New York Stories

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Paulette wants to give up and go home to her parents but Lionel persuades her to stay because New York is where a painter needs to be. Lionel pours his anxiety and repressed passion into his work. Paintings around the studio show visual metaphors from relations past: stormy skies, burning bridges, and tormented clowns. Lionel realizes that he needs the emotional turmoil of his destructive relationships in order to fuel his art.

In the last scene, at the art exhibit, Lionel meets another attractive young woman, a struggling painter. He persuades her to become his assistant, and potentially his lover, beginning the cycle anew. There are no exterior shots which makes it imposssible to know the street location.

Adrien Brody also appears in his first film role. It is on two levels, united by two grand staircases and a lesser one that passes under Terrace Drive to provide passage southward to the Elkan Naumburg bandshell and The Mall, of which this is the architectural culmination, the theatrical set-piece at the center of the park. The upper terrace flanks the 72nd Street Cross Drive and the lower terrace provides a podium for viewing the Lake.

The mustard-olive colored carved stone is New Brunswick sandstone, with a harder stone for cappings, with granite steps and landings, and herringbone paving of Roman brick laid on edge. The fountain and terrace have been featured ins several films and TV shows including Gossip Girl, the terrace is a sanctuary for Serena van der Woodsen when she is troubled. Well, not yet. The poor man had no idea of what was about to happen. But fate played a hand that night. When they all said goodbye at the line of yellow cabs outside the bar, neither Dave nor Joy knew that the evening was the start of many to come.

Thanks anyway. To be honest with you, the young wan never stops moaning, you know how they are at that age? My young lad is special needs so he is staying home with his Da. She had buckled and unbuckled her seat belt several times, and her elbows knocked against my ribs each time, no matter how I tried to shrink myself into a ball against the window. The cabin crew were explaining the evacuation procedures as the woman leafed through the Sky shopping brochure, sniffing and reaching overhead adjusting the air conditioning so it now was blowing cold air directly onto my forehead.

Too right! I wanted to tie a knot in her tubing so she would suffocate at the point of impact if there was one. The man on the far side of Miss Melt my Head ,in the aisle seat,was pretending to be asleep, or he else was dead. Either way, he was fortunate and I gave him an evil look for deserting me. Did she not think I understood the meaning of words. I could hear each sweet being noisily crushed into tiny fragments in her mouth as she crunched and munched each one. We had a dog that used to do that with pebbles I remembered.

She grabbed the sleeve of my jacket. What must she think when she looks at me? Mid thirties, nice nails, good clothes, no wedding ring. Maybe has a kid, but probably not. Career woman, loads of money, great life, no worries. A Culchie done good. My uncle is in Australia this past forty years and still talks about coming home.

I closed my eyes and realised the tightness in my chest was still present, as it had been since the most recent argument with my brother about the division of the farm,the house. When really it was about the division of loyalties, old hurts, of things left unsaid for years and now it was too late. The woman tried to order a ham and cheese panini with no cheese, and as they were already pre packaged, she spent the final twenty minutes pulling long streamers of melted cheese out of it with her fingers, and placing them in a greasy little pile on the napkin nearest my arm.

I felt sick and tried breathing through my mouth. The plane touched down, and she was first to applaud and cheer. She was also the first to stand up and begin grabbing her stuff from the overhead lockers, despite the plane still moving along the runway. I waited until every passenger had disembarked.

I had no baggage to collect, just the small cabin bag which I pulled along behind me. I was tired and just wanted to get back home. It was just one of those days that if you looked up the patch of visible sky was off-white. One of those days that, when you showered you never seemed to dry. One of those days when the only place to be was inside; doors and windows hermetically sealed and the air conditioning up full.

It was a day like that that Mike Morann found himself in mid-town, 59th and Lex to be exact; an accident had jambed the place. Horns blared, cab drivers screamed, it was humid and nothing had moved for nearly two hours. Mike Morann thought, Manhattan was always hot, thirteen million people nuts to butts, of course its going to get hot. Mike was getting it in the neck from Fat Howey in the Depot. Fuckin eye-tie. But if Mike had listened to Howey instead of rolling a spliff. But he was rolling a spliff and thinking how bad could it be anyway and turned onto fifty-fifth and was now caught in the backup on Lex and was heading uptown with a load that was worthless.

It was sixty Newton stuff and had gone hard in the mid-town traffic. So hey, he took a wrong turn. Can a guy not screw up once in a while? Can a guy not spliff up once in a while? What does that guinea wop expect? Mike had two choices, one, he could wait it out and get back to the depot. It was quite relaxing when he turned off the radio and Howey, just sitting there, on his perch. High up above everyone else. The worse frickin job on the planet. He contemplated this and lit up another one. Or, he could abandon ship. Just bail. Just leave this big yellow mother sitting right here, right in the middle of Lex.

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Take his lunch, his five Quaaludes, leave the empty bud cans, climb down, swing that big heavy door shut and be back in Mulligans suckin on a cold one in time to catch the whole thing on channel five. Left that big Yellow mother blockin up Lexington and got the number 7 at 59th street to Sunnyside and got off at fortyninth street, crossed the Boulevard and straight into Mulligans.

None of the guys were in yet and Jimmy Buckley from the county Cork was sitting on a bar stool outside the counter flickin channels. Howey owed him a days pay and no Wop was going to screw a Morann. Okay, so he could go back, hammer it out and get back in the saddle. Who knows, Howey might even give him a bonus for all the free advertising he got him on channel five. Though the wetbacks wanted to buy him beers. Maybe a little therapeutic even. He got Jimmy Buckley to put a pint of vodka on his tab telling him he pay him Friday when he collected his check.

He picked up a dozen oranges at Menzies on the corner. Back in his apartment He injected the oranges with the vodka, and placed them back in their red net bag. That was his secret weapon. When he had the full pint injected into all twelve he crashed. Next morning he was up and shaved by six — it was a brand new day. He sat in Menzies with his dozen oranges and had a coffee and two cigarettes. No eye-tie was going to put one over on Irish. He was at the depot for six fifty five.

Can you believe this guy. Fuckin mick. A team had been jackhamrin through the night before it got really hard. But there was still half of it to get out and it just kept getting harder and harder. Mike donned the goggles and the earmuffs and the dust mask. Inside would be unbareable in the ninety degree heat. Pieceacake, right or wrong? But sure as shit that concrete was already as hard as a grooms cock and after five minutes Mike had his first orange and had one every ten minutes after that. By nine the dozen oranges were gone and he was sweatin like a Suomo in a sheepskin but was flying and thinkin, who needs this shit anyway?

At midday Howey waddled over to Maybe I was wrong about the guy. A little admiration for the mick was beginning to well up inside Howey. Howey stuck his head through the hatch and was blinded by the dust. You in there Irish? He waited. There was no change in the sound of the jackhammer, it was constant. He pulled the airline and the hammer died. He waited expecting Mike to stick his head out to see what the problem was.

He waited, no Mike. When the dust cleared Howey could see the hammer lying on the base of the drum and the handle was tied up with the red net bag that had held the oranges.


Mike had bailed. But by that time Mike was back in Mulligans suckin on a cold one and playing pool with a wetback and given him advice about finding work. On Friday he rang Howey from Mulligans for his pay check, — after all, he worked what he worked. The weather had been iffy for much of the trip, but that was a sunny, warm day. Maybe it was the other side of the high front that made the New York weather so perversely crystalline that awful morning. For us, it was a big flat rock surrounded by fields. In the distance, the Atlantic glistened, seemingly beckoning to us. After lunch, we returned to our rented white Micra.

The radio started up as soon as I turned the key in the ignition. He was talking about some kind of tragedy in New York. I was born in New York, and it was my home for my first odd years. I started crying, but ever the tough Marine, my father stayed calm. We reached Leenane, checked into the first hotel we saw, and went into its dingy lounge to watch the TV. There were a few other people there, and like us, they seemed sickened and sometimes uncomfortably thrilled by the real-life disaster movie unfolding on the small screen mounted above the snooker table.

None were Americans, but we received many sympathetic looks and comments whenever anyone heard our accents, both that day and in the ones ahead. That Friday, Ireland declared a national day of mourning—the only other country, aside from Israel, to join the U. As far as I could tell, more than half of the businesses in Dublin, and probably three-quarters of the restaurants, were closed that day.

My father and I appreciated the international solidarity, but we were hungry. When we found a hotel restaurant that was open, the staff was apologetic, embarrassed to be caught ignoring the day of mourning by two Americans. But we were grateful to be fed. My dad flew back to the States a few days later, once the air traffic ban was lifted, and I returned three months later for Christmas.

Instead of asking her what they were, I hugged her. By that time, the debris and human remains had been mostly cleared away, and the stench of smoke was gone. A friend and I made our way to a wooden fence with lots of flyers on it: photos, tributes, pleas for information—still, even though it was more than a year after the fact. The covers were bright, and all involved dark plumes of smoke, smoke that carried bits of metal, glass and flesh. The worst was the people posing for photographs.

Some tried to look serious as they posed, but most of them smiled, which was worse. Following a route dictated by my dark Irish-American nature, we then made our way to the Irish Famine Memorial. The thing that overwhelmed me was the smell. The Irish have long known that anything from blight to bombs can suddenly reverse individual lives and national trajectories. New York By Mary Healy. Ann Quinn rang up, the girls were off to New York for a few days, and did I want to come? Yes, I said, before I gave myself time to make up an excuse.

Some weeks later I closed my eyes as the plane turned on its side to prepare for landing. The taxi was yellow, just like the ones on television, a big tank of a car. There were so many people, filing out of the underground, walking fast, eyes focused, confident, street wise. Is this where they all lived or were these office blocks? Where did they hang their washing? Was there a massive yard at the back with clothes drying for 17 million people and if they all came out at the one time I wondered where they would all stand?

We did the sights, went to see ground zero, a gouged wound in the earth that still ached, twelve months on. While we stood there an elderly woman in a wheel chair and a young man held a silent vigil. Tears rolled silently down her face while he gripped the handles of the chair, white knuckled, pale faced, bereft. The next day was Sunday, two of us decided to see what the big ho ha was about Madison Square Garden.

We walked up the steps peered in and found one of the doors open. They brought us around the stadium, an all access tour through the locker rooms, corridors, staging rooms, down the aisles of seats, across to where a man was machine polishing the ice skating rink. No papers. It was the worst day of my life.

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I can picture him sitting at the kitchen table like always, drinking tea after the dinner and smoking his pipe. Later we decided to take the tourist drive around Central Park. The driver wore a tartan cap and had a varnished black thorn stick beside him. He asked, as he helped us aboard the horse drawn carriage. We wanted to visit one of those shopping outlets and Woodbury Common was hailed as the place to go.

We needed a bus to get there. So we duly arrived at Port Authority and bought our tickets. That was easy enough and we had plenty of time before our bus left. I was beginning to feel very New York, almost like one of the natives as we stood outside on the street waiting for our bus. I must say I was a bit dubious, buying a bus ticket at a place called Port Authority.

After about ten minutes waiting we began to wonder, not one bus had passed our way. In fact there was no sign of any buses what so ever. Surely in a city of 17 million people there would be a bus passing?


We went back inside to the booth and were directed upstairs. There we found a whole fleet lined up, one after the other, all on the point of departure. Costello By M. Really enjoyed this Leona, very evocative. On Broadway. On Broadway he ploughs his cart like Columbus across the seas. Legs wrapped in black plastic, hair plaited with dirt. He keeps his eyes lowered; rescues a rolling Coke from the sidewalk. The tourists, in bright t-shirts, trot out of his way and the office suits, who pass him every day, pass again.

But they all bite their lips and hold their breath against the unwashed nightmare of him: redundancy, home repossession. He shakes the last dregs and a cigarette butt from the can, before bedding it down into his collection. The hermetically sealed traffic swerves around him. His fingertips brush the roped-up bags of treasure. He smiles at the tinkle and crunch of aluminium as the cart bumps over hot tarmac. From the red and white of a Friday Bud to the bright green of a Sunday morning Mountain Dew: all the company he needs.

They tried to answer with accents thick as molasses and up-jumbled words. Nobody heard them. He shouts, a single syllable warning, as a truck tramples too close. He shields the cart with his body. The flag catches in the updraft and tightens around his neck. Until then he keeps the cart moving; one more sail fluttering against the wind. We were half way over the Atlantic. Half way to New York. Half way from Ireland. I wanted to look out the window and feel the weight——and weightlessness——of my twenty-year-old self dangling half way between the New World and my old world.

I wanted to imagine St. Brendan paving the way before me on the ocean below me—moody and threatening like an upside-down Irish sky. I wanted to feel the clock skip back for a five-hour do-over. I tried to imagine where I would fit in all the traffic, highways, and noise. My grandmother ducked her head every time we went under an overpass. Maureen had been in New York for seven years so she pronounced Billy Joel correctly and drank weak tea.

He had me shaking the tambourine while he applied his mascara, said it brought out the witch doctor in him — the tambourine shaking. Then he turned to me directly and fixed me with his trademark dead eye. Anything we needed, Freddie was always our man, but Freddie had been hospitalised after a row in a bar the night before.

Somebody thought a crowbar would look good buried in his head, and gave it to him right across the brow. She welcomed me with a wink. Cheeky Girl brought me down the corridor and into a room full of Native Americans sitting in a circle, passing a bottle attached to a green hosepipe. They were flying while listening to an old Jamaican guy playing the didge in the corner.

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I was a tippler, not a toker, but I sat down and took a good hit while Cheeky Girl held the apparatus for me. Then while the old guy beside me took his turn, Cheeky Girl took my hand and led me into her bedroom. My head was rushing and my limbs were weak. She sat me down on her bed while she opened up her stash, taking out two pills, popping one and pressing the other on to my tongue. Who was I to deny her? Five minutes later I was walking out the door with a tightly packed quarter of her finest neatly tucked into the breast pocket of my denim jacket and my hat hung low.

Cheeky Girl had given me flight, lifted me clear off the ground, and I had to really focus to keep it together. I stepped backwards and swallowed. His intention was clear: he was going to stab me. The siren behind us did a slow hiccup of a wail. I turned and saw the two uniforms walking from their car towards us.

It was so perfectly timed that I imagined the old Legend flicking his tambourine to it. Then the cops asked me would I mind coming down to Precinct 6 with them to the police station to help them with a murder enquiry. My gut never felt so good. My hat was straw, spray-painted black and now I had a murder rap to beat. I stood up. She started searching me around my ankles and worked her way up my legs, checking me very thoroughly, feeling up my thighs, around my groin and the back of my jeans.

Then a plain-clothes cop walked into the station. Her eyes met mine — she was a cop, she knew what it was. The other cops apologised and told me I could go. I waited for her clemency. She moved away without a word. Downing Out in New York. Nobody believed me. Most of them ignored me. A few, wearing tentative smiles, listened while I tried to tell them my story. Occasionally, they gave me some quarters or a couple of dollars. I kept at it. What else could I do? Ahem, I need to get to Boston. I was mugged. Five or six guys jumped me.

Lost everything. I have relatives in Boston. That bitch. Wasted energy. I had to get myself out of this. Track her down. Get back what she took from me. Keep moving forward. And my papers. There was a whole gang of them. Puerto Ricans. They had knives and baseball-bats. I figured it would help me bide time.

The cops were funny guys. They liked to joke and stuff. I learned that fast.

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Just two days after this thing happened, this old guy starts talking to me in the park. There were empty benches everywhere, and he sits down on my bench. He was looking straight ahead. I thought he was some old crazy talking to himself. My stomach did a somersault looking at him. An instant rage bubbled inside my head. I come from Ireland.

Why was I explaining myself to this old man? Nobody bothers you. I affected a blank stare at the middle of the pond for a few seconds, and then I dropped my head back into the newspaper. Despite his situation, the bum seemed sharp enough. People were beginning to fill up the benches nearby. I half-cupped a hand over my face, like I was shielding my eyes from the sun. There was no sun. If the old lad had confused me for one of his own, ordinary people would too.

But how could they? In the skip was paper and office stuff. I mean it was a clean skip, and it had a roof and everything. I broke the lock. Just pulled up the lid and got in. I slept alright, considering. And my clothes were no different to every other guy my age on the street: jeans and T-shirt, a dark T-shirt. Was there something obvious about my face? Grime maybe. I needed to see my reflection. He had his head on his chest now and his eyes were closed.

He appeared to be asleep. I left the bag on the bench and hurried across to the pond. Leaving the bag sitting there was a way of holding on to my seat. And my hair looked tidy. I scooped up some water with one hand and worked my fingers over my face and into my scalp. It felt good. Kind of cleared up a lot of things that had been muzzy. Who needed a jealous girlfriend anyway?

She goes hysterical, screaming and shouting and clawing at me with those red nails. Even attacks her friend. And this is all going on in the hotel room. She threatens to call the authorities right there and then. It all happens in seconds. She picks up the phone-receiver and starts stabbing at the dial-pad. I kind of lose it and smash the phone off the press, only it catches her in the side.

She lets out this extended scream. One of those screams you hear in movies. No car, no wallet and no violin. I go back to the hotel the next day, but the guy in reception gets real ticked-off when I keep pressing him about the violin. She must have left it, I insist. He keeps up this nasty smile and repeats, in this barely-tolerating voice, how the bill was paid and the room vacated that morning.

No violin was found in the room. The manager is equally unhelpful. Something to tell the folks back home, if I ever got back home. And then I saw them, one on either side of my bag. He and the old bum were engaged in a conversation that sounded like a growling match.

I stomped over to them, ready for action. The two old grizzlies stopped talking and watched my approach. The yanks are right. He held up splayed fingers and moved his hands the way a conductor indicates a diminuendo.

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I ripped open the zip and started rooting inside, making a real show of it. But immediately I was sorry for my outburst. I reminded myself of her and her hysterics. Instead I shook my head disapprovingly while closing the bag, as though I was still miffed about it being interfered with, and limped away.

My water. That filthy hobo had swiped my bottle of water. Almost full it was, too. Apart from needing to wash away the miniature Sahara in my throat, the bottle was a kind of crutch, something to hold onto when I approached strangers and pitched my story. Made me look legitimate, I thought, a beat-up traveller doing his thing. Now I had to break into the few dollars given me on the street.

You could tell that right off. Soon as I had a violin again, I could start busking and make some real money, get myself cleaned up, and maybe even book into a hotel. After the cop told me to push on, I went to a shopping mall. Two security staff tailed me and openly walkie-talkied each other about my movements. The streets of New York are a maze. In the large shop window the saxophones and trumpets caught splinters of neon and sparkled. My interest lay farther in at the back of the shop where I could just about make out other stringed instruments. I belched. A cloying fishy after-taste from the scampi-flavoured crisps was in my mouth.

I gulped down a mouthful of water. My vision focused on my reflection in the shop window. Weather-beaten, my skin had turned red, almost purple. I moved on into the day. A group of teenage girls I had to walk around giggled loudly after me. I sensed the eyes of other passers-by slashing at me. I increased my walking-pace. What the hell were they looking at? How many of them had been to college?

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  5. Did they ever play in an orchestra at a national concert hall? I watched an old woman approaching at a distance. She was shuffling along on a cane and mumbling to a tiny dog she had on a lead. As she came closer I could see what she was doing. Pretending not to notice me, trying to keep her wrinkled old eyes averted, it was so obvious. Who did she think she was with her black headscarf and uppity attitude? Even the dog ignored me. She squinted at me through lenses as thick as a telephone directory, looked me up and down, and then turned into the traffic on the busy road.

    For a while, they had a mutually beneficial relationship—she had a place to work on her own art and a mentor who always had some helpful paternal advice about her life and career, while he had sex, comfort, and inspiration. She falls into a full-blown artistic crisis, but as her threats to give up and move out escalate, Dobie finds new creative inspiration in the turmoil—giving him the bold new work he needs for his big show and reaffirming his own creative talent. He had always been inclined towards flashy, daring camerawork, but the Steadicam gave him an ease of movement that was simply impossible on a dolly or crane.

    The short anthology format, while constraining in run time, proves actually quite liberating for Scorsese, freeing him from the expectations that a studio would normally impose on him if it were a narrative feature. Skip to content.