Both NY Times writer Sam Sifton (@samsifton) and BHB pal/Brooklyn Heights resident Teresa Genaro (@bklynbackstretch) tweeted today about a great piece by author Nancy Rommelmann called “The Queens of Montague Street.” For St. Ann’s alums of a certain age this serves as a trip down memory lane. But for anyone who grew up in New York City in the ’70s (such as your humble publisher) this piece rings very true.
Rommemlmann could very well be Brooklyn Heights’ answer to Jonathan Lethem. Only without the magic rings.
Nancy Rommelmann: There was Ronnie, a loud-mouthed, lisping Italian who lived right on Montague and who was sure to always be hanging out. There was Craig, a sly, adorable, fast-talking kid who lived with his mother and beautiful sister in a high-rise by the Brooklyn Bridge, and with whom I sang duets on the Promenade, memorably “Love Will Keep Us Together.”
There was Steve the Eskimo, quiet until he became violent, smart with no outlet for his intelligence, often in charge of his two-year old brother. (Rumors swirled around that his mom was a prostitute. I don’t know about that, but I do know she dealt pot, because one time I helped her roll joints from a kilo of Panama Red so sticky, my fingers were stained rust for days.) There was Nicky and Arnie’s little sister Titi, skinny and hyperactive, who taught Sarah how to Hustle and both of us the 16-Steps, and Lorraine, who Sarah and I met while she was working as a night-cashier at the King George coffeehouse, on another corner of Montague and Henry.