Well it took over year to happen but finally "The News Factory' has been released to the general public. This collection of poetry and short stories is about the part of New York City which is quickly disappearing due to gentrification and exorbitant rents. These are residents of SRO's, along with the buildings themselves, which continue to disappear at an alarming rate. It is also about some of the iconic locations around the city which are now gone, including CBGBs and some of the older customers of Max's Kansas City. But more than that, this collection of works is an up close and personal look at these individuals, their dreams, hopes and more importantly, their humanity.
Most of the individuals in this book are not image conscious at a time where image seems to be everything. Here, between these pages, there is no pretense to anything, the people and places are exactly what they appear to be, confessions from a dying city.
Referring to New York as a dying city is in no way indicating that it's becoming a ghost town but rather, it is losing, and in many ways has already lost, that piece of it's heart which separated it from most other US cities. Up until the early 1990's this was the place one would go if you were an outcast, either to your family or your home town. No one really cared about how strange you came across, there was just too much to do and this was also the place to let it all hang out. But it was understood, that while you’re here, that it was important to accept all five boroughs on their own terms. This was often shown in the downtown music scene of the 1970's and 80's which was often seen as dirty but was a testimonial to the raw and pure energy of the time. From Punk to No Wave and even early Rap it was honesty in its most naked form. Writers from of all colors and stripes and genders have often testified to the energy which came from this New York City, the same one that gave the early platform to the Beats and later to people like Jim Carroll, Lou Reed, Pattie Smith and Lydia Lunch along with many others. The News Factory is an homage to that past city.
Unfortunately that New York is all but gone now. Many of the old places like CBGBs and Max's Kansas City are gone as are most of the SROs which allowed artists to launch their careers while living somewhere cheap while other residents just needed some place to call home while needing no real recognition from a wide audience, just a dive bar or place to spend their hours.
Much like old New York, the people in The News Factory demand to be taken on their own terms and live only by their own rules which may at times seem strange to the outsider but were forged from that time and place which can never quite be white washed from history, in part because it still resonates with everyone still willing to pay attention to the city's flow and that there will always be those around will to fight to keep alive the New York of the News Factory.