BOOKWARS - http://www.bookwarsmovie.

com The NYC street bookseller movie (Complete Transcript, Feature Version)

TITLES: Shot of road through windshield

WS Empire State Building

MS Black Cat

CU (S-8) Drawing of "Christ figure"

Slow move across room

ECU: Book Pages fluttering VO:

You know...I'm free now, somehow . Heading away from that last chapter back East. It's my former life you know? My former life that I leave behind me back there in New York City. Yea I'd gone to school there. I got a scholarship. got a degree. Took out some loans,

Despite the degree, I didn't have any luck finding a job. And I ended up...broke. Broke in the big city, and that's not a good feeling. Lemme tell you, I was living in a dark, strange place. And my roomate, who took care of the rent, he also happened to be an addict. Well he wanted the rent money--quick. So I made an inventory of everything--anything I had that I could sell to pay the rent, get a bite to eat.

I had a lot of books...yea, books. During my college days I'd bought a lot of books on the street from a street bookseller, a smiling Southerner whose name I've now forgotten, I called him "The BookMan." I decided...I would do the same.WS Narrator pushes cart and arrives at street CU: Toss books onto sidewalk S-8 Shots of customers arriving, looking Finally, I arrived at the spot that I'd secretly chosen on my reconnoiterings the day before. I pencilled in my prices and laid out my books. And, by God, they came! Readers from the nearby neighborhoods somehow sniffed out my books and descended upon them. I was saved. Snatched from the brink of destitution by my friends Goethe, Camus, Rimbaud, Heidegger.WS across W4th street CU Emil 3-shot Pete, Alan, Steve

WS Everett approaches Montage (S-8) CU Rick performs magic trick 2-shot Alan and customer MS: Paul at his bookstand

WS Al Mappo arrives on the street Slow pan to Joe on 3rd avenue Slow move up Boris' belly CU Tomas looks into camera MS Tomas walks back and forth Move into Pete Whitney tearing his books Pete with Radio CU Pete with Radio, Alan, Steve

WS Zach arrives at night CU Tony nods, smokes Slow CU Emil gestures MS Narrator asleep on car Well I set up again the next day, and again the next. And it wasn't long before I met others. Other booksellers from all over the city who had also come to West 4th street to set up shop. EMIL: Good morning, Sir. FILMMAKER: Ah, good morning. PETE: What the fuck is happening out here today, where is everybody at this hour. It's gonna rain, isn't it, soon? STEVE: It's gonna rain-ALAN: It's really gonna rain. VO: One of the first booksellers I met out there was Everett. Everett was an outdoorsman, and he was impervious to the cold. He'd wear shorts and Chinese slippers in all weather, every day of the year. Rick, Rick Sherman. Rick was into Timothy Leary, Robert Anton Wilson. So he was trying to re-wire his consciousness...through sheer non-exertion. He was an aspiring magician. And he'd practice his magic tricks at the bookstand, help us pass the time. And then there was Alan. Alan had some of the best books around, but he was a little bit tempermental. ALAN:

Sir, I think you've looked at enough pictures, I think it's very strange. You think I'm joking--get the fuck out of here. MAN: What? ALAN: Get out of here. MAN: Why? ALAN: Just leave. MAN: You don't want to sell me a book? ALAN: Absolutely not VO: Who else? Paul. Paul was the youngest bookseller on the block--even younger than me--so he was "The Kid" PAUL: Jesus. VO: Then there was Al: the oldest bookseller on the block. and Atlases, so we called him Al Mappo. FILMMAKER: What kind of cigars do you smoke? MAPPO: Uh, Philly Blunts. VO: He sold only maps I shouda' brushed my hair for this one.

Polish Joe, smoker of 100 Cigarettes, had no regular spot. He was a drifter. He sold on West 4th street, 3rd avenue, St Mark's Place, wherever the wind would blow him. Joe was often full of doubt, and was sometimes unlucky in the booktrade. Boris was from Russia. He was a ruthless businessman. while back and no one's heard from him since. He disappeared a

Thomas loved his books, and he dreamed of opening his own bookstore one day. He took care of his books like they were his children. He'd find a beat-up unwanted volume of Pythagoras, erase all the blemishes, smooth out all the creases, meticulously repair the spine, add a dab of glue and then give it a new home. I never once saw Thomas eat or drink He seemed to somehow derive his nourishment from his books, living off of them as a lichen lives off a rock. Alright, so there were a lot of other booksellers out there. But one of the most successful, the one I learned the most from was Peter Whitney, bookseller extraordinaire. A lot of people seek good fortune. Well Pete seemed to be good fortune himself. He had "the touch". He was also a hard worker. PETE: That one there, Treasury of Art and Literature, if you hold it long enough someone will buy it. The other two, the other two are gonna be real hard to sell. VO: There were others like uh, Zach, he lived in New Jersey, "Land of the ten cent book" Tony was from the Czech Republic, and he played a mean guitar on the side. Emil told me he escaped, but never said from where. And then there was myself. A true BookMan in my own right, although in the beginning I was green.WS establish 6th avenue CU Marv tells his story WS Move out from GradyVO: There was another street, another strip where booksellers hung out, and that was only a few block away over on 6th avenue, the Avenue of the

Americas. Marv was the spiritual leader, the Angel of the Group. MARV: ...I said, BAAAAMMMM! Man, I saw the light from there on. I saw little devils just flying out of my head. Cause I said "That was it!" I didn't want nothing to do with drinking or drugs no more. No more. As a matter of fact I was a recovering alcoholic right then. VO: The guys out on 6th avenue had a different style, a different method--they even had different books. But we were fundamentally the same, being booksellers.Zach and Paul look up from their books

MCU Zach talks to Fat GuyFAT MAN IN CAR: I wanna sell you these books. There's sixty five books here. Everyone in this university must read these authors otherwise they'll just leave here like...illiterate, alright? PAUL: (Imitating police radio) We got some good titles but overall, it's a bad batch. ZACH: I just think a lot of them are not marketable, a high percentage of them. Not that they're bad and I , you know when I go to people's houses and apartments I say the same thing. Just because I'm not buying it it's not a reflection of your taste or the fact that the books are bad in any way it's just a reflection of what I think I can sell.WS Marv receives books from street guy CU Ron talks about buying books

MS 2-shot Ron counts books

RON: I'm gonna offer the guy four dollars for all these books right here. Cause I gotta make some money, you understand? See I'm offering him four dollars for them-SKINNY GUY: They're cheap they're cheap-RON: Well we ain't got no money we're trying to make money-SKINNY GUY: They're cheap. RON: One two three four five six seven eight nine ten they're one dollar. One two three four five six seven eight nine. That'll be a dollar eighty.WS slow pan across park, zoom to booksellers on cornerVO: And so the street became a market. A selling ground, like the ancient Souk. Innocent streetcorners all around the city were transformed into atoms of commerce.AL MAPPO: Check em out, two dollars. MARV: Hey here we go, over here! We got something. IRWIN: They are fucking cheap.

What the hell would they call a thing like this? pictures like um-FILMMAKER: Encyclopedia? IRWIN: No, not a Encyclopedia like um, photography like. GUY WITH HAT: I didn't see these books. PETE: Well they were hidden. GUY WITH HAT: They been there weeks, all the time I come here? PETE: No, I had em about a week. GUY WITH HAT: And I come through here and I never-FILMMAKER: What are they? PETE:

It's got a lot of

They're's a set of, a series of Eastern religion. You see Alan Watts here? It's a three volume set.3 naked girls walk by PETE: Well, I'll tell you what. I'll give you this one if you pay full price for these three. Alright, gimme twenty five for the three. PETE: They came down here to harass us today, here take these out of my hands.MS: cop in distance

MS: Woman with purple turban

FILMMAKER: How are you ma'am WOMAN WITH HAT: Fine thank you. FILMMAKER: What're you looking for today? WOMAN WITH HAT: Nothing special, just looking.Eccentric French Guy walks byFRENCH GUY: (Says something in French)2 girls talk togetherOLD 97: What is that a camera? FILMMAKER: Yea. Just taking some pictures.

OLD 97: Of me?Dave and Alan eat lunchDAVE: You know what they did? ALAN (OS) You wanna flip a coin here or what?RICK:

Watch my stuff while I get a chicken sandwhich. FILMMAKER: Chicken sandwhich? RICK: Chicken sandwhich.Joe indicates "OK" RICK: The preferred lunch for street booksellers. FILMMAKER: What is that? RICK: Chicken sandwhich with white sauce.MS move across table to Polish JoeMove into EverettFILMMAKER: How'd you do? EVERETT: Oh I didn't do very well it was kinda short. FILMMAKER: I was down on the end but I didn't do very well at all. EVERETT: I think Ja--, um, what'd you call it um...Zachary said he did well or something. But he said he prepared like he had all kinds of illlustrated books or things like that you know.Follow Steve and Al Mappo And yourself?

Shots of sellers packing upPOV through windshield of Pete's car

Pete walks through suburbia VO: After a day or two of selling, your table would grow stale and it was time to get more books, time to hunt again. "More books" was the mantra of the street bookseller.

I went with Peter Whitiney on his rounds in New Jersey, "Land of the Ten Cent Book." PETE: Seen books anywhere? MAN: No I'm not really looking for em. Pete points at bad booksPETE: It's all junk. FILMMAKER: Where? PETE: I can tell you from here it's all junk popular fiction. If I find three or four books in here I'll be lucky. Looks like today's gonna be a washout. Well we'll take a Dean Koonz, there's a popular fiction you can sellCU TV, move to PeteLADY ON TV: She always finds these sorry guys that're no good for her, and I decided, if I could find her a man... PETE: Ferlinghetti. FILMMAKER: What's that? PETE: Ferlinghetti. FILMMAKER: Hidden away, huh? PETE: Uh huh. As if it were something obscene.Montage of books, booksellers Continue montage of books, customers, etcVO: But they're around.

But they were more than just inanimate objects. I mean they had a life...they had a soul. And the beauty of the book game was we didn't need a license to sell them, thanks to the good old First Amendment of the United States Constitution. Cause the First Amendment guarantees every American's right to distribute literature. And also protects our freedom of speech. Sure the First Amendment is a great idea. But all I really wanted to do was hang out, read books, and make a buck.MS Rick reads from Star Trek MemoriesRICK (Reading): "Between Leonard and Jerry, we were able to make it through that awful afternoon. And I was able to fly out that evening to my father...warmed by their love and affection. That's what makes this episode my favorite." FILMMAKER: And what is that? RICK: "Star Trek Memories"Pete in loftPETE: I'll sell "Jonathon Livingston Seagull" or Adolf Hitler, whichever you like. If people will buy it, it's good to them, they have the right to read it.ZACH: Paul do you have anything on uh...floral arranging?PETE: Nietzsche goes very quickly sometimes you can't find him out here, they're all sold out is what it amounts to.SKINNY GUY: No these guys are alright, they might be cheap but they're alright You know they got to be alright, look who they got on their table. Elvis Presley.BEARDED GUY: You know anybody who deals in Elvis Memorabilia, you know, books and magazines and stuff?GUY WITH HAT: Well you know HP Lovecraft..Marv with porno magazines, Everett wipes booksVO: Different books sold on different parts of town. On 6th avenue you had more comic books, porno magazines. West 4th street was heavy into literature, philosophy and psychology.PETE: Which is the best seller? Uh well, let's see which is the best seller. Uh, "Naked Lunch" is a best seller, "On the Road" is good. FILMMAKER: What's that from--"Star Trek Memoirs"?

The Beats. PETE: The Beats, yea.ZACH: Does Beat and occult stuff sell best? doesn't it. Yea, fiction. PAUL: Fiction and bad religion. ZACH: Fiction and bad religion.PAUL: Kurt Vonnegut. They're buying familiar stuff...they're buying familiar books. Or if you have really kick-ass religion/philosophy like Dave and Alan up there, real heavy weight stuff, then of course you'll sell that. To, like, "The Yea Guy", you know the professor, the guy who comes around with the topcoat on, he goes "yea. Yea, yea yea yea".EVERETT: You mean they actually stood there and they sold these things, these books they're called?PAUL: Oh yea, books are gonna make a comeback, but right now books are uh, heading the way of the Opera. Just like the opera. Hi-OLD WOMAN: Hi. FILMMAKER: What'd you buy, ma'm? OLD WOMAN: Uh, Eudora Welty. "The Golden Apples" PAUL: It's a good day when you sell Eudora Welty. OLD WOMAN: Ha ha, really?GUY WITH SODA: Not really. Fiction sells best

Right there, "The Great Gatsby". A structural novel, and a depiction of America at a turning point in the 1920's, it was the greatest American novel. I mean, you gotta give a word to "Moby Dick".GUY WITH LEATHER JACKET: What is this, like they stole it out of the coffin? RICK: No, what it says is that Christ vanished between the age of twelve and thirty and nothing's really written about what he did during those years, but there's records of him in Tibet and India studying body mastery, like he became a Yogian.Tony places magic books on his tableTONY: Black and white magic.GUY WITH HAT: The secret of Atlantis, the secret of Atlantis, which I haven't seen out here. See, I haven't seen the secret--see if I had seen it before and bought it, then I wouldn't have bought it from you. FILMMAKER: What's that? GUY WITH HAT: The secret of AtlantisPETE: Uh, Castenadas--two Castenadas--and a "Animal Farm" and Rye". DAVE: Tom Robbins, "Skinny Legs and All" JOE: Biofeedback, self-regulation.CU Pete reaches for book from his car CU open Ulysses with four leaf cloverVO: Found a lot of interesting things in books that I've sold. Love letters, old train tickets. Once I had a volume of Ulysses with a four leaf clover between every page.BETH: Which means they actually made the recipes, more than once, plenty of stains. "Made..." Oh oh. "This one not worth the effort." This no. It was made but not liked.MS Dave and Everett, dissolve to slow move over books, with road in backVO: "Catcher in the

We weren't all as obsessed with books as Thomas. We didn't all love books. But...most of us at least liked books. I mean they had a weight. A feel. They had a smell. They had a soul. Made 'em seem somehow alive. And that's why I needed to be around them. And that's what our customers went for too. Our customers...BILL: I don't know if you consider the uh...the buyer to be somewhat of an addict--which I think a lot of us are--we'd probably just find another addiction.Joe hands book to old Chinese guy

BILL: I don't want to call it a...a sickness, you know. I started to say it's a sickness but I'd say it's more like a...somewhere between a passion and a compulsion, you know.WS table on 3rd avenue Bob looks, smilesVO: Well it wasn't long before I became a friendly neighborhood bookseller. And soon I attracted a group of regulars.FILMMAKER: How are you? ANTHONY: How's everything? FILMMAKER: Good. How are you doing? ANTHONY: Alright. Anything new with the film?CORMAC: What're you doing on Bloomsday, you gonna be around? FILMMAKER: I don't know, I wanna check out one of those marathon readings. CORMAC: I'd be into that.BOB: I don't know if you ever saw it. There's a book--well, "The Subterranians", I'm sure you know. And one of the editions, paperback in 1966 was a cheapy Grove Press. And I got paid thirty five dollars to model for the cover.BOB: Jason just asked, "what books do I like?" Haiku. Good Zen, not DT Suzuki, or academic Zen...koans. ALAN: Well we want it on film.

BOB: Yea, well.Cute Portugese GirlGIRL: Okay. FILMMAKER: Two excellent choices. GIRL: Let me read it in English now. FILMMAKER: Oh yea? Instead of-GIRL: Portugese. FILMMAKER: Ahhhh. Out of twenty...RICK: Just another case of the kind of magnetism that a bookseller projects, kinda' pulling in an woman and then making her escort or companion feel very uncomfortable. I don't claim to feel proud of it or even know where it comes from but it's something you have to live with.FILMMAKER: Why do you like buying from the booksellers? GUY WITH HAT: Because I'm a seeker of knowledge. I want to know all the knowledge in the universe.WOMAN: I was right in the middle of it about two weeks ago and I lost it. Oh this one's great. That one's great--MAN WITH GLASSES: Especially when you have a sentence like, "Nietzsche proudly despises his own emotional illusions", I mean...CU Slow move across maps

WS Miriam enters roomVO: Miriam was one of our most loyal customers. She was a historian, a true scholar. She'd been working twenty years to correct the chronology of history, preceding the conquests of Alexander the Great, and thereby hoped to determine when and if the word of God might once again reach the ears of modern day prophets.Miriam talks about her books

Miriam brings smelly book from the bathroomMIRIAM: ***Ancillate's classical reading I got that from Dave, nature of Greek myths from Dave, Diogenes and Laertes I got that from Thomas-Human sacrifice in history and today, I think I got this from Tony. like Tony to me. Looks

This I got from you, a manual of spherical and practical astronomy, two volumes. Then, I have this book that I bought from Everett, which smelled a little mildewy when I bought it. And I did everything I could think of....I cleaned it off with alcohol and I put it in baking soda or boric acid or whatever it is...and it still smells. You can't get rid of the smell. "A Revolution in Physics."MS sick guy leans on tableVO: But of course, not everyone who came to the bookstand was with.FILMMAKER: pleasure to deal

Don't lean on the table man it's gonna break the table, you know what I mean?2-shot Miriam and the Yellow LadyYELLOW LADY: I have been over here five times looking for you MARGUERITTE: Yea, the weather's been bad. YELLOW LADY: No the days I came out the weather was nice. MARGUERITTE: Well I can't be here every day, you know? It was only last Friday. were gonna come after the weekend on Monday. YELLOW LADY: I know and I did. And you weren't here And I came on Tuesday and you weren't here. I came on Wednesday and you weren't here. I came on Thursday you weren't here. You

MARGUERITTE: Yea, I was out a few of those days--did you come in the mornings? YELLOW LADY: Yes.CU Irwin, move to customersIRWIN: I'm there to make money, alright? FILMMAKER: Sure. IRWIN: They only come around, they only come around looking for bargains. You know what I mean, it's bargain day for them, you know. Only when it's convenient for them they come around. Well it don't work like that--you come around every time, you know.MS 2-shot James and bearded guy haggle over the priceJAMES (OS) Yea, it was a mistake. BEARDED GUY: Oh Come on! JAMES: I am not kidding, we bought these from a book dealer-BEARDED GUY: It was $4.50 in the back. JAMES: Right, that's didn't really you for $7.50 sell it,, but what we paid for it, exactly. I mean, my philosophy is you buy it and you put it back--I was definitely gonna sell it to because it was too late as far as I was concerned, not to you did put it back and walk away...VO:

But that was the nature of the beast. The book table was open to any and all comers.

Louie hits the cameraSTEVE: Hey there's Louie the Loser.

LOUIE: What the fuckk you doing here with that camera!CU BumBUM: Aha! What about the Romulans who were trying to kill all the members of the Enterprise...ECU Rick talks directly into cameraRICK: This guy has been here reading this book for about twenty minutes. And I want him to buy it, cause if he buys it, I can leave. Feel good about myself. So if he buys it, I'm out'a here. But he really should buy it, he's almost read the whole thing. Yea, it's a good one. You too.

I can see his point why should he buy it I mean--he's read it. Yea. No matter how many times it happens, always hits like a punch to the heart. I can feel the money leaving their wallet and going into mine and then something happens. You know, a butterfly flaps its wings in Argentina and then I don't make the sale here.2-shot Miriam and the Yellow lady

MCU Boris

Shots of counting money VO: And so the customers were our mirror image, our reflection. And without them, we wouldn't be out there in the first place. If there were no demand for our books, we'd just be standing around. As Boris used to say "We're not out here to get a sun tan. make money". We're here to

How much did we make? Well on a slow day you might not make fifty bucks. On a good day, you might make a few hundred. Depending on your books, the weather, and your luck.MCU Marv discusses the moneyMARV: How you, how you calculate a day is not necessarily how much money you make, but how the sales are going. If it's going constantly--a sale here, a sale there--you know, a sale every five minutes, you know, it's good.MARV: Okay now see we go two different times of day--three different times really. Okay now, we're going in the morning time til about twelve, and that's called like getting the "scrap money".

PETE: Six dollars.MARV: See between twelve and five is usually slow. So this second time period after five o'clock is when people get off, and so we call it rush hour crowd. PETE: Oh--oh, we got a sale, we got a sale, somebody's gonna buy...

Pete counts his money MARV: If it's kinda' like been a slow rush hour, like from five to seven or eight, we might stay from eight to ten, stay for the late crowd. And the late crowd is usually a very brisk, brisk period of time, and it might last from a half an hour to an hour, and it usually starts from about nine-sometimes eightt thirty, but mainly by ten o'clock you know it's over with if you don't have no money. PETE:, eight, nine, ten I made my goal, two bills. Two bills. We got two hundred dollars, I did alright, I did alright.Slim adds up his books for customersSLIM: This is one, one, this is two. SLIM: The homeless man is getting to be a big man. I quit being homeless, I'm going with John Gotti, and uh, Martin Luther King and uh...President Kennedy. I'm going with the big guys. I have to vote this year...Montage W4th street booksellers drink beer6th ave sellers smoke weed; etcVO: Oh, we'd worked hard, we'd stood out in the elements all day, dealt with the riff-raff, the grime of the city--it's almost volcanic the way it settles on the back of your neck, and on your books...MS Ray stands in doorway

Ray and customer talk in doorwayVO: Some booksellers would go over to Ray's bookstore after work. street bookseller himself. RAY: What I'm saying is that if you want to learn something about it you should grab a chair, and sit down and spend some time with it. GUY IN DOORWAY: You know what it is I'll tell you, to be quite honest with you. As much as I do want to expand my mind and grow, I have a very hard time reading.2shot and Jim sit outside Ray's bookstoreOLD 97: No the song called the wreck of the old...the great Southern Railroad. That song was a very true song, in 1910 that happened. What state are you from? JIM: Brooklyn.Dream Sequence: Dream of the booksellersVO: And then it was time to go to bed and dream of books, and the street, like we all did, and get ready for the next day.Pete on the roadPETE: This has gotta be it--Pete at a house sale againPETE: Well we can take this Emily Dickinson--Pete in basement looks at Hitler Youth book.FILMMAKER: This is a German one. PETE: Well it seems to be about Hitler Youth. You know, it's an old book. Seems to be about Hitler Youth, it's got pictures in there. It's in German, I can't read it, 1939. But uh, we'll take it for a dollar.FILMMAKER: What're you gonna do with that? PETE: I collect toads--live and dead.WS Pete arrives at his Newark LoftVO: I went with Pete back to his loft in Newark. This was the heart of his Ray was a

bookselling operation.CU Pete opens box of snakeskinsFILMMAKER: What is it? PETE: Snakeskins. Shedded snakeskins. PETE:

This is the skull of a frog, made out of shoe-trees and chair parts.PETE: You've got sculptures here made out of books--PETE: Over here you have a whole section on insects. of prey, owls, beetles, ants--PETE: More books on snakes, birds

Breughel, Bosch, Cornell, Ernst, Margritte, Man Ray...Andre Breton. Belmer. Molinier. Archemboldo.Pete with Archemboldo bookPETE:


See, you have Archemboldo here made a face out of fig leaves and potatoes and uh, pumpkins and squash--MS Pete discusses terrarium, move to terrariumPETE: So we've confined these squash plants here in the terrarium for...three years now they've been growing here since there was a sculpture here and can you see the crickets singing at the front of the terrarium there?PETE: If I'm bored, and I had a hard day, I worked...sometimes I just come to the studio and fiddle with books a little bit and watch the terrariums and don't really get to any particular art project.CU toad on top of skull, move to Pete discusses dead toadFILMMAKER: There's a toad on top of a uh, ...skull sort of thing? PETE: Right well there's an interesting story that goes with that. Some time ago in this jar which you see nothing right now, umm, I had a toad, it was in this terrarium and it was sick. It was the first one I'd gotten. Something didn't seem right. So, when it didn't seem very healthy I moved it away from the other toads into a terrarium by itself. A couple weeks later it was dead. I said "oh"--it looked all dried out and kinda'..."a nice toad specimen. Let me put it in a jar, and keep it as a specimen, a relic of my toad adventures." Well, a couple, about a week later, I looked in the jar and the toad had completely turned into a black mush. And crawling around inside the mush, were these maggots. So I did a little research--in my insects books of course. There's a kind

of a fly, that lays its eggs in the nostrils of a toad or a frog, and then eats it from the inside out. And this is the remains of the toad that was eaten by the maggots, inside out. So we placed it in a requilary here inside a skull.S-8 montage of street booksellersVO: So how does a bookseller on the street become a bookseller on the street? I mean, we all started as innocent, pristine young babies--even Boris was a baby once, you know? As I continued my adventures in the booktrade, I eventually learned everybody's story. Different stories, true, but also still, the same. RICK: A neighbor of mine threw out a whole library of books so I took that as a sign from uh, not a sign from above because his apartment is below mine so a sign from below that uh, that I should go into the book trade.RON: There used to be a pizza shop, it's now bar and restaurant, right there on the corner of ninth street and sixth avenue. I was panhandling. And one guy came up to me and said this is his block. And then a lotta old ladies keep coming up to me "that's his block. You're not supposed to panhandle over there. Then the guy came up to me and said "Yo, here's a bunch of comic books. Why don't you go try to sell it and get off my corner?"ZACH: And I love books, I' a bibliophile so uh, if I were going to be retailing any piece of mechandise, I couldn't see doing anything other than booksRODNEY: Well no the whole thing is Freedom. You do what you want, you don't have to--for instance, I was very caught up in the so-called American dream I had inherited it from my parents, you know, a fierce--though I was terribly drug addicted for many, many years, I fact the reason I was drug addicted was because I had inherited this fierce desire to be a part of the American Dream and work within the system and I hated going to work every day-FILMMAKER: What did you do? RODNEY: I sold--I've been a stock broker, sold commodity options-JIM: I was working in the New York Public Library. FILMMAKER:

And how was that? JIM: I was horrified at, for the regular library' many bad books they would buy. Genre novels. You know it was unfortunately a real reflection of the sort of "100 Channel Society" that we now live in. PETE: I guess about fifteen years ago when I started doing, I found that I couldn't get enough material so I started going to book sales and public libraries looking for collage material. About the same time I started buying books for myself. When I realized people were selling books on the street, I also started buying with the idea that I might re-sell them.PAUL: How did Thomas get on the street? Probably like the rest of us. He's a book-maniac, he couldn't get to work on time. And he had too many books.JOE: Read a good book, smoke a good cigarette. the outside.WS Paul brings coke to Steve You know, this is the cafe of

Montage various street booksellers

S-8 Narrator sets up books

CU Pete brings out the tools of the tradeVO:

What is it that brings strangers to the same place? To spend some time together and then move on? Like you and me, here together right now? Is it chance or fate? What is it that brought Boris from Russia, Tony from the Czech Republic, Ron from Jamaica, Thomas from California, Neil from the South-Neil! Yea, that was his name, Neil, that was the I'd grown up in Ohio, in a small town, a long way never thought I'd end up on the street selling my was my own boss, I was working for myself. And I the end of the day. Southerner. Huh. And from the city, and I books...but at least I made cash in my hand, at

You start off naive and you change into something else. For example, in the beginning, I didn't know that George Elliot was a woman. But after while, a couple seasons of selling books--one year, two years passed--and Boom! I could talk about all my books expertly, even the ones I hadn't read. It's that sixth sense that you get when you do something long enough you become what you do and you know it like the back of your hand--just like any occupation. For example there are the tools of the trade. We had our own tools: Elmers Glue, razor blades, rubbing alcohol, scissors, ran the gamut. And that's when the whole gig became a science, and an art.PETE: Here you have uh, hydrators from old refrigerators, metal hydrators. They work real nice cause they don't rub--they're very smooth.VO: But, bananna boxes were the traditional method for storing books.FILMMAKER: Why do you use bananna boxes? DAVE: Why? It's just a tradition.

FILMMAKER: It's just a silly tradition? DAVE: Huh? FILMMAKER: It's just a silly tradition?

DAVE: They work well.RICK: They're free, they're sturdy. Cheer me up.VO: And I like the little pictures of bannanas.

Thomas had more books than the rest of us combined. He kept em in a special climate controlled storage room, piled high in bananna boxes.FILMMAKER: You use Del Monte bananna boxes too? THOMAS: No. FILMMAKER: Did you ever in your life, knowingly or unknowlingly use Del Monte bananna boxes? Yes or no-THOMAS: I hope not-FILMMAKER: Don't try to avoid the question.VO: It became more and more of a hustle. And the deeper I got into it, the more intricate became the tricks of the trade, which I soon learned from the other booksellers.FILMMAKER: How does the bag affect the price? PAUL: Uh, it makes the price.PETE: Well that's another point, that's definitely another point, the psychology of it. Sure. FILMMAKER: Which is? PETE: Which is that you've made it special by wrapping it so therefore, it's

worth more and you can get more money for it. It looks different from the other books on your stand it's been given a special aura by putting plastic on it and making it...innaccessable.BETH: You take any book, that obviously you know that you're not gonna get two bucks for so hence you wrap it in plastic, and then you can sell it for way more than it's worth. RICK (OS) It's a plastic society man! BETH: ExactlyBETH: Two dollars. Bible? RON: Yea. I like a Bible on the table. Well for some reason when a Bible's on the table it makes the table that much better. For some reason, the table just sells-FILMMAKER: Energizes it. RON: Yea it engergizes it! I don't know what it is maybe it's, I don't know because I feel that way maybe it just happens.VO: All these tricks. Huh. In the beginning I wondered if all these tricks weren't somehow immoral. PETE: Immoral? What are morals? Morals are absurdities, created by religion. If we quote the divine Marqui [De Sade], he says you know what actually is religion but a means whereby the mighty enslave the weak? How does the latter believe their manacles are of divine origin? And what does worship consist of but grotesque ceremonies? And who could be more barbaric than the originator of Christianity? Anyway--VO: I got rid of the shopping cart, and I bought a car. And once a week I'd go upstate to visit my connection at the Friends of the Library, it was my secret source. I won't tell you exactly where it is, because it's still a secret.FILMMAKER: Plastic. Now eight. Now eight dollars.FILMMAKER:

Hello. FRIEND:

Is June here?

Yes, she's right outside.FILMMAKER: So you get that delivery in still waiting for that one? JUNE: No, we just got our, we just got Alright where're those books? JUNE: Okay, here--JUNE: I keep telling you, telling you to get a...crutch or something. FILMMAKER: I know. JUNE: Okay? Boy. That's it. I'll fix it.

FILMMAKER: Well once again, alright, thanks for the books. JUNE: Thank you. FILMMAKER: I'll see you soon. JUNE And give your best to your mother when you talk to her. Okay? Alright.VO: Of course.

And now Rick would often accompany me on my hunt for books. He was learning the ropes from me, just as I'd learned from the others--often providing leads of his own.RICK: Shit I don't know he said there'd be three gas stations.

FILMMAKER: Oh man, I should have talked to him. RICK: I dragged these directions out of him, I made him give to me over and over, and give em to me in more and more detail.RICK: Excuse me--sir? Sir? Excuse me sir. MAN: Gas station's right down there. RICK: Is there three gas stations? MAN: Yea, there's a bunch, and there's a diner over there.RICK: Yea one, two three! Yea, take a left here, yea.RICK:

If we get to the guardhouse we've gone too far. Jas--yea if we get to a guardhouse, it's up a hill, look for Johnson Court--this is it, we've gone too far. This is the guardhouse. FILMMAKER: So where do I go? RICK: Turn around.RICK: You think twenty five is unreasonable for this? FILMMAKER: What is it? RICK: Chagall. FILMMAKER: Chagall? Ah, see if you can get twenty five. Why not. What were you

thinking?RON: I got on these boots. These heavy duty boots and shit. See that shit on two hoods. You know? See I got two hoods on. See I got one hood and another one.FILMMAKER: What's that? PETE: You couldn't keep a watch on these books for a few minutes while I "water the hole" across the street FILMMAKER: "Water the hole"? PETE: Yea, take a leak and get a slice of pizza too. FILMMAKER: Alright. PETE: I'll be right back. FILMMAKER: I'll be here.PETE: It was a cold one today. FILMMAKER: Yea? PETE: One eighty five. FILMMAKER: Alright. PETE: I was hoping to make two but I didn't really expect to. I would'a settled What'd you do? I did pretty good considering. You mean take a leak?

for a hundred if that's all I could get. PETE: I think my limit is about 30 (degrees F). But I look for a day when it's gonna get up to 40. We're talking about the high, not...this time of the evening it's gotten colder than that the high was supposed to be 40something today, but if it's gone--haven't had any...been able to work for a week cause it's been in the twenties I get a day that the high is gonna be thirty I'll be out here if I need the money.VO: So...where did we go at night when it got too cold, we booksellers? Weren't we just homeless bums? I couldn't think of anyone on West 4th street that didn't have a place to go. And I used to think that some of the guys on 6th avenue were homelsess until Marv told me otherwise.MARV: Like, like, people like, you know, Ishmael, Rock, they're hardcore, you know, uh, uh, I wouldn't call them homeless people, but uh, what's a good word for it? People who's out, they don't live in a home, they live outside but they can go inside any kind of way they want to even if they can buy them--Ishmael don't even want to go inside. He can always afford to get a room like everyone else out here got, a room over at the White House-FILMMAKER: What's the White House? MARV: White House is a flop, flophouse. That's all, you know.VO:

Eventually though, that fateful Winter day would arrive--the coldest of the cold. And we knew that selling was over for that season. Some of us went away for the Winter, I went out to New Mexico one year, worked on a Western. But if you stayed in the city, you had to resort to alternate means of making a living.PETE: What kind of sink is the other place gonna have? LADY: Much better. PETE: Much better than this? LADY:

Yea, it's more like "160", much better sink. PETE: This is kinda shallow. LADY: It's too shallow.LADY: Then we do the shampoo...VO: Pete had built up a regular clientelle. He'd been cleaning some of the same cats for 15 years or so.PETE: There'll be no estate sales, no house sales, this time of year, in a week or two they'll start again. Book sales are gone until Spring.PETE: Here we go. C'mon big boy. LADY: This is Sherlock Holmes. He's seventeen. PETE: And that's not seventeen pounds like Rick's cat.VO: And Rick, who had been practicing his magic tricks, broke out a deck of cards, got a haircut, and landeed a few gigs.RICK: Some go this way, some go that way, some go up, some go down--RICK: Susan this is...your card.RICK: That TV reception's just not gonna do, but you know for my last cigarette I really don't want to be futzing with it.VO: So another year had come and gone in the what seemed like the blink of an eye. And our Roman calendar moved forward one more year.FILMMAKER: Turn it over. RON: Turn it over. Cause we're always hunting, we go out and hunt for books. We don't wait for people to bring us books to sell us, you understand? We go out and go get stuff. And we're always getting new stuff. So why're we gonna keep the old stuff, we're not gonna have any room?

MARV: Yea, the old stuff is not gonna sell, and if it don't sell the last few days, why keep it? You think it's gonna sell? RON: Those guys, those guys the reason why they stick to their prices too is because they buy their stuff, they put out money to get their stuff. We don't put out any money to get our stuff most of the time. We go out and get our stuff-FILMMAKER: You hunt for it-RON: That's how we work as a partner. One stays and makes the sale, the other one goes out and gets the stuff. You understand? FILMMAKER: Right, right. RON: We want to keep going out and get stuff. If we keep the old stuff, a lot of the stuff that we don't think, might--didn't work out--the iffy stuff-like iffy iffy might sell tomorrow, that might discourage us from going out cause we might look and say "oh we gotta lot of stuff!" So what we do is weed it out. We weed out all the iffy stuff, at the end of the day and keep only the thing we're sure is gonn sell tomorrow.MARV: This is at least two. See? This is about ten dollars worth of stuff right here. See what I'm saying? FILMMAKER: How much? MARV: Ten dollars. FILMMAKER: Excellent. MARV:

At least ten dollars.

At least.MARV:

I don't want you following me. GRADY: You don't want me following you? MARV: Yea you got enough!MARV: Oh, c'mon now Grady! GRADY: I thought you'd be on that goddamn street. MARV: No, no no, you go on then, go on then, don't let me see you no more, you hear me?MARV: You got all this right here in one place? GRADY: Over there. Next street over. MARV: Yea but that's old. GRADY: I don't care nothing about it being old Marvin. I'll still get two or three dollars for the motherfucker I don't care how old it is.MARV: He's been sober for a year and a half, a little bit more than a year and a half. He never hunted before that. Then once he got sober he said "oh shit, what am I doing I'm missing the boat." He picked up on it real quick.FILMMAKER: Better to be the bull than-MARV: Than be bullied by. Not this street, not Broadway but--

FILMMAKER: Bullied by the bull. MARV: Yea, bullied by the bull. Because you could have a sort of comfortability because the bull will, like, a corporation or an outfit will, you know, where people work, they'll settle for say a lifetime. "You work here twenty years you get a retirement." But how often are you hearing downsizing, how often are you hearing companies going out of business, how often are you hearing...uh, you have to have more education to continue in your phase and in your field, ah man forget all that!VO: Well Winter finally gave way to Spring. frightful laughter. Springtime! My favorite season. outside.STEVE: And with it came the idiot's

Time of haircuts. Time to get

Look at this motherfucker right here, look at this, look at this! ALAN: It's a good shot...ouch!GIRLS: Hi guy! GIRL: Nice butt! Nice butt! GIRL: You're so cute let me record you you look so good let me see your butt--Oh! GIRL: Oh, he did show it to you! GIRL: Lemme see, lemme see...Deborah...oh, we're gonna have some fun...Mr. "Metal Man"FILMMAKER: Really? DOG GUY: Get through the Winter-Cause you had your doubts before that he wouldn't even-Bobby, bobby!

FILMMAKER: Yea-DOG GUY: Well so he has, and I'd say he's on a plateau now, hello how are you.FILMMAKER: That's Washington Square Park, where do you want to go in Greenwhich Village? FRENCH GUY: I don't know, just for a visit. FILMMAKER: You might want to go down to Bleeker Street. FRENCH GUY: Yes?PETER BORNO: You got something, there's something...oh it must be...I can see something in your, in your--PETER BORNO: Well you should catch the beautiful color of this customer's hat. FILMMAKER: Alright. Thank you very much.

PETER BORNO: We really like your hat. Nice hat. Nice color. WOMAN: Thank you. I like it too. PETER BORNO: I don't think I could pull it off. WOMAN: You might. You might.

PETER BORNO: No...that was the seventies.RICK: Hi Jason, you think I'll be Okay in a sweatshirt? FILMMAKER: Sure. RICK: I mean a T-shirt, it's a T-shirt. something. FILMMAKER: Well I've got a sweater. RICK: You got a sweater? FILMMAKER: Where'd they take it? RICK: I don't know we gotta call the Sheriff's office today. yet. FILMMAKER: The Sheriff took it. RICK: Roscoe P. Coltrane took it. Coo, coo, coo coo! Found moonshine in the back. I'm just trying to fight the system. FILMMAKER: Ready for the book sale? RICK: Uh, I only got twenty bucks. FILMMAKER: Didn't get a chance My car got towed last night. You have an extra...sweatshirt or

Well the books are a dime, so don't worry about it.PETE: Cormac McCarthy was the unusual one. DONALD: Yea, well I think in New York in goes better than it does elsewhere.PETE: Nice clean copy of "On the Road".PETE: Looks pretty bleak, huh. like it. FILMMAKER: There's Tony. PETE: Tony. Jim Everett Tony and Steve. mailbox.VO: All clustered here around the We got Jim, and we got Everett and that looks

We didn't know it yet, but the Mayor had just implemented a plan for the city called Quality of Life. And part of his plan involved cleaning up the streets, getting rid of undesireable elements. We noticed mysterious orange and yellow lines suddenly appearing on the curbsides where we sold our books.RON: Yellow lines is umm...that's where they want everybody to set up at. Right between the lines because they measured it according to the...ummm....and anything that's between these lines has to be a certain number of feet away from a doorway. KID: I'm not going! I'm not going you big queer!VO:

And we could sense, very subtly at first, that the streets had become less friendly somehow.PETE: Looks like it could possibly fly. Seems to have a head injury. See?IRWIN:

Well number one, number one, I'd tie em to a chair. I'd tie 'em to a chair. Their arms and their legs, alright? Then I'd start cutting them in little places . Let em bleed, in all different places. FILMMAKER:


Out of five...

IRWIN: I'd drain the blood right out of them. I'd roast those bastards, I'd burn em alive, that's what I would do.FILMMAKER: What's that cop doing over there? He there for you? PAUL: No they're there for--you didn't hear about Alan's confrontation this morning with the mailman and the police. FILMMAKER: What happened? PAUL: I don't know, ask Alan, I don't know exactly.FILMMAKER: I heard you had a run-in with the mailman. PETE: Well, apparently the guy probably wanted him to move, and he refused to move. So the mailman called the cops. Cops came by and told him to "Be cool. Treat the mailman with respect. He's your superior." FILMMAKER: And what did Alan do? PETE: I wasn't there so I can't say what he said but I-FILMMAKER: Can only imagine... PETE: Can only imagine that he won't give him respect the next time either.IRWIN: There. There's the uh...there's the public servants.JOE: What did he say? No?

God, there's cops all over the place.

FILMMAKER: Cops? JOE: Talking about the cops, didn't you notice the cops go by? FILMMAKER: There were cops here when we got here. JOE: No in the car, they're like more--yea?MARV: And then the cop come by and said you gotta be outa here by eleven. FRIEND: Cause they gave one table per person, right? MARV: No-FRIEND: Oh they got curfew now? MARV: Yea, they came up with these new uh, sets of laws, this Quality of Life thing. Oh wow, look at this lady. FRIEND: I know I was watching. MARV: Yea you was strictly watching, right?VO: And so it went for a while, this "squeeze play" on the part of the city, with the orange and yellow lines getting closer and closer, and more numerous. And then they closed down a few spots over on the East side, like uh, over on Astor Place by the wine shop where I used to sell too.

And then--suddenly--like locusts, straight out of the Old testament, they came for the books.VO: A tax identification number was introduced, and it was required that each of us obtain one. But the tax I.D. number was arbitrarily enforced, it was really just a pretext for getting some booksellers off the street. FILMMAKER: What's up? SLIM: Gotta pack it up. FILMMAKER: He told you to pack it up...why? SLIM: Why am I packing up? CONRAD: Slim why they tell you to pack up? SLIM: I don't have a tax I.D. card. CONRAD: Why don't you take the summons? SLIM: If I take took summons, he's gonna take em anyway. You gonna take my shit, and write me a summons too? I'm not taking the summons neither. You can't write me a summons and take my shit too.VO: Meanwhile, over on West 4th street, officials from the nearby University took it upon themselves to try to get rid of booksellers in the vicinity. So they put "monster" planters along the curbside without notifying the community board, or gaining permission from the city, and thereby hoped to squeeze us out. Good old Alma Mater.FILMMAKER: That's the line right there? Why don't you ask them why I'm packing up.

PAUL: Yea. Some arbitrary line. HHe was the cop who painted the line, I think.

FILMMAKER: He used to have the long hair? PAUL: Yea, that one--I think that one. Used to have long hair. See this is the real line this blue thing. And this is another line they considered this is actually probably the true line-FILMMAKER: That dot PAUL: That dot. But they um...they decided that this was more inconvenient because you can't get an eight foot set up in here.VO: But it was the guys out on 6th avenue that got hit the hardest-repeatedly.BYSTANDER (OS) You make your own fucking job hard. COP: You shut your mouth. BYSTANDER: Cause you're always doing foul shit to people.MLK (on Radio) ..but I heard the voice of Jesus...he promised never to leave me, never to leave me alone. No never alone. No never alone. He promised never to leave me...RON: Nobody could stop me from setting up you know why? Because the people of the Village--you know why? They wanna read. This ain't Brooklyn, this aint the Bronx, these people wanna read. And when they get ahold of a rare book--it's like they get intoxicated. It's like they get high. They want it. And then they want more. "Where you get this book from??!!" They don't have it at the library, they don't have it at the book store. I talked to lawyers, doctors, everybody. You understand? Some of these people, they inherit their money. But still. You make your own fucking job hard.

They may be writers, whatever. You understand, they love to read. And then when they see me with a book--a certain book--a certain book--and they remember me! Damn that guy! Damn...VO: Over on West 4th street, we decided to hold a meeting to determine what our course of action should be. With none other than Thomas at the helm.ALAN: Right, but let's do it and do it now and do it right. And the fucking traffic guy got out of his car and he said to me, "the University doesn't want you here anyway." That's wrong! I don't have to hear that from a fucking New York City department of traffic person! JIM: That's fascist! My feeling is let's decide what we want to do and agree on it now and let's do it.JIM: My question's that if I came out here tomorrow morning, how much space am I allowed to claim for my operation. ALAN: Here's where we're gonna have a problem in what's gonna be an acceptable number of books.EVERETT: The feeling is....okay, when I see you guys with three tables that I know is over eight feet I don't have a good feeling about it. I've never said it, because it's not my business.ALAN: Of course! JIM: I say yes--EVERETT: You should never have a third table which you guys have had, but I don't want to get into it, it's not my business I don't care about it, I'm not gonna make it my business.JIM: But I set up with fucking twelve feet at the end to make room for people on the other side of the planter, I always fucking have, I come out at eight AM in the morning, and I take another fucking spot so other people can get spots, don't give me that fucking bullshit. ALAN: Let's get down to the issues--VO: If the police took your books, you had to go to the precinct as soon as you could if you wanted to get em back. Otherwise they were destined for a

giant warehouse in Queens.PETE: You have to be patient to watch them it's almost a Zen activity, to watch toads. See the cricket once you strike out and you miss it, once it freezes, the toad isn't gonna strike until the cricket moves again. If the cricket freezes long enough and the toad loses attention, and looks away, then the cricket is free to move. It's able to sense that. The contact has been broken. And some crickets are able to sense that and then they'll run away.VO: Well we managed to hold on to our way of life, to continue selling books despite the pressure from the city. We went to community board meetings and spoke in our defense, we went to see the judge and he threw out our bogus sumonses. But it would never be the same. A snake had entered the garden. There was now an air of tension. And where we had once freely plied our trade--which so many people in the neighborhood appreciated--we were now pariahs, and we were branded "undesireable." The newspapers started printing articles about how all our books were stolen, and that wasn't true, that wasn't true at all. Except for a few unscrupulous booksellers, that wasn't the case. [But it didn't seem to matter.] Were the forces at work in the city greater than the plans of any single politician? I mean what is this thing that seeks to regiment, organize, and commodify everything in its path? This thing that cleans the streets...this devouring worm which eats our cities from the inside out? IRWIN: Emil, come over here will ya? I'm talking to you. fucking hand--c'mere! Hey, uh Emil!EMIL: I made fucking shit money, you understand that? IRWIN: Alright. EMIL: Yesterday I made some some fucking money, but today fucking shit, not one fucking dollar, believe it or not I didn't sell one fucking book. IRWIN: You didn't even make a sale? But you got a mouth you can talk you know. Don't make with the

EMIL: No! IRWIN: I know how you feel man. Sometimes I don't make any money either.

You know my friend Eddy? He couldn't sell his books either. He had good books, you know? But the only trouble with him is, he used to fight with his customers. When he had the chance, he used to fight with them.PETE: So. How's it going down there? Has it picked up?

DAVE: I don't know I haven't-PETE: Well, did it pick up since I talked to you last? alright, I mean he's not getting rich but...VO: Paul seems to be doing

As the city continued to shut down legal selling spots, competition between us became more and more fierce. Everett stayed out later and later, longer and longer, in order to secure a hold on his favorite spot.VO: It wasn't long before the first bookseller threw in the towel. belonged to Polish Joe.FILMMAKER: What, Joe's getting rid of his books? CORMAC: Yea, Joe is kinda troubled here he just lay down here and said...looked down on the books. FILMMAKER: Just this past year you get your-JOE: Decided it wasn't worth the hassle, the combination of the police, their new regulations, the taxes and many other things, you know. It seemed like they got down on even if we're in the commerce of some like illegal substance or something, which is information. JOE: That honor

This is my last day! John O'hara...Psychic Powers... CORMAC: Didn't take you long to...make your mind up did it?VO: Let me confide in you, I was also getting sick of it too--I was just tired of standing around. After three years of bookselling...I felt like I needed to move on. And the human forces that opposed us, the mailman, the cops, the University, they still weren't enough to drive me away, to force me to change. This required higher powers.RON: Whoa, c'mon man it's raining hard now. MARV: Yea, but you're not gonna even put all this shit in! MARV: Here, take this one-RON: Yea, you got four, that's four right? MARV: I don't want four Ron...VO: And like they say in that famous book, "The rain fell. the just and the unjust alike." The rain fell on

It was right after that Great Storm....that I realized, that I felt, that I'd reached the end. VO: I went out one last day to get rid of the remaining books. But business was so slow, I didn't see any hope of becoming free of 'em, of selling them off to the "civilians" as Alan used to call them. Suddenly it occured to me....I'd sell them off to the other booksellers.FILMMAKER: You know, this is the last of the uh... IRWIN:

Whadd'ya mean, "last of the books?" FILMMAKER: The last of the books, I'm getting out of the business. IRWIN: Ohhh, is that what it is? FILMMAKER: Hell yea. IRWIN: This is not all your books. FILMMAKER: This is the last of the books. IRWIN: Wait a minute, you must've had more books than this. FILMMAKER: I had eight crates of books. IRWIN: What happened with 'em? FILMMAKER: Sold em off man. IRWIN: Everett must've got em. FILMMAKER: Everett got some of em... IRWIN: Uh huh, and Tony? This is the last--

FILMMAKER: Tony got some of em. IRWIN: Uh huh, and-FILMMAKER: Steve got some of 'em. IRWIN: And you left me with the shit! FILMMAKER: You weren't around, bro, you weren't around! You weren't around. IRWIN: Yea well it's alright. FILMMAKER: So what do you think about my books man, are you interested in this last batch or-IRWIN: Hey man I didn't go through all of them yet, wait a minute, will ya? FILMMAKER: Alright, alright. IRWIN: I'm gonna take a fucking chance. got on me man, is my food money. IRWIN: Go ahead, what the fuck. twenty dollars. Here.VO: I made a deal. I made a deal--here Here's your I'm taking a chance. Cause the money I But I'll take a chance.

Then I went home. I gathered up a few of my prized books, like my favorite volume of Leaves of Grass...some Rilke, some Dostoevsky...some ready to leave.VO:

And you know what? books be unopened. here.VO:

Wally was right. Let the money go unearned and let the I take to the open road--with you--and I'm glad you're

Oh yes, a little news from the road, regarding the booksellers. Thomas, who loved his books so much...he got...a store. And Paul started selling his books on the Internet. But Everett, he stayed out there too long. The city was too much for him. And he cracked, and he had to leave the street. Polish Joe is still struggling to give up the books, but he did manage to quit smoking. Pete, well Pete's still out there when he's not doing a cat grooming. might find him tearing apart one of his old books to use as collage material. You

As for the guys out on 6th avenue, well they're still getting hassled a lot, but they're still out there. Marv took a break, he met a girl, and started a family. And how could I forget...Slick Rick Sherman got married. the knot. He and Beth tied

And things are constantly changing, of course. A lot of the old timers have left, and there are new faces coming to the street. As for me, I'm heading out West. To start something new. To get some perspective on all of this, everything. Institutions...nations...civilizations...they'll all come and go. Even the Empire State building will one day crumble. But as long as there are human beings who live, and inquire, and question things...they'll be words and stories. They'll be room for everybody. Read a good book, smoke a good cigarette...this is the cafe of the outside. CREDITS---->END

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