Download PDF by Alfred Kazin: A Walker in the City

By Alfred Kazin

Kazin's memorable description of his lifestyles as a tender guy as he makes the adventure from Brooklyn to "americanca"-the greater international that starts off on the different finish of the subway in new york. A vintage portrayal of the Jewish immigrant tradition of the Nineteen Thirties. Drawings through Marvin Bileck.

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He was heading all the way to Anchorage—120 miles away. Now, so was I. ” he asked. “No,” I said. ” “It’s like boot camp for cleanup workers,” he said. The day before, he’d completed that final step in the hiring process and was now on his way home to Anchorage to await a call-up for duty. When he learned I had no interest in the work, he responded the same way the Fairbanks guys and Jack and Ali had: he was flabbergasted. “It’ll be cool,” he said. ” He wanted to turn around and take me back to Valdez.

So I marched straight from the bookstore back to the job placement center. 22 Dishwasher “I need a job,” I told the lady behind the counter. ” she asked. “Doesn’t matter,” I said. ” “Then you should go to Jack in the Box,” she said. ” I caught the bus to Jack in the Box, filled out the application and was told to start the next day. Less than 24 hours after I got the axe from the bookstore, I stood wearing a paper hat and a polyester knit shirt sizing up the vats of hot grease. As fry cook, I was responsible for deep-frying French fries, fruit pies and tacos—scutwork that any simpleton could do.

Crap, I thought, I don’t want to do this. In the rear—out of sight of both customers and my coworkers—I found a sink full of dirty spatulas, trays, food storage containers, French fry racks and the like. I wanted to slip out the back door and split. But then what? Slink back to the job placement office to ask them, now that I’d blown a second job, could I please have a third? As I stood at the sinks, a cook sidled up to me. He looked over his shoulder, then slipped me a burger. “That’s a raw deal you got,” he said.

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A Walker in the City by Alfred Kazin


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