Grand Central Winter: Stories from the Street

Front Cover
Seven Stories Press, 1998 - Biography & Autobiography - 239 pages
17 Reviews
Whether Lee Stringer is describing "God's corner" as he calls 42nd Street, or his friend Suzy, a hooker and "past due tourist" whose infant child he sometimes babysits, whether he is recounting his experiences at Street News, where he began hawking the newspaper for a living wage, then wrote articles, and served for a time as muckraking senior editor, whether it is his adventures in New York's infamous Tombs jail, or performing community service, or sleeping in the tunnels below Grand Central Station by night and collecting cans by day, this is a book rich with small acts of kindness, humor and even heroism alongside the expected violence and desperation of life on the street. There is always room, Stringer writes, "amid the costume" jewel glitter...for one more diamond in the rough."
Two events rise over Grand Central Winter like sentinels: Stringer's discovery of crack cocaine and his catching the writing bug. Between these two very different yet oddly similar activities, Lee's life unwound itself, during the 1980s, and took the shape of an odyssey, an epic struggle to find meaning and happiness in arid times. He eventually beat the first addiction with help from a treatment program. The second addiction, writing, has hold of him still.
Among the many accomplishments of this book is that Stringer is able to convey something of the vitality and complexity of a down—and—out life. The reader walks away from it humming its melody, one that is more wise than despairing, less about the shame we feel when confronted with a picture of those less fortunate, and more about the joy we feel when we experience our shared humanity.
  

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Review: Grand Central Winter: Stories from the Street

User Review  - Pat Parkhurst - Goodreads

I really couldn't wait to turn each page Excellent writer, couldn't put this book down. Great read Read full review

Review: Grand Central Winter: Stories from the Street

User Review  - Mike - Goodreads

I picked up this book after reading Lee Stringer's conversation with Kurt Vonnegut in "Like Shaking Hands With God". Vonnegut, at a ripe age, having written pantloads of books himself, spoke almost ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

What happened was I was
13
When I was out there
19
The Streets of New York City 1985
35
Grand Central Terminal Winter 1985 1230 am
43
Grand Central Terminal Winter 1989
51
West Fortysixth Street Winter 1989
63
In New York City there are three
69
Hells Kitchen Fall 1994
91
I was having a real
147
I was smoked out tapped out
157
Its time for my nightly
181
Sure life on the street
193
Dear Honey
203
Manhattan has only two
215
His name is Marvin
229
If at the time of this
235

Valentines adoptive father
113
On every smut film
131

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About the author (1998)

LEE STRINGER's journey from childhood homelessness in the '60s, to adult homelessness in the '80s, to his present career as a writer and lecturer, as told in Sleepaway School and Grand Central Winter, is one of the great odysseys of contemporary American life and letters. Stringer, the only board member of Project Renewal who is also a former patient of the facility, has demonstrated that writers are made, not born. He is the two-time recipient of the Washington Irving Award and, in 2005, a Lannan Foundation Residency. He is a former editor and columnist of Street News. His essays and articles have appeared in a variety of other publications, including The NationThe New York Times, and Newsday. He lives in Mamaroneck, New York, where he also serves on the board of the Mamaroneck Public Libraries.

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