Sunday, June 11, 1995


For Tod Maisel & Frank Gribben, and Concerned Citizens Speak (CCS)

It is indeed an honor to follow in the footsteps of Jack Newfield of the Village Voice and Daily News, as well as my colleagues Tod Maisel and Frank Gribben of the T&V as the journalist of the year. You may notice that A.M.Rosenthal, Ted Coppel and Dan Rather did not make it, but then, again, they never had much to say about Stuyvesant Town, Peter Cooper, Gramercy, Union Square, Madison Square and Flatiron areas, the domains that most of us live in, some of us work in, and all of us love, worry about and want to protect. And that is how I see my late life journalistic career -to express my love for my neighborhood, by telling you stories and recollections, to voice our concerns, and to write of the solutions to neighborhood problems, and of the people who offer them.
And if you can tolerate the stories, I have them. I have soaked up the neighborhood spirit since the late 1940s, and there are layers and layers of recollections - not only of the old bookstores but also of the literati who came to them, of how I once pursued SJ Perelman wheeling a baby carriage all the way along Third ave to the GP hotel, of the beat poets at Max's Kansas City. And I havent even started up on the Irish bars that I frequented in my youth, and the political clubs of the area. So be prepared.
But to close, I want to speak of the people that make this a neighborhood. The wonderful people who protest, who tutor, who volunteer, who keep the principles of integration and diversity alive despite the hits and abuses that their ideals have suffered. I cant name you good people it will take forever. I mentioned lot of you in my Greeetings friends New Years poem that did not look anything like a poem got badly scrambled due to the technological shortcomings of the computer era. Rest assured, you will continue to be in my column, in my thoughts and some of you even in my prayers as long as you will tolerate me, and as long as the good Lord will give me strength and my editors will give me the space. Thank you.

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