AN USHER IN TIMES SQUARE 1951 PART 2   Leave a comment

On the right side of the theatre was the usher’s dressing room. You walked up a long flight of stairs–well at 15 it seemed like a long flight—where I would go to change into my uniform and, yes, to once in awhile bring up someone to have sex with. Among the audience were married men who came into the movie theatre for ‘quickies’, some with women, some with men. While the women were generally hookers the gay men were there just for sex.

I would, occasionally. exchange looks with someone and when I was sure I would nod my head and tell them to follow me which they did and we went to the usher’s room. Also I would now and then roam down to the men’s room where obvious cruising would be going on and once in awhile I would let two guys use the usher’s room and sometimes I would join them.

It may have been the third or fourth week I was working there when one of the security cops who worked the movie houses called me over to where he was holding an obviously very frightened man and asked me if I had seen him expose himself in the men’s room or had he made a pass at me. I was completely dumbfounded by what was going on especially when, without my saying anything, next the cop said to the man, “Look I have this kid as a witness. He is a minor and this could get you into a lot of trouble but if you want to pay your fine without going to court or before the judge I will let you go this time.” He was shaking down this poor frightened married guy—as I was to learn he (they) only picked on married men–and as soon as the guy gave him whatever he had in his pocket/wallet the cop would tell him to get the hell out and never come back.

I don’t quite remember all that the cop said to me about cutting me in if I would set up some guys in the men’s room or get them up to the usher’s room so they could come in and catch them in the act with me. I don’t remember what I answered but it was some sort of form of ‘no’ and he warned me that I better never ever bring a guy up to the usher’s room again as he had seen me do or he would arrest both of us. I was shaking in my shoes and went to the manager to tell him what was going on and his reply was that he had hired me because I was a good looking kid and could help them all make a little money. To say I was shocked would be to put it mildly but something told me to speak up.

Once again I don’t remember what I said but I worked there the rest of the summer without getting involved with the manager–who was cute and did make a pass at me–or the various cops who were running the scam and continued to bring guys up to the usher’s room without anyone bothering us.

That I didn’t speak up or turn the cops in–to who?–and saw married men getting taken in and being very scared that their life would be ruined, shames me to this day and no way would I turn a blind eye if the circumstances repeated themselves.

By the way the Lyric theatre today has been combined with another old theatre and both were gutted and today make up the Ford Theatre of the Performing Arts and is a part of what has been called ‘the Disneyfying of Times Square’ and I am sure there is no resemblance to The Lyric Theatre where I got an ’education’ at 15 and can still hear Danny Kaye using a French accent and singing “On The Riviera”!

Posted September 14, 2014 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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AN USHER IN TIMES SQUARE 1951 PART 1   1 comment

I was 15 and on summer vacation up in our summer home in Lake Hiawatha, New Jersey, and I wanted/needed to get away from my family so I went looking for a job in Manhattan. I don’t know whether it was through an ad or I was just passing by and decided to stop in but I got a job as an usher at the Lyric Theatre on 42nd street better known as Times Square and many years before it was :Disneyfied”,

The Lyric Theatre at one time was a first rate theatre that presented such stars as Sarah Bernhardt and was considered a gem among theatres in New York. By the time I had become a teenager it was a second rate movie theatre in what was becoming a seedy Times Square. While The Victoria Theatre next door started to show ‘racy’ films The Lyric showed second run movies from major companies. I remember seeing Danny Kaye, Gene Tierney and Corinne Calvert in “On The Riveria” at least 22 times–in fact I can still quote many of the lines!

It was an hour bus drive from/to Lake Hiawatha so I had to get up at six in the morning to catch the bus into the city and get the 6 PM bus back to the Lake. (An aside: one morning my brother came rushing into my bedroom yelling. “Hurry up! You are going to be late! You will miss the bus. It is after 7.” I jumped up, washed my fast quickly got dressed and was just about to run out of the house when I saw my brother laughing hysterically. It being my day off–I worked 6 days–I had taken an afternoon nap and it was 6 PM in the evening, not morning, when my brother woke me up!)

Working on Times Square at that age was quite an eye opener in many ways. Many well dressed men either looking for jobs or being salesmen would come in to waste a few hours, some even to take a nap. There was a balcony split into 2 sections where practically every kind of sex you could think of took place. My manager told me to ignore it unless they were noisy, rowdy or disrupting those who came to see the movie and sat in the balcony because it was where you could smoke. It was quite an education for a 15 year old kid seeing men with women, men with men, women with women and some you couldn’t tell which was which.

It was also an education in entrapment and blackmail and shakedowns.

To be continued…

Posted September 13, 2014 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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“THE DROP”–A MOVIE REVIEW   Leave a comment

It is said that the longer a person owns a dog the more they get to resemble each other. In “The Drop” within minutes of Bob (Tom Hardy) finding a beat up puppy in a trash can, picks him up and holds him close to his face, the resemblance is already there. The hurt puppy’s eyes are reflected in the eyes of the man who just rescued him. This is a pit bull puppy who almost steals the movie away and yet defines Bob in many ways.

Rosco, as the puppy is named by Bob, is in the trash can of a waitress, who owns the house, named Nadia (Noomi Rapace), who may or may not know how the dog was in the garbage. After Bob confesses to her that he never had  a pet, and doesn’t know how to take care of a dog, she volunteers to help him go shopping for the necessities and provides a love interest for Bob who is very slow on the uptake and in many other instances.

Bob is a bartender in a bar once owned by, and still named after, his cousin Marvin (James Gandolfini) until it was taken over by Chechens, who seem to rule the neighborhood, headed by Chovka (Michael Aronov). There are peripheral characters such as  creepy Eric (Matthias Schoenaertas) who seems to have originally owned the puppy, has some connections to Nadia and boasts about murdering a man a decade earlier. There is also Detective Torres (John Oritz) who is more annoying than detective and Dottie (Ann Dowd) as Marvin’s sister who seems to have been added to pad out the movie which was originally a short story.

The acting by all, including Gandolfini in his last film role, is okay though Rapace seems just off key and until the end you don’t really see and/or understand what a great job Hardy does. I did try to catch the real name of Rosco who certainly deserves credit but didn’t see it.

As a Brooklyn gangster old fashioned thriller “The Drop” is slow getting to the revelation, which I admit caught me by surprise, but that was not enough to save the film.

Posted September 12, 2014 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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Marriage as practiced by opposite sexes is a failure. Even before people’s lives were extended 2-3 lifetimes marriage became a disposable part of modern day life. There is no more ‘for better or worse’, people are experiencing more than one marriage.

Something I have always liked about most, not all, gay people, well males at least, was their promiscuity. It was a major difference between gay and nongay males and defined, to me, what gay meant. Okay that’s for another discussion.

By law all people getting married have to have a license issued by the State but after that where does it say you have to have a wedding cake? Why not a candy bush? Why do you have to walk down the aisle? Can’t each walk around the room and meet at a certain wall? Why can’t the ‘best man’ be the one with the biggest penis and displays it? Come on, these are gay men and for many penis defines gay because without it would they be a gay man? How about ‘forever’ be for 10 years and every decade they have to get ‘remarried‘?

Yes I can see some of you behind the monitors shaking your head but does it make a difference what you do after you get that State license?

Shouldn’t we be doing everything to prevent the 50.02% divorce rate that nongays have? Obviously they are doing something wrong and if gays want to have a successful life, partnership, forever after together, they have to break the rules, which gays have always been good at.

Why aren’t we setting our own traditions? Say the couple give the guests gifts instead of the way it has always been? Why are we using the words such as husband and wife when we have imagination to come up with words that are special to the gay couple?

Let’s stand “marriage” on its head and revise what it has meant for years and had lead to failures for centuries.

Where is that gay couple strong enough, imaginative enough, trend setters, style and fashion setters, that can stand up and say that he is not my husband or wife but my—-? Who can come up with traditions that nongays haven’t owned, that gays can say we started them and, of course, now the nongays are copying us again?

Where are the smart, sharp, FAB-U-LOUS gays who can set the world on their heads by making legal coupling last and not end in divorce in 8.8 years? Come on out and tell us your suggestions!

Or are all stereotypes, clichés about gays just a myth?

By the way, it might take a month or two but it is on my list to write about and that is seeing a whole new conception of two people making their lives together successfully yet giving the nongay people their idea of marriage and gay people complete equality and status.

Last but not least, I have been basically talking about the laws and rules regarding ‘marriage’ in the USA–what are the advantages and disadvantages of getting ‘married’ in your country?

Posted September 12, 2014 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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This was going to be a 2 part series but it seems that people are misunderstanding what I want to say so I want to explain a little further and will break this part into 2 parts.

I am NOT against gay couplings! If two people of the same sex want to get together to express their love and/or to allow themselves the same and many legal benefits, including financial, that nongay couples get/have by getting a legal license that recognizes their status as a couple in the eyes of the law then I am all for that! What I am not for is calling it ‘marriage’, for following traditions that don’t seem to work.

If you only got a mark of 50% in school you wouldn’t graduate. If you only gave your boss 50% at work you would be fired. If you only paid 50% of your rent or your mortgage you would be thrown out of your home. Why are you willing to continue to follow a role model that is only successful 50% of the time? And that is why marriage as has been practiced for centuries needs a makeover and who can do it better than gay people? Aren’t they, stereotypically, the best at makeovers?

I don’t expect nongay people in miserable marriages to comment and talk about it. Yes it is nice to read about the success of opposite sex marriages but, again, this is not what this post is about. This is about correcting something that is wrong and making it better. I, personally think that those who are getting involved in same sex commitments for life can look at the mistakes that opposite sex attempts at commitment have made and show other ways to do it.

Let two members of the same sex get that legal license and instead of what has been tradition turn it on its head and set a new model for all—same and opposite sexes–to follow and maybe, just maybe, the divorce rate will fall among nongays and not happen among gays.

There are many reasons why gays want to get married. Being a romantic I would like to believe that all do it because they love each other and want to let the world know that it is about that love. I also think, possibly, in the USA it might be about the over 1,000 federal tax breaks they will get if the marriages are recognized by law. It also helps with Wills, estates, inheritances and many other legal aspects that unmarried people don’t get.

But let’s get back that it is done for love—ahhhhhhhh.

In part 1 I wrote about some of the traditions that nongay people go through when they get married and now let me explain why I don’t want gay ‘marriages’.

It has been said for as long as I can remember that gay people are imaginative, are leaders in fashions and styles, sets trends in music, dance an are ahead of the rest. Is that a false stereotype? Are we just as dull as nongays? Are we followers?

Posted September 11, 2014 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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Now before Chuck and Terry, Alfredo and Mike, AJ and Ray and all the other gay couples that have gotten married, and want to get married, please read this first before you think and do all sorts of nasty things to me!

I do not like the word ‘marriage’ for gay couples and I will get to that in a round about way. Let’s check off the list for opposite sex marriages:

1) Propose on bended knee check
2) engagement party check
3) walk down the aisle check
4) be given away by parent or friend check
5) best man check
6) exchange rings check
7) exchange vows check
8) have a 4-5 tier cake check
9) slice cake Check
10) feed cake to each other check
11) sometimes smash cake into other genders face check
12) spend money on reception, sometimes have entertainment check
13)toast to bride and groom check
14) call each other bride or groom check
15) go on a honeymoon check
16 buy home, maybe have children check


Chuck, Terry, Alfredo, Mike, Ray and AJ how many of the 16 things did you do? (Okay thankfully gay couple have their honeymoon BEFORE getting married!)

Gay ‘marriage’ basically just started and already there is a divorce case going on in Florida where recently there was a lesbian couple fighting over custody of their child.

It is expected that this year the divorce rate will exceed the 50% it has been hovering around and I don’t want to see same sex couples adding to that figure.

I feel that since I never wanted to get married, never will get married, maybe I can be objective about what gay couples can do to have a better success rate at having a long lasting ‘marriage’. Why should that word affect Alfredo and Mike being together 40 years, Ray and AJ more than 10 and Terry and Chuck more than 5?

Gays can be and are smarter than nongays so let’s see if any of my suggestions can get the ball rolling so that same sex couples can and will LIVE HAPPILY EVER AFTER, something I believe in and want to see.

Posted September 10, 2014 by greatmartin in Uncategorized



No other American sandwich goes by as many names as the sub (all over the USA), hoagie (Pennsylvania), grinder (northeast), po’boys (New Orleans), heros (New York) to name a few. Most have in common many varieties of long individual breads filled with meats and/or vegetables though some people will state as fact that some are only served as cold will others are served as hot and there are more definitions than pizza.

It’s been many years since I had a sub from Little Italy in New York, or a po’boy in New Orleans, but since I have been living in Fort Lauderdale, the city of franchises, I use the Subway stores, especially the one in the Gateway shops of Sunrise Boulevard, as the standard to judge the various sub, hoagie, grinder, hero, etc. stores now available in the area.

A couple of days ago I got a mailing with coupons for a new franchise called PrimoHoagies. It’s been awhile since I had been to a ‘new’ restaurant so we figured we would give them a try after the movie. Bad decision as it seems they were giving a free hoagie away to anyone who signed up on their web page and they wouldn’t honor the coupons. (See further down.)

They have 30 different hoagies in 3 different sizes which can make for confusion and long lines, when they are free and though the lines weren’t long there was confusion. Also, unlike Subways none of their hoagie making items were readily visible. Along with everything else you had to fill out the application for their web page.
In any case I ordered the Italian Hoagie consisting of proscuitto, provolone cheese, capicola, salami, lettuce, tomato and onions served on a sesame roll–there was no choice of breads or condiments. The sandwich came tightly wrapped and packed to go though we were eating it there on one of their 5 small indoor tables. They did have some outside tables but we don’t sit outside in August in Fort Lauderdale! Even with the mixture of meats and vegetables it was a dry, tasteless sandwich.

Allen ordered ,and paid $8.59 for since he won’t subscribe to a web page, a old fashioned meatball hoagie. Somehow or another they ‘lost’ his and/or gave it to someone else by mistake. Considering he had to wait 30 minutes more, paying for a sandwich, than I did who got it free, the manager should have picked up his check.

In any case his sandwich consisting of grated Parmesan and Romano cheeses on meatballs and a very light amount of sauce, if any, was dry and tasteless.

Maybe because it was opening day or mismanagement the food wasn’t up to par so I’ll be heading back to Subways next time or, even better, for a full service restaurant with homemade subs it will be to Big Louie’s.

By the way–maybe a sign–the adddress is 666 and the air conditioning wasn’t working!

Posted September 6, 2014 by greatmartin in DINING REVIEW


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