Neighborhood Characters

By Joe Flaherty The New York Times, October 21, 1979 Of late, whenever one encounters an urbanbased novel, especially one set in Manhattan (or worse yet, in Greenwich Village), it’s odds on to be a claustrophobic affair; the activity is usually limited to treks to...

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...

Love Song to Willie Mays

By Joe Flaherty The Village Voice, August 26, 1972 When Willie Mays returned to New York, many saw it—may God forgive them—as a trade to be debated on the merits of statistics. Could the forty-one-year-old center fielder with ascending temperament and waning batting...

Why Has the Fun Fled Fun City?

By Joe Flaherty The Village Voice, October 27, 1966 They all stood there waiting for the helicopter to come down. You had the feeling some of them wouldn’t have minded if it didn’t make it on its own power. Up in the sky was the mayor of New York, John V. Lindsay. He...

Rocky’s Road

By Joe Flaherty Film Comment, August 1982 For sheer emotional impact, the two movies that struck a deep societal chord over the last decade were Death Wish and Rocky. The first is easy to fathom. Charles Bronson (if he’s frightened, we’re not paranoid) cinematically...

Sympathy For the Devil

By Joe Flaherty Inside Sports, January 1981 All lives are failures in some degree or another. Somewhere along the line we fudge the pristine youthful dream. Even when we achieve, the compromises we’ve made, the injuries we’ve inflicted sully the prize. But most of us...

Toots Among the Ruins

By Joe Flaherty Esquire, October 1974 Across the isle of Manhattan these days floats a torch song for the past. The wail seems to be strained through a muted horn or, better yet, siphoned through a derby. What occasions this is the belief that the Apple has turned...