For my books, see BROWDERBOOKS below.
In the (near) Offing:
A male movie star whose New York funeral caused an all-day riot.
An opera house manager who feuded with Maria Callas and told a disgruntled tenor to bite a soprano's ear onstage.
They're all forthcoming. I've got them in hand, will announce them next week. Some of them are fun, some are astonishing, some are frightening.
Just after dawn on a recent Friday a truck pulled up at Bryant Park, the park behind the New York Public Library on Fifth Avenue between West 42nd and 41st Street. The truck's back door then opened and a great buzzing was heard, for stacked in the truck were boxes containing 9 million bees. This was an annual rite of spring in the city, the delivery of bees from Florida to the beekeepers of the city and its environs, and they flocked (the beekeepers, not the bees) to claim their purchases. Once banned (but practiced furtively), beekeeping became legal again in the city in 2010, and since then it has become a popular pastime. Of the truck's 9 million bees, 3 million were sold in Bryant Park. By car, train, bus, and bicycle, the keepers carried their spoils off to replenish their apiaries. And where are those apiaries located? On rooftops (including a church in Chelsea), in small backyards, and in some cases even indoors. Many of the beekeepers had lost their bees because of last winter's fluctuating weather, but one keeper from a rural area said that bears had killed his bees last spring. The bears ate the honey and killed the queen bees, and their death meant the end of the hives. To avoid another such disaster, this year the keeper is using elevated hives. But many of the bees stay in the city, and I've bought their honey in the Union Square greenmarket at Andrew's Honey, where Andrew boasts of honey that is locally produced. So even if the season is afflicted with chilly weather and gale-force winds, the bees and their keepers insist that it is spring.
Source note: This Small Talk is indebted to Corey Kilgannon's article "Beekeepers' Rite of Spring: Replenishing the City's Hives," in the New York Times of April 14, 2018.
The 9/11 Museum: My Descent into the Land of the Dead
|The North Tower, as seen from the Statue of Liberty.|
|Ground Zero as seen from above, 2011.|
|The slurry wall.|
Beyond My Ken
And in that same Foundation Hall you see the so-called Last Column, a 58-ton steel beam ceremoniously removed from the ravaged WTC site in 2002 and inscribed with markings, pictures, and tributes by the recovery workers.
If you love the city (or hate it), this may be the book for you. An award winner, it sold well at BookCon 2017.
"If you want wonderful inside tales about New York, this is the book for you. Cliff Browder has a way with his writing that makes the city I lived in for 40 plus years come alive in a new and delightful way. A refreshing view on NYC that will not disappoint." Five-star Amazon customer review by Bill L.
For readers who like historical fiction and a fast-moving story.
"A real yarn of a story about a lovable pickpocket who gets into trouble and has a great adventure. A must read." Five-star Amazon customer review by nicole w brown.
"This was a fun book. The main character seemed like a cross between Huck Finn and a Charles Dickens character. I would recommend this." Four-star LibraryThing review by stephvin.
"A lively and entertaining tale. The writing styles, plot, pace and character development were excellent." Four-star LibraryThing early review by BridgitDavis.
"I am glad that I have read this book as it goes into great detail and the presentation is amazing. The Author obviously knows his stuff." Four-star LibraryThing early review by Moiser20.
What was the gay scene like in nineteenth-century New York? Gay romance, if you like, but no porn (I don't do porn). Women have read it and reviewed it. (The cover illustration doesn't hurt.)
"At times amusing, gritty, heartfelt and a little sexy -- this would make a great summer read." Four-star Amazon customer review by BobW.
"Really more of a fantasy of a 19th century gay life than any kind of historical representation of the same." Three-star Goodreads review by Rachel.