Manuscripts/Mixed Material [The Ginsbergs]
Also the characters of the neighborhood used Ginsy's store for their performances. Impromptu performances were given usually after eleven o'clock. Ginsy's phone booth was the private number of perhaps a hundred people. There was one youngster who did nothing else but wait in Ginsy's store for the calls and then he would run up to the various apartments and bring back whoever was requested. For this service he usually got a nickel. Now the neighborhood has taken on a sharper and more desperate coloration. Many people are on relief. The basements are filled with business apartments. Card games are mostly small time stuff but cut-throat affairs just the same. The talk is all numbers, sweepstakes, football scores. The people are passive in that very seldom is there any kind of explosion. Although not so quietly as on the Concourse, but still quietly enough, the bunch around this street are taking a terrific beating and their standards of living are being pushed lower and lower. Political patronage has practically ended for 169th Street. Yiddish and English are spoken and freely mixed and interchanged. The cultural influences are predominantly the Luxor movie house and Loew's 167th Street. The people here generally regard themselves on a social level superior to the people in the East Bronx, although some of them are beginning to suspect that this superiority is more or less abstract and is based on geography along.