Watch This Space
At 18 Greenwich Avenue, on the former site of the Village Party Store (destroyed by fire in February 2010 and now resurrected at 13 East 8th Street) Carlos Suarez and chef Cedric Tovar, of Bobo’s at 181 West 10th Street, will be opening a new restaurant come spring: Rosemary’s, featuring Italian cuisine.
In the meantime, don’t miss this arresting image by French muralist, JR. See more of his work at jr-art.net. —Photo and text by Maggie Berkvist
Amor & Psyche: A Blistering
I recently had the good fortune to attend the Opera Feroce’s performance of “Amor & Psyche,” a brilliant pasticcio opera staged in the gorgeous Tiffany interior of Christ Church Cobble Hill in Brooklyn, designed by Richard Upjohn. This production mixed elements of vaudeville, opera seria, slapstick and tableau vivant, making a witty parody of Baroque music. The three voices were extraordinary. Countertenor Alan Dornak sang Venus with a powerful, stirring voice. Hayden De Witt sang a teasing Cupid pursued by Venus, while Beth Anne Hatton gave a strong interpretation of his jealous and controlling mother, Psyche. The staging and lighting provided a dramatic setting for this extraordinary performance. The three human voices were supported by Vita Wallace on an early 18th-century violin, Sarah Biber on a 19th-century baroque cello and Kelly Savage on a 20th-century harpsichord. The acoustics of the church provided an exciting resonance to the entire performance.
The good fortune for WestView readers is that this exciting performance will be repeated at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, February 19 in the June Havoc Theatre at the Abingdon Theatre Company at 312 West 36th Street. Tickets are $25 at the door, $20 in advance. Call 212-868-2055 or go to abingdontheatre.org. This is a performance not to be missed. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did.
WestView Ad Makes National Media
The strongly worded ad Mayoral candidate and WestView contributor Tom Allon placed on the back cover of the January issue has made media ripples. David Freedlander reprinted and called attention to it in his January 4 PolitickerNY blog for the New York Observer, repeating Allon’s charge that Christine Quinn let St. Vincent’s close “in order to reap real estate donations” and quoting the rest of the text pretty much verbatim. Freedlander noted that the ad represents a shift in Allon’s politics from being an early supporter of Bloomberg’s policies to being a harsher Bloomberg-Quinn critic and more populist candidate who slept out in Zuccotti Park with OWS protestors last October and wrote about it in the New York Daily News. Freedlander also mentions the Op Ed piece Allon published in the New York Post last December accusing Quinn of allowing financial corruption to go unchecked during her tenure as City Council Speaker. And the ripples spread out from there. Freelander’s blog post was reposted on The Dallas Morning News website, and the ad was also reprinted and written about on nyc-mayor-2013.blogspot.com
If You’re a Walker in “The Village”…
Here’s a compact paperback to take with you as you wander. A picture book for adults, “Images of America GREENWICH VILLAGE” by Anita Dickhuth (Arcadia, $21.99) is filled with illustrations of past and present landmark spots and personalities, with brief descriptive captions.
After the Introduction and a first chapter on Early History, there are sections on Houses, Schools, Churches and Hospitals, followed by chapters on other aspects of the neighborhood’s claim to fame, including Entertainment and Street Life. The book is available from such local stores as Three Lives & Company (West 10th and Waverly) and Garber’s Hardware (Greenwich Street between West 10th and Charles). —Maggie Berkvist
Shanley Play at Cherry Lane
“Inside of a marriage that’s in trouble it’s like being inside of a hurricane,” said playwright-screenwriter-director John Patrick Shanley, the stupefyingly illustrious Bronx native who has won an Oscar, a Pulitzer and a Tony, among other things. “Even if it’s just two people sitting at a table having coffee, the subtext becomes a whirling mass of energy.”
Shanley’s play “Where’s My Money?” now at the Cherry Lane Theatre, follows several couples whose lungs have only breathed the air in the eye of a hurricane. “If you haven’t experienced one of these situations you might find it ridiculous, and if you’re looking from outside those relationships, they are ridiculous,” said Alex Correia, who directs the play. These relationships are darkly, darkly funny when you remember that these people are behaving like lunatics, and terrifying when you feel the gravity of their lunatic planets.
And then there are the ghosts. As Jonathan Judge-Russo, who plays Henry, explained, the supernatural in the play “changes it from a slow dance we do to avoid our s**t to like, here it is! like, in your house, strangling you…you can’t go anywhere to avoid it, you can’t go to a coffee shop.” In a play about overawing problems in relationships, the supernatural is a touch of the hyper-real, of how people are almost literally haunted by their pasts. Issues in screwed up relationships don’t get hashed out in reasonable discourse; the air just suddenly combusts. It’s a lot like a ghost coming through a wall.
Explosive performances from the whole cast leave you wanting to hug their extremely sorry selves.
“Where’s My Money?” presented by Animus Theatre Company (inaugural production) and featuring Rory Hammond, Jonathan Judge-Russo, Amy Northup, Jeff Todesco and Carrie Walsh will be performed at the Cherry Lane Theatre from January 28 through February 12.
—Frank Thurston Green
Losing Lives that St. Vincent’s Could Have Saved
Dr. David Kaufman relays this tragic story as evidence of what the future holds for all who experience a health crisis on the Lower West Side of Manhattan now that St. Vincent’s is gone and our politicians want to put condos in its place:
Richard J. Sheirer, who, as director of New York City’s Office of Emergency Management, sent 9/11 victims to St. Vincent’s Hospital, felt sharp chest pains as he drove to work on Thursday, January 12. He pulled over at 14th Street and Tenth Avenue and called 911. When the ambulance arrived, Sheirer was taken on the 1.5-mile trip at the height of morning rush hour across town to Beth Israel Emergency Room at 16th Street and First Avenue. Evidently, it was too late. Mr. Sheirer died. He was 65 years old.
WestView has also been informed that another man collapsed on the sidewalk on West 12th Street near the Rudin Luxury Complex sales office on Monday evening, January 16, near enough to where people were holding a candlelight vigil at St. Vincent’s in honor of Martin Luther King for them to spot him lying unconscious on the sidewalk and call 911. The man, thought to be in his 30s, was also taken by ambulance to Beth Israel. His identity, how long the trip took, and what his condition was on arrival and is now are unknown.
Moving On Up
In case you’ve been wondering what’s going on at 607 Hudson Street, on the block occupied until recently by the old Village Nursing Home, it is being seriously upgraded. No longer a facility for 200 senior citizens, it is being converted by Flank, a Chelsea-based design and development company, into ten luxury condominium apartments with varying configurations in spaces ranging from 3,200 to 9,600 square feet—but, so far, no prices are being quoted. It will be called The Abingdon, and first sales are scheduled for late spring of this year, with a projected completion date of late 2012 or early 2013. (And the seniors? Their facilities have been upgraded too; they have a brand new home at the VillageCare Rehabilitation and Nursing Center at 214 West Houston Street.)