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Pasta and erotica in Hell’s Kitchen…

Like many writers, I spend probably way too much time sitting on my butt. The heat wave we recently had here in NYC only encouraged that, keeping me indoors more than usual. But tonight was lovely outside so I made sure I took a walk after I finished my day’s cranking, and when I saw a Ninth Avenue coffee shop had an open window seat, I thought I’d treat myself to a pasta dinner instead of my usual Chinese combo takeout eaten in front of the tv at home.

The street scene was noisy and lively while I ate my salad and angelhair primavera, but I didn’t mind the clamor at all. Sometimes the very racket that makes me apoplectic when I’m alone sitting in front of my computer trying to write is soothing when I’m out amongst the human race again.

After my entree, I got some coffee and made some notes for tomorrow’s story writing for an erotica website…

I tear a piece of typing paper into four strips & sketch out a week of storylines on each strip.

I tear a piece of typing paper into four strips & sketch out a week of storylines on each strip.

 

When I looked up from my scribbling, the evening light on Ninth Avenue was pleasant…

StreetScene AtDinner

But I got to thinking about the movie I saw last night on TCM, Turner Classic Movies: THE DARK CORNER, a 1946 film noir that not only took place in midtown Manhattan and Times Square, but had its gumshoe hero live at the corner of 52nd and Tenth Avenue, right in the heart of Hell’s Kitchen when it really WAS Hell’s Kitchen!

Although I believe it was shot on the 20th Century Fox lot, this film brilliantly evokes NYC, especially its sounds.

Although I believe it was shot on the 20th Century Fox lot, this film brilliantly evokes NYC, especially its sounds.

 

So I thought to myself, why don’t I take a walk over there to see what building he was supposed to have lived in!

After I finished my coffee, I strolled west. Lo and behold, the corner where Bradford Galt, Private Investigator, was said to have resided in 1946 looked pleasingly ungentrified in 2016, and the building seemed quite like one where the brooding Mr. Galt (well-played by Mark Stevens) could have tangled with a murderous William Bendix in the film’s most exciting scene. (I highly recommend this movie.)

Most everything around it is gentrified now, but this building could well have been the digs for a noir shamus!

Most everything around it is gentrified now, but this building could well have been the digs for a noir shamus!

 

True, Hell’s Kitchen—a moniker once a notorious symbol of the area’s gangs and violence—is now mostly used as a colorful name and real estate selling point for the neighborhood—more juicy sounding than what it’s also called, Clinton (after DeWitt, I presume, and not Hillary or Bill). But when you’re aware of the history of the area, it never feels fully gentrified…and of course, when you personally have a noirish point of view when it comes to life in general, the spirit of Hell’s Kitchen lives on wherever you are!

With the right lighting in my apartment, and my fave fedora, I could be waiting for a femme fatale to show up!

With the right lighting in my apartment, and my fave fedora, I look like I’m waiting for a femme fatale to show up. Come to think of it, judging by the femdom erotica I write, I probably am!

 

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Times Square porn writer enjoys the calm before New Year’s Eve frenzy…

At last 2011 is coming to a close. I’ve definitely had better years as a freelance writer of erotica. Many of the magazines I was writing for in 2010 at this time closed down in early 2011. I lost a tremendous amount of regular income.

Still, I persevered. I figured it out last night from my daily records–I wrote, revised, and polished approximately 362,600 words–or the equivalent of SIX 60,000 word books. Or if you consider a full-length book 80,000 words, I wrote the equivalent of four and a half books. No wonder I feel discombobulated sometimes! That’s a lot of porn under the bridge. And this was an off-year assignment-wise for the reason I just stated above. The year before, when there were more magazines to write for, I wrote somewhere between 750,000 and 1,000,000 words (my records were not as meticulous last year, so I’m not exactly sure–I was too busy cranking out horny stories, girl copy, website prose, research articles and product reviews). That’s the kind of production pulp writers used to achieve back in the 1930s and 1940s…on the low end of the pulp spectrum! I’ve heard of pulp writers who did 3,000,000 words in a year (although unlike myself, they could only do that by mostly not revising or polishing). Anyway, I was a writing demon in 2010; I did as much as I could, maybe because I sensed or feared many magazines wouldn’t last. That kind of work opportunity isn’t available anymore in magazines.

So now 2011, when the sex mag business really took a hit, is coming to a close. And I sense it’s going to end noisily. I live in midtown Manhattan on the edge of Times Square, and the throngs are already blowing their little horns on the streets and whooping it up, and it’s not even 8:00 yet. You have more than four hours left to go, folks!

Yesterday I took a walk through Times Square and on the fringes of the nabe with my camera in hand. It was sunny and not too cold, and I enjoyed mingling in the crowds. When I have something to do, like making pictures, Times Square is interesting. When I’m just walking through the hordes of people, it’s annoying and stressful.

Here are some of the sights I came upon. As you’ll note, I enjoy contrasting tiny people with big billboards:

42nd Street Near 8th Avenue

42nd and Broadway

Around 45th and Broadway

Looking south from 44-45th and Broadway

In 1888, Eugene O'Neil was born on the spot where I took this picture

The ziggurat-like Paramount Building at 44th and 7th Avenue, where Frank Sinatra wowed the bobbysoxers.

Looking east from between 45th and 46th on Broadway

Later, in the evening, I went out to dinner with my camera along, and walking through the area once known as “Hell’s Kitchen” I came upon this striking sign. Two versions:

51st Street between 8th and 9th Avenues

A touch of the old Times Square & Hell's Kitchen, but timeless in its blunt force

I can’t decide what I want to do tonight. I made no plans, and money is tight, but perhaps on New Year’s Eve I could allow myself the pleasure of a lapdance or two. I have coupons to get into the strip clubs for no admission (that little ole clever carnal consumer, me). But do I want to fight my way through the crowds? I was also tempted to call friends, but I felt like being alone and maybe watching a movie and having a beer in pleasant solitude, despite the racket of the New Year’s crowds on the street. And then maybe, an hour or two before midnight, trying to work my way over to a tittie bar.

I’ve been very frugal this year, and sometimes I think I take it too far. Maybe it’s not good for a pornographer’s mental health NOT to check in with the floozies at least once a month…

Well, whether I go out or not, at least I can travel to sleazy destinations in my memory, stuffed full of the sensations of lapdances, strippers, hookers, dominatrixes, and peep show girls from my past…or through a screen capture like this one of Broadway and 52nd Street almost forty-six years ago, courtesy of the 1966 James Garner movie Mister Buddwing, a suspense thriller about an amnesia victim wandering through the raunchy old New York so many of us miss.

52nd and Broadway on the edge of Times Square, 1966

But you know something? If I walk around on the streets, I can find the film-noirish visual energy still in Hell’s Kitchen without time-traveling through memory or movies…

Click on the pic to enjoy its full intensity! This is 52nd Street and 9th Avenue, looking east toward Worldwide Plaza.

Let’s hope for a better year in 2012 for all of us who need it and want it! And thank you all for reading my blog and checking out my bizarre ebooks.

 
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Posted by on December 31, 2011 in Erotica

 

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Happy Holidays but…where did the bookstores go?

An Irish tourist came up to me yesterday near Times Square and said she’d been hunting for a bookstore to buy some gifts. I told her this was the worst neighborhood for books in Manhattan now, but if she went over to 57th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues, she could shop at Rizzoli’s.

It’s true, though. With the Borders closing at Columbus Circle, the Times Square and Clinton (aka Hell’s Kitchen) neighborhoods are without a decent bookstore.

Within these covers, treasure waits...

Borders was not the greatest bookstore, but it was a pleasant place to browse.

I think it’s kind of pathetic that with all the stuff they sell in Times Square–a lot of it crap–there is no bookstore or even a decent newsstand to browse for magazines. A “crossroads of the world” without a venue for information about that world in tangible form (i.e., books and mags) is sorely lacking.

Oh well. I like going down to Union Square anyway, so the Barnes & Noble, Forbidden Planet, and Strand will get my trade. As if I need more books anyhow!

Maybe I'm nuts, but for some reason, this stack of tomes reminds me of the Venus De Milo.

Even though I contribute to the decline of print with my own ebooks, I am thinking of publishing my stories in a paperback format too. But we’ll see if the sales of my ebooks merit such an expenditure on my part. Ebooks are inexpensive to publish; the opposite is true for paperbound volumes.

Meanwhile, if you want to read one of my stories for free, just click on the link on the top of this page for the COMPLETE SHORT STORY: DEPARTMENT STORE DOMINA! And if you like it, you can click ahead to Amazon to get a few of my others on Kindle. Don’t just fill those virginal Kindles you’ll get for gifts with high-minded literature and potboilers; they need erotica too, and if you like femdom, perhaps you’ll enjoy my excursions into the world of dominant ladies and the men who love to serve them…

If I sound a little curmudgeonly today, it’s because I’m trying to get over a darn cold! Who wants to be sniffling and coughing on a holiday weekend! But I wish everybody a Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah and thank you for buying and reading my ebooks these last six months. I’ll be publishing many more in 2012. And if you ever feel inclined to leave comments about my stories either here or on Amazon, I would be most grateful.

 
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Posted by on December 24, 2011 in Erotica

 

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