Bea Arthur Residence: 2018 Regina Kellerman Award Winner

The Bea Arthur Residence for homeless LGBT youth, named for “Golden Girl” Bea Arthur, was born of a partnership between the Cooper Square Committee and the Ali Forney Center. This incredible community-building project and beautiful historic building renovation is also GVSHP’s 2018 Regina Kellerman Award Village Awardee.

Before and after images of 222 East 13th Street, the Bea Arthur Residence

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Discovering Yaroslava Surmach Mills, East Villager, Ukrainian, Artist

In the days leading up to the 2018 East Village St. Georges Ukrainian Festival, GVSHP took a trip to the Ukrainian Museum in New York City on East 6th Street to see, among other things, the unparalleled artwork of Ukrainian-American East Villager and Cooper Union graduate Yaroslava Surmach Mills (1925-2008). The retrospective of her work includes traditional pysanky (Ukrainian Easter eggs) and icons, paintings on glass, illustrations, and greeting cards. Her artwork swirls with detail, joy, community, action and bright colors. Let’s explore!

Yaroslava Surmach Mills East Village Ukrainian Festival

Yaroslava’s vibrant Ukrainian Festival scene from the Sunday News Magazine is enlarged and projected on the wall at the Ukrainian Museum’s Yaroslava exhibit

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Business of the Month: Dual Specialty Store, 91 First Avenue

Your input is needed! Today we feature our latest Business of the Month — help us to select the next.  Tell us which independent store you love in Greenwich Village, the East Village or NoHo: click here to nominate your favorite.  Want to help support small businesses?  Share this post with friends.

Gone are the days when there used to be dozens of Indian restaurants, many with Bangladeshi owners, centered on East 6th Street just west of First Avenue. But one store that used to serve them has carried on through all the change.  They carry an ever-expanding array of spices and herbs, teas, grains, incense and healthcare products, and Dual Specialty Store at 91 First Avenue is our May Business of the Month.

Photo thanks to Gudrun Georges,

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They Lived on West 9th Street : Maurice Sendak

29 West 9th Street where Maurice Sendak wrote and illustrated Where the Wild Things Are. Image courtesy of Google Images

They Lived on West 9th Street: Maurice Sendak is the 2nd in a series.

Did you know that in the early 1960s, American illustrator and writer Maurice Sendak (1928-2012) lived at No. 29 West 9th Street? While living there, he wrote and illustrated one of America’s most beloved children’s books, Where the Wild Things Are.

In honor of Sendak, we thought we would give you a list of 9  things you might not have known about him. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Comedy Cellar – 2018 Village Awardee

The Comedy Cellar is one of the most iconic comedy clubs in the world if not THE most iconic. This family-owned business is also one of GVSHP’s 2018 Village Awardees.

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A Stroll Down West 14th Street: The Residences

West 14th Street has a multilayered history preserved in its architecture which reflects the development of the surrounding area as well as New York City itself. West 14th Street is also a border street, separating Greenwich Village to the south from Chelsea to the north. Save Chelsea’s President Laurence Frommer and I teamed up for a walking tour of this thoroughfare earlier this month entitled Planning and Preservation on West 14th Street, one of the MAS Janes Walk tours. Our tour only spanned from Sixth Avenue to Ninth Avenue, but nonetheless featured a variety of different building types, styles and periods. In this series, A Stroll Down West 14th Street, we will look at the three types of buildings we saw: residential, commercial/manufacturing, and institutional. Today, we’re showcasing the residential buildings.

West 14th Street tour in front of 210 West 14th Street, a circa 1840’s Greek Revival row house, where the French Dadaist artist Marcel Duchamp lived from 1942 until the year of his death, 1968, on the top floor.

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Greenwich Locksmiths – 2018 Village Awardee

Greenwich Locksmiths, located in the heart of the Greenwich Village Historic District, is one of our 2018 Village Awardees. Located at 56 Seventh Avenue South for the last several decades, this Village fixture and its owner embody what is truly special about our neighborhood.

Philip Mortillaro, Sr. stands in the doorway of the business he founded over three decades ago. The one-ton safes on either side are called Patience and Fortitude, like the lions at the New York Public Library.

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Watercolor Magic in the Village, thanks to Kazuya Morimoto

Street artists lend a special charm to a city. The dedication to walk about with an easel, large or small, to paint a scene can imbue any street corner with a greater sense of importance.  We are fortunate to have in our neighborhood an exquisite artist of the highest caliber painting love letters to the Village – Kazuya Morimoto.

Artist Kazuya Morimoto at work.

Artist Kazuya Morimoto was born and raised in Japan and studied at the Art Factory Institution Of Art with Makoto Arimichi in Japan. Shortly after graduation, Kazuya moved to New York City to study painting at the Art Students League. Since 2000, his work has also included abstract painting. He was awarded several grants and scholarships, and has had exhibitions and public art displayed in New York, Chicago, and Washington DC.

Original art at

Black ink drawings are his staple since his move to New York. He traveled to Europe in 2006, and since then he has started to sketch street scenes more intensively and begun to use watercolor which naturally brought more hues into his artwork.  He still goes back to Europe every summer for independent sketch travel.


Nowadays Kazuya Morimoto has been devoting most of his time to painting the streets of New York City, especially  Greenwich Village and the West Village neighborhoods shaped by historic preservation efforts. He has been archiving old shopfronts and capturing the moments of local scenes before they change and lose their current quality. He attends local art events and helps to save and revitalize the uniqueness of local scenes.

Hudson & Bethune Street,

We see him here and there in some of the quaintest parts of the Village, where he lives, and finally had a chance to interview him. Why is he so fond of painting here?  “Greenwich Village is very beautiful visually.  It is a relaxed area, less crazy compared to the rest of the city.  I like to meet people and I like to paint something old.” And what are some of his favorites are to sit and paint?  “That is hard to say, things are always changing each season. I like West 4th Street, with local people it is a real neighborhood.  And Bleecker Street too, it is more busy and touristy. Hudson Street is another favorite.”  Explore his work online and perhaps you will come across his rendition of your favorite local scene.

Jane Street

Kazuya is an amazing painter but not a teacher, though he has on occasion offered guidance to individual artists. “Art cannot be taught, it is an expression.  I didn’t learn it all in school.  I break all the rules, that is why my paintings are a little different.”  Most recently he was at the Perry Street block fair.  When you see him and his work in the area, stop and say hi, and see if you might procure a piece or two or three.  If you do not see him in the neighborhood, you can check out his work at his website here and on Instagram here; his handle is @kazuyamorimoto.

Cafe Cluny W4th& W12thSt and Bike for Peace.

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Spring House Tour Benefit Surprises and Delights

Greek Revival Style


The 20th Annual Spring House Tour Benefit on May 6th, 2018 featured an array of homes unlike any others in the tour’s twenty year history.  Tour goers and volunteers alike were delighted by the variety and depth of interest in each and every dwelling.  Today we have a round up of those gorgeous homes. Read the rest of this entry »

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Beyond the Village and Back – Jacob Riis Park’s Art Deco Bathhouse

With its parallel octagonal towers rising above the beach, the sprawling Art Deco bathhouse complex at Jacob Riis Park in the Rockaways has, since opening in 1932, served as a monument to Art Deco design, grand public works, and popular beach-time fun. At GVSHP, we remember Jacob Riis’s significance as a documenter of our neighborhoods’ squalid living conditions and cemeteries, bringing needed attention and assistance to those who needed it most. Now, Beyond the Village and Back is heading to the beach, to explore this extraordinary beachfront building in the public park that bears Riis’s name.

A view of the Jacob Riis Park Beach Bathhouse and bathers in 1969. Credit William E. Sauro

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