Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A fellow Hack killed going to work at 4am R.I.P

I took these pictures after work on Monday, coming down Vernon Blvd by the 108 Pct. I knew that there had been a bad accident that morning but didn't know that a driver from Mid Town Garage had been the person killed.

A well know driver from the Mid Town Garage was killed on Monday going to work. He was a friend of fellow driver Seth. Seth was late that day and missed the train that Tony was on. Fate. Seth will be on Radio Free Eireann this Sat to talk about Tony.

A car coming off the Queensboro Bridge jumped a curb and killed a 68-year-old cabbie on the way to pick up his taxi in Queens early Monday, cops said.
Anthony Buscemi was on the sidewalk in front of the Villa de Beaute hair salon in Long Island City about 4 a.m. when a car veered from the off-ramp and struck him, cops said. He died at the scene.
"It was a horror movie - pools of blood running onto the street," said carpenter Yama Dastagirzada, 41, of Far Rockaway, who was the first person to come upon the wreck.
Cops said the 35-year-old driver, Grant Riddell, lost an arm and was taken to Bellevue Hospital. His 31-year-old passenger, Melissa Cohen, was taken to New York-Presbyterian Hospital Weill Cornell. Both were in stable condition and expected to live.
A police source said Riddell tested negative for drugs and alcohol. He lost control of the car, a red four-door 2007 Volkswagen, police said
The spectacular crash left the two and a half-ton Volkswagen upside down and in pieces on the sidewalk on Queens Plaza South at Crescent Street in Long Island City.
The sidewalk was strewn with engine parts and covered in blood after the driver apparently lost control on the 2007 Volkswagen and plowed headlong into a beauty parlor.
The impact, captured on surveillance video, shows the storefront is blown apart as the car bounces off the steel window gates and flips over.
Tony Buscemi, a veteran New York City cab driver, had just left the 7 train and was walking to work when the out of control vehicle struck him.
The accident happened just two blocks from his yellow cab, where he sat behind the wheel twelve hours a day, six days a week for the last twenty-five years.
His bosses and fellow drivers are absolutely stunned by the randomness of his sudden death.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Opera Singer meets the Opera Fan

Lois Kirschenbaum the World's most famous Opera Fan is interviewed by Opera singer Frank Lopardo on Radio Free Eireann.

LOIS KIRSCHENBAUM, who has been called "the world's most famous opera fan
celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of her first Met performance, as well as her seventy-fifth birthday. In 1969, when Kirschenbaum (now retired) was switchboard operator for the International Rescue Committee, she was the subject of an OPERA NEWS profile titled "The Sweetest Girl in New York," a designation given to her by diva Régine Crespin.

Myself showing Lois Kirschenbaum the way to the Metropolitan Opera from Percy Tavern.

Frank Lopardo telling his Life story on Radio Free Eireann

Frank Lopardo telling his life story about growing up in Middle Village Queens New York. We grew up together as kids.

Frank Lopardo singing with the real Sopranos

One of the leading lyric tenors of our day, Frank Lopardo is seen on a regular basis with prestigious operatic companies and orchestras around the world. He has collaborated with the world’s finest conductors including Claudio Abbado, Bruno Bartoletti, Leonard Bernstein, James Conlon, Sir Andrew Davis, Sir Colin Davis, Charles Dutoit, Christoph Eschenbach, James Levine, Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Muti, Seiji Ozawa, Sir Georg Solti, Robert Spano and Michael Tilson Thomas.

Among the many operatic roles Mr. Lopardo has made his own are Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor, the Duke in Rigoletto, Alfredo in La Traviata, Rodolfo in La Bohème, and Tito in La Clemenza di Tito. In the first part of his career Lopardo won international acclaim in the Mozart repertoire and the Romantic Bel Canto roles of Bellini, Donizetti and Rossini. He has graced the stages of the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Dallas Opera, St Louis Opera Theatre, Canadian Opera Company, Teatro alla Scala, Opéra National de Paris, Bavarian State Opera, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Vienna State Opera, the Salzburg Festival and the Glyndebourne Festival.
In 2007/2008 Frank Lopardo made an exciting role debut: Pinkerton in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly with the Pittsburgh Opera. Mr. Lopardo followed this with his celebrated Lenski in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin with the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Finally, Mr. Lopardo returned to Cincinnati for performances of Madama Butterfly.

In the autumn of 2006 Frank Lopardo returned to London for La Bohème at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and for Opera Rara’s concert and recording of Donizetti’s rarely performed Imelda di Lambertazzi. He also appeared with Opera Colorado as Gustavo in Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera. In concert, he joined the Pittsburgh Symphony for Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with Sir Andrew Davis, and his recent recording of this piece with the Cleveland Orchestra and Franz Welser-Möst was commercially released by Deutsche Grammophon.
Frank Lopardo has appeared regularly with America’s leading opera houses. At the Met he has Rodolfo, Alfredo, the Duke, Edgardo, Tamino, Tonio in La Fille du Regiment, Almaviva in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Nemorino in L’Elisir d’Amore, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, Idreno in Semiramide, Ferrando in Cosi fan tutte and Fenton in Falstaff. Audiences in Chicago have heard him sing Alfredo, Rodolfo, Tamino, Nemorino and also Elvino in La Sonnambula. In San Francisco he has performed the Duke, Tonio, Rodolfo, Don Ottavio and Lindoro in L’italiana in Algeri. In 2001 he made a spectacular Santa Fe Opera debut as Edgardo (“he spins out the vocal line from gentleness to strength in some of the best singing I’ve heard in a long time, a sound that I simply didn’t want to stop” – the New York Times). In Los Angeles Opera he has sung Edgardo and the Duke. His first performances of Riccardo in Un Ballo in Maschera were with Pittsburgh Opera.

Mr. Lopardo’s career in Europe has been no less impressive. He has performed Edgardo, Rodolfo, the Duke and Lensky in Eugene Onegin at the Paris Opera, both Alfredo and Lindoro with the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. With the Vienna State Opera he has performed Alfredo, Lindoro, the Duke and Libenskof in Il Viaggio a Reims, and he has starred as Alfredo and Don Ottavio at the Salzburg Festival. His debut with the Grand Theatre de Genève was as Ernesto in Don Pasquale. Mr. Lopardo has also been featured in roles of his repertoire at the Glyndebourne Festival, Teatro alla Scala, the Netherlands Opera, Teatro San Carlo Naples, Teatro Real Madrid, Teatro Comunale Florence and the Aix-en-Provence Festival.

On the concert platform, Mr. Lopardo has performed the Verdi Requiem with London Symphony Orchestra, The Cincinnati May Festival and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra; the Mozart Requiem with the Berlin Philharmonic at la Scala; Berlioz’ Requiem and Carmina Burana with the Boston Symphony Orchestra both in Boston and at the Tanglewood Festival; Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony and with the Cleveland Orchestra at the Blossom Festival; Rossini’s Stabat Mater with the Philadelphia Orchestra; Carmina Burana with the Berlin Philharmonic; and Mendelssohn’s Lobsesang Symphony with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s. He has sung the Dvorak Requiem with the Danish Radio Orchestra.

Frank Lopardo is soloist on the Telarc recording of the Berlioz Requiem with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra that won the 2004 Grammy for Best Choral Recording. His extensive discography also includes Mozart’s Requiem and Don Giovanni with Muti for EMI, Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia and L’italiana in Algeri with Abbado for Deutsche Grammophon, Verdi’s Falstaff with Sir Colin Davis for BMG, Rossini’s Semiramide and Il Signor Bruschino for Deutsche Grammophon and Donizetti’s Don Pasquale with Roberto Abbado for BMG. He has also recorded Orff’s Carmina Burana with André Previn for Deutsche Grammophon and can be seen on this label’s video of the Mozart C Minor Mass with Leonard Bernstein. Mr. Lopardo appears on the Deutsche Grammophon video of Falstaff conducted by James Levine. He can also be seen and heard (on both C and video) as Alfredo in La Traviata and Ferrando in Cosi fan tutte with Solti on Decca.

Frank Lopardo was born in New York and studied with Dr. Robert White, Jr. who remains his vocal mentortoday.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

It Ain't Over at Percy Tavern at 13th and Ave A till Frank Lopardo sings

Frank Lopardo, who grew up in Middle Village, Queens with my dad and ended up at the Metropolitan Opera. You can listen to him live on Radio Free Eireann on Saturday March 26, when we will broadcast from Percy’s Tavern in the Lower East Side on 13th and Ave A from one till 2. One of the leading lyric tenors of our day, Frank Lopardo is seen on a regular basis with prestigious operatic companies and orchestras around the world. He has worked with world renown conductors such as Leonard Bernstein, Seji Ozowa and Sir Georg Solti. Come see how he fares with John and Sandy at Percy’s Tavern in the Lower East side of 13th street and Avenue A from one until two, or listen in live, on Radio Free Eirann WBAI 99.5 FM. And just remember the live shows at Percy’s won’t be over till Frank Lopardo sings.

The Savage City comes to Percy's Tavern on the lower East Side

Myself interviewing TJ English about his new book The Savage City about New York City from 1963 to 1973. It's about the war between the NYPD and the Black Panthers.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


God Serve The Queen, Because She Won't Be Served Here
By David Hinckley

Got a big stretch of empty wall and a simmering resentment over the Irish potato famine?

Well, just tune in WBAI (99.5 FM) starting at 10 a.m. Thursday, which of course is St. Patrick’s Day, and you may be able to solve both problems.

During WBAI’s annual St. Pat’s day special, which runs until 3 p.m., host John McDonagh of “Radio Free Eireann” will be auctioning off a semi-famous 40-foot banner that until hours ago hung outside a bar called the Players Lounge in Fairview, just north of Dublin.

It declares that Queen Elizabeth is not welcome in this establishment and will not be served should she venture in and fancy a pint.

Queen Elizabeth is scheduled to visit Dublin in May, the first official state visit to what is now the Republic of Ireland since it was granted independence from Britain in 1921.

McDonagh notes that this bar owner, John Stokes, is among the Irish who have not forgiven the British for several centuries of maltreatment and contend the Brits are still occupying the six counties of Northern Ireland.

Hence the banner.

Irish authorities, however, were not amused. “He was told that if he didn’t take the banner down, he could be denied liquor licenses,” says McDonagh. So, since the sign has to come down anyway, Stokes arranged with WBAI to put it up for auction, with proceeds to charity.

Stokes will also be a guest on the WBAI show.

“There are people on both sides of the [British] issue,” says McDonagh. “There are also plenty of other bars in Dublin with signs that say welcome the queen and they haven’t been told anything. I guess it’s just this particular sentiment the authorities don’t like.”

Friday, March 11, 2011

The Druids from Dublin and Fr. Pat Moloney this Sat at Percy Tavern 13th St and Ave A

Pete Hamill at Percy's Tavern last Sat.This Saturday, and every Sat in March, Radio Free Eireann will broadcast live from Percy’s Tavern on 13 Street and Ave A, from Noon to 2 pm .

On March 12th, The Irish rebel band from Dublin, The Druids will be performing as well as Steve Dod from Scotland. Fr Pat Maloney - the Saint of the lower East side – will be interviewed.

On March 19th , T.J. English, will talk about his new book, The Savage City about the NYPD AND THE Black Panthers. Pader Hickey will be performing.

During the final show from Percy’s Tavern, on March 26, Michaela McCafferty will perform and the March Madness will conclude with world famous opera singer Frank Lopardo.

Come for the music, come for the culture, come for the craic, at Percy’s Tavern on 13th street and Avenue A from Noon to twelve, every Saturday in the rest of March

Saturday, March 05, 2011


Thursday, March 03, 2011


This Saturday, March 5th, Radio Free Eireann will broadcast live from Percy’s Tavern, 13 Street and Ave A, from Noon to 2 pm.

We will feature journalist and author Pete Hamill and Brendan Fay, the organizer of St. Pat’s for All, the Queens St. Patrick’s Day parade. Music will be provided by Mary Courtney and Bernadette Fee of Morningstar and Brian Fleming of the Claire Afro-Celtic band Djimbe

To get to Percy's Tavern, take the L train to 1st Avenue from Union Square, 6th Avenue or 8th Avenue.

We will broadcast every Sat for the month of March at Percy Tavern on the lower east side.

Radio Free Eireann will broadcast live from Percy’s Tavern, 210 Avenue A at 13 Street, every Saturday in March.

The remaining March shows will begin at 1pm, Radio Free Eireann’s normal starting time. T.J. English, the author of The Westies, will discuss his new book, The Savage City, on March 19. Featured musicians in March will include the Druids, a rebel band direct from Dublin, Michaela Kelly, the niece of hunger striker Patsy O’Hara, Michael Vignoles and Peadar Hickey.