Here are a few random quotes from Pete Hamill, interviewed on WNYC’s Brian Lehrer Show this morning. He has a new book out, The Christmas Kid, a collection of his stories about growing up in Brooklyn. At 4:30, he will read excerpts from that book at the Brooklyn Holiday Book Fair on Saturday, Dec. 1 at The Old Stone House. He will also read the story, The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry, from a 1906 first edition.
“If we recognzie the humanity of other people we’ll sit down somewhere with a pen and try to tell those stories. I hope that’s still going on.”
“So many writers are residing in Brooklyn. I think it’s because of the human scale of the architecture, you’re not overwhelmed by the buildings. That helps attract writers that I hope will write about the people who pass them on the street.”
“To me where I lived in the so-called South Slope, everything has basically survived. The buildings didn’t burn down like they did in Brownsville where they were erased. I can go around and remember people…There’s a grid that underlies what’s there, a kind of palimpsest. I am hoping that the young who live there now understand that there were people there before. Living there is a richness. Pay attention. Lives of immense density were lived by people even though they didn’t put statues of them in the park.”
“When the world changed, the commerce of the wharf ended ( the trade of the waterfront), there was still a human element going on. We have to recognize the humanity of each other otherwise it’s a very lonely existence.”