with Rolling Rock, and various other excesses and experiments, about which, more later. I think The Fish story may be good for about five installments...when you work with that many wacky people in a really strange company for four years, something pretty interesting will shake out. And it did.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

A Keith Haring mural on Houston Street on NYC's lower east side (early '80s)

I'm pretty sure this photo was taken by Jan Newberry or Miya Ramsay, although I don't remember either of them having a Polaroid Land Camera. I have the original Polaroid, but no one has written on it. It was stapled to a postcard or something and mailed to me from San Francisco, according to the postmark. In 1982 I was living in Seattle, just after leaving NYC and Europe, and before moving to San Francisco. So, someone took the pic. in NYC, and mailed it to me from SF? That would make Jan the likely photographer.

When we lived in NYC, you could still see Keith Haring and Basquiat doing graffiti on the street and subways. Haring used to do chalk drawings several days a week on these black panels in Times Square Station, which I passed through on my way to my job in the village. I saw him a couple of times drawing with chalk on the wall. Had people realized those drawings would one day be worth tens of thousands of dollars, they would have probably removed the walls.