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Coca Crystal, a Wild Child Turned ‘Unconventional’ Mother

Coca Crystal from her Facebook pageRalph Ginsburg Coca Crystal

The first thing on Jackie Diamond’s to-do list: “2008 – Publish book.”

“You see I’m behind schedule,” the 64-year-old said of the unfinished work, her chest purring with laughter. “I got busy with cancer.”

Ms. Diamond is better known to students of the underground as Coca Crystal – a secretary, writer, and “Slum Goddess” for The East Village Other who went on to host a cult cable-access television show for nearly two decades.

In 2006, she was diagnosed with lung cancer. Since then, she’s had three operations to remove over a third of her lungs, undergone chemotherapy, and become a patient at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan. The last time her cancer returned, her doctor told her it had spread to a part of her lung that was inoperable.

Her to-do list continues: “2010 – Movie based on my life released. Drew Barrymore stars as Coca Crystal.”

“And then the dignitaries and the party,” Ms. Crystal imagined. “And then I’ll live happily ever after. Finally.”

But the real reason she wants to publish her book isn’t the dream of a movie deal – it’s Gus. Read more…

The Day | Weekend Events In Bloom

flower bed outside Jefferson Market LibraryMichelle Rick

Good morning, East Village.

Welcome to the weekend, that is, unless you started things early with Cinco de Mayo celebrations last night. East Village bars, restaurants, and even delis got into the festivities.

Keep out those calendars out for some more memorable dates; Sunday is Mother’s Day, and for all you naughty children who forgot to make plans, DNAinfo put together a nice list of “outside the box” ideas, like East Village and NoHo History and Dessert Tour at Twilight.

For Yiddishe Mamas, perhaps a walking tour chronicling the “beloved balabustas” of the Lower East Side and sharing rugelach with the Eldridge Museum? While you jot down your plans, make note of the the annual Ukrainian festival coming up next weekend and spanning Seventh Street between Second and Third Avenue.

And in other neighborhood news, it seems the much loved ping pong table in Tompkins Square Park has been “defaced, kind of,” according to EVGrieve, despite its graffiti-resilient design of polished steel.

It’s been bad luck lately for the neighborhood’s outdoor sports fixtures: Grieve also reports that the basketball hoop on Extra Place has been removed; the why remains to be seen.

Today’s sunny high of 69 will make a quick dip for rain tomorrow, then back to the high 60’s and sunny skies on Sunday.