Defy Landlord by Dining At Lima

ATTORNEY GENERAL STOPS LANDLORD: In a rare action the Attorney General signed a cease and desist order against an ex cop employed to harass restaurant owner. Photo by Maggie Berkvist

By Arthur Z. Schwartz Something is smelly on the corner of Bedford and Christopher, and it’s not the food from the corner restaurant, Taste of Lima. Taste of Lima was an East Village mainstay until ten years ago when its landlord, Steven Croman, asked them to move to the West Village so he could renovate [...]

Full Story

The New Whitney Museum Opens its Doors with a Block Party on May 2

A CHALLENGE RENZO PIANO WAS READY FOR: View of the Eastern exterior from the 7th floor terrace. Photos by Maggie Berkvist

The arrival of the new Whitney Museum may be the most exciting event in the West Village since the survivors of the Titanic were brought in a century ago. For several years now I’ve watched from my window as the ventilating system crowning the new building appeared above the neighboring rooftops, and I occasionally circled [...]

Full Story

Shared Guilt is Innocence

United States Attorney Preet Bharara has startling white open eyes like a predatory bird excited by the sudden successful sinking of his talons into a startled prey. He even recites the charges with an irrepressible smile of triumph. So it is no surprise that the attorneys for Assemblyman Sheldon Silver argued Bharara’s caws of exhilaration [...]

Full Story

Teachout Speaks Out

Alec Pruchnicki On Thursday April 9th, Zephyr Teachout returned to Greenwich Village and the Village Independent Democrats, one of several political clubs that endorsed her in her primary challenge to Governor Andrew Cuomo. After happily reporting that she had just been awarded tenure by the Fordham University Law School, she began a discussion of her [...]

Full Story

WestView Letter May 2015: Letter: How Mr. Diller Got His Island

Letter: How Mr. Diller Got His Island Lisa Foderaro’s rehashing of the many opinions of the proposed construction of Pier 55 (NY Times, April 5, 2015) omits many essential facts. Completion of the park from 29th to 44th Streets will cost far more than $175 million, since the park terminates at Pier 99 at 59th [...]

Full Story

WestView Letter May 2015: St. Luke’s Cherry Trees

St. Luke’s Cherry Trees Where have all the cherry blossoms gone? With bursts of soft pink and white blossoms, the allee of cherry trees that heralded the arrival of Spring each year to the West Village is no more. As part of St. Luke’s deal with Toll Brothers for the construction of a twelve story [...]

Full Story

Two Nice Cops

Locking my bike before walking into Staples on 6th Avenue and 8th, I became aware of two smiling young police officers talking to an elderly man with a shock of disheveled white hair as he sat on the curb, obviously unable to get up. By the time I exited Staples, they had him standing, an [...]

Full Story

GVSHP’s Business of the Month

West Villagers have great affection for their local cafes, florists, wine shops, watch repairers, frame shops, chocolatiers, dress shops and more. These are some of the independent businesses that have been nominated so far in the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation’s new program, Business of the Month. Anyone can nominate a favorite small business [...]

Full Story

90th Birthday Celebration For Village Preservationist Albert S. Bennett

He was born July 25, 1925. He moved to Morton Street on September 1, 1955. And now—nearly 90 years after the first big event and 60 years after the second—Albert Bennett’s friends and neighbors in the Morton Street Block Association decided it was time to celebrate. The MSBA honored Albert at a gala party on [...]

Full Story

Teachout and Berman at Speak at VID

On Thursday April 9th, the Village Independent Democrats held their monthly meeting at St. John’s Church on Christopher Street. As usual, the meeting started with updates by club president Nadine Hoffman and Democratic district leaders Keen Berger and Arthur Schwartz on a variety of city and state political developments, followed by questions from the members. [...]

Full Story

Briefly Noted

Cuomo’s Ego Flys the State Why did Cuomo make a thirty-six hour round trip to Cuba? Certainly not to trigger trade with a country where the annual income is not much more than $300 and where he was greeted with signs “Socialism or Death” and shouts of “USA go home!” No, Cuomo is listening to [...]

Full Story

Update at St. Luke’s

CONSTRUCTION BEGINS: A rendering of the new apartment tower posted at the corner of Barrow and Greenwich Streets. Image courtesy of Barry Rice Architects.

March 30 marked the beginning of construction for a new apartment building in the Greenwich Village Historic District, designed by Barry Rice Architects with the Toll Brothers as general contractors. The rendering posted at the site shows a five and a half story rose-mix brick base hugging the property line sidewalks, and a six-story metal [...]

Full Story

Musical Masterworks at Grace Church

A DOWNTOWN MUSICAL POWERHOUSE: Conductor John Maclay, Music Director for the Choral Society of Grace Church. Photo by Chris Lee.

When Walt Whitman came upon Grace Church, at 10th Street and Broadway, he was so enchanted by what he saw he described Broadway as a sea, “tossing spray of ribbons and plumes that give back rainbows,” and Grace Church a “ghostly lighthouse,” guiding the way. Grace was famous for the quality of its music then, [...]

Full Story

Village Apothecary Plans Renovation

FEW NOTICEABLE CHANGES IN 30 YEARS: Customers outside the popular pharmacy at the corner of Bleecker and West 10th Streets.

In the 2 ½ years that husband and wife Vijay Desai and Mital Patel have owned the Village Apothecary, they have made few noticeable changes. Mital and Vijay, each 31 years old, met at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy in Boston. Mital grew up in North Carolina and Vijay in New York City, the son [...]

Full Story

Teleported Shopping

A shining nursery van pulled up in front of my window on Charles Street as I struggled to get out another issue of WestView. Three uniformed attendants got out and began moving elegant plants in elegant containers to adorn the entryway to my neighbors’ brownstone—making my ancient plastic window boxes distorted by winter ice look [...]

Full Story

Finding Purpose in Enjoying Life

Vast numbers of often rambling, even convoluting books and discussions often almost seem to avoid a conclusion. Is enjoyment the purpose of life? Can’t it be simplified so that we can just get on with it? While enjoyment is crucial, it is important to remember that the definition of enjoyment should contain more “satisfactory” experiences [...]

Full Story

The Lost Cinemas of the West Village: The Carmine Theater

LEFT: JOHN SLOAN, CARMINE THEATER, 1912. Oil on canvas, 26 1/8 X 32 in. (66.1 X 81.2 cm.) Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Gift of the Joseph H. Hirshhorn Foundation, 1966.Photography by Lee Stalsworth. 66.4616. RIGHT: JOHN SLOAN, Movies, 1913, oil on canvas, 19 7/8 x 24 in. (50.5 x 61 cm), Toledo Museum of Art (Toledo, Ohio), Museum Purchase, 1940.16. Photo Credit: Photography Incorporated, Toledo.

The Carmine Theater stood at 21 Carmine Street from at least 1910 to 1925. Our Lady of Pompeii church now occupies that site. The Carmine showed silent films, in the early days reelsno longer than 30 minutes. In its final year, it reportedly had a capacity of 600. The Carmine Theater opened in an area [...]

Full Story

Ephemeral Images at Jefferson Market

Ephemeral Images at Jefferson Market

As a space of inevitable flux and evolution, the city often seems to exist outside of itself at times. Journeys through the spaces of this city are inextricably bound with memory. Experiences unfold in a place and become part of the history and mythology of that space. Public mythology like the memory of the World [...]

Full Story

Writers’ Atelier Survives: Writers’ Atelier Survives On Astor Place

COAXING THE MUSES: For authors of all genres, the Writers Room off Astor Place offers an airy loft space every day of the year, twenty-four hours a day. Photo by Maggie Berkvist.

The Writers Room, which calls itself “The nation’s oldest and largest urban writers’ colony,” was founded in 1978 by a group of downtown writers wanting to create a quiet, conducive space in which to coax the muses. The Room is currently located (after occupying three other Village addresses in its first twenty-five years) in a [...]

Full Story

West Village Original: Peter Harvey

CANNOT DISAPPROVE OF THE WEST VILLAGE: Peter Harvey acknowledges that all of New York has changed. Photo by Michael D. Minichiello.

This month’s West Village Original is painter and designer Peter Harvey, born in Guatemala in 1933 of British parents. He was a scenic designer for many years, working on both Broadway and Off-Broadway, as well as designing the original 1967 production of Balanchine’s “Jewels” and the 2004 revival. Nowadays, Harvey devotes his time exclusively to [...]

Full Story

There is No Plan: How Air Rights Could Radically Change the Waterfront

TRANSFER OF DEVELOPMENT RIGHTS: Transferred unused development rights (left) and unused development rights on zoning lot with landmarked building.

In the last minute, near-midnight closing session of the New York State Legislature in June 2013, our local Senator and Assembly members pushed through a revolutionary proposal to radically change the appearance of the Hudson River waterfront. But if the New York City Planning Department doesn’t take action and create a viable plan, this change [...]

Full Story

House Sales

LEFT 66 Morton Street. RIGHT 271 West 10th Street.

66 Morton Street, a 25’ wide single-family house located on sought after Morton Street was listed for $13,900,000 in October of 2014. The townhouse has a long list of film making history with movies such as Working Girl, The Night We Never Met, Autumn in New York, and Quiz Kid all being shot there. The [...]

Full Story

When Horses Ruled NYC: A series on historic stable/carriage houses: 129 Charles Street

THE TRANSFORMATION OF STABLES: This restored building at 129 Charles started as a stable and single family dwelling for Herman Thalmann in 1897. It is being restored for single family use. Photo by Brian J. Pape.

One hundred fifty years ago, horses dominated all land transportation in NYC. People and freight came mostly by water, but then you walked or you depended on horses. Streets needed to be paved just to make it possible to get around, or else you sank in the mud and ruts, water mixed with manure. For [...]

Full Story

Then & Now

THEN 1900. The twin horse drawn trolley pauses at 77 Bleecker (seen in the doorway) before continuing its route west on cobblestone Bleecker Street. William McKinley was our 25th president. It was Mark Twain’s debut in The New York Times. A “horseless carriage” appeared in New York City’s first auto show as the city’s population jumped to 3.4 million people. Photo: picsamerica. NOW 2015. 115 years later, the cobblestones are gone, yet we can still see the façade at 77 Bleecker Street (seen on the awning) and 75 Bleecker with modified fire escapes, that has another entrance on 643 Broadway. Both located between Broadway and Mercer Street. Photo credit: Stan Fine

77 Bleecker Street By Stan Fine

Full Story

May is the New April

ALL PUNK-GREEN IN HIS AU COURANTE HAIRCUT: A Red-breasted Merganser waiting out the late spring. Photograph by Keith Michael.

Yesterday was shorts and sandals weather; today it’s back to sweater and hat. The crocuses, daffodils and tulips in front of my building are arguing about air rights—a familiar street-scene in the West Village, I guess. In a “normal” spring, each of them has their own spin on the dance floor: the crocuses introduce the [...]

Full Story

McNulty’s

McNulty’s

Too often we walk by a long-standing Village store, only to see that it is closing, generally because of rising rent. So I was particularly pleased during my recent visit to McNulty’s, which has been in business since 1895, to hear from the owner, David Wong, that McNulty’s has no plans to shutter anytime soon. [...]

Full Story

Turkish Cuisine Comes to the West Village

Have you ever cooked Turkish food? Before I wrote this article I would have had to think about that question. Now, having done some research I realize that if I have ever played with fire, spices and a piece of protein I’ve cooked Turkish. The Ottoman Empire covered a lot of ground for a very [...]

Full Story

A Changing Discourse on Mental Health

This May marks the 66th annual Mental Health Month. As a society, the way we understand and approach mental health has come a long way since then. Back in 1949 when Mental Health Month was first established, advocates pushed for asylums to ban the practice of shackling patients suffering from mental illnesses, many of whom [...]

Full Story

Science from Away: Several Short Science Stories

SURPRISE DISCOVERY: The pain response of mice depends on the sex of the researcher

Mark M. Green A fundamental mechanism by which cells in our bodies and that of other creatures, large and small, get rid of damaged components is called autophage, which translates to “self-eating.” A membrane forms a lysosome, which could be seen as a container, which takes up damaged cell components and degrades them to relieve [...]

Full Story