The prominent writer E. L. Doctorow was considered "one of America's greatest novelists" and was the recipient of numerous writing awards. Born in the Bronx, Doctorow – the son of second-generation Americans of Russian Jewish extraction – was perhaps presciently named after the beloved Bronx writer, Edgar Allan Poe, whose home still stands not far from Doctorow’s own Bronx neighborhood of Mount Eden. Join with Urban Historian Jean Arrington and explore the Mount Eden neighborhood where E. L. Doctorow grew up. Explore Doctorow’s childhood memories and their impact on his career as a great American writer.

In his 1985 novel World's Fair about the Depression-Era Bronx, Doctorow states, "Every neighborhood had its school like my school, its movie, its street of shops built into the sides of the apartment houses; it was tunneled with subways and bound together with trolley lines, and elevated lines."

Jean Arrington writes: After hearing Doctorow give a reading from World's Fair, I was inspired to read the book. I was then inspired to read it again, underlining all the specific addresses and places. One Saturday morning I met a friend at the 174th Street stop on the D train, my list of places in hand: Doctorow's house at 1650 Eastburn Avenue, the apartment on the Grand Concourse they moved to during the Depression after his father's music business had failed, his school PS 70, the ovals in Mount Eden Avenue, the Surrey Theater where on Saturday mornings for a dime Edgar would see the newsreel, two feature films, a serial, and a cartoon, the public library on the forbidding Irish and Italian side of Webster Avenue, the sites of the lying-in hospital where he was born, the synagogue his grandmother attended, the drugstore where she bought for her asthma a “medicinal leaf legally available without a prescription.”

While delving into the author’s childhood memories, I discovered a small enclave of the Bronx that hadn't changed significantly since Doctorow had loved those streets as a little boy.
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Date: Saturday October 10, 2015
Time: 1:30 PM  to approximately 4:00 PM
Cost: $ 28 in advance $ 33 on-site (by check to Johanna Sterbin)
Meet: Northeast corner of East 170th Street and the Grand Concourse
Train: IND D Train to East 170th Street
Tours operate rain or shine. Please dress appropriately. For more information or to confirm meeting locations please call (212) 223-2777. Please note that tours sometimes run late. While tours are rarely cancelled you can call the number above to confirm, or join our mailing list to keep informed of cancellations due to extreme weather conditions.
Justin Ferate's Tours of the City | www.justinsnewyork.com
Justin Ferate's Tours of the City    |    (212) 223-2777    |    
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