…and I have to celebrate a little today with a post about “Leaving Story Avenue, my journey from the projects to the front page.”

When you’re a writer (or any creative person), you always wonder what the reaction will be to something you’ve produced. Will readers like, hate it, point out mistakes? That is the moment when you hold your breath and hope for the best.

Well, it wasn’t long before I was breathing free and easy because the reactions from professional critics and readers was fantastic. I couldn’t have asked for anything more (except to ask everyone to please keep spreading the word). Thanks to one and all and here are just a few of the reader reviews (because who’s more important than readers?!) that made my day:

This is the kind of work you’ll remember long past the first read; a little like that of Dickens, Twain, and even Thoreau because of the ability of the author to make you think about the places he’s been, the faces he’s lost and the spaces in between that were survived only because of that very gritty New York attitude. Also a story of hope, I had to stop several times to wipe away tears. — AKA_Terrie

At times poignant, at others laugh out loud funny, LaRosa’s breezy account of his journey had me enthralled all the way to the last page. I read it in one sitting; it was simply too much fun to put down. — B.A.A.

Ever Wonder What Would Be the Opposite of “Leave it to Beaver”? I was brought to tears, often from LaRosa’s laugh-out-loud storytelling of boyhood antics but as frequently from moments of poignancy in which he persevered against daunting odds. Picture the opposite of Beaver Cleaver and the make-believe community of Mayfield, and instead imagine the unstructured freedom of Paul and his rag-tag buddies in the Bronx projects. — Jack in SF

“Literature” devoid of honesty is not art, rather, it is fraud. Rest assured, none of that is remotely in evidence here. I very much respected and appreciated the author’s brutal honesty, especially as it pertained to himself as he never hesitated to present us with anecdotes that at times, cast himself in a far less than flattering light. — Lowell Blankfeld

And coincidentally, today I am celebrating 20 years at CBS News which has become my life after The Daily News. Who knows? Someday my time here may find its way into a book as well….

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