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.
New Yorkers have a feeling about their city that visitors may not understand. Dying in Vancouver, speakeasy hostess Texas Guinan said, "I would rather have a square inch of New York than all the rest of the world." New York is unique. It's where people can be themselves. It's Diamond Jim Brady strutting his 12,000 diamonds on his buttons, watch, belt buckle, scarf pin, eyeglass case, rings, cane, and cuff links ("Them as has 'em wears 'em"). It's the newly arrived cosmetics queen Helena Rubinstein vowing to rescue the women of America from purple noses and gray lips. And socialite/philanthropist Brooke Astor, the aristocrat of the people, zooming about the city in her chauffeur-driven Mercedes Benz to bestow funds on needy tenements and playgrounds and schools. (Yes, they're all in the book.) When I wished a Facebook friend of mine, a New Yorker long exiled in London, a Happy Birthday, she e-mailed me back: "Once a New Yorker, always a New Yorker. I miss New York!" And another friend has told me of seeing, when she first arrived in New York, a big sign at the Staten Island ferry terminal:
Is there indeed?
Nonprofits and less worthy entities will stop at nothing to get you to open the mail they send you. Knowing this, I am ruthless in discarding envelopes that come without any return address or other identification except the telltale postmark "Non Profit." But a new twist came recently in an envelope lacking a return address but marked thus:
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.