In Guest stories on March 30, 2012 at 2:30 pm
My life was like a movie the day I went deep-sea fishing on the island of Madeira, a possession of Portugal. We were going after blue marlin, as in The Old Man and the Sea by Hemingway. So here was a Portuguese captain and his mate, a five-person English crew and one American. You can guess who was the American.
We went out early in the morning and the Madeira natives wished us luck. It was September, the waters of Madeira still warm enough to catch the blue marlin. I was shocked to see the blue marlin up this far north as I thought they spent all their time in the Gulf of Mexico or the Caribbean. I knew we would have to go now or they would make their run back to the Gulf. So here we were going after them. We used very heavy poles with giant reels, and onto each hook was a phony piece of squid. I said to myself, “What a dirty trick to lure him in.”
Each pole was set onto sockets around the boat. We went trawling for what seemed like hours. We caught a giant fish. The Portuguese captain said he hadn’t seen him for days. The captain, wit his binocks, aimed at the creature and proclaimed, “Yes, it’s a blue marlin. A big one – about 400 kilos.” That would make it about 700 pounds.
With that, the line buzzed from the reel, making a whirling sound. The line spun forward. The blue marlin breached up out of the sea – like a cat that had just been shocked. The English girl who was part of the crew began screaming and running away from her pole as it was the one that was hit. I was thinking, “What a coward. I thought English girls had backbones, stiff upper lips, and that rubbish. I guess not. Anyway, we had to let the fish run. Jerking the pole would cause the fish to get away.
Eventually we landed him and brought him back to shore. We had pictures taken and then took him to the market to be sold – for Madeiran tourists’ plates. I felt sad that the fish was lost. But I did get to keep the bloody sword – which is actually the jaw of the marlin – as a souvenir.
In Uncategorized on March 29, 2012 at 8:51 pm
Here’s some new material straight from our current Writers’ Workshop!
A place I know well is this place. The Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen Writers’ Workshop. This is my sixth year participating, and I always look forward to it. We are a cozy group of people who enjoy writing and supporting each other; the atmosphere is always good.
One of the things I don’t want to see this year is writer’s block (on my part – I know I will not see it from anyone else.) It’s a great experience seeing how this group has evolved over the years. These are my first words for 2012. I hope I produce a few pieces I can be proud of. This is the best way to start Spring.
In Uncategorized on March 26, 2012 at 8:31 pm
Our 2012 Writers’ Workshop commenced last Wednesday, March 21st. There were new faces as well as old, and we look forward to bringing you some of their work over the coming weeks. We’ll be updating the blog with new posts every Friday afternoon with Food for the Soul Friday, so make sure to come back and check out the new material fresh from the Workshop!
The 2012 Writers’ Workshop takes place on the following dates, culminating with a public reading of the contributors’ work on May 23rd, at Holy Apostles Church.
Wednesday March 28th: 12.30 – 2pm
Wednesday April 4th: 12.30 – 2pm
Wednesday April 11th: 12.30 – 2pm
Wednesday April 18th: 12.30 – 2pm
Wednesday April 25th: 12.30 – 2pm
Wednesday May 2nd: 12.30 – 2pm
Wednesday May 9th: 12.30 – 2pm
Wednesday May 16th: 12.30 – 2pm
Thursday May 24th, 7pm – Public reading at Holy Apostles Church
In Guest stories on March 16, 2012 at 2:30 pm
Here at Holy Apostles, we’re only a few blocks away from the beautiful High Line Park. This Chelsea oasis is a great place to rise above the hustle and bustle of the city streets, and is built atop the old New York Central Railroad track. You can click here to find The High Line on Facebook. Here, one of our Writers’ Workshop contributors, Jay Stockman, talks about the history of the High Line and the importance of preserving it as a landmark of the West Side and of New York City itself:
In my other life I’m a historian. I see how parts of the city I live in have changed over the years. When I first saw the rail trestle by 10th Avenue from 34th to 14th Streets, I found out more about its origin. In the early 1900s, everyday life in the West Chelsea part of Manhattan featured a busy waterfront. Railroads were used a lot more. They moved cargo to and from the busy waterfront. The business was a danger to much of the foot traffic near 10th Avenue. In the 1930s, a rail trestle was built called the High Line. It connected the 34th Street rail yards, the Post Office at 30th Street, and many businesses along the roads length. The High Line saw much use with the busy Westside waterfront until truck transport began to replace rail trips.
The High Line grew less busy after the 1950s as pier traffic lessened. It had almost become abandoned through lack of use. A federal program relating to inactive railways caused growth of local groups wanting to resurrect what was once there. One of these groups in Chelsea is called Friends of the High Line. When I first moved to Chelsea in 1974, I had no idea it would become such a hot, chic neighbourhood. I want to push for the continuation of the High Line, finding a new life for this long road.
In Guest stories on March 12, 2012 at 11:30 am
The last job I had was handing out flyers for a men’s store in Lower Manhattan. Passing out flyers is not an easy task. Some people take them while some people ignore you. Well, this is a day I’ll never forget.
It started out with my friend Sophie who sells hot dogs on the corner. She had just told me her son was going away to camp upstate, then I started handing out the flyers. I noticed an old man coming toward me with a Wiz shopping bag in one hand. I said that shopping bag had to be an antique since the Wiz had been out of business for years. In the other hand he had a container of coffee, which he sipped. He stopped briefly at the newsstand to read the headlines of the morning paper. Then he came toward me and said, “Yo man, what you got there?” I told him I was handing out flyers for a men’s clothing store and I gave him one. he got as far as the corner and he came back to me and asked where the store was located. I told him.
The rest of the day went fine until I went on my break for lunch. You see, I was wearing a sandwich board that said “Men’s Suits,” so I had to go back to the store to put it down. This is where my story begins.
When I got to the store, I saw suits off racks and thrown all over. I thought we had been robbed and I asked the salesman what happened. He said, “Thank you for sending in a customer.”
I said, “What customer?”
Just then, the old man I had given the flyer to emerged from the dressing room. This was a sight. He was wearing a Hugo Boss white tuxedo shirt. I could not believe my eyes. I put both my hands to my face and said “Wow.” It was as if he stepped out of a magazine. The salesman took a picture of him. He could not believe how the old man had looked when we saw him first: he had on a wrinkled shirt, a bow tie, and a plaid jacket. It was like night and day. You could tell when he was younger he was a sharp dresser. He told us his son, from whom he was estranged, was getting married in a couple of weeks and he was invited to the wedding. Anyway, he bought five Hugo Boss tuxedos for the wedding party, including his son. He spent over $6,000 on suits and accessories. There is more to the story but I hear I only have eight minutes left. This goes to show you old folks can be hip.
In Uncategorized on March 8, 2012 at 11:30 am
On Wednesday, March 23, 2011, an icon of film, radio and press left us: Elizabeth Taylor. And on Saturday, March 26, 2011, Geraldine Ferraro died.
Both women of incredible courage, grace and poise. Extremely strong and determined. Both were civic activists and policy changers. Elizabeth Taylor, a stunning beauty who had more than 50 movies to her credit. Twice an Oscar winner, once for Butterfield 8 and the other time for Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Ms. Taylor was also known for her AIDS activism and for being an outspoken celebrity on many issues. Geraldine Ferraro was a wife, mother and congresswoman who went on to become the Democratic Party’s candidate for Vice President of the United States.
Odd how two seemingly unpretentious and unassuming women changed the world by breaking barriers and empowering young women everywhere.
Both legends will be greatly missed.
August 22, 2006
In Guest stories, Press, Video on March 1, 2012 at 6:26 pm
In this piece from the Columbia School of Journalism, Ramaa Reddy Raghavan and Naveen Sultan take a look at the life of Joe Negrilli, longtime soup kitchen volunteer and member of the Writers’ Workshop.