Author: Mark Jacobson

  • Sleaze-Out on East 14th Street

    From the Annals of Pre-Gentrification All the popcorn pimps, penny-ante pross, nickel-and­-dime pill-pushers, methadone junkies, and doorway-living winos felt the hawk wind as it blew down East 14th Street. It’s late October, the time of the year when one night, all of a sudden, you know you better break out the warmer coat. Except that […]

  • Legs McNeil: Teenage Hipster in the Modern World

    Cool in an Uncool World Two years ago, standing on a pier jutting into Delaware Bay, I told Legs McNeil, the “Resident Punk” of Punk Magazoon, the most moral thing I’ve yet said in my journalism career. Legs and I were in Wilmington, Delaware, for the “First Annual Sleaze Convention.” Legs was the “Con Special […]

  • The Late Great Orson Welles

    Apocalypse, Nu? When the cops broke into David Berkowitz’s Yonkers apartment upstairs from Craig who was “Craig” and around the corner from Sam’s barking black dog, they found a very small library. Young David, it seems, was a much more avid writer than reader. One of the few volumes in his otherworld-charm bachelor pad was […]

  • Tongs Strike Back in Chinatown

    Nicky Louie’s Mean Streets A pockmark-faced guy who sometimes spends 10 hours a day laying bowls of congee in front of customers at a Mott Street rice shop remembers the day the White Eagles, the original Chinatown youth gang, ripped off their first cha shu baos (pork buns). “It was maybe 10 years ago. We […]

  • New York’s Other Mafia: Young Warriors in Chinatown

    Part I: Young Warriors Fight for Their Place in Chinatown  Late last year, the young Chinese couple who ran the Szechuan D’Or restaurant on East 40th Street were murdered. The incident sparked fear that the crime which had riddled Chinatown was moving uptown. Police launched a citywide campaign to wipe it out. The crackdown played […]

  • Paranoid Notes on the Strange Death of Bruce Lee

    The gray-haired judge presiding in Arraignment Room No. 2A had spent the better part of the morning listening to the same old story about how this defendant put a voodoo spell on that plaintiff’s gypsy cab, thereby causing the vehicle to lose its steering column while making a 40-mile an hour U-turn on the FDR […]

  • You Wrote, You Got Paid: Hentoff Treated All Work — And Those Around Him — With the Same Glorious Regard

    When I first came to work at the Village Voice in 1977 (almost forty years now, to the day) I never wanted to fully acknowledge the illustrious company I suddenly found myself keeping. How cool would that have been, hyperventilating in the elevator at 80 University Place just because I was sharing a masthead with […]

  • On His Back

    Here in Memphis, 70 miles north of where Robert Johnson supposedly came one midnight to barter his soul in return for playing the deepest blues, Mike Tyson lay on sky-blue floor beneath the blinding light trying to push his nose back in place. The former Brownsville mugger of old ladies, reader of Voltaire and Tolstoy, […]

  • The Yankees: Good Enough to Hate… Again

    Good Enough to Hate… Again May 30, 1977 For the Yankee Hater, it was a mounting dilemma: an endless parade of pin stripes rounding bases, a monotony of pin stripes blowing heat past banjo hitters, a ho-hum succession of pin stripes Hooverizing ground balls in the infield. The New York Yankees — the souped-up 1977 […]