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GVSHP Virtual Memory Book

The Pony Farm
Shelley Seccombe
I remember the "Pony Farm" on Washington Street at 10th Street, I believe. I had just moved to Westbeth in 1970 when a neighbor suggested we take our kids to see the ponies.
Time Period: 1970s
Collections: Far West Village

Angela Lansbury and the Cafe Figaro
Riccardo Spina
Working on Bleecker Street at the Cafe Figaro in the l970's I have lots of great memories of customers, co-workers and managers. One of my memories was Angela Lansbury coming in to visit her daughter who worked as a waitress there. We all knew she was her mom but when she showed up, looking classic like she did, we were tripped over.
Time Period: 1970s
Collections: First Village Memory

Two Snow-Filled Village Evenings
Joyce Gold
My first memories of Greenwich Village was when I was in college. Twice I came to the neighborhood on a date, The first visit I associate with cold and confusion. We were trying to find the car of someone in our party, and I remember a long, cold, confused walk to get to it somewhere near Washington Square Village. It seemed like a long trudge, and I had no sense of how much farther we'd have to go. This is my cold, confused, uncomfortable recollection.

But on another snowy evening we went to a restaurant at the corner of Charles and Hudson Streets. The eatery had a fireplace and was a wonderful respite from the weather. I wanted to commit to memory the location for a future visit on my own, so I associated it to the fact that my uncle Charlie had at one time lived in Hudson, Pennsylvania, and thus remember the intersection to this day. When I went back years later, no such eatery still existed. But ever since, when I think of snow, I remember how beautiful Greenwich Village looked then, and how cozy and romantic the restaurant was.
Time Period: 1960s
Collections: First Village Memory

Lost on Greenwich (Street or Avenue?)
Sheryl Woodruff
I am a transplant to New York City, and I never really visited Greenwich Village until I moved here in 2000. My first memory of the Village is getting lost. Who knows whether I was on Greenwich Street or Greenwich Avenue when it happened, or at West 4th Street and West 12th, I just know that I went in circles until I called a friend to ask help with getting to a conference I was trying to get to. Even as Director of Operations for the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation for the past four years, I still get lost and am always happy to share my photocopied maps of Greenwich Village with wayward tourists.
Time Period: 2000s
Collections: First Village Memory

Maurice at the San Remo
Jack Dowling

I don't know who took this photo. In any case, Maurice, in the 1950's through the 60's sold newspapers from bar to bar, restaurant to restaurant as did a incredible woman named Jackie who stood in the middle of 7th Avenue selling day old papers. I had correspondence with author Joseph Mitchell about both Jackie and Maurice.

This shot is in the legendary San Remo at MacDougal and Bleecker Street's, the hang-out for Frank O'Hara, Auden's lover, Chester Kallman and a whole bunch of artistic and literary drop ins including Leonard Bernstein. It wasn't strictly a gay bar. Early evening it was a big Italian restaurant but after 10 it began to fill up with the local "Bohemians", Judith Malina and Julian Beck had their own booth.

It was also the watering hole for the unforgettable Winnie, a zestful black woman who would, when the bartenders were occupied, open her blouse and expose her breast. A swift fly over the bar from Nick had her gently escorted to the street. Then there was a guy who I should not name but who I understand is still around town who, when he was drunk, would whip it out, lay it on any nearby table and challenge anyone in the room to match it. The table patrons quickly moved.
Time Period: 1950s
Collections: First Village Memory

A Dream Come True
Timothy George Hare
In 1976 my husband Earl, a minister, and I, an architect, had just met in Pennsylvania and knew it was love at first sight. We immediately decided that we\'d move to Greenwich Village from Easton, Pennsylvania, about 90 minutes west of NYC. We were in our late 20s then, and now 62! We knew that to be honest about our love would get us fired, or worse, in Pennsylvania, so we moved to NYC where we could live and work without fear. So we moved lock, stock & barrel to Bleecker St. to our very first home together - we loved it, although the rent for that railroad apt. w/bathtub in kitchen, would have bought a mansion in Easton!

Soon thereafter I had met Jackie Kennedy Onasis right across the street, at a Christmas party for us volunteers working to save Grand Central Station soon to be ruined. She asked where I lived and I proudly replied, "Greenwich Village just across Bleecker St.!" She responded in her signature whispery voice: "It must be a dream come true for you!" Indeed it was!
Time Period: 1970s
Collections: First Village Memory

On the Third Avenue El Station near Cooper Union
Jack Dowling

On the Third Avenue El station near Cooper Union about 1953. My first memory of Greenwich Village was shortly after high school graduation when I came into New York City to take the admissions tests for Cooper Union. I would see and hear the elevated trains going by the building at regular intervals. I wanted badly to ride one but I had to return home not having time to explore. After I was admitted to the school and moved to the Village, one of my first ventures was to ride the el past the Bowery, down through Chinatown then along the curved loops that railroad followed from Pearl Street to eventually end at South Ferry. I would then re-board and ride back to 9th street then walk back through the Village to my cold-water flat on Hudson Street at Horatio.
Time Period: 1950s
Collections: First Village Memory

West 8th Street in the 70s
Eric Borenstein
My first "real" job in the music business was at Electric Lady Studios.  As the new guy I got the night shift (which was actually pretty cool).  I remember heading home as the sun was coming up over the West Village. The classic village scene... shopkeepers sweeping down the sidewalk nodding their "good mornings", bleary-eyed business types off to get their cup of coffee, etc.  It seemed like a small country village to me until I hit the subway.  Then reality... I'm in New York City!
Collections: First Village Memory

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