Hispanic Heritage Month: Celebrating Nuyorican Poets Cafe

“For the poor New York Puerto Rican, there are three survival possibilities,” the poet Miguel Algarin wrote in 1975.

“The first is to labor for money and exist in eternal debt.

“The second is to refuse to trade hours for dollars and to live by your will and ‘hustle.’

“The third possibility is to create alternative behavioral habits.”

No celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month in our neighborhood would be complete without highlighting the legendary Nuyorican Poets Café on East 3rd Street.

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How well do you know the Village?

GVSHP partnered with the Village Alliance and Urban Archive to host a scavenger hunt in the Village on September 15, 2018. One team got all 30 questions right – can you match their knowledge of the Village? We’ll give you the first one free- it’s the meeting spot of the Scavenger Hunt at Washington Mews. Now you just have to figure out the other twenty-nine!

Today we give you just a few clues – download the free Urban Archive App and access all 30 clues here. The password is 123. All images below are from the GVSHP Image Archive. If you enjoy this one, try the one we did last year focusing on the East Village. This one was a bit harder, no team answered them all; twenty-six out of thirty was the highest score.

Clue #1: Rent this former carriage house for a cheap 30k per month. One parking spot included!

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NYCityMap: The Right Tool, With the Wrong Dates

New York City publishes a very useful map-based website with one very big flaw. NYCityMap offers users a tremendous amount of information on all properties in New York City. Some of the information that may be seen for each property includes zoning, owner, block and lot, lot size and lot frontage. Overlays may be added identifying landmarks, city service centers, and capital projects, to name a few.

But for all of the information that may be gained from this map, where this tool falls short is in its accuracy of identifying many of the buildings’ construction dates.

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Business of the Month — Casa Magazines, 22 Eighth 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.

The corner newspaper stand and candy store used to be ubiquitous.  Now with all the chain stores and the decline of print media, it’s often a challenge to even find one in some parts of the city.  That is why the sharply corned building at the corner of West 12th Street and 8th Avenue is so special.   It is the home of Casa Magazines, owned by Mohammed Ahmed, dubbed the”Last King of Print” by the New York Times. Opened in 1995, this small but vibrant news store not only features an unparalleled selection of magazines from around the world, but also has a wonderful community vibe. In this time of diminishing print, the store has remained a local fixture, and is our September Business of the Month. Read the rest of this entry »

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My Favorite Things: Village Icon Tom Fontana!

Tom Fontana in the library

“Tom Fontana does not own or use a computer.  He writes his scripts in longhand on yellow legal pads. Emails for Tom are sent to his office where a hard copy is prepared for him.”

This is a notice from Tom’s webmaster at tomfontana.com and I lead with this information because, in this day and age, I just find it so refreshing!  Tom is a writer’s writer and that he does not own or use a computer is fascinating.

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Remembering the 344th Lost Firefighter, and Fire Patrol House #2

The number “343” is indelibly linked with September 11, 2001 — the official number of firefighters killed on 9/11. However, a 344th New York City firefighter was killed at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. His name was Keith Roma, and he was a 27-year old Staten Island firefighter who worked for the New York Fire Patrol #2 at 84 West 3rd Street in Greenwich Village. Roma worked for the Fire Patrol for six years, following in the footsteps of his father, Arnold Roma, who worked for the same unit from 1971 to 1973. But Roma is not officially included in the final somber tally of 343 because the New York Fire Patrol is not part of the FDNY.

Keith Roma of Fire Patrol #2 at 84 West 3rd Street, was a part of the community for six years before he was killed in 9/11.

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Beyond the Village and Back: Assyrian Revival on West 30th Street

In 2001, the Landmarks Preservation Commission designated 130 West 30th Street as a Landmark. Designed by the preeminent architect Cass Gilbert in 1927-28, the building was built to accommodate offices, showrooms and manufacturing space for the fur industry. If you’re walking down 30th Street, there are still some furriers left, but not at this building. As you walk by, take time to notice “the bold, abstracted terra-cotta designs… based on traditional Assyrian hunting scenes and mythical guardian figures… truly unusual motifs” as per the LPC’s designation report.  Its connection to the Village?  Read on to learn more, but it involves a very special tenant, rare as Assyrian hunting scenes on 30th Street, and one which is particularly relevant this time of year.

Assyrian terra cotta motifs banded around 130 W 30th St, from the LPC designation report

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When NYC’s Last Surviving Horse Auction Mart, and Frank Stella’s Former Studio, Were Almost Demolished

Did you know that 128 East 13th Street is believed to be the last surviving horse and carriage auction mart building in New York City? It was threatened with demolition until GVSHP got the Landmark Preservation Commission to hold an emergency hearing on landmarking the building on September 7, 2006, which started the long path toward designation of the building as an official New York City Landmark.

c. 1910 (courtesy Museum of the City of New York)

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A Tradition of Progressive Education

Our neighborhood is rife with educational institutions and schools which have blazed trails and tread new ground.  Today we will look at two schools which have benefited the younger members of our neighborhood for a century, and continue to this day their original missions of progressive education.

The City and Country School and the Little Red School House

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Many Layers of History at 9th Street and 5th Avenue

This post is part of a series about Village intersections that correspond to the date.

September is here and a new month means a new corresponding Village intersection!  Ninth Street and Fifth Avenue is now the site of several large apartment buildings, but did you know it was once the location of the famous Brevoort Mansion, as well as a one-time home of Mark Twain? In honor of today’s date, we are taking a look at these two gone-but-not-forgotten buildings. Read the rest of this entry »

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