Springsteen's New Song

Houdini's magic shop goes under

Bruce Springsteen debuted a new song, "My City of Ruins," during a benefit concert held Sunday (December 17, 2000) at Asbury Park, New Jersey's Convention Hall, reports. Springsteen began "My City of Ruins" on piano, according to the online fanzine; the song features the refrain, "Come on, rise up." ... Flosso-Hornmann Magic, which billed itself the "Oldest Magic Supply House in America," shut its doors this past September, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday. The shop, located on 34th Street in Manhattan, was once owned by the great escape artist Harry Houdini, and was certainly the model for Louis Tannen's Magic Shop in Michael Chabon's excellent novel "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay." Apparently, the store will be transformed into a Web site, but somehow I don't think that will be the same. There are no longer many magic shops in America. Like comic book stores and musical instrument stores with the front window crowded with futuristic-looking electric guitars, magic shops were once awe-inspiring places where a kid could spend hours gazing at the merchandise, where you could buy everything from trick decks of cards, magic wands and collapsible top hats to myriad exotic contraptions of deception. Now one of the great ones is gone. C'est la vie.... [Tuesday, December 19, 2000]

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