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Thread: Anyone live in NYC in '76-77 (I'm writing a paper on Summer of Sam)

  1. #1

    Anyone live in NYC in '76-77 (I'm writing a paper on Summer of Sam)

    I'm writing a paper on Son of Sam/.44 Caliber Killer (David Berkowitz) and New York City during that time. Besides the actual killings, I'm incorporating the "Bronx Zoo" Yankees and the black out/heat wave. What I'm asking for is if you can give me your experience of that time, how it effected you, or just a short story, anything really. I just want to include quotes from people who lived and experienced it first hand. I'd very much appreciate it.
    Last edited by Tyler Durden; 09-25-2009 at 03:21 AM.

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    In Shor get and read this book: "[SIZE="4"][B]Ladies and Gentlemen, The Bronx is Burning: 1977, Baseball, Politics, & the battle for the Soul of a City[/B][/SIZE]" by Jonathan Mahler


    [IMG]http://images.barnesandnoble.com/images/10750000/10758975.jpg[/IMG]

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    I lived throught it and remember it well. I used to hang in a club called Elephas Disco in Bayside Queens..It was one of the places Berkowitz shot a couple in a car right out side of it parked on the street..After the shooting the place became empty like most of the disco's in the city. I remember the girls who were going were wearing wigs, because they thought he was after girls with blond hair..

    The blackout happened like around 10pm that summer, and people in certain area's of the city began looting stores, mostly up in Harlem and parts of Brooklyn..I remember the cops doing nothing to stop the looting, with people walking out of stores with TV sets and other things.

    Then the whole Jimmy Breslin(who was a writer for the Daily News) thing with Berkowitz sending him letters about when he would kill again and why he was doing it. The Daily News was selling out before 8am where I lived just to get the latest from Breslin.

    Then when the Yankee's were in the world Series there was a building burning in the Bronx, and Howard Cosell got all over it making the City look real bad to people around the country.

    My father was a big Bob Grant fan(the first conservitive talk show host in the city) who's show was on from 10pm to 2am on WOR, and came running into my room about 12am telling me he just heard that the Son Of Sam was captured..I listen to Bob with him as he first said the name of David Berkowitz, and was caught and lived in Yonkers...Thats how I first found out he was arrested.

    There was paranoia in all the lovers lanes around the city, Where I lived it was Astoria Park..The only couples in the park while the killing were going on were under cover cops..It was the craziest summer I ever remember in the city..I was 16 at the time.

    Don't wast your time and watch the Spike Lee movie on it..It was terrible and stupid..It was anti-Italian American like all of his early movies.
    Last edited by 2009fatman; 09-25-2009 at 07:52 AM.

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    I remember all the girls were tying up their hair, or cutting it, we would be at parties and everyone was paranoid about being out at night. Just before he was caught he was planning on shooting up a club out east, The Cave, the hulk of which still stands near the Boardy Barn. It wopuld have been awful as the place is basically underground.

    There is an interesting conspiracy book on the subject, The Ultimate Evil, that has anecdotes I have not read elsewhere, like he shot up a place on Central Ave. in Westchester, The Candlelight Inn, that is still there and serves terrific wings.

    [IMG]http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/21ZSEZGDGCL._SL500_AA153_.jpg[/IMG]

    Get your hands on a copy, it will make you wonder if he really acted alone.

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    I lived in the Country Club section of the Bronx where Berkowitz shot a young couple in a car. I was only 9 at the time but I remember the panic. My sister and mother fighting because she was not allowed out of the house. There was no looting in my area but I remember hearing about it on the news the day after the blackout.

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    [QUOTE=2009fatman;3273244]I lived throught it and remember it well. I used to hang in a club called Elephas Disco in Bayside Queens..It was one of the places Berkowitz shot a couple in a car right out side of it parked on the street..After the shooting the place became empty like most of the disco's in the city. I remember the girls who were going were wearing wigs, because they thought he was after girls with blond hair..

    The blackout happened like around 10pm that summer, and people in certain area's of the city began looting stores, mostly up in Harlem and parts of Brooklyn..I remember the cops doing nothing to stop the looting, with people walking out of stores with TV sets and other things.

    Then the whole Jimmy Breslin(who was a writer for the Daily News) thing with Berkowitz sending him letters about when he would kill again and why he was doing it. The Daily News was selling out before 8am where I lived just to get the latest from Breslin.

    Then when the Yankee's were in the world Series there was a building burning in the Bronx, and Howard Cosell got all over it making the City look real bad to people around the country.

    My father was a big Bob Grant fan(the first conservitive talk show host in the city) who's show was on from 10pm to 2am on WOR, and came running into my room about 12am telling me he just heard that the Son Of Sam was captured..I listen to Bob with him as he first said the name of David Berkowitz, and was caught and lived in Yonkers...Thats how I first found out he was arrested.

    There was paranoia in all the lovers lanes around the city, Where I lived it was Astoria Park..The only couples in the park while the killing were going on were under cover cops..It was the craziest summer I ever remember in the city..I was 16 at the time.

    [B]Don't wast your time and watch the Spike Lee movie on it..It was terrible and stupid..It was anti-Italian American like all of his early movies.[/B][/QUOTE]


    I didn't think so. I lived in that neighborhood where the movie was filmed. In fact the scene where Don Luigi is sitting in his backyard was actually filmed in my friend's backyard. Believe it or not there were/still are a lot of people that still just like those chartacters in the movie.

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    [QUOTE=petejet;3273333]I didn't think so. I lived in that neighborhood where the movie was filmed. In fact the scene where Don Luigi is sitting in his backyard was actually filmed in my friend's backyard. Believe it or not there were/still are a lot of people that still just like those chartacters in the movie.[/QUOTE]

    I havent seen the flick (mainly because I have seen his previous crap) but I will note this irony; If a nice fellow like DOn Luigi were to make a film portraying African Americans just like they are at say...W119st and 7th avenue, SPike Lee would have major coronary.

    Seems he has cornered the market on "keeping it real" and has been granted lifetime literary license with his portrayals of ethnic types by the lib. media.

    That being said, I lived blocks from the Elephas Disco Fatman was talking about and I remember as a teen an overwhelming feeling of smothering "Oppressiveness".... Like the the heat and fear combined to envelope everyone and everything. With the Yankees success and the doosh getting caught, it was like an enormous bubble bursting and a return to hope and normalcy.

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    my father was NYPD and worked on the case....

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    [QUOTE=Come Back to NY;3273396]my father was NYPD and worked on the case....[/QUOTE]
    give us some details, I'm still consumed by this story ...

    Did he think the Carr bros were involved?

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    [QUOTE=jetswin;3273398]give us some details, I'm still consumed by this story ...

    Did he think the Carr bros were involved?[/QUOTE]

    he just gave me bits and pieces, like everythng else when he was on the job....

    he was out with his partner one evening when his partner was screaming for help thinking they had son of sam in their sights, I believe near Columbia U, but he got away....he talked about the monotonous paperwork trying to find clues...I believe it was a parklng ticket that led them to the arrest...

    don't know nor ever asked about the Carr bros...

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    [QUOTE=Come Back to NY;3273406]...I believe it was a parklng ticket that led them to the arrest...

    [/QUOTE]
    yes, I think he parked too close to a fire hydrant during one of the attacks

  12. #12
    [QUOTE=Gas2No99;3273217]In Shor get and read this book: "[SIZE="4"][B]Ladies and Gentlemen, The Bronx is Burning: 1977, Baseball, Politics, & the battle for the Soul of a City[/B][/SIZE]" by Jonathan Mahler


    [IMG]http://images.barnesandnoble.com/images/10750000/10758975.jpg[/IMG][/QUOTE]

    Just a fantastic book, the ESPN miniseries wasn't bad, but it still didn't do the book justice.

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    [QUOTE=Come Back to NY;3273406]he just gave me bits and pieces, like everythng else when he was on the job....

    he was out with his partner one evening when his partner was screaming for help thinking they had son of sam in their sights, I believe near Columbia U, but he got away....he talked about the monotonous paperwork trying to find clues...[B]I believe it was a parklng ticket that led them to the arrest[/B]...

    don't know nor ever asked about the Carr bros...[/QUOTE]

    Yep, he parked too close to a fire hydrant for one of the murders and got a parking ticket. Someone ID'd the car at another murder scene and the cops put 2-and-2 together.

    TD, it was 77 and that was a wild summer. I was only 5 but had a teenage brunette older sister whom my parents were desperate to keep in the house. My sis was a loud mouth don't listen to anyone type of teen so she went out late at night anyway. I didn't fully understand what was going on, but I got a sense of it from my mom's angst.

    That was also the summer of the blackout and I remember that vividly. I was watching Baretta on TV eating Drake's Coffee Cake on the living room floor when the lights went out. Scariest ****.

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    [QUOTE=SMC;3273417]
    That was also the summer of the blackout and I remember that vividly. I was watching Baretta on TV eating Drake's Coffee Cake on the living room floor when the lights went out. Scariest ****.[/QUOTE]

    We spent part of the summer in Ireland...I remember the black out hit while we were over...we sat watching in stunned silence the black and white footage of the looting and fires on RTE....my parents and the other adults then began speaking to eachother in hurried whispers with occasional glances towards the kids (us)...

    We thought we would have no home to go home to...

    I cant imagine the fear a parent must have felt for their kids in NYC during that era...

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    I lived on Long Island at that time, but a couple of things about that summer stay with me.

    During the hunt for Sam, I was parked with my girlfriend one night in some quiet area that we'd gone to several times before. Never a hassle - until that night when a pair of headlights fills the back of the car, followed by the spinning cherry dome light. The cop only takes a few seconds to tell us - politely - that we have to leave and don't we know it's not safe? Until I later heard that Berkowitz had planned to visit L.I. to go out in a blaze of glory, I had assumed that the danger was confined to the 5 boroughs.

    I had a job that summer working as a porter, by myself, in a supermarket from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. I always had the radio on to keep me company. And that's when the news broke about the capture of Berkowitz. I told my family about it while they were just waking up the next morning.

    Oh yeah - it was also a very HOT summer.

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    [QUOTE=parkwayjet1;3273441]

    Oh yeah - it was also a very HOT summer.[/QUOTE]
    yes, I remember that also...it may have been the first summer I heard of the dreaded gypsy moths that were consuming trees all over LI

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    I wasn't even born yet when all this occured. But I have heard many stories from my parents and other familiy members about that summer. Especially considering the Yankees are like a religion to me and my family and that was the era when they finally returned to prominence. I am also intrigued by this entire era of the city - the late 70's is a really interesting time to read up on. From Son of Sam to the Yankees to the blackouts to what Times Square was like to Studio 54 - it's one of the city's most interesting era's I think. Wish I could have experienced it all, but as I stated earlier I was still just a twinkle in my parent's eyes.
    Last edited by Dumps; 09-25-2009 at 11:39 AM.

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    [IMG]http://www.nytimes.com/learning/general/images/slideshows/0713nyc-blackout-1977.3.jpg[/IMG]

    This was always one of my favorites.

    What is it and WHere is he putting it?

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    [QUOTE=32green;3273532][IMG]http://www.nytimes.com/learning/general/images/slideshows/0713nyc-blackout-1977.3.jpg[/IMG]

    This was always one of my favorites.

    What is it and WHere is he putting it?[/QUOTE]
    I'm trying to remember if this was the looting where I read the quote, "free stuff," or if it was later in California.

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    [QUOTE=32green;3273532][IMG]http://www.nytimes.com/learning/general/images/slideshows/0713nyc-blackout-1977.3.jpg[/IMG]

    This was always one of my favorites.

    What is it and WHere is he putting it?[/QUOTE]

    I remember the insane looting- the lights went out and somehow people thought it was their stuff....

    my dad knew a sneaker guy who gave him good deals because he was NYPD....we went a few days after the blackout to get some Converse hi-tops....the store was bare when we got there....they stole the shelves besides all the sneakers...the guy said, "they left me with shoelaces- I'm done"....sad site....

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