Tag Archives: memoir

Summer. Peas in a Pod. owen plotkin

When I was a kid my friend’s Mom would hand us each a big paper bag of peapods to shell, we’d sit on his front step and pop round green peas into a big metal bowl and pass a summer afternoon, talking and joking about stuff 8 year old kids would talk and joke about in those days. I loved my street and my friend and his Mom and Dad and his two older brothers too. I’d say I was lucky, wasn’t I.

Seen a lot in my time in NYC owen plotkin

Seen a lot in my time in New York City. Saw the rise of CBGB’s and I’ve seen the end of it. Stood next to Joey Ramone playing pinball. Walked down Joey Ramone Place cursing cancer. Watched the South Tower fall in silence with my bare eyes from across the river in Jersey City. Saw my next door neighbor’s grief, knowing her son would not return from Cantor Fitzgerald that day. I lost family, I lost friends and I lost coworkers to the monster named AIDS in the 80’s and 90’s. Thousands of New Yorkers were murdered by that monster. Saw my hero walking down the street just like any average New Yorker. Felt proud he chose to make this town, his town. He was gunned down right in front of the love of his life, at the Dakota. New York City. Full of bluster,full of bombast,full of pride and covered in filth. I celebrated our empathy and loathed our apathy. It’s a tough place, filled with pricks,assholes and kind souls. I’m not special. I’ve just walked around here for a while and I just don’t want to forget. Did you see me around? I saw you.
there’s an AIDS memorial being built in NYC. At a place that used to be St Vincent’s Hospital. “The New York City AIDS Memorial Park at St. Vincent’s Triangle.”
http://nycaidsmemorial.org/ #911 #CBGB # Joey Ramone #JohnLennon #ActUp

collage @ owen plotkin

collage @ owen plotkin

9/11 #911 owen plotkin

I was in Jersey City trying to get to work. I pulled off US Rt 1 and made it to a hill overlooking the river. I got out of my car and joined a group of old men and school children with their teacher. We stood together behind a chain link fence and watched the burning tower silently collapse. The smell of burning plastic in the air. I got into my car, the streets of Jersey City were empty, frozen, silent and numb. I headed back home to get Shawn and the kids. Then we drove the hour south to my Mom’s house. The unthinkable image burned into my retina. The sun trapped in a clear blue bright sky.


“The attack occurred, I stood and watched the buildings fall with my own eyes, smelled the burning plastic from across the river,later at home, my eyes and ears were unnerved by the television as it became an unrelenting fear machine.” #911

too close. fear machine