Sunday, March 19, 2017

RIP- Jimmy Breslin


Jimmy Breslin was always about the little guy, the guy in plain sight (usually somewhere within the 5 boroughs) who never got the press, the spotlight, the praise and adulation. He didn't give one small shit about the Trumps and Kardashians; for him, it was all about those that had to struggle both for a living and a life, and did so with a shrug, a laugh, or a finger pointed high...

8 comments:

mudhouse said...

He was the quintessential New Yorker.
Rest In Peace, Jimmy.

Stan B. said...

Amen.

Eric Rose said...

What is a "quintessential" New Yorker?

Stan B. said...

Now, that's a good question, one I, or anyone, would not be able to answer in full. Perhaps if I didn't have to work...

Why does it apply to Jimmy Breslin? He loved the city, knew it like the back of his hand- not just the lights and glitter of Manhattan, but the actual working neighborhoods where the people and characters who kept it alive and functioning (unlike the big shots who fed off it) struggled to live their lives.

It's especially hard to describe that term without falling into a torrent of the usual cliches. There ain't a New Yorker alive who doesn't like to hear themselves talk; Breslin however, could cut through the usual hyperbole that everyone else was focused on to get where the real shit was going down- or where it just didn't matter at all.

Eric Rose said...

Here's a good article on him: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/19/business/media/jimmy-breslin-dead-ny-columnist-author.html?_r=0

mudhouse said...

It's an attitude, a way of carrying one's self.
It's like Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart's obscenity test...
You'll know it when you see it.

Stan B. said...

Curiously, Trump is a prime example of the worst possible aberration of the typical stereotype of a New Yorker. That particular stereotype (the bragging big shot, know it all from the big city) usually had people throughout the US (and even people in New York who didn't live in NYC) look down on New Yorkers.

How it got him elected says a lot- about what, I'm not quite sure I wanna know...

mudhouse said...

As an expatriate New Yorker living in New Mexico for the past 20+ years, I occasionally run into people from back home. Ninety nine out of a hundred times, I can tell within the first minute or so that they're from the City. More often than not, I can tell them what borough they're from. Accent and speech patterns help, but it's more than that...

The only place a guy like Jimmy Breslin COULD be from is NY.

Unfortunately, the same goes for Trump (although I secretly believe he's actually from South Jersey — the way he pronounces the word "on" like "awn" is a dead giveaway). Show us your birth certificate, you miserable bastard!