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New York City Memories

GUEST,Max Reiner 14 Jun 12 - 05:30 AM
Stilly River Sage 14 Jun 12 - 11:04 AM
Cool Beans 14 Jun 12 - 12:43 PM
GUEST,Max Reiner 14 Jun 12 - 08:40 PM
Bobert 14 Jun 12 - 08:58 PM
Sandy Mc Lean 14 Jun 12 - 09:25 PM
GUEST,Max Reiner 14 Jun 12 - 09:59 PM
Stilly River Sage 14 Jun 12 - 11:12 PM
Leadfingers 15 Jun 12 - 07:18 AM
GUEST,Max Reiner 15 Jun 12 - 08:25 AM
GUEST,Max Reiner 15 Jun 12 - 03:25 PM
ChanteyLass 15 Jun 12 - 06:11 PM
Leadfingers 16 Jun 12 - 07:08 AM
GUEST,Max Reiner 16 Jun 12 - 05:34 PM
Elmore 01 Jul 12 - 10:28 PM
stallion 02 Jul 12 - 02:47 AM
stallion 02 Jul 12 - 02:49 AM
stallion 02 Jul 12 - 02:50 AM
Charley Noble 02 Jul 12 - 09:21 AM
Cool Beans 02 Jul 12 - 05:10 PM
GUEST,Whistle Stop 03 Jul 12 - 08:45 AM
GUEST,999 03 Jul 12 - 09:37 AM
GUEST,Whistle Stop 03 Jul 12 - 01:46 PM
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Subject: New York City Memories
From: GUEST,Max Reiner
Date: 14 Jun 12 - 05:30 AM

Since I was a little kid listening to the radio on the farm back in South Dakota, I was fascinated by two things: the radio itself and New York. Thanks to being drafted into the US Army, I lived in NYC for two years as a soldier at Governors Island, Fort Jay. Yeah, it was a tough job but somebody had to defend New York. :) Ever been to Fort Jay? You can take a free ferry boat ride there at certain times. There you will find, supposedly, the longest military combination barracks and admin building in the world. Ha! Well, it's a very long building however. I was assigned to the medics in this huge stone fortress. It also housed some of the admin for First Army back in those day, since it was First Army Headquarters. The other admin office was in the quadrangle, which was off-limits to only certain people with security IDs, It was surrounded by a moat. But life the island was wonderful, even though we draftees complained about being snatched away from our civilian life. As for me, I was stuck in a dead-end TV engineer job back in South Dakota. So this was welcome relief. My job as a dental tech was 8 to 5 with evenings and weekends off, mostly. Some chose to booze at the basement bar on the island. I chose to "do New York." We could get free or low cost tickets to Broadway shows. One if very much missed seeing was "Subways Are for Sleeping." And herein lies a true story that could is stranger than fiction. For some stupid reason, I declined to see the show, which I have come to dearly love. However the show haunts me to this day. Someone had a paperback of the book from which the show was based. He was ETSing and offered to give it away. No takers, so he proceeded to rip it up. I rescued the book and was hooked on it from then on. It was about a media guy who lost his job and became a homeless person. His experiences are written in this book not so much about him as about the creative survivor lifestyles of the NYC homeless. I kept the book, which was slightly torn from the solder trying to destroy it. Then my draftee days were up and I gave the book away. So back in the 1990s my wife and I were in NY and went to the Strand. Wonder of wonders! There was the paperback a bit more battered and torn in the same place. I bought it and keep it as a treasure. A years or so ago I got on some theater web site and pushed for an off Broadway run of SAFS. Don't know if it was from my continuous urging or not, But there WAS a run of it. I know several homeless people where I live now. That led to a documentary on cable with interviews of street people "signing." That is, they stand with signs asked for money. Yet to do is a homelessness musical, which would be comprised of short skits and songs.

This thread will continue. I have so much more to write about my beloved NYC. Bye for now, Maxy. I shall return! Somebody else's turn now. :) L'chaim!


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Subject: RE: New York City Memories
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 14 Jun 12 - 11:04 AM

Thanks! Good idea! Please use a few paragraph breaks so it's easier to read. And if you're going to go ahead and work on this, why not join Mudcat? Then members can contact you via personal messages (PM).

SRS


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Subject: RE: New York City Memories
From: Cool Beans
Date: 14 Jun 12 - 12:43 PM

Mr. Reiner may be interested to learn that it's now possible to see a play AT Fort Jay on Governors Island, at least this weekend. The play "Amelia," about a woman searching for her soldier-husband during the Civil War, runs there through Sunday. I saw it a couple weeks ago and it's good. It's also free, as is the ferry ride from lower Manhattan or Brooklyn Heights. Google "Amelia the play."


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Subject: RE: New York City Memories
From: GUEST,Max Reiner
Date: 14 Jun 12 - 08:40 PM

Sage, I don't want to officially join Mudcat. Spam is the reason. And I'd be completely nuts to give out my home address and phone number! Gevalt! Max Reiner is a web alias btw. My real name may or may not be familiar. It only takes a worm in one bad apple, so to speak. And I ain't talking about the computer. :) But I do want to post my memories here to share with others.

Cool Beans, glad to hear that! If you go onto what was the airfield and parade grounds, and it may still be there, on the opposite side of the long EM barracks, there are artifacts of a town. It was demolished and covered with sand. But the sand doth rise! When I was there, folks found old cars and a gas station sign. :)

When I was stationed there, there was an alert for a window peeker spying in the women's barracks. And a prisoner escaped once from the Castle William round prison that was the prison for overseas military lawbreakers. Otherwise, it was a rather peaceful tour of duty. One fun fact or legend. Rocky Graziano was imprisoned there. He escaped by swimming Buttermilk Channel to the mainland. Not during my tour, of course.

I do have one prank. It was a very dreary and hot 4th of July 1962 when several of us were tasked with barracks watch since many EMs took off. We were quite alone. No admin people downstairs at the front desk. So we could have pulled an easy AWOL.

An ambulance driver came up to 4th floor and saw our little contingent and said, "Hey, you want a fun ride. You all put on your white top over your khaki trousers and you'll look like doctors. We're going for an adventure." And so we did. It was easy to get off the island in an ambulance. Looked like some routine task since ambulances regularly traveled to the big island for supplies or with patients.

Once we got onto Broadway or some major thoroughfare and well away from the MPs at South Ferry, the driver turned on the siren. He drove like a race car driver with cars pulling off the side. Then we stopped at a bar way uptown. The driver said, just follow what I do. We walked in and order a beer. I'll do the talking. The astonished bartender was further astonished at we ersatz doctors drinking on duty.

"Ok doctors, drink up, we've got to get back to the patient on the operating table." And so we chugged up and left. We got in and the driver U-turned right there on the big street with the ambulance siren going again.

And so then we were back to the rest of ho-hum 4th. Actually, we were relieved later on in the day. So then we all changed to civvies and did Manhattan.

This is a true story! More later.


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Subject: RE: New York City Memories
From: Bobert
Date: 14 Jun 12 - 08:58 PM

Strands... Must be Stands Books... Been there... Gotta a cool book there... Cheap...

I spent 2 summers at Long Beach Island, NJ... WABC... Ding, dong!!! Jerry Blavit, the Geetar with the Heater... Seaside Park...

Love NY... Love gettin' outta NY when I've had my fill...

B~


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Subject: RE: New York City Memories
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 14 Jun 12 - 09:25 PM

My memories of New York City are not fondly recalled. Once I spent four hours in a traffic jam approaching the George Washington Bridge. When I finally got to the bridge I found that the jam was because they closed the lower deck for construction and the toll booths had everything backed up to New Jersy as traffic stopped to pay the money. (after four hours delay they still felt entitled to the toll) I asked the toll attendant what lane I should get in to continue my journey and received a totally ignorant answer. Since then I have always avoided NYC and will continue to do so. A couple of times a year or more I cross the Hudson via the Tappan Zee or the Beacon Newbridge and stay on the New Jersey side as I wave the finger to the big apple!


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Subject: RE: New York City Memories
From: GUEST,Max Reiner
Date: 14 Jun 12 - 09:59 PM

Bobert, it IS the Strand Bookstore at 12th & Broadway, just down the street from Union Square on 14th. The Strand is THEE flea market of books outside the store in price ranges from free to a few dollars. Pay for your books inside.

And I do recall listening to WABC 770 AM in their glory days. Herb Oscar Anderson who signed on came from big rocker WDGY in Minneapolis, which was a 1130 AM, on the same frequency as WNEW. So WDGY's 12 tower directional pattern was beamed north at night. WABC's competition was WMCA at 570 AM. If you take Liberty Airport (I still call it Newark) into the city and to through the tunnel. Before that keep you eyes peeled to your right and you will see WMCA's three towers that are surrounded by water for good conductivity. WMCA how has a religious format.

We all listened to Jean Shepherd on WOR at night in the barracks. He had some great Army Signal Corps days stories.

Sandy, we love the little area below and to the right of the BB in Brooklyn. There's an old brick Foundling Home building there. You can get a classic bridge shot two places: either there or on the Watchtower Publications hill.


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Subject: RE: New York City Memories
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 14 Jun 12 - 11:12 PM

Max, you're misinformed if you think you'll get spam by joining Mudcat. There is no spam because personal information is not shared and what you'll find is that as Max works on Mudcat 2.0 there will be benefits to being a member. Email Joe Offer (joe@mudcat.org) and have him set you up. Or talk to Max. max@mudcat.org

SRS


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Subject: RE: New York City Memories
From: Leadfingers
Date: 15 Jun 12 - 07:18 AM

I had a stay of six weeks in NYC on my way home from Bermuda - VERY intreresting , with open Mic evenings all over the village !
But some VERY Impolite Locals if you wanted directions or information !


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Subject: RE: New York City Memories
From: GUEST,Max Reiner
Date: 15 Jun 12 - 08:25 AM

SRS, let's just say I like my anonymity. :) I DO like this board very much.
Leadfingers, your comments triggered another NYC Army days true story from me. It's about my very first day in New York.

I had to get to Fort Jay to sign in my permanent duty station with the medics. So I HAD to ask questions. Maybe it was because I was in Class A uniform and heavy duffel bag I was schlepping they were helpful. At Grand Central, I asked the clerk at the big round info center. They said, take the South Ferry train. My foolish pride kept me from asking more specific questions. Now years later, I ask ANYONE directions, which is not supposed to be a "guy thing." HA! Tis a fool who doesn't ask questions.

So I DUH nodded and noted I had lots of time to get to wherever South Ferry was. I was so thirsty. So I left my duffel bag in what I figured was a very dark cornered niche that no-one would notice. HA! That's like leaving your rifle someplace during a shooting war.

Wh00ps more later. Gotta to across town to breakfast. I WILL continue this, rather than start over and lose the inspiration. TO BE CONTINUED, FRIENDS!!!


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Subject: RE: New York City Memories
From: GUEST,Max Reiner
Date: 15 Jun 12 - 03:25 PM

I got a soda and came back to the secret hiding place of my duffel bag. IT WAS GONE!!! Panic. Then a Marine in dress uniform said "come with me." I went up to the marine office on the 2nd floor of Grand Central. The two Marines in the office asked, "Let me see a copy of your orders." I complied. And one said to come in and look around the corner in the office. There was my duffel bag.

"Let that be a lesson. Always keep hold of your rifle and your duffel bag."

Then I asked how to get to Fort Jay. One Marine took me down the the South Ferry subway. I made it.

I hope I've entertained some people.

Maxy. :)


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Subject: RE: New York City Memories
From: ChanteyLass
Date: 15 Jun 12 - 06:11 PM

Max, many Mudcat members do not use their own names. Trust me, mine is not really ChanteyLass. The only way some Mudcatters know my real name is because I have told them in PMs (personal messages) or elsewhere! But you don't need to join if that makes you uncomfortable. Posting as a guest is fine, too.


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Subject: RE: New York City Memories
From: Leadfingers
Date: 16 Jun 12 - 07:08 AM

Incidentally , my NYC trip (First time , anyway) was March/April 1974


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Subject: RE: New York City Memories
From: GUEST,Max Reiner
Date: 16 Jun 12 - 05:34 PM

Thanks ChanteyLass. :) In case folks missed it, my real name is NOT Max Reiner. And I WILL remain a guest. And I do love you all.


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Subject: RE: New York City Memories
From: Elmore
Date: 01 Jul 12 - 10:28 PM

OMG. Just looked at the prices for the Minetta Tavern, a rather ordinary place we used to eat and drink at in the Village, before or after going to the Gaslight, or Gerde's. Out of sight. It's official. I'm old.


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Subject: RE: New York City Memories
From: stallion
Date: 02 Jul 12 - 02:47 AM

whats the let post about? Can anyone explain how that happened in layman's terms!


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Subject: RE: New York City Memories
From: stallion
Date: 02 Jul 12 - 02:49 AM

That is weird, I was presented with some gobble de gook on screen which looked like a guest post, it has now disappeared from the thread, it even had nonsense as the thread title, has something nasty been dropped on my computer? Anyone care to comment?


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Subject: RE: New York City Memories
From: stallion
Date: 02 Jul 12 - 02:50 AM

it was from Guest Venka


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Subject: RE: New York City Memories
From: Charley Noble
Date: 02 Jul 12 - 09:21 AM

Stallion-

The posts were probably deleted as "SPAM" by a friendly "Joe Clone."

Maxy-

Subways Are for Sleeping was always one of my favorite NYC survival books. I wonder what happened to my copy? I didn't know the stories were also used for skits in a play but I would have loved to have seen the production.

Someday I should tell the tale of my first all-nighter as a visiting teenager in Greenwich Village in the 1960s.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: New York City Memories
From: Cool Beans
Date: 02 Jul 12 - 05:10 PM

Charley,
    ''Subways Are For Sleeping" was a Broadway musical: it ran for six months, from December, 1961, through June, 1962. Although it was written by legendary songwriters Betty Comden, Adolph Greene and Jule Styne, I defy you to find anyone who's ever heard of any of its songs, including me. Footnote: A very young Valerie Harper was a dancer in it.
Marty


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Subject: RE: New York City Memories
From: GUEST,Whistle Stop
Date: 03 Jul 12 - 08:45 AM

Max, I was also stationed at Governor's Island, from 1978 to 1982. At that point it was a Coast Guard base, having been transferred from the Army to the CG in 1968. It wasn't my first choice of duty stations by any means, but I did end up well acquainted with NYC, which was a short (free) ferry ride away. Some of my most memorable ON-DUTY times involved search and rescue operations I ran in and around New York harbor -- a carload of four teenagers who ended up in the East River when the pier they were parkied on collapsed on a freezing cold night in February (we got them all), a helicopter crash into the water just off Battery Park, jumpers from the Brooklyn Bridge (they don't all die), and others.

Coincidentally, on the news last night they ran a story about some buildings that were being intentionally set ablaze to train NYC firefighters on how to combat structural fires. The opening shot of the piece was an aerial view of where this is being done -- and even though I hadn't been back there in 30 years, I instantly recognized it as Governor's Island. They're getting set to demolish a number of the older housing units on the Island, and decided to use the buildings for firefighter training before they're razed.


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Subject: RE: New York City Memories
From: GUEST,999
Date: 03 Jul 12 - 09:37 AM

Further to Whistle Stop's post--and hats off to you for your SAR work--I would add the following.

It has been SOP to vent structures in many circumstances to release heat/gases which action concomitantly allows air (O2) in. Venting means that a 4' x 4' hole is cut in the roof of a burning house (it's 8' x 8' for bigger structures like industrial buildings). The two dozen houses, all alike in construction have provided an opportunity for the the NYFD to help Underwriters Laboratories and some other agencies that test firefighting equipment and procedures to see if the SOP is a good one. Once holes are put in burning structures, the behaviousr of fire in those structures changes. The NYFD has loaded each house with the same materials (furniture) in the same places and one by one they will be lit afire and the fire's progress recorded on film using IR photography, etc., to determine which procedure would be safer to follow. Basically, to vent or not to vent. Traditional wisdom has it that venting should occur asap. This has been questioned over the past few years and hopefully the results will settle the questions one way or the other. The firefighters operating at the tests site (Governor's Island) will benefit from it as a training exercise and the testing organizations will gather data as the various fires proceed and different methods of fire suppression applied.

Flash over happens when a room reaches a temperature of about 1100 degrees. Particulates and gases in the air burst into flame in the same second to second and a half as do all other combustables in the room. The chances of surviving a flash over are between slim and none. Since the primary intent at structure fires is to

1) save civilian lives
2) save property
3) save adjacent property

all the while keeping the firefighters safe, the results of the study will be important not only to the NYFD, but also all firefighting organizations around the world.

PS The fire tetrahedron gives us four conditions necessary for sustaining fire: heat, fuel, oxygen and sustained chemical reaction. Remove any one of those things and the fire goes out. So the tests will keep detailed records of the variables and thus present a scientific approach to see if what fire departments have done for years is actually the best and safest way to handle situations.


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Subject: RE: New York City Memories
From: GUEST,Whistle Stop
Date: 03 Jul 12 - 01:46 PM

Very informative, 999; you obviously have a better grasp of what they're doing than I do. Thanks for filling in the details, and also for the SAR kudos. I've always been proud of the part I played (not me alone -- it's always a team effort) in saving a few lives back in the day.


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