Tag Archives: history

A New York Minute (18) September 2014- Al Pacino!

17 Sep

September 17, 2014

Hello, and welcome to your New York Minute. This week’s episode is brought to you by Pharell’s big hat.

Al Pacino was born in Manhattan, but it took some Brooklyn law breaking for him to become one of Hollywood’s biggest stars.

I live in South Brooklyn, and in more than one New York Minute I talked about organized crime and the movies. There was Kid Twist and Coney Island, the Bowery Boys, even the mob shaking down the crew filming Saturday Night Fever. Al Pacino starred in some of the greatest organized crime films ever made, The Godfather and The Godfather Part Two. Many years later, he also starred in a Godfather parody called The Godfather Part Three.

Pretty much for as long as I can recall, I had been told that one of the houses in The Godfather was actually located right around here, so the other day, just for you, I set out to find “the Godfather house” and sure enough, it was right in my backyard.

As seen in the movie

As seen in the movie

Turns out it was the house that Clemenza lived in, and although I already had the address, I found out that the neighbors are pretty good about people, like me, who still come around looking for the house and taking pictures. I’d ask if you go, please be nice and respectful, as it is a quiet residential neighborhood. It’s a narrow street, so don’t try to double park, and also, please don’t knock on the door and ask if Martin Scorsese ever drops by from some capicola. Um, not that I did that.

The house today. I took the shot on the right.

The house today. I took the shot on the right.

The most interesting thing about the house isn’t the building itself, which is pretty nice, it’s the neighborhood. It is located just a few minutes away from the inspiration for another famous Al Pacino film. Just the next year, Al, (we’re on a first name basis, we’re good like that), was back in Brooklyn filming Dog Day Afternoon, and unlike The Godfather, this was based on an infamous bank robbery that happened wayback when I was a kid. And it turns out that I pass the robbery location almost every single day.

The scene of the crime: then and now

The scene of the crime: then and now

I’m not talking about where the film was shot, this is the actual robbery scene. Back in the 70’s this was a Chase bank, but today it is vacant. Want to rent it? The way this area is going, it’ll be sure to be a hipster juice pub thing any day now. Anyway, the building has gone through a few owners, it still has the cut corner that was a trademark of Chase banks of the era.

The movie was filmed in Windsor Terrace, still in Brooklyn but with Prospect Park as a backdrop. In a nutshell, the bank robbery went bad, hostages were taken, and it turned into a police standoff with the hundreds of onlookers rooting for the crooks. In the end, the cops seem to give in to their demands but Pacino’s character gets 20 years in prison. Spoiler warning! That was a spoiler.

dogdaymovie

Interestingly, both films also starred the amazing yet odd John Cazale, and if he were born in Brooklyn this would have been a neat and tidy way of wrapping things up but he had to spoil it be by being born in Massachusetts. No foresight there, thanks a lot.

Although I was too young to see any of the filming of these movies, in 1991 I did get to see the filming of Steven Segal’s Out for Justice, and believe me, that’s not a feather in anybody’s cap.

This has been your movie star, and Steven Segal, -filled New York Minute, and like Pacino said in The Godfather III- “just when I think I’m out, they pull me back in!”

What, you were expecting Scent of a Woman? “HOOOOOO-AH!” There you go.

An audio version of this story recently appeared in the amazing FlashPulp website. Check them out for awesomeness and goodies!

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Today In History: September 5th

5 Sep

September 5, 2014

You got a lotta nerve asking about today after what you did. Yeah, you think September 5th 1987 just disappeared, that we don’t remember that? Yeah, you got a lot of nerve. Get the eff out of here!

 

angry-woman

 

 

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Snappier Answers to Stupider Headlines (September 2014)

4 Sep

September 4, 2014

You’ve got to love Newser.com, that plucky little news site that no one cares about. No one makes it their homepage, no one goes there for breaking news, but they keep on putting their links out there, everywhere, on the theory that if they throw enough funny pictures in your face you’ll eventually click on something. It’s cute the way they try, like that little puppy that just can’t reach the top of the couch but keeps making those silly little hops in a vain attempt to reach the cushions.

I’ve posted a couple other Snappy Answers to Newser headlines before (HERE and HERE, have fun, click away) and the response has been overwhelming. My great-aunt’s sewing circle, The Newkirk Needles, has sent me no less than three (!) glowing emails heaping praise upon the last installment. Check it out!

Dear Great-Nephew. I received your latest posting of your blog called More Snappy Answers to Stupid Headlines. I read it. Regards.

Dear Mr. Tepid Blog. Your great aunt passed on to me your Snippy Answers essay. What class is it for? I thought it was for American history but I’m not sure. But good luck and I hope you get an “A.”

To Mr. Blog’s Tepid Ride: UNSUBSCRIBE

They love me! and here are three more headlines to love!

newserb

“House Fire Was Dog’s Fault: Police. No One Else Was Home, Pet Gets Saved.”

Seriously? Isn’t this another variation of blaming your farts on the dog? Everything gets blamed on the dog. Who broke the lamp? The dog. Who spilled milk all over the living room rug? The dog. Who took Ambien, sleepwalked into the kitchen in the middle of the night, tried to broil a steak, then fell asleep on the kitchen floor and woke up late for work and rushed out the door, forgetting about the steak in the oven, and a few hours later the grease caught on fire and set the house ablaze? The dog.

newsera

“Woman’s Buttocks Impaled When Texting While Driving. Christina Jahnz Says She Just Checked Phone For A Split Second.”

To quote Seinfeld, when Frank Costanza found himself in a similar back door predicament (The Fusilli Jerry): “It was a million to one shot, doc. Million to one.” When Oprah issued her No Cell Phone Challenge, I don’t recall getting anally penetrated being listed as one of the dangers of texting and driving. Because that would sure keep me from texting behind the wheel.

newserc

Kid Writes Story About Killing A Dinosaur, Gets Arrested. Mom: ‘We Don’t Have dinosaurs Anymore.'”

And WHY don’t we have dinosaurs anymore? Because of punk kids like your son! Take that, Lady! PWNED!

Somebody better read Ray Bradbury’s story “A Sound of Thunder” because it is about exactly that- a hunter kills a dinosaur. The Simpsons even did a parody of this! Sheesh, it is a good thing Ray Bradbury died in 2012 or he’d be under arrest today.

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