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The Boston Globe

Sports

On Second Thought

Stickball in New York is a vanishing game

NEW YORK — As a Bostonian visiting New York, I’m the slightest cut above, which is to say I’m not a total rube. I lived here for nearly three years, 1983-85, wrote almost daily for the New York Times sports section. I lived in Queens, Manhattan (Upper West Side), and the Bronx, schlepped regularly to Uniondale to cover the Islanders, to Exit 16W for Devils games, to Madison Square Garden for the Rangers, and sweltered buckets in the summer ovens of Yankee and Shea stadiums.

So, yeah, I know New York, at least to the point where I can tell a gypsy cab driver what he can do with his outrageous $30 quote for a short ride on the East Side around 9 p.m. A verb, an adjective, and a $15 counter offer got the job done Thursday night. I am sure I could have chipped it down to $10, but I was hungry, late for dinner, and the driver at least grunted in serviceable English.

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