Native New Yorker
One of a rare vanishing breed, the Native New Yorker: A four-borough man, from Manhattan’s Lower East Side, to the Bronx, to Queens, to Brooklyn and now back on “The Rock.” Left da Bronx, when that city-buster Robert Moses built a highway through our home. First big word I learned was eminent domain. Migrated with mom, dad and sis to the Woodside Housing Project in Queens where I found out that not everyone in the city was Jewish.
Attended William Cullen Bryant HS inauspiciously, and then began a career in the film business, working an assistant cameraman, gaffer, cameraman, and production manager. Said goodbye to the ‘jects when I lucked into a beautiful apartment in Brooklyn Heights for a hundred bucks a month. Grew disenchanted making TV commercials, decided to travel, spent a year in Europe and Africa, enchanted by Morocco, the Sahara desert and the Moroccan people. Returned, searched for a new beginning, and stumbled into being a film projectionist just when Jaws changed the film business forever. It was really fun for one summer.
Again decided this wasn’t for me, couldn’t imagine spending all day alone, it’s not my style. Met my ex-wife at a lib-men/lib/woman mixer at the local church, moved in together, had two kids, moved around Brooklyn. Returned to my roots as a filmmaker. My mom died, marriage soon after. Moved back to Manhattan, lived in Soho in a six-story walk up. Later, bounced around, surfing various friends couches until I found heaven in Hell’s Kitchen, where I now reside in a five-story tenement – top floor of course.
Survived the disaster of 2008 but realized it was again a time for change. Serendipitously spotted ad on Craig’s List – Tour guides wanted, will train, twenty bucks an hour. First time I stepped in front of a crowd with a microphone I realized that I was finally home. I had found my second calling, the priesthood of public storytellers – amen!