Leaving Story Avenue: My Journey from the Projects to the Front Page

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Publication Date: April, 2012

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The buzz for Paul LaRosa’s “Leaving Story Avenue” has already begun:

Ken Auletta, author and writer, The New Yorker magazine, says: 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.

Theresa Weir, author of The Orchard and a USA Today bestselling novelist, says: Nostalgic, warm, and compelling… I could hear the clack of typewriter keys as I read Paul LaRosa’s Leaving Story Avenue. 

Tom Robbins, investigative journalist in residence at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, and former columnist for The Village Voice and New York Daily News, says: You can’t get much more NYC than Paul LaRosa who grew up in a Bronx project, didn’t step inside an automobile until he was 13 and who learned his life lessons at Cardinal Hayes H.S., as a deli counterman, and getting his head kicked in by drunken louts on St. Patrick’s Day. He has a great eye, great ear, and a great sense of self-effacing humor. He put all of that to wonderful use when he found his calling as a reporter at the city’s greatest newspaper: the old Daily News, the one on 42 Street with the mighty globe in the lobby, the automat down the street, and the bar Louis’s East around the corner. Leaving Story Avenue is a marvelous tale of a fast-disappearing part of New York.


Emmy-Award winning CBS News producer Paul LaRosa’s evocative memoir of his days growing up in a Bronx housing project and working as a reporter at The New York Daily News in the late 1970s.

Paul LaRosa was a clueless kid growing up in a Bronx housing project when he discovered there might be more to life. As the projects went from idyllic to dangerous, Paul made his way to The New York Daily News where he became a copyboy and later a reporter.

The News was still the largest circulating newspaper in the country but it was in the last, outrageous and often hilarious, gasp of The Front Page era. Reporters wallowed in a swirl of alcohol, hookers and bad behavior but none of it stopped them from delivering an electric and engaging paper every day. Paul, a naïf trapped in a Tabloid World, quickly adapted.

As a reporter, Paul had a front row seat to one of the most harrowing five-year periods in New York City history: the city’s brush with bankruptcy, the terror reign of Son of Sam, the blackout riots, and the murder of John Lennon. Read what it was like to be in the center of it all.

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