57th Street Rag

Janet Coleman

The Fisk Building had a stolid utilitarian look, like one of Ben Katchor’s cartoon office buildings, and was surrounded by automobile showrooms, at the dowdy end of West 57th Street. New York was paradise. You took a 57th Street Cafeteria bagel on a shortcut through the Yangtze River Restaurant, passing the wonton wrapper, to an elevator crammed with other smokers, to the thirteenth floor where The New York Review had an office like a detective agency in a film noir. I arrived in December 1963, before the NYR had been on the newsstands a year. I was twenty-one.