The Old Neighborhood

“Frankie....SHIT!...FRANKIE The half Jew-half Wop! Tony said, continually shaking his head in an affirmative nod while not missing a lick of his Italian Ice.

Tony and I walked over to Needle Park (a name given to Corona Park by the locals when shooting heroin first became fashionable). We found a bench not vandalized and sans bird shit. We then sat down to shoot the shit.


Tony Provolone is a burned out leftover acid freak pseudo hippie who probably still operates on the outer fringes of organized crime. He hails from a part of the neighborhood made up of circa 1920’s one family houses: Corona.

Corona, this once old Italian-American enclave is opposite the sprawling giant apartment complex, Lefrak City in Queens, New York. This area is where the old world met the new world in the 1960‘s along 57th Avenue. That’s when and where Sam Lefrak uninvitingly infringed on Corona’s empty south side and built Lefrak City. Then heralded as “Total Facilities For Total Living.”

I was interested in what happened to some of the characters from the old days. Luckily for me, Tony said he never really left the neighborhood. Then again, Tony’s remembrances may not be a true rendition considering his many years of uninterrupted drug indulgence.

But I was willing to hear what he remembered.

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