In “The Basketball Diaries,” Mr. Carroll used the nosy old ladies on its park benches and the reactionary hard-hats in its bars as a comic foil....This part of the story caught my attention, because I have spent the last 4 days — post-toe-op — with my foot elevated on pillows to keep it from throbbing.
[B]y the summer of 2008, his childhood address at 585 Isham Street in Inwood might have seemed like a peaceful place to write.
The focus of the ground-floor apartment was the desk, a padded cart beneath it to elevate his aching leg.
There, he plowed through plastic bins of sliced pineapple, a reward for a session of hard work.There is reason to leave the windows bare and to live in a neighborhood of nosy people. You don't have to die alone.
The only decorations were a poetry event poster and a photo-triptych of Kurt Cobain. For months, boxes of books remained unpacked and the windows were bare. “He said that sometimes neighbors would smile at him, and he was just sitting there in his underwear,” [his friend Martin] Heinz recalled....
Mr. Carroll was alone the day he died. A neighbor peering into his window apparently saw him slump to the floor and called 911, [his brother Tom] said. (“Classic Inwood,” joked Tara Newman, a friend who also grew up there.)