Category Archives: Bet On Crazy

St. Valentine’s Day Massacre / BET ON CRAZY by Peter Nolan Smith

Every Valentine’s Day diamond dealers and jewelers on 47th Street anticipated a winter spending spree by lovers for their loved ones, but each year of the 21st Century the sales numbers dropped drastically, as the economic downturn cut into everyone’s surplus, but the rich. Valentine afternoon in February 2011 shoppers crammed the chocolatiers along 5th […]

BETTING THE OTHER WAY by Peter Nolan Smith

For centuries few good roads through the thickly forested hills of the Ardennes and Luxembourg served as a fortress against invading armies in Northern Europe. Steep cliffs surrounded the city and hundreds of troops could defend against the attack of thousands. Militarists called the citadel the Gibraltar of the North and in the autumn of […]

Torah Torah Torah by Peter Nolan Smith

TORA TORA TORA was one of my mother’s favorite films. The infamy of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor burned bright in her memory. Her friends from Jamaica Plain enlisted in the Marines, Army, and Navy by the scores. Many of them failed to return to Boston. Their bodies rest on islands across the Pacific. […]

OI VEY CHEESECAKE by Peter Nolan Smith

As a young boy growing up outside of Boston, my classmates and I were jealous of the liberal closed-day policy of Beaver Country Day School. The predominantly Jewish school had more snow days per annum than any other institution south of the St. Lawrence River and the shuffle of holydays shortened their school year by […]

KOSHER PIG by Peter Nolan Smith

Two years ago business in the Diamond District was almost non-existent during the high holidays of Rosh Shananah and Yom Kippur. The Hassidim disappeared to the various shetls scattered around New York and tourists entered our diamond exchange to gawk at the diamonds and jewelry. At least twice a day out-of-towners asked in complete seriousness, […]