by Kevin Walsh

WHEN I worked for half a year at a small design shop called Design Matters Inc. on Broadway and West 54th in 2019, I would take full advantage of the lunch hours and range all over: I would head east as far as 3rd Avenue, as far south as Times Square, as far west as 11th Avenue and as far north as 72nd Street, often foraying into Central Park. It was reminiscent of my Macy’s period from 2000-2004 when I obtained a lot of Central Park photos that were used in the ForgottenBook (released 2006, still in print, and great for Christmas gifts).

This scene, at 218 West 50th just west of Broadway at the Citizen M Hotel, reminded me of the old man. No, not the “gentleman’s club.” It’s that wall unit, with uneven spacing and various books and bric-a-brac. On a trip to Jamaica, Queens in 1968 (what, you think the Caribbean Jamaica I’m talking? We were, and I am, of modest means) my mother, father and I forayed far from Bay Ridge as my father sought a wall unit large enough to accommodate his reel to reel tape recorder and hundreds of tapes, as well as a turntable and hundreds of LPs. I wish I had a photo at hand of the big wall unit that was purchased that day, which remained standing guard at our living room wall until the old man’s decease in 2003. I had long coveted it, but by 2003 I had too much furniture for it to fit at FNY Headquarters, which were then in Flushing. (I bought a wall unit of my own in 1994 when I got my first Mac computer; when I moved to Little Neck in 2007, the movers duly smashed it). I wonder where the old man’s wall unit is residing these days; I can’t remember how I disposed of it. Perhaps a relative has it.

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