Just up from Little Italy, trendy Broome Street was now home to fancy stores selling scarves, “cronuts”
(a croissant-donut hybrid that was beating both tortoni and spumoni combined), and edgy artwork. Pagano was lucky to still have his Renaissance art gallery. His landlords, Brickford and Hastert, were threatening to raise the rent, and the number of tourists bothering with the shrinking and less-colorful Little Italy meant even fewer people were interested in a souvenir Mona Lisa portrait hand-painted by Pagano.
“Mona,” he moaned to Ilona, who modeled for his various nude images, “you might as well take the rest of the evening off. My mind won’t be on my work tonight.”
Ilona, naked from her earrings to her toenail polish, took this as an insult. It... Read more...