Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - September 6, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta
1972 _ THE IE1HBRIDGE HERALD Wednesday, September 6, HEAT BROILS IN MEW YORK SLUM need eyes in back of head By TOM T1EDK YORK (NEA) The news travels along Dili Ave- nue with the speed of a wag- i ging tongue. The whore at Madam Rosa's tolls llano the shceman who tells a pal in La Primadora Cigar shop who immediately holds a dis- cussion with lourists on 42ml street. "Jcczc, wholta thing." Four kids, one of them from the neighborhood, had gone looking tor a fix uptown. They heard about a possible and en- tered an apartment building just below Harlem. But instead of drugs they found a couple ot coo-coos waiting in a room with a gun. The coo-coos questioned the kids and de- c'lled _ nobody knows why to kill them. They herded tho young people up on a roof. One guy said: "Get on your knees." The coo-coos laughed. Then they fired. Three of tho kids were killed outright but one, only scratched by a bullet, lived to tell the story in Hell's Kitchen. "Ain't it says the whore at Madam Rosa's. "Maybe it's the re- plies Mario the shoeman. That's it, everyone agrees, "it's the heat." IT'S HOT It is, indeed, hot in Hell's K i t c h en. The dozen-blocl; area on mid-Manhattan's West Side fries like an egg. Thir- tcen-ye a r-old Nicky Petrola turns on a fire hydrant for re- lief and tells a protesting cop to "get lost." Willy the Friend- ly Farmer ties a towel aroum his neck to keep the sweat of! his produce stand. A woman spies her drunk spouse neai the bus depot and insists, loud ly, in Spanish, she is goin back to Puerto Rico and leave his worthless hide to melt in Knit shirt in 2 wrinkleproof styles team up with flared cords. Better cdlar them fast. Sale ends in 3 days. Iho temperature in- dex. "I know the kid who says Mario the shoeman. "He don't lie. It happened like ho said. The coo-coos took 'cm up on the roof and kilt 'em." Jeczo wliotta. thing." DEAD KIDS Indeed, wholta thing. But ihree dead kids are nothing really extraordinary for Hell's Kitchen. This stretch ot New York stench has been losing its children to coo-coos for genera- tions; It's tough. It's always reen tough. "When, the Irish ed here we had fights on ev- y comer." Movie bad guy eorge Raft grew up here, so d actor Tony Curtis, whose -irly roles, it's said, were erely extensions of his win- ow-breaking West Side hed- ge. "Hell's sighs a op. "runs from 35th Street to >out 46th Street, and it's besi you got eyes in the back o' our head." Nobody knows, exactly, wh) 's' called Hell's Kitchen. One an only guess. Perhaps be- ausc 9th Avenue is jammed vilh outdoor groceries. Per aps because, as the resident ay, especially in August, "Th ;uy with the pitchfork? h ves right here." Hell's Kitchen. Temperalur n the 90s. Steam coming ou t the manhole covers. Fan ticking the soot into tenemei apartments. People in unde hirts or brassieres hangin out their windows. Polic sirens. Addicts. "Oh says the whore Rosa's, "it's too hot to work." Thirteen year old Nicl Petrola squats beside h open fire hydrant. It is bio ing out gallons of wat minute In a stream 70 feet ng. It is also causing prob- ms in nearby apartments, nc lady in a beret yells wn from the 8th floor that c can't get anything out of r faucet. Nicky tells her to op dead. Nicky is not your 1-Amcrican boy. He' funnels s hands over the hydrant to reel the pressure at passing ars. He says if he hits ono ght it might knock over. Oh, i, the cop again. Nicky gives m an indecent Italian ges- rc, as they say, and beats behind a building. The cop ops. Tunis the hydrant off. nd gets wet. AVB MGJIT "We got a right to get icky yells. An old woman walks out of dark door. One of her legs is andagcd with an athletic irap. Her other leg is blue. Not Aile. Blue. She is wearing a eether cap which, according to eig'nbors, she never takes off. he is wearing a sweater. And he is carrying a squirrel wrap. least it looks like squirrel. 'It's says a neighbor, "it's her pet cat. She had it tori years before it died." The old votnan limps up the street, nto a delicatessen. She comes out with a can of beer, wrap- ted in a brown sack. She leans ogainst the building. Drinks. Then limps back to her dark doorway. Nobody knows her name. Nobody knows her. "It wouldn't surprise me says a neighbor, "if that feath- er hat isn't some old dead pet, too." A DANCER The whore at Madam Rosa's is not a whore, ot course. She is an "entertainer." She says she dances someplace. But dur ng the day she sits in Rosa's vindow. Facing the corner o( 9th and thing leads to anoth- er, "I sometimes go out on dates." She is tiiirtyish. Na- liot'ality unknown. Mascara failing in Use heat. The sanita- tion man who collects Rosa's garbage says the whore is a gypsy: "She tells your fortuna know, like if you give what's going to happen to you in the next 15 minutes." The whore says the garbage man is a liar. But. Well. "It's too hot to argue either." 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