Back to the Ironbound Age

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A combination of the prospect of a new baby in my family and a recent blog about the Ironbound by TPB, Esq, has had me thinking of my childhood back there in Newark, NJ. While he talks about the courthouses; where I spent quite a few of my days collecting facts and leads as a happy slave at the Village Voice, as a child I never went near those courthouses. My world was the Ironbound, Ferry St., to be exact, was the center of my universe. The wonderful mix of Portuguese and a plethora of other nationalities that made up that neighborhood.

Of course to me this was Newark. After the train station was the end of the earth and my world was flat. My biggest priorities back then were, “Will I go all the way around the block today.” For a trip of that length meant I could stop at the fruit market, or more importantly, the candy store. At least I thought it was a candystore, a better definition would have been a blue-collar lunchonette which always seemed to reek of cigarettes and fried meat smell. The most important days were when dad or mom would walk me to the bakery where one of those pointy cupcakes with green or red sprinkles could be had. Of course, on those same days, I would have to endure the stench of the fish market, and the sight of dead sea dwellers like squid, octopus, swordfish, and of course- bacalhau. I think the octopus struck the most fear in me, those suction cups seemed deadly.

Ahh the Ironbound… Great years.

While I don’t have the desire to speak much about the horrendous prisoner torture scandal today, I do have several articles that might deserve attention. The first is by former dem. president candidate Wesley Clark, basically his analysis of how Bush is handling things. I got bored half way through and started playing along to BDB. The other is one of those uncomfortable network TV interviews, this one with the Pfc. England and her take on what happened-creepy. The final recommendation is perhaps the most important one, an LA Times story about rape in military prisons. (you’ll have to do the sign-in thing)

Today’s Music: Badly Drawn Boy – Hour of..

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