Topic: Ladies & Gentlemen, The Bronx is Burning by Jonathan Mahler

Am halfway through this, it's a cracking yarn, about the Yankees 1977 World Series win, set against a backdrop of riots, looting, strikes, the blackout, Village lofts, Studio 54, CBGBs, City Hall politics and planners, Son of Sam, Murdoch buying the New York Post, etc. Certainly don't need to be a huge baseball fan to enjoy it. Great journalism.

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Re: Ladies & Gentlemen, The Bronx is Burning by Jonathan Mahler

Are baseball fans anything but huge?

Only those who dream will someday see their dreams converted to reality

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Re: Ladies & Gentlemen, The Bronx is Burning by Jonathan Mahler

I'm not. Particularly.

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Re: Ladies & Gentlemen, The Bronx is Burning by Jonathan Mahler

Sounds good that Fulmine. City was about bankrupt then from what I remember reading.

Call me up in dreamland. Radio to me man.

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Re: Ladies & Gentlemen, The Bronx is Burning by Jonathan Mahler

I thought you meant this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQO5CXdiwqQ

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Re: Ladies & Gentlemen, The Bronx is Burning by Jonathan Mahler

Cuts wrote:

I thought you meant this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQO5CXdiwqQ

That looks great actually, I'll watch it later.

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Re: Ladies & Gentlemen, The Bronx is Burning by Jonathan Mahler

The book it's based on is a minor classic of the Fireman writes a memoir gene.

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Re: Ladies & Gentlemen, The Bronx is Burning by Jonathan Mahler

Finally managed to find it in a bookstore today, danke Barnes & Noble.
Books are banned in Canada ...

Perfect NYC heatwave reading material

Take off hosers ...

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Re: Ladies & Gentlemen, The Bronx is Burning by Jonathan Mahler

Good call on this Fulmine. Found a cheap US copy in mint nick from an Edinburgh independent bookshop. Cheets for the heads up. Anyone seen the HBO film?

She’s the main man in the office in the city and she treats me like I’m just another lackey, but I can put a tennis racket up against my face and pretend that I am Kendo Nagasaki...

Re: Ladies & Gentlemen, The Bronx is Burning by Jonathan Mahler

Sorry, realised when I saw your (far more important, obviously) Official Announcement post that I hadn't answered this yet... be interested to see what you (and TT) think. Not seen the documentary, but yeah, would be well worth watching if they have all the various bits of footage, etc.

It's funny, I brought the book when I was over in New York earlier this year. Nipped into a bar for a quick pint, the book was in a transparent bag. The barman noticed it and said, "Great book..." bloke sat at the bar leant over and said "Oh yeah, great book..." His mate chipped in, then suddenly half the bar was enthusing about it.

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Re: Ladies & Gentlemen, The Bronx is Burning by Jonathan Mahler

It sounds ace, baggsy your copy when you're done Travis?

He spent all night staring down at the lights of LS. Wondering if he could ever go home.

Re: Ladies & Gentlemen, The Bronx is Burning by Jonathan Mahler

It's funny, I brought the book when I was over in New York earlier this year. Nipped into a bar for a quick pint, the book was in a transparent bag. The barman noticed it and said, "Great book..." bloke sat at the bar leant over and said "Oh yeah, great book..." His mate chipped in, then suddenly half the bar was enthusing about it.

Two things; next time you're over, get in touch for a shandy and repeat that with a copy of The Westies.

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Re: Ladies & Gentlemen, The Bronx is Burning by Jonathan Mahler

Seconded.

He spent all night staring down at the lights of LS. Wondering if he could ever go home.

Re: Ladies & Gentlemen, The Bronx is Burning by Jonathan Mahler

Cuts wrote:

It's funny, I brought the book when I was over in New York earlier this year. Nipped into a bar for a quick pint, the book was in a transparent bag. The barman noticed it and said, "Great book..." bloke sat at the bar leant over and said "Oh yeah, great book..." His mate chipped in, then suddenly half the bar was enthusing about it.

Two things; next time you're over, get in touch for a shandy and repeat that with a copy of The Westies.

Will do definitely, hopefully back over early-ish next year.

Just been reading some stuff about The Westies online, thanks, will grab a copy once I've finished this Peace Shankly book (which is the size of a small market town).

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Re: Ladies & Gentlemen, The Bronx is Burning by Jonathan Mahler

Mol wrote:

Seconded.

Looks really good. Googling around, I found this NY Times story...

Gang Said to Have Been Vanquished in ’80s Makes Cameo in Extortion Case
By JOSEPH GOLDSTEIN

Published: December 2, 2012

When federal prosecutors accused three men of a loan-sharking scheme last week, the authorities vividly described how the men used threats of violence to ensure that they would be repaid.

One debtor reported that someone fired a gun at his car as he was backing out of his driveway in Queens, according to court filings. Another debtor said two of the men, Daniel Hanley and his associate, would display firearms when he met with them to pay back a piece of what he owed.

But the most tantalizing accusation was not of violence but of affiliation: prosecutors described Mr. Hanley, 47, as a member of the Westies, the Irish-American gang in Hell’s Kitchen that specialized in extortion and in dismembering their victims.

When Mr. Hanley, who is in federal custody in the case charged with extortion, heard that he was being labeled a member of the Westies, “he was incredulous,” said his lawyer, Marion Seltzer.

She added, “It’s hard to be a member of an organization that no longer exists.”

The federal authorities claimed in 1988 that they had vanquished the organization, so the government’s assertion that the gang was still a going concern has added a twist to a case that otherwise would most likely have attracted little notice.

T. J. English, the author of a book about the gang, “The Westies,” described as “totally absurd” any claim that the Westies still existed.

The leadership of the organization, Mr. English said, was taken down in a trial in the late 1980s. Soon after the gang lost its key figures like James Coonan, its leader, to prison, it lost its turf on the West Side of Manhattan to gentrification.

“The environment that gave rise to the Westies is totally altered and changed,” Mr. English said. “Hell’s Kitchen of 2012 is not the same Hell’s Kitchen of 1975 or 1985.”

“The whole cultural framework” has changed, he said.

But he said the government might “throw it into the press release and stir things up.”

Indeed, the headline of the news release about the arrests that was issued by the United States attorney’s office mentioned the Westies.Irene Hanley, Mr. Hanley’s wife, also characterized the government’s claim that her husband was a member of the Westies as absurd.

“It’s absolutely baffling to us,” she said in a brief telephone interview. “I haven’t heard of the Westies in years. They all must be dead by now.”

Mr. Hanley’s ties, if any, to the neighborhood of Hell’s Kitchen remain unclear.

His wife said that he grew up in Queens and that the family had lived in TriBeCa for two decades before moving to Cliffside Park, N.J., in recent years.

Mr. Hanley served a prison term for robbery in the mid-1980s, according to prison records; details of that crime were not immediately available.

The government’s claim of Mr. Hanley’s gang affiliation appears toward the bottom of a letter by an assistant United States attorney in Brooklyn requesting that the court order Mr. Hanley and his two co-defendants held without bail.

“According to a witness, defendant Daniel Hanley is a member of the Westies,” says the court filing, signed by the federal prosecutor, SreeVamshi C. Reddy.

Robert Nardoza, the spokesman for the United States attorney’s office in Brooklyn, declined to comment further.

A law enforcement official said Mr. Hanley had described himself as a member of the Westies to one of the victims.

It was the second time in a year that rumors of the gang’s continued existence had received widespread attention.

An article in The New York Post in February declared, “The Westies are back,” after a nephew of two one-time Westies members was arrested last December, with the authorities saying he had been unloading nearly 250 pounds of marijuana from a private plane.

But the government’s court papers in that case did not mention the Westies, and the nephew’s lawyer said his client had no affiliation with the group. The nephew, John Bokun, who is in his early 30s, has since pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing.

Gerald L. Shargel, the defense lawyer who represented Mr. Coonan, the Westies’ leader, at trial 25 years ago, contested the idea that the Westies were ever an organized gang.

“The Westies historically were just a bunch of tough guys on the West Side of Manhattan, and it was convenient for the police to label them as Westies,” Mr. Shargel said, adding, “There were no made members, no ranks, no structure.”

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Re: Ladies & Gentlemen, The Bronx is Burning by Jonathan Mahler

I keep meaning to write a bit on my difinative must read NY books. The Westies is close to the top of the pile

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Re: Ladies & Gentlemen, The Bronx is Burning by Jonathan Mahler

Anyone read 'Love Saves The Day'?

She’s the main man in the office in the city and she treats me like I’m just another lackey, but I can put a tennis racket up against my face and pretend that I am Kendo Nagasaki...

Re: Ladies & Gentlemen, The Bronx is Burning by Jonathan Mahler

fulmine wrote:
Cuts wrote:

It's funny, I brought the book when I was over in New York earlier this year. Nipped into a bar for a quick pint, the book was in a transparent bag. The barman noticed it and said, "Great book..." bloke sat at the bar leant over and said "Oh yeah, great book..." His mate chipped in, then suddenly half the bar was enthusing about it.

Two things; next time you're over, get in touch for a shandy and repeat that with a copy of The Westies.

Will do definitely, hopefully back over early-ish next year.

Just been reading some stuff about The Westies online, thanks, will grab a copy once I've finished this Peace Shankly book (which is the size of a small market town).

Only just got around to reading the Westies earlier this month. It is brilliant. Thanks for the recommendation. Just ordered a copy of this online, after hearing plenty of good things.

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51PuW0L8TDL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

In her timely new book, Jill Leovy examines one of the most disturbing facts about life in America: that African-American males are, as she puts it, “just 6 percent of the country’s population but nearly 40 percent of those murdered.” Leovy describes neighborhoods steeped in pain: A mother, dressed in a baggy T‑shirt adorned with her murdered son’s picture, spends all day indoors, too terrified to step outside; the brother of a homicide victim purposely meanders through violent streets in the hopes that he too will meet the same fate; grieving parents all wear the same haunted expression, the empty stare that one police chaplain calls “homicide eyes.” Leovy’s focus is South Los Angeles, though similar stories abound in many of the nation’s poorest communities.

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Re: Ladies & Gentlemen, The Bronx is Burning by Jonathan Mahler

It's a great read. The writer's a journalist and it shows - snappy writing and he moves seamlessly between the various stories. A lot of the baseball went right over my head but the underlying story - old school coach vs flash young superstar - is universal. Great chapter on Bushwick.

"I'm not very good at being a hedonist... ...must try harder"

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Re: Ladies & Gentlemen, The Bronx is Burning by Jonathan Mahler

Travis Bickle wrote:

Anyone read 'Love Saves The Day'?

Yes, just recently. It's good. I knew the outline - Loft, Gallery, 54, Paradise Garage - but he filled in all the details. The tone veers from academic to gossipy but always readable.

Noticeably sniffy about Chic.

He's just published a book on early 80's NY club culture: https://soundsoftheuniverse.com/product/by-tim-lawrence

"I'm not very good at being a hedonist... ...must try harder"

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