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The Painters of Crosby Street, Part 1

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The Painters of Crosby Street, Part 1

New York City, 1979. I’d broken up with my girlfriend and was living in a sublet loft in Soho on Crosby Street for the summer. I was thirty-five, and I had aspirations to be a writer. I was an advertising copywriter, though, about as far from being a writer as you can get, despite the “writer” the two words share.

I’d tried to write for real now and then, but I’d never gotten far. I’d written stories in college that had won an award, but when I went into the world, I just stopped. The pen I picked up wrote slogans, not short stories. I was paid well for those slogans and commercials, and New York City always offered plenty of tempting ways to spend that money. I still harbored the idea that I was a Writer. When you get to your mid-thirties, however, and you

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