An Afternoon at the Library

I was asked, “Are you here for research or visiting?” I’ve never been asked that before. “Research!” Of course. Duh! As per usual, I’m looking into a very, very morbid topic. True crime is all the rage right now, and my angle is the most, I don’t know how to put it, maybe dramatic? It has to do with something I learned while researching my book about the NYPD’s Cold Case Squad. I always meant to come back to it and I think the time is right.

I took this picture on my way out.

34 Orchard Street

I wanted to let people know about a new literary journal called 34 Orchard Street. “A literary journal that takes you dark places.” Because …

“Darkness is just across the street.

“Everyone has a haunting.

“If it’s not a ghost in your own home, it might be the ghost that lives in that house they told you about at the end of the block—the one that’s always for sale, or the one that is abandoned, staring at you with darkened windows like doleful, empty eyes: Stay away from the house at 34 Orchard Street, the older kids told you.”

Sometimes darkness is right in front of you, and getting CLOSER. (You’re getting pictures of Bodhi because 34 Orchard Street doesn’t have pictures yet that I can grab and post.)

A Quick Trip to the Library

I do most of my research at the main branch of the New York Public Library, a beautiful place to work. Here is a quick shot looking up.

And this is a shot across the subway platforms, as I’m waiting for my train to go home. A different kind of beautiful place.

Amahl and the Night Visitors, 2020

My friend Barbara and I have been going to see the Grace Church performance of Amahl and the Night Visitors for over ten years! The actors never change, except Amahl, for which I am grateful, they are all so delightful. Thank you Tami Petty, Aram Tchobanian, AJ Stetson, Alvin Crawford, Bob Lukomski, the Grace Church Adult Choir, Dr. Patrick Allen, and this year’s Amahl (last year’s also) Sarah Weber.

Buddy Noro, or, When People Could Still Disappear

I took a picture of 546 Hudson Street, a building that has been empty and abandoned for a long time. I googled it and saw that the last three businesses to occupy this space were Vincent Louis Galleries in the 1990’s, a place called the Junque Shoppe from the 1970’s to early 1990’s, and the Half Moon in the 1960’s.

There were a number of articles about the Junque Shoppe and the owner, Buddy Noro, who became very politically active in the 1980’s, in response to the AIDS crisis. I didn’t make a huge effort, but I couldn’t find out much about him, aside from his love of the items he collected for his shop, and some of the efforts he made to help when little was known about AIDS.

Buddy died in 1993, when he was 61. Not so long ago, you could live and die without leaving much of a trace. I know there’s a lot of backlash against the need for fame among the people growing up with the internet. But the upside of that is, fewer people will die and disappear. Everyone deserves to be remembered, to have left a mark, even if it’s a small mark, and only searched for by a small number of people.

Wait, now that I’m looking at this, did I research the wrong building number? Should I have been looking for 548? It would be funny if I came across Buddy Noro as the result of a mistake. (I checked later and no, I was researching the right number building.)

Buddy Noro in 1971.

Buddy Noro in 1972. I like this shot because it gives a peak at what it looked like behind and above the storefront back then.

Buddy Noro in 1988. He’s the guy on the left in the light colored suit and glasses.