This is taken from the upcoming and final issue of Amazing Spider-Man (#700 - out next month).
It’s interesting that it actually looks not too differerent from the realIngram Street. In the original comics, I recall Forest Hills being drawn fairly accurately..(tall trees, Tudor houses, leafy). Then after the 2002 movie, in which Parker was portrayed as coming from a decidedly much more blue-collar Archie Bunker-type neighborhood (more Hauser Street than Ingram).. the comics changed to reflect the film.
Now it’s back to a little bit of reality (except for the crowds).
Well, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and similarly, after landing on the pile of “to read” books in my apartment, it took a while to get to. Well, I just finished the book, and liked it, learning about someone who before, I knew nothing but his name.
Interestingly, the book’s original owner appears to have been the attorney Jack Litman (click the photo to see the watermark). Litman was most famous for his defense in 1986 of “preppie killer”, Robert Chambers.
The trial put on display his “blame-the-victim” strategy, one he employed often to good effect. The former deputy homicide chief in the Manhattan DA’s office, in this case arguing that Jennifer Levin was responsible for her own death (strangulation by Chambers, during a sexual encounter in Central Park). Her bruised and battered body was found under a tree.
Everyone deserves a lawyer, even a psychopath like Chambers. Still, the defense sickened me, and I can recall that a woman who worked in the same office with me, (we were both paralegals) believed that poor Robert, the parochial-school boy, was indeed getting a raw deal (I don’t think I ever spoke with her again). Chambers of course, took a plea before the jury reached a verdict, and after serving his sentence, was re-imprisoned for narcotics sales and possesion.
I wonder if Litman was interested in Cicero because of Cicero’s career as a defense attorney in ancient Rome. Those trials established him as the most skilled orator in the history of the Republic. Cicero’s death, by order of Marc Antony, (along with the suicide of Cato), are seen as the events that signalled the end of the Republic.
Litman, lived on the Upper West Side, and died last year, after a long battle with lymphoma. In its obituary, the Times wrote,
While his cerebral approach to his cases seemed almost mathematical, Mr. Litman insisted that it was his love of literature, psychoanalysis and French film that taught him to appeal to the psychology of the jury and put cases in narrative form.
He was admired by defense lawyers and prosecutors alike for aggressive cross-examinations and closing arguments that often had an almost novelistic sweep. His talent as an amateur actor — his favorite film was “Twelve Angry Men” and he acted in an all-lawyer stage production based on it — served him well in the courtroom."
When I like a certain band or musician, I always try to learn who their influences were, and in turn, which artists influenced them. It helps me not only better understand their work, but has led me to great stuff I might not otherwise have heard.
The Rolling Stones and the Animals led me to Muddy Waters, Bo Diddley, and Howlin’ Wolf; and via those guys, people like Son House and Robert Johnson. Big Star, because of Teenage Fanclub, and BMX Bandits because of TFC. The Byrds and Buffalo Springfield via groups like the Long Ryders and the Bangles — you get the idea.
I do the same with film-makers I like, in particular Woody Allen. I read Sentimental Education because he mentions it in Manhattan, and I saw Grand Illusion for the same reason. He certainly makes no secret about his influences; maybe because as an auto-didact, he feels the need to show off a bit to those people who, “teach a class at Columbia called ‘T.V., Media, and Culture”.
Like him, I’m a college drop-out, so I’m always working on that deficit of book-learning, and I’m not ashamed to say I’ve cribbed from him. I suppose it wouldn’t work for me if I didn’t like his taste, but mostly, I do (though not crazy about Mahler).
Just recently, I finally sawThe Sorrow And The Pity, a movie that Alvy and Annie go to see in Annie Hall at the beginning of their relationship, and in the penultimate scene, run into each other as Annie is taking her new boyfriend to see it at the old Thalia.
Another thing I share with him, is that at a party, I’d rather be in the bedroom, sitting on the coats, watching the Knicks, too. Needless to say though, he’s still funnier and better read than me, though. I had to look up Heinrich Böll, and can’t pull Marhsall McCluhan out from behind a sign.
Isaac: Where the hell does a little Radcliffe tootsie come off rating Scott Fitzgerald, Gustav Mahler and Heinrich Böll?
Stacy: Why are you getting so mad?
Isaac: Because I don't like that pseudo-intellectual garbage. “Van Goch!” Did you hear that? She said Van Goch. Like an Arab she spoke. One more remark about Bergman, and I'd have knocked her other contact lens out.
Tracy: Is she Yale’s mistress?
Isaac: That will never cease to mystify me. I mean, he’s got a wonderful wife, and he prefers to…to diddle this yo-yo.
But he was always a sucker for those kind of women. The kind that would involve him in discussions of existential reality. They probably sit on the floor with wine and cheese, and mispronounce “allegorical” and “didacticism”.
Cheers to Keith Richards for getting fantastic reviews for his new memoir, Life. Never knew he could write, but I also never thought Keith was Keef (at least not since he kicked his habit).
Anyone who has doubts, should check out Hail! Hail! Rock ‘n’ Roll! The 1987 film documents the effort by Richards, to stage a tribute concert for/with his idol, Chuck Berry. Berry is nothing if not a proud man, and of course he once famously punched Richards in the face. Here it’s remarkable they didn’t pick up right where that left off.
In this great scene, Berry wants to show who’s boss, and puts Richards through the ringer — making him repeat the slur on “Carol”, over and over again.
I love how Richards says that “such a great sound came off the needle”, and moves his hand, as if it shot him through with lightning. There’s also a great shot of Johnny Johnson, Berry’s original pianist, who seems quite familiar with Berry’s modus operandi.