26 Sep

This weekend I picked up a copy of Henry Miller’s Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymus Bosch. Looking forward to dig into that one. In the meantime, here’s a lovely post about Miller’s childhood in Brooklyn. I do wonder how one played “cat” or “shimmy”!

Ephemeral New York

“It’s strange what a little boy remembers of his early life,” wrote Henry Miller in a 1971 New York Times essay, nine years before the death of the author of Tropic of Cancer and other great 20th century novels.

Until age nine, Miller lived with his family (at left) at 662 Driggs Avenue (below) in Williamsburg. His memories of what he deemed his “sojourn in paradise” offer fascinating glimpses of life through a kid’s eyes in 1890s Brooklyn.

“Diagonally opposite us was Fillmore Place, just one block long, which was my favorite street and which I can still see vividly if I close my eyes.”

“At the Driggs Avenue end of this street was a saloon and at the other end a kindergarten. I remember the saloon because as a child I was often sent to get a pitcher of beer at the side entrance.”

“A few doors from…

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