I’ll Talk Manhattan

Well . . . eventually. As you may have gathered from the snapshot (in case you are among the multitude not inclined to catch up with my keepings-up), I am back in the town I called home for about fifteen years of my life, the town to which I owe more than my academic education, the town that owes me my youth but, I am glad to say, is welcome to it. It sure feels great to be back; to hear the sirens in the avenues, to smell the dusty streets, to see what’s being torn down, remodelled, or in a familiar if progressive state of disrepair. How nice it is to run into old neighbors and catch up on months of gossip, of which the apartment building in which I am staying is full, considering that another story is being added to it and its frame is suffering along with the old tenants who are being expected to put up with dirt, noise, and noticeable structural damage.

It is a treat to inhabit places I otherwise only read about or see online, in journals like Courting Destiny (of which I thought when I passed the Fairway market) or NY Nitty-Gritty. Aside from walking around town and revisiting (or hoping to revisit) places I used to frequent (the Strand bookstores, for instance, which is not far from the South Street Seaport of which I took the picture on the right; or the aforementioned Argosy) I am taking it far easier than the tourist who feels obliged to cram the metropolitan experience into a tight schedule. Sure, I got my eyes on tickets for two Broadway shows: the highly acclaimed Grey Gardens and the much-maligned Deuce (starring Angela Lansbury); but that’ll have to wait until I am good and ready for evenings at the theater.

Luxuriating in leisure, I still need time sit down and to carry on with broadcastellan, which, after all, is a journal about sitting down, closing one’s eyes, and listening to the radio. Since I am enjoying a clear wireless signal (much to the surprise of this piggy-backer), I am able to make a few additions to my old-time radio recordings library. So, I guess I am squirreling it right now, gathering food for thought to be enjoyed in the comfort and quiet of my new home across the Atlantic . . .

2 Replies to “I’ll Talk Manhattan”

  1. Maybe if you have the time and the inclination, you could stop by the New York Public Library and see if issues of Writer\’s Digest from circa 1923 contain articles or mentions of radio drama or \”radarios\” … T. C. O\’Donnell, the editor of the Cincinnati-based magazine, apparently wrote an original radio play for children (\”The Magic Journey\”) that was broadcast over Cincinnati station WLW on September 6, 1923, according to a Lawrence Lichty article I read recently. This was one of about twenty-five dramatic programs (originals as well as adaptations of Ibsen, Moliere, Maeterlinck, et cetera) broadcast by the station between October \’22 and October \’23. Supposedly, the station\’s dramatic troupe, the Crosley Radarians, was presenting a drama every week by the end of \’23, including winners of what was probably the first radio drama writing contest anywhere.

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  2. You read Bill Jaker\’s online essay on the origins of radio drama, no doubt:http://www.geocities.com/emruf7/1922.htmlI\’ve come across a number of contemporary articles on early radio dramatics contradicting Hughes\’s claim to have written the first radio play.Meanwhile, you\’ve been looking at this journal for some time now and read my remarks about \”Danger.\” Why not tell me something about your project?

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