Reading at Jefferson Market Library, 425 Avenue of the Americas (near West 10th Street), on Sunday, October 8, 2-4 p.m. I will read excerpts from my novels and New York stories, sign books, and take questions. Books will be available for purchase. I'll be glad to see a friendly face or two.
Dark Knowledge: Release date January 5, 2018, but copies now available from the author. Adult and young adult. A fast-moving historical novel about New York City and the slave trade, with the sights and sounds and smells of the waterfront. More excerpts to come.
The back cover summary:
were a minstrel, a journalist, a harbor master, a carter and, at some cost to the neighborhood’s diminished respectability, an actress. Stoops and entryways were demolished, to be replaced by storefronts, and later in the century old houses once graced with gentility resonated with the click of typewriters and the whir of sewing machines.
49 Bond Street, a Greek Revival house built circa 1830 and alteredin 1882 to become a library, and altered again in 1919 to house
stores and lofts. Now a mix of commercial and residential use.
Beyond My Ken
|Dr. Burdell (above), and the opening of Mrs. Cunningham's |
trial. From an unidentified contemporary publication.
|24 Bond, with the Gene Frankel Theater at ground level.|
Beyond My Ken
Today the signs of gentrification on Bond Street are unmistakable: morning dog walkers, antique stores, a photo lab, restaurants, and luxury housing as well. Once again after all these many years, Bond Street as a residential enclave is “hot.” In 2003-2008 an eleven-floor luxury housing building was built at 40 Bond. Hailed as an architectural masterpiece designed for "effortless luxury living," and taking the "wow factor" to a whole new level, it features a spaghetti-like ground-floor adornment, an aluminum tangle meant to mimic graffiti. (The affluent future residents were presumed to want a touch of street art.) In 2016 a tenth-floor four-bedroom apartment in the building sold for $14.5 million, at the time a record for NoHo. Such architectural joys are possible because the NoHo Historic District, designated in 1999, ends at Lafayette Street on Bond; from there to the Bowery it's fair game for developers.
|40 Bond Street, a huge glass box with street-level spaghetti. |
Beyond My Ken
Bond Street today is a curious mix of architectural styles, ranging from commercialized Federal to Screamingly Modern. The trend is definitely upscale, but with occasional throwbacks to an earlier era, like the D & D Salvage Corporation, a dealer in scrap metal on the ground floor at 51 Bond, a Federal-style house with Greek Revival elements that was built as a private residence circa 1830. The original stoop and Greek Revival doorway were removed in 1916 to accommodate lofts and offices, but the building still has the Federal-style dormer windows and retains its nineteenth-century look. Next door is a trendy delicatessen, and above the delicatessen an extension of Billy Reid, a luxury clothing designer whose main store is across the street at 54 Bond. How long can a scrap dealer, established in 1953, resist gentrification? Time will tell.
By way of contrast, at the northeast corner of Bond and Broadway there looms an impressive five-story red-brick building with sandstone trim in Victorian Romanesque style, with rounded arches over the windows. Built in 1873-74, it housed the Brooks Brothers clothing store from 1874 to 1884, and small manufacturers thereafter. Today it is home to a self-proclaimed "new center for high performance living" with "heroically scaled studios" and "expansive fitness floors" -- namely, Equinox Bond Street, a "luxury experience" gym in "one of downtown Manhattan's hottest neighborhoods." So on Bond Street today luxury fitness is in, scrap metal is out.
|Broadway and Bond Street today.|
Beyond My Ken
Visiting Bond Street recently, I noticed that even today its short length, going only two blocks from Broadway to the Bowery, gives it a relative tranquility that contrasts with the roaring traffic of the nearby thoroughfares: Broadway, the Bowery, Bleecker Street, and Houston. Tranquility, yes, but alas, there are no trees.
If you love the city (or hate it), this may be the book for you. An award winner, it sold well at BookCon 2017.
For readers who like historical fiction and a fast-moving story.
What was the gay scene like in nineteenth-century New York? Gay romance, if you like, but no porn (I don't do porn). Women have read it and reviewed it. (The cover illustration doesn't hurt.)
For Goodreads reviews, go here. Likewise available from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
Coming soon: The Banana and Me: the Cavendish, and how the CIA made sure we'd keep on eating it.