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Leaving Story Avenue - My journey from the projects to the front page Paperback – April 18, 2012


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"I was hooked from the first chapter of Leaving Story Avenue by Paul LaRosa. The chapter is a very nearly a poem about newsrooms in the days before computers....it's a memoir most anyone will love." - Carolyn Howard-Johnson, writer and instructor at the UCLA Extension Writers' Program. 

"Paul LaRosa['s]...breezy memoir of the 1970s New York City newspaper culture, 'Leaving Story Avenue,' captures the sense of adventure behind kitschy tabloid headlines and clichéd phrases such as 'Get Me Re-Write!'" -- James Broderick, bookpleasures.com

"CBS News producer & N.Y. Press Club member Paul LaRosa has written a riveting remembrance that's outstanding for numerous reasons: The writing, the subject matter, the manner of presentation - without an ounce of ego or an iota of self pity - and the good humor."
-- Beatrice Williams-Rude, The Constant Columnist

"You can't get much more NYC than Paul LaRosa...He has a great eye, great ear, and a great sense of self-effacing humor...'Leaving Story Avenue' is a marvelous tale of a fast-disappearing part of New York."
-- Tom Robbins, investigative journalist in residence at CUNY Graduate School of Journalism,former columnist for The Village Voice

"The 'CBS News' producer Paul LaRosa...has written a captivating and vivid memoir, which takes readers on a bumpy but exuberant ride...a charming tale of an ambitious kid whose street smarts served him well during the heyday of big-city tabloid journalism. ."
-- Sam Roberts, The New York Times

Paul LaRosa has written a poignant and funny memoir that stretches in an unstraight line from mean Bronx streets to the newsroom of the Daily News. Along the way, in snappy prose, he sprinkles wisdom about New York, the pull of peers and of family, the ambition and pride that propels a working class kid to succeed, and a portrait of the zany New York Daily News newsroom that is one part exhilaration, and one part Front Page. At the end, readers will come to miss the engaging, self-deprecating author whose book reads as breezily as a delicious tabloid newspaper. --Ken Auletta, writer & author, The New Yorker Magazine

Nostalgic, warm, and compelling...I could hear the clack of typewriter keys as I read Paul LaRosa s Leaving Story Avenue. --Theresa Weir, author of The Orchard

From the Author

The reviews -- both professional and from readers -- have been outstanding. This memoir makes the perfect gift for any relative who grew up in The Bronx back in the '60 and '70s. I hope you'll take a read and let me know what you think. I appreciate all your support.

Best,

Paul
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 346 pages
  • Publisher: Park Slope Publishing; First edition (April 18, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0983796300
  • ISBN-13: 978-0983796305
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,022,745 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Paul LaRosa is a three-time Emmy Award winning journalist and a writer and producer at the CBS News broadcast "48 Hours." He has also won a DuPont, Peabody and Edward R. Murrow Award.

He was one of the producers on the acclaimed CBS News documentary "9/11" which was seen by 40 million viewers when it first aired on CBS six month after the collapse of the World Trade Center Towers.

He was formerly a reporter at The New York Daily News and has written for The Los Angeles Times, Newsday and other publications. He is also the author of four true crime books and a memoir released in spring, 2012.

He also writes a frequent blog which can be found on his website www.paullarosa.com and he is a contributor to The Huffington Post. On social media, he can be found on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @paullarosa.

A resident of Park Slope, Brooklyn, he is married to Susan Glauberman and they have two children. Paul attended Fordham University and was later a Revson Fellow at Columbia University.

Paul's memoir "Leaving Story Avenue, my journey from the projects to the front page," has drawn great critical reviews from, among others, Sam Roberts of The New York Times, and Ken Auletta of The New Yorkers.

In his free time, he practices yoga, is learning guitar and is an amateur historian of The Beatles.


Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By AKA_Terrie on July 26, 2012
Format: Paperback
Disclaimer: I am not a kid from the Bronx. I did not grow up with, nor have I ever met, nor have I any affiliation with the author of this book. But...I sure wish things were different. I wish I could say I had walked half a mile in his shoes, beside him, behind him because the stories told are so good, so fun, so sweet and so memorable. As I read I found myself cheering on a group of people I'd never met, longing for a sense of the camaraderie earned while living in a neighborhood I'd never entered, wanting to keep the secrets and share the wealth, and all the while I continued to become entranced by the stories I wish I could say were my own.

I imagine the stories told here are what some of the great commentators of times past might have told, or wish they'd told, back in the 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. It's so good to see a tale of one of our own succeeding despite the twists and turns of life. Way to go, Mr. LaRosa! You may not always have done it "right" but you've done it "so" - and that's the important thing. I can't really imagine anyone not finding value in this work.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Rosie on August 4, 2012
Format: Paperback
Former newspaperman Paul LaRosa deftly chronicles his scrappy and sometimes madcap early years, revolving around a new, then declining, Bronx housing project. His childhood playing with the kids in the projects, he writes, was "world without parents," where anything felt possible. From troublemaking in Catholic school (high school starts off by getting punched in the face by a priest) to working behind the counter at a deli, LaRosa had a very New York adolescence: "The first day of Driver's Ed was only the third time I had ever been inside a car," he writes.

The book really sets afire when he gets a job as a copyboy (everyone is a copyboy, we learn, even girls) at the Daily News. In fact, that's how he describes the newspaper itself: "alive" and "on fire." From his days as a lowly copyboy to the the indignities of being the reporter assigned to the slow overnight "lobster shift," where nothing happens until he gets a call to go to the Dakota, because John Lennon had been shot, the reader feels so close to the action that they may end up with ink on their hands.

Leaving Story Avenue is a sweet and funny book, one full of curiosity and a constant sense of wonder and about the world.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By B.A.A. on March 14, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having read all of Paul LaRosa's excellent true crime books with great enjoyment, I was intrigued to learn he'd penned a memoir. And never has a walk down memory lane been any more delightful! From humble origins in the projects all the way to a plum spot as a reporter for the New York Daily News, LaRosa regales the reader with his entertaining adventures along the way. 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. LaRosa himself is clearly engaging, warm and humorous, which adds immeasurably to the book's charm. My only "complaint" is that I've finished the book when all I want is more. I highly recommend this book and can only hope the author will soon be penning another for his devoted readers (include me in)!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Elvis Lee Seewald on February 22, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Wow, what we'll written story. I have never been to New York City but the book puts you right down in the middle of it and takes you for a ride.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Santi on February 2, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I think the journey is portrayed very well from a copy boy to reporter. If you have strong passion for the work you do, you can excel starting from any level in the organization. Gives you a good glimpse of New York life also.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 17, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love reading books that I can easily relate to. Having grown up in New York City in much the same manner as Mr. LaRosa, this book was truly enjoyable. When growing up Catholic and from a lower middle class family life just seems to be set out for you, like a subway ride. You get on, enjoy the sites and hop on and off.

Seriously though, life really does go as Paul explains. Your parents try to do their best, try to give their children a good education then expect you to get a job. But sometimes, just sometimes that special child breaks the mold. They want more, feel smart and do their best to be the best. Of course, sometimes a bit of luck comes their way to help in their journey.

Paul is one of those people. His book takes you through a journey through the projects, when "projects" was a nice word. Through the parochial school experience and working your way up through puberty, a career and married life.

It made me reflect on my own life growing up in New York as well as that of my friends and family. Thank you for the memories and a glimpse into your success. Five Star Mr. LaRosa!

Without giving away the plot, my most memorable sentence was when he graduated high school and said his parents never discussed college. That rang such a bell with me. It wasn't discussed in my home either. I thought it was just because I was an Italian girl. Amazing.
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