Tag Archives: 47th street

SHABBAS STARKER by Peter Nolan Smith

New York in the 70s was a tough place. Tough guys were a dime a dozen. Killers cost a lot more. Nowadays some guys think they are tough. Few of them are. Four years ago Richie Boy, his father Manny and I went to Sofia’s on West 48th Street for an after-work drink. Sitting at […]

Happy Purim

Five years ago I wandered through West 47th Street looking for a job. No one was interested in hiring a goy on Purim and my Hassidic friends cajoled me into having a drink with them. “Whiskey is kosher.” They poured a good measure of Scotch into a glass. “Shalom.” I clinked glass with them following […]

KOSHER PIG by Peter Nolan Smith

Ten 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, […]

SNOW DAY by Peter Nolan Smith

Several years ago I woke up to a heavy snow falling fast on the Fort Greene Observatory and I asked the head curator AP, if he was sending his two young children to school. “Of course I am.” AP worked from home and his kids like all kids were attention-seekers. “So no snow day?” The […]

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 […]