Blame It on the VCRs

By Eve Babitz Smart, No. 9 When I was a madwoman in the 1960s, everyone I knew was getting laid like crazy. Everyone was wild for sex: they heard the phrase free love and ran amok across the land. Married men, married women, squares, hippies—everyone was on the prowl,...

Sober Virgins of the ’80s

By Eve Babitz Smart, Fall 1988 Not that I like the eighties, but the sixties, if you ask me, weren’t that great, either. I mean, in the fifties, for men to get girls into bed, they had to be good lovers, to persist, to be sensual and seductive and inevitable and...

Ronstadt for President

By Eve Babitz Smart, May–June 1989 [From Eve’s front of the book column titled “Love & Science”] I have been thinking that Linda Ronstadt is more politically effective than Jane Fonda. Linda has made the world safe for Mexican music. I mean, all Jane’s done is to...

The Wonderful One-Pitch Mo

By Kevin Baker, Bronx Banter, May 5, 2012 With apologies to “The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table” by Oliver Wendell Holmes. Have you heard of the Mar-i-ano, Who such a wonderful pitch did throw He ran up six hundred saves and then some, And then of a sudden it — ah,...

Comedy is Not Pretty

By Ivan Solotaroff, The Stacks, November 11, 2013 Charlie Barnett was pivotal in getting started as a full-time journalist. I spent close to six months—a late fall, entire winter, and early spring—watching him and getting to know his story—not only his crack...

No Regrets: A Hard-Boiled Life

By John Schulian MSN.com, December 3 2001 The train to glory left without James Crumley, who seems to have been too busy examining life’s gnarly side to bother catching it. There are no best-sellers for him, no money-bloated deals with Hollywood—just hard-boiled...

Opening Day at Fenway

By George Kimball The Boston Phoenix, April 1971 Years ago—only a few years ago, actually, but still years before the miracle year of 1967 and years before it became chic to root for the Red Sox—the centerfield bleachers at Fenway were traditionally the habitat of the...

The Love Ethic on 125th Street

By Joe Flaherty The Village Voice, April 11, 1968 In times of national tragedy the barometer of the mood of the people can best be researched in saloons and cathedrals. Being more comfortable in the former, Friday afternoon I stopped into a pub in the Wall Street...

Mr. Ham’s Overcoat

By Paul Hemphill The Atlanta Journal, 1970s The whole world is running off to Miami for the Christmas holidays. Look around and you will have cause to wonder why all of these cities and towns even bothered to string colored lights above their streets and put lighted...