For eighty years, a store named Radio Clinic* stood on the 98th Street block of Broadway on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. My immigrant grandfather opened it in 1934 during the depths of the Depression as a radio repair shop. To distinguish his shop from his many nearby competitors in those early days of radio, he sat fixing radios in the storefront window – visible to the public in his “clinic” -- wearing a white doctor’s lab coat. The business grew over the decades to sell radios, televisions, appliances big and small, electronics, and air conditioners, lots and lots of air conditioners.
My book, We Are Staying: Eighty Years in the Life of a Family, a Store, and a Neighborhood, tells about the rise, struggles, and fall, and the family that owned it across those decades. It is a small business story and a story about a shop owner that keeps on going despite the odds. It is an immigrant story, a grandfather-father-daughter story, a story of the unique character a family business brings to a neighborhood, and a reflection on what has been lost as stores like these disappear.
How to buy this book:
I hope you buy my book. While I am not objective about the book--it is a great story and will have you rooting for a small appliance store you never heard of before. We Are Staying is the perfect sentimental father-child gift (just saying.)
If it were up to me you would buy the book at an independent book store. Most of them don't carry my book but will order it for you. If you prefer to order books online you can order We Are Staying through Indie Bound. If you want to save a dollar or two and also want to help Jeff Bezos on his future space travels you can order it through Amazon. If you want me to mail you a hand-signed book, get in touch with me to work out the details.
(And if you are a music fan check out my chapter by chapter playlist.)
Reviewed by James Goodman in the Progressive magazine.
Book Group discussion kit put together by the Madison Public library.
Tone Madison Podcast Interview
Reviewed by the Berkshire Eagle
Interviewed on Forward Forum
Q and A in the West Side Spirit
Reviewed by the West Side Rag
Reviewed by the Isthmus
Mentioned by the former Manhattan Borough President in a hearing about NYC small businesses.
My New York Times Op Ed about Radio Clinic.
Part of Radio Clinic's story can be found in Kevin Baker's essay, The Death of a Once Great City: The fall of New York and the urban crisis of affluence, published in Harper's Magazine.
Check out my guest blogpost on clearing the writing hurdles to publication.
PBS American Experience featured Radio Clinic in its documentary about the Blackout.