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More Childhood Memories

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Georgina Bloomberg
Equestrian, b. 1983
“I definitely was naughty. I thought I could get away with anything.”



Billy Crystal
Comedian, b. 1948
My first trip into the men’s room at Yankee Stadium was when I was 8—not being very tall, I was at eye level to a pretty horrible sight. They had these troughs. Everyone was standing over them. It was like all the horses in the lineup at the Kentucky Derby—like the wall would open and they’d all start running. It was awful. I couldn’t pee in public restrooms until I was 39.




Debi Mazar
Actress, b. 1964 My mom had me at 16, and took me every place she went. I remember going on peace marches. She tried to take me to Woodstock—it was pouring rain, it was on my birthday, and I was crying so much in the car they turned the car around and dumped me at my grandmother’s house. You can see even here, with my badass pose—I had my glasses on—I had a little attitude.





Rita Moreno
Actress, b. 1931
The roof was where we hung out. You took chairs up in summertime, and you’d bring dinner up. We had a little Victrola phonograph that we’d take up that we called the little cat, la gatita, because when you wound it up, it sounded like a little cat in heat. The record would suddenly go, Eeee-da-da-da-da-eeee!

Once, we went to the apartment of some brothers. Obviously their parents were not at home. One of them was a big flirt, and he had a little bit of peach fuzz over his upper lip, and he was making eyes at me. He said, “Whatever you do, don’t put on perfume, because that really makes me crazy.” Immediately I went into his mother’s bedroom and dabbed some behind my ears.



Chazz Palminteri
Actor, b. 1952
The big guys used to beat up the little guys, and the little guys used to beat up the real little guys. If you were a little guy, you’d become a big guy and then beat up the little guys underneath you. Kids now, all they do is sit down and play Facebook.

I was on the stoop, and I saw a man kill another man right in front of me. People go, “You must have been traumatized!” I really wasn’t. I just saw this guy kill a guy, and my father dragged me upstairs, we talked about it, I didn’t rat on the guy, and that was it.



Hank Azaria
Actor, b. 1964
Central Park at night lived in my head like some kind of nightmare—Where the Wild Things Are. It was like it had literally been overtaken by gangs.






Jacob Lew
Secretary of the Treasury, b. 1955
I watched my father go into mourning for the Dodgers, then out of mourning as Shea Stadium rose out of the ground. When the Mets won the World Series in 1969, the games were broadcast out of the school PA system because otherwise everyone would have skipped school or been outside listening to transistor radios. It was magical.



Neil Simon
Playwright, b. 1927
I didn’t think of a thing called money. If I had a nickel, I would run in the street and say, “I got a nickel! I got a nickel! I’m rich! I’m rich!” As a kid, I always thought, I’ll never forget all these things, but you do. I managed to forget all of it. Some people spend their lives remembering, and that’s what I thought I would do. But it doesn’t last.


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