The Making of “The Godfather”—Sort of a Home Movie

By Nicholas Pileggi The New York Times Magazine August 15, 1971 As was his custom before the drive home from work with his son, the old man walked across the narrow, tenement‐lined street in Manhattan’s Little Italy to buy some fresh fruit. The grocer, who had known...

Cocktail Hour

By Stephen Fried The Washington Post Magazine May 18, 1997 “You want to see it?” Emilio Emini offers to show me the enzyme on which he bet 10 years of his virology career and a billion dollars of his company’s money. Rising from his desk, Emini, who is tall, dark and...

Wonderdrink—A Slow, Sad Farewell

By Nicholas Pileggi New York/World Journal Tribune March 5, 1967 To many native New Yorkers seltzer is the wonderdrink of the Lower East Side and a source of gastronomic nostalgia comparable only to Marcel Proust’s chocolate madeleine. It is a carbonated gestalt, an...

The Girls on the Bus

By Mary Bruno New York Woman October 1988 Alessandra Stanley is slumped on a couch in the lobby of the Merrimack Hilton. Amidst the frenzy all around her, she looks like an oasis of repose. But her blue eyes are aggressively alert. They slip and dart like a cat’s,...

Will the Next Lenny Bruce Please Speak Up?

By Robert Ward GQ August, 1984 I remember everything about the first time I heard Lenny Bruce. I was filing records in the Modern Music House in Baltimore, Maryland. They were Miles Davis records, and I was putting yet another copy of his masterpiece, Kind of Blue, in...

Hot Chicago

By Bill Zehme Vanity Fair November 1984 This year Chicago delivered to Broadway the two most important new American plays of the season, David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross, which won a Pulitzer Prize, and David Rabe’s star-studded Hurlyburly. Both plays originated in...

Kiss ’n’ Kill

By Judith Rossner The Movies November 1983 Pornography, erotica, fantasies of beautiful women are probably as old as excess energy and leisure time. It was Hugh Hefner’s inspiration to bring them, on a large scale and slickly packaged, into the middle-class living...

A Miracle of Faith

By Tom Junod Life July 1991 She would board the plane in Albuquerque, although she knew that doing so could kill her. She would fly to New York and then to Belgrade and Sarajevo, where she would get on a bus. Thirty-five hours it was supposed to take Carol Lynn Leland...

24 Hours on 42nd Street: Staying Alive on the Strip

By Nik Cohn New York March 6, 1978 “I have a problem,” I said. “How’s that?” Tu Sweet asked. “I’m about to be dead.” It was early in the morning. Tu Sweet, the self-styled “Black Fred Astaire and Nureyev of the Hustle,” was relaxing in my neighborhood bar, fresh from...

J. D. Salinger in Retreat…

By Helen Dudar Writers Bloc June 1979 In this age of hard sell, when even the most reticent author can be coaxed into a half-hour on camera with Dick Cavett, J. D. Salinger obdurately remains publishing’s invisible man. This is, of course, hard on his admirers, who...

Looking for The Real Thing

By George Malko The Stacks Reader July 30, 2019 When I met George Malko a few years ago he told me about his friendship with Pauline Kael which began after he profiled her for Audience magazine in 1972. Kael was the one who invited George to a press screening of...

Justice in Summer

By Dan Wakefield The Nation October, 1955 The crowds are gone and this Delta town is back to its silent, solid life that is based on cotton and the proposition that a whole race of men was created to pick it. Citizens who drink from the “Whites Only” fountain in the...