Category Archives: Bet On Crazy


Two years ago the Diamond District on 47th Street was dead on the high holiday of Sukkot. All throughout the shetls of Williamsburg families were commemorating the Hebrews’ wandering in the desert after the Exodus in Egypt by setting up sukkahs or outside dwelling to symbolize the tents on that decades-long journey to find someplace […]

MEA CULPA OI VEY by Peter Nolan Smith

Yesterday afternoon I rode my bike down Kent Street to Williamsburg. Scores of Hassidim were flocking out of the Brooklyn shtel. They congregated by the East River to atone for their sins and the Expulsion from Eden. Men and women were separated by a fence and I thought about taking a photo, but realized this […]

May Day

May Day 2014 I was sitting at my desk in the Fort Greene observatory. I knew today was an important labor holiday, but I wish that I was working and said so yesterday to my old boss from the Diamond District. “I wish I could give you a job, but there’s no business.” said the […]


When Cecil B. DeMille’s THE TEN COMMANDMENTS was released in 1956 and its box office success earned the cinematic retelling of Exodus over $180 million dollars. In 1962 Paramount Pictures re-released the film for screenings at drive-ins across the nation and my father loaded my brothers and sisters into our Ford station wagon to view […]

HELLBOUND by Peter Nolan Smith

TS Eliot wrote that April was the cruelest month of all in his epic poem THE WASTELAND. Those words rang harsh and true in 2011, as Passover and Easter combined to devastate business in the Diamond District. On Good Friday I waited for two customers to come back as promised. I had three Burma sapphires […]