That crooked little street called Gay

Built in the 1820s as a row of horse stables for the wealthy living in nearby Waverly Place, it served successively as a low-income housing for their servants, home to black musicians, a den for artists and writers, a shelter for speakeasies during the ’20s. No one knows exactly why it is called Gay. There are a few theories but not much evidence – the Bowery Boys have more on this on their website.

Gay St., Greenwich Village

April 2nd, 2017

The stained glass windows of the Jefferson Market Library

Originally built as the Third Judicial District Courthouse in 1876, this Victorian Gothic church-like building has been saved from demolition twice, thanks to the efforts of the local community: once in 1945, when it ceased to be used as a courthouse and a group of local community preservationists campaigned to have it converted into a library, instead of knocking it down. Their campaign proved successful when –  after extensive restoration – it opened as a branch of the New York Public Library in 1967. Budget cuts in 1974 obliged the Board of Trustees of the Library to vote in favour of closing the branch. The decision was rescinded one month later, following outcry of the local community and its function and public character were saved a second time.

Thanks to the local residents we can still enjoy these beautiful stained glass windows by English glass artist, Charles Booth (1844-1893), who also created the stained glass for nearby Grace Church at Broadway and 10th Street. Jefferson Market Library

April 2nd, 2017

 

*PAPARAZZI*

I was walking down Greenwich Avenue toward the Jefferson Market Library, planning on taking a closer look at the stained glass windows I had read so much about, when suddenly….
… the familiar click click click and, before I knew it, I was surrounded…!They appeared out of nowhere and, in a matter of seconds, they seemed to be everywhere…Covering my face, I struggled to get away but could not shake them off; they kept tailing me until somebody else got their attention… … at last they left me alone… their next target had arrived and already taken position! I hurried into the calm, quiet hallway of the library but not before noticing the sign: at least now I know who is the mastermind behind the commotion…! 

Joel, Charlie, Rocky & Samuel aka Pararazzi Dogs in Bronze
By Gillie and Marc

 

Greenwich Village
April 2nd, 2017

Poetry lives here

Behind the poetic doors of Washington Mews. A vision of an urban village within Greenwich Village; a fresh breath of quietness, a street where everything falls back to a human scale.

A private cobblestone street with rows of low height houses on both sides. It is owned by NYU and the buildings are used as homes, offices and other facilities connected to the university.

Some of the houses date back to the first half of the 19th century and were built as stables. Others are more modern but of the same height and style, keeping up with the spirit of the street. In the 1900s, they were all converted into charming studios, attracting the City’s art community. Edward Hopper lived here from 1913 until his death in 1967 – his studio was at 1 Washington Square North.

Washington Mews is a gated, private street but the gates are open during daytime and everyone is free to walk through.

December 4th,  2016