Friday, August 16, 2013

Memories from Avenue B

Bloom 62 is a new luxury building on Avenue B at East Fifth Street that features a landscaped roof deck with showers, Weber grills and a "teak sundeck" for apartment dwellers paying upwards of $7,600... the building was formerly the Cabrini Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation ... and the American Nursing Home.

This development brought back some memories for artist Julius Klein, who lived next door for 11 years.


For many years, (’82 –’93) living at 60 Ave. B, Apt 2B, between 4th & 5th St., late at night, while laying in bed, I would hear wailings coming from the then named American Nursing Home, across the loading dock. It was a regular, nightly utterance — “arolegemmyt yato me air”, like hearing a cubistic coyote in the distant desert.

Again, another night lying in bed, say, 3:45 am, “aerol, aerol, osh oshh –mtwon”.

One night, when well oiled on mushrooms, it became clear to me.


In the 80ies and into the 90ies, a grand yearly 4th of July party was held in the back seating area behind the loading dock. It was mainly a party for the staff, as the band hired yearly, was a sort of funk jazz R&B ensemble.

The old folks would be wheeled out and afflicted by the way too loud, amplified sound. You could see them pushing their arms forward, as if to push the offending sound away, as they then covered their ears, the staff trying to sell them on the musical offerings such as “Grooving, on a sunny afternoon, La La La.”

At some point, the lead singer, the MC, without any sense of irony, posed the question. “Does anyone here know who Old Blue Eyes is?” the one song in their set approaching era appropriateness for the audience.

After a few moments the band jumped into Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” — “And now the end is hear, and so I face the final curtain”.

It just felt, from my 2nd story window, a bit cruel ... and a bit funny too.

And so it went, and so it goes ...


Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing.
I remember the 80's on ave. B.
"Red Light, Green Light"

Jasmine (Vegas) said...

Yes, and I remember Julius Klein--the heartbeat of the E.V., xoxo indeed !

Anonymous said...

Yeah, those 4th July parties were so sad. I felt so sorry for those people having their brains blasted out.

sallyonegun said...

I remember those outdoor "parties" in 1981/82. Julius, you state it well...thanks for the memories. what do you think neighbors will say about the new "court yard parties" soon to come?