Walking the streets with Joseph Mitchell

joegould.jktThe New Yorker has published online several chapters from an uncompleted memoir by Joseph Mitchell (who, in Joe Gould’s Secret, wrote a profile of the definitive Greenwich Village bohemian). They touch both on North Carolina, where he grew up, and New York City, where he trained as a journalist in the 1930s and which became his adopted home. Tree-climbing, he writes in one passage on the former, “is one of the few things I have ever been genuinely good at”. He was also a damn good reporter, in the days when reporters were expected to wear out shoe leather rather than the carpet under their desks. In one of the chapters, he reflects on how he became part of the city.

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