Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Ain't That A Kick In The Head?


This is a repost from exactly a year ago, the youtube version of the accompanying video was removed.
"Two weeks ago after a visit to Goomba Gura at Fordham I took myself to Arthur Avenue. Would you believe it I've never been there? After a slice of Sicilian and some disappointing prosciutto bread I started back to Brooklyn. Out of the corner of my eye I noticed a beautiful old castle like school. It looked just like my old elementary school alma mater, PS 177, the Roger Bacon School. I drive by to take some photos and go inside to take a look. Holy Cow! (homage to the Scooter), but I meet Gin Gee Moy at the security desk. She's a retired principal, now a consultant. She had been a teacher and later the principal at PS 2 on the LES, the school that replaced PS 177 in 1959. I felt I was in a time warp. What a beautiful building, beautifully maintained. What a crime to have torn down many of the famed school architect's (C.B.J. Snyder) great works. The replacement buildings don't hold a candle and they are like ovens in the summer.
The movie has my documentation with some Arthur Ave photos. The last picture is of the corner of 187th and Crescent taken in 1910. It was in the window of the existing hardware store on the very same site.

The lyrics-I was lucky too once when I got kissed by Nancy Bueller in those PS 177 days. Too bad I didn't marry her

How lucky can one guy be? I kissed her and she kissed me
Like the fella once said, "Ain't that a kick in the head?"
The room was completely black, I hugged her and she hugged back
Like the sailor said, quote, "Ain't that a hole in the boat?"
My head keeps spinnin', I go to sleep and keep grinnin'
If this is just the beginnin', my life is gonna be bee-yoo-tee-ful
I've sunshine enough to spread, it's just like the fella said
Tell me quick, ain't love a kick in the head?
Like the fella once said, "Ain't that a kick in the head?"
Like the sailor said, quote, "Ain't that a hole in the boat?"
My head keeps spinnin', I go to sleep and keep grinnin'
If this is just the beginnin', my life is gonna be bee-yoo-tee-ful
She's tellin' me we'll be wed, she's picked out a king-size bed
I couldn't feel any better or I'd be sick
Tell me quick oh, ain't love a kick?
Tell me quick ain't love a kick in the head?

1 comment:

Mark said...

What I find so interesting about this piece is that the fascination about architectural context, detail, and character is interspersed fortuitously with a parralel delight in the neighborhood in which this school sits and serves. It would take a New Yorker to understand that one doesn't have to appreciate our old school buildings this way, but it sure is a connoisseur's approach that delivers dividends.

Whether you had good or bad times in them, those old, stone NYC school house bastilles are gems, time capsule repositories in which countless souls and intellects were shaped.

David, do you know of any books that have attempted to preserve this extraordinary trove of buildings? Many of them still stand and serve, but who knows for how long. Something really needs to be done to gather and save it all before it disappears.