Collected and restored to print at last, the hilarious, moving, lowlife sketches by a writer whose "phenomenal ear caught the common parlance of New York in all its uncommonness. "-Phillip Lopate. From 1937 until his death in 1956, John McNulty walked many beats for The New Yorker, but his favorite-and the one he made famous-was Tim and Joe Costello's, a bustling Irish saloon at Third Avenue and Forty-fourth Street. The place is gone now-it was leveled and replaced by the lobby of a skyscraper in 1973-but it and its hard-drinking mid-century patrons live on in these funny, poignant, immortal sketches and stories. McNulty's people-cab drivers, horseplayers, glamour girls, draftees, has-beens, never-weres, dreamers and despairers-are drawn from life, and draw the breath of life. "What a marvelous writer McNulty was!" said Brendan Gill when they tore down Costello's. "His stories will surviveand perhaps seem all the more remarkable to a later generation for the reason that both the time and the place they celebrated have disappeared without a trace-brick and stone as thoroughly ground to dust as man. "There is a short shelf of American classics born in the talk of ordinary folk-Mark Twain's sketches, Ring Lardner's baseball yarns, Studs Terkel's Chicago, and Joseph Mitchell's reports from the waterfront. With This Place on Third Avenue, that shelf grows one book longer.