For my other books, see BROWDERBOOKS below.
A collection of posts from this blog. Short biographical sketches of people, some remembered and some forgotten, who lived or died in New York. All kinds of wild stuff, plus some stuff that isn't quite wild but fascinating. New York is a mecca for hustlers of every kind, some likable and some horrible, but they are never boring.
- Schwarzman, Stephen A. A money baron and philanthropist whose name now graces the main building of the New York Public Library, that imposing Beaux Arts structure, fronted by two beloved and much-photographed stone lions, on Fifth Avenue at 42nd Street. More of him anon.
- The Metropolitan Museum of Art. No identification needed; it’s world-famous.
- Lehman Brothers. The huge U.S. investment bank whose collapse in 2008 unhinged the stock market and helped bring on the Great Recession.
- Papal tiaras. Crowns worn by popes of the Catholic Church.
- The Blackstone Group. A huge private equity firm founded by Stephen A. Schwarzman. (Aha – a link!)
- Anna Wintour. Editor-in-chief of the U.S. fashion magazine Vogue.
- The Sistine Chapel Sacristy. The sacristy of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican in Rome, a hidden chamber closed to the public, where church vestments are stored and, behind secret doors, elderly nuns iron the pope’s white outfits.
- Donatella Versace. A world-famous Italian fashion designer.
- $30,000 tickets. To be explained below. Hints of the moneyed elite.
- President Trump. Alas, no explanation needed.
- the singer Katy Perry with white angel’s wings stretching from head to toe (“Just a little understated thing,” she explained), and a glittery outfit that can only be described as slinky
- the pop singer Ariana Grande in a dress the color of the Sistine Chapel’s back wall
- the Barbadian singer Rihanna dressed in a gem-studded creation like a female Pope, with a towering miter on her head to match
- the model Bella Hadid with a veil sewn into her hair (“The things we do, darling”)
- the designer Ariana Rockefeller (yes, one of that clan) in a dress inspired by a tapestry at the Cloisters museum
- actress Olivia Munn sewn into a dress inspired by Crusades-era chain mail, and bleeding slightly
- the fashion editor Eva Chen in a dress inspired by Joan of Arc
- the rap singer Cardi B with her abundant dark hair crowned by a spiky jeweled headdress, her pregnancy hidden under a voluminous 30-pound cream-colored, pearl-encrusted dress.
If you love the city (or hate it), this may be the book for you. An award winner, it sold well at BookCon 2017.
"If you want wonderful inside tales about New York, this is the book for you. Cliff Browder has a way with his writing that makes the city I lived in for 40 plus years come alive in a new and delightful way. A refreshing view on NYC that will not disappoint." Five-star Amazon customer review by Bill L.
For readers who like historical fiction and a fast-moving story.
"A real yarn of a story about a lovable pickpocket who gets into trouble and has a great adventure. A must read." Five-star Amazon customer review by nicole w brown.
"This was a fun book. The main character seemed like a cross between Huck Finn and a Charles Dickens character. I would recommend this." Four-star LibraryThing review by stephvin.
"A lively and entertaining tale. The writing styles, plot, pace and character development were excellent." Four-star LibraryThing early review by BridgitDavis.
"I am glad that I have read this book as it goes into great detail and the presentation is amazing. The Author obviously knows his stuff." Four-star LibraryThing early review by Moiser20.
What was the gay scene like in nineteenth-century New York? Gay romance, if you like, but no porn (I don't do porn). Women have read it and reviewed it. (The cover illustration doesn't hurt.)
"At times amusing, gritty, heartfelt and a little sexy -- this would make a great summer read." Four-star Amazon customer review by BobW.
"Really more of a fantasy of a 19th century gay life than any kind of historical representation of the same." Three-star Goodreads review by Rachel.