Category Archives: Bet On Crazy

A BARK BETTER THAN A BITE by Peter Nolan Smith

Every diamond shop on West 47th Street was open seven days a week from Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve. Sales people, guards, elevator operators, schleppers, cutters, setters, polishers, and even Lennie the Bum slaved throughout the holiday rush in hopes of scoring enough cash to buy presents. Stores extended their normal hours to entice late-night shoppers. […]

Tis the Season BET ON CRAZY

My boss at the diamond exchange hailed from Brownsville, one of the toughest neighborhood in Brooklyn and those streets bred its own language. For years Manny greeted Christmas shoppers to his diamond store with the phrase ‘there is no season for giving’. His son Richie Boy tried on many occasions to explain that he was […]

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. […]

SCHNORER / BET ON CRAZY by Peter Nolan Smith

On a late October afternoon in 1994 I hurried from the subway to the diamond exchange on 47th Street. A cold drizzle dampened the sidewalk. My leather jacket fought off the cold and my boots prevented the wet from touching my feet. It was 9:25 and I would have arrived to work on time, except […]

SUKKOT / 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 […]