Saturday, October 27, 2007

Miller At The Forest Park Overlook

According to the website of the New York Department of Parks & Recreation, there is an historical sign at Forest Park in Queens with Henry Miller's name on it. The sign stands on The Overlook section of the park, at which Henry was employed by the Queens Parks Department in 1927. Here is a direct quote of the text:

Iconoclastic author Henry Miller (1891-1980) - famous for Tropic of Cancer (1934) - was employed by the Queens Parks Department and worked in the Overlook. While employed there he was also a member of the Brooklyn Forest Park Golf Club. Miller got the job through a friend, Jimmy Pasta, in an attempt to make enough money to support his wife, June. He began working as a grave digger, eventually moving up to an office assistant. But June left him for Paris, and on May 21, 1927, he spent a tormented night in the Overlook, typing 32 pages that would serve as the outline for much of his literary work. He eventually went to Paris and continued to support June.

The "Jimmy Pasta" mentioned here is Tony Marella. Starting on page 150 of Nexus, Henry describes his work at this urban park, including the night he wrote his outline for what he called his "Domesday book" (Nexus, p.165): the outline of what was to become The Rosy Crucifixion. According to Jay Martin's Always Merry And Bright (p.131), Henry began his job here in April 1927.

A road through Forest Park in Queens (by Morton Fox on Flickr)

In Book Of Friends (I), Henry also mentions his Park Commission job (although I can't find a direct reference to The Overlook anywhere). Tony Marella, he says, was the secretary to the Park Commissioner. Tony introduced Henry to the Park Commissioner, who put him on the payroll that very day as a grave digger. "The next morning I was up bright and early to tackle my new job. It didn't take me long to catch on. The other workers were friendly and helpful. Two of them were from the old 14th ward. That made things still nicer." (p.76)

This map of Forest Park identifies the location of The Overlook at the northern tip of the park (map from TreeBranch.com [PDF])

Henry was quickly graduated as Tony's assistant. "Working as Jimmy's assistant I grew more and more familiar with Jimmy's life. Part of his job was to write the political speeches his boss, the Commissioner, had to make. Now and then he would ask my aid in phrasing a sentence." (p.79). The writing of the outline for what was to become The Rosy Crucifixion will come soon as its own post.

Once Henry finished writing his final pages in the early hours of May 22, 1927, he went to sleep on the floor of the Commissioner's office. "Around eight a.m. the first worker arrived. He saw me lying on the rug and thought I was dead, thought I had committed suicide." (p.80).

This (1930) is the Overlook building in which Henry Miller wrote his outline for what was to become The Rosy Crucifixion. Found on the same Oldkewgradens.com website is an image of what the building looks like today.

The following day (acc. to Nexus, p. 167), Henry found a crumpled letter in the trashcan of the Commissioner, which would become the inspiration for his "Letter to the Park Commissioner," which was printed under an alias in The Booster in September 1937.

Regarding the Brooklyn Forest Park Golf Club that is referred to on the sign: I don't know much about this. I just can't picture Henry playing golf with the New York elite. Maybe Tony Marella brought him over there one day, hoping to make some connections for him. Accoring to the same website, this was a private clubhouse. "The City of New York rightfully acquired that property in 1924, and the house is now a part of Dry Harbor Playground on the north side of Forest Park." (Oak Ridge in Forest Park). [photo of the clubhouse on Forgotten-NY].

The buidling at The Outlook is still used as an administrative offcice for the Queens Parks Department, and is located at 80-30 Park Lane in what is now technically Kew Gardens, NY. Here's a recent visit to the Overlook.

16 Comments:

Anonymous Eric D Lehman said...

Well, between this and the other information you've posted about Henry in NYC, I think it's about time for a little pilgrimage to these sites.

8:21 pm  
Blogger RC said...

You know, Eric, I've been thinking over the idea of organizing some kind of Miller event in New York City, but I've never organized anything like that before.

11:53 am  
Anonymous Eric said...

Me, either. But since all these other Miller fans and scholars are in the Midwest or California, perhaps it is left to us.

I was thinking of a personal pilgrimage, of course. But now you have me thinking.

2:28 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Studio M was not in downtown Chicago but near Jackson Park on the south side. Actually walking distance from the University of Chicago and Hyde Park.

12:57 am  
Blogger bathmate said...

That’s looks so nice your posting.
Everything looks good in your posting.
That will be necessary for all. Thanks for your posting.
Bathmate

9:15 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There has not bee a Queens Parks Dept. in many years. The five boroughs' departments were consolidated into one NYC Parks Dept., under Mayor LaGuardia, i believe.

8:51 am  
Anonymous viagra online said...

Superb pictures, I went to the park looking for the sign and indeed it exists, at first I was skeptical on going, but at the it was worthed.

1:35 pm  
Blogger Junda Xu said...

20151109 junda
jordan 13
adidas superstars
louis vuitton outlet
michael kors
true religion outlet
louis vuitton
nike sb
louis vuitton outlet
cheap ugg boots
cheap jordan shoes
louis vuitton
moncler jackets
sac longchamp pliage
ray ban sunglasses
michael kors outlet
canada goose jacket
fake oakley sunglasses
ugg outlet store
louis vuitton
pandora jewelry
toms outlet store
toms wedges
north face uk
tory burch outlet
jordan 8
christian louboutin uk
coach factory outlet
coach factory outlet
mulberry bags
coach factory outlet
juicy couture
michael kors uk
tommy hilfiger outlet
basketball shoes
snapbacks wholesale
cheap oakley sunglasses
coach outlet
michael kors outlet
michael kors handbags
oakley sunglasses

9:59 pm  
Blogger Minko Chen said...

giuseppe zanotti outlet
lululemon pants
tory burch outlet
michael kors handbags sale
links of london jewellery
michael kors outlet sale
ray ban,rayban,occhiali ray ban,ray-ban,ray ban occhiali,ray ban sunglasses
chanel handbags outlet
air force 1 shoes
air jordan 4
michael kors online outlet
nike roshe
polo ralph lauren
true religion jeans sale
nike air huarache
michael kors outlet
burberry outlet sale
cheap jordan shoes
michael kors outlet
ralph lauren outlet

9:41 pm  
Blogger Gege Dai said...

20160112xiaodaige
abercrombie and fitch
cheap soccer jerseys
mulberry handbags sale
coach factory outlet
louis vuitton handbags outlet
michael kors uk outlet
calvin klein outlet
true religion outlet
swarovski jewelry
michael kors outlet online
nike mercurial
designer handbags,handbags outlet,cheap handbags,purses and handbags,wholesale handbags,designer bags,bags outlet,handbags wholesale,cheap purses,discount handbags,handbags sale,wholesale purses,handbags and purses,designer purses
fitflops clearance
prada outlet
nike free 5
puma outlet
mulberry uk
air max 90
toms outlet
longchamp handbags
michael kors handbags outlet
bottega veneta outlet
oakley,occhiali oakley,oakley italia,oakley occhiali,oakley sunglasses
true religion outlet uk
coach outlet store
giuseppe zanotti outlet
tiffany and co
oakley sunglasses wholesale
michael kors outlet
ugg boots clearance,ugg australia,uggs on sale,ugg slippers,uggs boots,uggs outlet,ugg boots,ugg,uggs
fitflops outlet sale
ralph lauren outlet
the north face outlet
nike trainers
ray ban sunglasses

9:08 pm  
Blogger Gege Dai said...

air jordan 13
new york jets jerseys
cleveland cavaliers jerseys
los angeles clippers jersey
tods shoes sale
miami dolphins jerseys
hollister canada
air max uk
nike free 5
chicago bears jerseys
patriots jerseys
titans jersey
nike free running
abercrombie and fitch
nike roshe run shoes
bills jerseys
giuseppe zanotti outlet
nike soccer shoes
puma shoes
denver broncos jersey
air max 2014
lacoste pas cher
kansas city chiefs jersey

atlanta falcons jersey
texans jerseys
ferragamo shoes
mac cosmetics
ravens jerseys
boston celtics jerseys
jacksonville jaguars jersey
abercrombie and fitch
linyuan0511

5:59 am  
Blogger Gege Dai said...

05028wangjuan9
redskins jerseys
nike free run
baltimore ravens jersey
nike outlet
seattle seahawks jersey
air max 2014
nike foamposite
golden state warriors jersey
raiders jerseys
mizuno shoes
chicago blackhawks jerseys
philadelphia eagles jerseys
cincinnati bengals jersey
cleveland browns jerseys
denver broncos jerseys
seattle seahawks jerseys
chicago bears jerseys
boston celtics jersey
celine outlet online
los angeles lakers
tods shoes
air max uk
cincinnati bengals jerseys
lions jerseys
kansas city chiefs jersey
tommy hilfiger uk
detroit lions jerseys
minnesota vikings jersey
miami heat jerseys
san diego chargers jerseys

1:29 am  
Blogger Mie Helal said...




I'm going to highly recommend this web site
http://www.prokr.net/2016/09/sofas-cleaning-companies-7.html
http://www.prokr.net/2016/09/sofas-cleaning-companies-6.html
http://www.prokr.net/2016/09/sofas-cleaning-companies-5.html
http://www.prokr.net/2016/09/sofas-cleaning-companies-4.html
http://www.prokr.net/2016/09/sofas-cleaning-companies-3.html
http://www.prokr.net/2016/09/sofas-cleaning-companies-2.html
http://www.prokr.net/2016/09/sofas-cleaning-companies.html

4:41 am  
Blogger dada24 Xu said...

coach outlet store online clearance
coach outlet online
adidas nmd runner
coach outlet store online
jordans
true religion jeans outlet
nike cortez classic
polo ralph lauren outlet
canada goose sale
hugo boss outlet onlinezhi20161222

1:36 am  
Blogger dong dong23 said...

rolex watches
coach factory outlet
pittsburgh steelers jerseys
air max sale
louis vuitton outlet
ray ban wayfarer
new york knicks jerseys
nhl jerseys
coach outlet online
ugg australia
20171.11wengdongdong

11:01 pm  
Blogger Joyce James said...

Great list and thanks for sharing this wonderful post.

thomas sabo charms and bracelets
hugo boss sale online

5:25 am  

Post a Comment

<< Home