Tag Archives: bet on crazy

THE EXTERMINATING ANGEL OF PASSAICH by Peter Nolan Smith

When Cecil B. DeMille released THE TEN COMMANDMENTS in 1956 and it was an immediate box office success, earning 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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

AN XMAS EVE TALE by Peter Nolan Smith

Nine years ago the holiday sales plummeted to near-zero in New York’s Diamond District 47th Street. The Greater Depression had robbed the middle-class of their imagined wealth and jewelry purchases had been sacrificed to pay mortgages and credit card bills. America as a nation continued to suffer from the banking debacle, the collapse of the […]