Saturday, June 30, 2012

1000 Grand Concourse, The Bronx.

Uncle Slappy called this morning. He had heard on the news that New York was facing a "heat advisory" and he was making sure I wasn't doing something "meshugenah" and going out for a run.

"I'll be ok, Uncle Slappy. It's early yet. Besides the reservoir," that's where I do most of my running "is fairly well shaded. Besides, I probably won't do much more than a lap."

The old man had already moved on.

"Did I ever tell you about the building your Aunt Sylvie and I owned on the Grand Concourse. 1000 Grand Concourse to be exact. In the High Bridge section of the Bronx. Puerto Rican now, but Joosh when we owned it in the early '50s."

"No, Uncle Slappy. I didn't know you owned real estate.'

"The Grand Concourse was paradise in those days. And a member of my Congregation" (Uncle Slappy was the Rabbi at a small Upper East Side Shul, Beth Youiz Miwo Mannow) "left it to me in his will."

"You must have been very important in his life," I said.

"Well, like most things that sound too good to be true," Slappy corrected, "1000 Grand Concourse had its issues. The hot weather in New York--that's what made me think about it."

"How so, Uncle Slappy?" I asked somewhat plaintively.

"Well, for one, the ferstunkeh architect of the building was a nut job. Somehow he designed the thing so that all 56 units faced the back. You've felt heat before, Mr. Big Schott. But these were the days before air-conditioning. You never felt heat like you felt there."

"All the units faced the back? How is that even possible?"

"Never in a million years could I explain it. And secondly, the building was turned over to me occupied. Boney Tenant lived on the top floor."

"You mean Tony Bennet?" figuring the old man had slipped into a Spoonerism.

"No, a tenant no one knew his name in 6C a one-bedroom. He had to be 6'6" and maybe dripping with sweat 120 pounds. We never knew his name. He was always just Boney Tenant to us."

"Could he sing?" I asked trying to break the tension.

"Don't be such a wise-ass," the old man shot back.

And with that he hung up the Ameche.

I took it extra slow around the reservoir today and turned the A/C up a notch.

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