One of Us: Stu Bykofsky

The 40-year Daily News veteran tells us about his mortal enemy, his miserable cat, and why the Philadelphia Parking Authority should run the city.

Stu Bykofsky of the Philadelphia Daily News

My name is … Stu Bykofsky. My earliest byline was Stuart D. Bykofsky, but then during one of our episodic makeovers, they told me it wouldn’t fit, so Zack Stalberg suggested Stu. “It’s more accessible and friendly,” he said.

The “D” stands for … Debs. As in Eugene Victor.

The most important thing I’ve ever written is … my will. It’s been rewritten several times.

Given a choice of a Rolls-Royce or a Lamborghini … I’d choose the Rolls. Much more comfortable.

In 1969, I was … the executive editor of a footwear trade magazine, Boot & Shoe Recorder, known as BS&R. It was purchased by Ch­ilton, which owned other trade publications as well. We gave Bill ­Marimow his first job in journalism, at Jewelers’ Circular Keystone.

The last time I got a credible death threat … was eight years ago. The guy had a black belt, was homeless and had mental problems. The police were able to make an arrest, and he served time.

If I’m going to have one drink, make it a … Jack Daniel’s on the rocks, with a twist.

My first concert … was in the mid-’50s. Alan Freed’s Rock and Roll Show, at the Brooklyn Paramount. I was a teenager. There were 10 to 12 acts. One was Chuck Berry. Another was Mickey and Sylvia.

When I was 10, I wanted to grow up to be … a cop. Two reasons: a deeply ingrained sense of justice, and I wanted to carry a gun.

In the imaginary animated movie about my life, the character of Stu Bykofsky should be voiced by … Lewis Black.

The Internet’s effect on journalism is … that it’s a wrecking ball as far as newspapers, but at the same time an unparalleled research tool.

The first thing I’d do as mayor … would be to turn over the enforcement of all regulations, criminal and civil, to the Parking Authority. Everybody hates them, but 98 percent of the time, they’re right. They don’t play around. They are over-efficient. Almost German-like.

For dinner, I usually … dine alone. I like P.F. Chang’s frozen stuff in a pouch. That stuff is pretty damn good.

My doctor says that … he is amazed by my physical condition. In a good way.

My least favorite person in Philadelphia … is such a bottom-feeding piece of crap that I wouldn’t want to give him the sense of importance that naming him would bring. He is the shitheel of the Inquirer.

The thing most people get wrong about me is that … I am a neo-con fascist or a bleeding-heart liberal. I am neither.

One book that I can read again and again is … none. But one book that I would read again is Bissinger’s Prayer for the City. Buzz, when he’s not being manic, does produce quality literature.

Cigarettes are … bad for your health, good for your psyche.

If I didn’t live in Philadelphia, I’d live in … Auckland, New Zealand. They’re about 50 years behind the times.

The top item on my bucket list is … to outlive my cat, Ashes. Motherfucker is eight. He’s miserable. He’s my ex-wife’s cat, but somehow I wound up with him.


Interview by Victor Fiorillo.