The Village Fantasy

June 9, 2009 § 33 Comments

The one on the…er…West.

Many would say that although it might still make for quite a fantasy, it’s no longer the village it used to be.

The bohemians are gone, and that charade in designer care-free clothes is not true bohemian garb. Surely you can tell the difference.

It’s not just the Beatniks, the Bohemians or the Weathermen that etched the Village’s history for ever. There were all sorts of struggling and raring artists teeming in this part of the city until the 1960s and 70s…on their way in, and it seemed at the time, never on their way out. There was something in the air, in the spirit of this place that even today, writers and artists get all misty with nostalgia reminiscing about it.

Yeah, it’s not the same Village any more. Expensive housing means no place for the starving artist. Simple math, really. The city’s rich (the new and the old), the Wall Street bankers and NYU students make up for most of the current residents.

Well, it’s not the 1960s anymore either. Counter-cultures and its harbingers are always on the move, never stationary, and therefore, never stagnant (think of the new Art hubs in Brooklyn!).

And while the rebellious and the bold do not seem to live here anymore, they still frequent the place. Or more aptly, they still hang out here to workout their creative nerves. It would be unfair to deny that the undercurrents of creative culture are still alive here and sprinting. Explore it to believe it.

When I got down to scavenging my own Village Fantasy this week, despite having been there many times, I was quite overwhelmed. There is so much to be captured and experienced in this oddly spaced place with careening streets, tree lined blocks, old townhouses, sidewalk art shows and paraphernalia, intriguing characters, chess players, parks, shops, cafes and restaurants. It’s a city unto itself! And I said to myself: it might take me a lifetime to complete this journey! :)

Instead, for your benefit, I will try to keep it brief and sharp, bringing you images that truly captivated & inspired me. For those who are not into profundity, I will bring you the juiciest slices of this Village life. The ones that just stopped me in my tracks and I went, ‘Wait a minute! That is just so…” (choose your own favorite adjective here).

Right, I will not tarry any longer. No more copy to read (grant this starved writer a few more words, will you?).

What follows in this post is a prologue to a forthcoming series on a certain secret pleasure of mine called the Greenwich Village.

I am loving it already. I hope you will enjoy walking with me too.

The Architecture- Long standing since the early 1900s (and earlier)

Nikon D90 VR 18-105mm 24mm ISO200 1/30s F/16

Nikon D90 VR 18-105mm 21mm ISO200 1/30s F/16

Nikon D90 VR 18-105mm 38mm ISO200 1/15s F/14

Nikon D90 VR 18-105mm 18mm ISO200 1/50s F/11

The Mundane Indulgences

Nikon D90 VR 18-105mm 62mm ISO200 1/200s F/8

Nikon D90 VR 18-105mm 18mm ISO200 1/30s F/6.3

Nikon D90 VR 18-105mm 18mm ISO200 1/60s F/8

Nikon D90 VR 18-105mm 70mm ISO200 1/160s F/9

Nikon D90 VR 18-105mm 21mm ISO200 1/20s F/4

The Sidewalk Interests

Nikon D90 VR 18-105mm 40mm ISO200 1/30s F/10

Nikon D90 VR 18-105mm 18mm ISO200 1/100s F/11

Nikon D90 VR 18-105mm 18mm ISO200 1/100s F/11

Nikon D90 VR 18-105mm 66mm ISO200 1/125s F/10

The Eclectic Stores

Nikon D90 VR 18-105mm 18mm ISO200 1/10s F/4

Nikon D90 VR 18-105mm 18mm ISO200 1/10s F/4

Nikon D90 VR18-105mm 66mm 1/160s F/6.3

Nikon D90 VR18-105mm 52mm 1/100s F/5

And the people! The yuppies, the oddballs, the old and the young

Nikon D90 VR18-105mm 66mm 1/40s F/20

Nikon D90 VR18-105mm 18mm 1/125s F/10

Nikon D90 VR18-105mm 18mm 1/50s F/4.5

Nikon D90 VR18-105mm 105mm 1/25s F/25

Nikon D90 VR18-105mm 105mm 1/20s F/5.6

So what would you fancy indulging in, for the next post? Lets just call it the Village Fantasy- Chapter 1.

(Oh, I will think of a better title!)

A photo-book of the people, the store fronts & windows, quaint restaurants, side-walk glances, numerous parks or buildings and architecture? I am here and I am listening. And I can’t wait!


– The Juicer at work

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§ 33 Responses to The Village Fantasy

  • Tom Hardin says:

    I loved it !! The heavy metal sign “rag & son” did it for me . The speed of your shutter, opened my eyes still people talking , yet blurry people hauling it.

    I did not know you wrote ….continue it . What next?

    TTYL thoroughly enjoyed,

    PS Are you from England?

  • Tom Hardin says:

    sorry rag & bone

    • The Juicer says:

      Tom- delighted to have moved you! That metal signage stopped me in my tracks too! :)
      Oh I love writing! And photography inspires the writer in me to get out there and take a sweet little chance.
      To capture and freeze in time: the people still talking, the speed of my shutter, blurry people hauling…all this and much much more. From photography to writing, it’s a seamless experience for me. And you have put it across so beautifully.

      P.S. Nope I am not from England (funny you are the second reader of this blog who asked that)…I am originally from India. I guess the British Education System (India being an ex-colony) still runs deep in the nooks and crannies there. And then resurfaces in little fits and starts of phrases :)

  • Surfaraz says:

    A very unique description of the Village… I loved the eclectic store…I am gonna check out this place for sure…!!

    • The Juicer says:

      Thank you Surfaraz!
      I will be delving deeper in this unique world on my upcoming posts! I loved that store too! Amazing collection of musical instruments from all over the world. It’s on Christopher Street, just west of 6th Avenue. Quite a treat in store for you there:)

  • Nishank says:

    And now blatant truth…am super super envious of your use of photography to tell ur story…the fact that u just step out and take pictures of whatever u see and find interesting! Its awesome that u r doing a photo blog!

    ps. i loooved the 2nd shot (the one with a closeup on the building and the traffic lights)

    • The Juicer says:

      Nishank- Welcome back!
      I am translating envy to appreciation. Ahem :)
      So glad you love the photographic aspect of this blog, it is an integral part of what I do and what inspires me!
      The 2nd image- that’s a close up of beautiful building on Hudson St & 10th Street.
      I will be doing a post focused on the Village architecture very soon!

  • EDGD says:

    Great project… Love seeing the movement and transitions of the ever-changing city. Looking forward to new posts!

  • Thanks for sharing your walk. I really enjoyed soaking it all in.

    • The Juicer says:

      Thanks Sharon…and welcome to BigAppleJuice!
      (A little trivia- my first post when the sun actually shines:) and its back to stormy weather here in NYC!)
      Dig the fact that you shared this walk with me. Will keep you coming back for more! :)

  • Amit says:

    Well I was unaware of this part of NY..building with staircases looks amusing to r u from england ?? but r u making someone in england.. fan of your serene writing . ..then YES :)

  • Satyam says:

    I love the way that every post of yours captures the very essence of your subject in a very surreal fashion- how many aces do you have up your sleeve? The pictures are beautiful and your writing is very interesting due to its uniqueness. The frequency of new posts is excellent considering the effort one needs to put in to achieve the end product. I must admit that you have a natural talent for capturing the sublime in the ordinary – an oxymoron I would not even attempt to expound upon. Needless to say, The (Big) Apple looks very fresh when viewed through your lens.

    • The Juicer says:

      You do have a way with words :)
      I am so gratified that you find my work engaging and unique. Thank you for the many compliments! We will surely be exploring a lot more of the Big Apple together!

  • Maxsimus says:

    Fun Photography… that is th spirit and great gear :-)

    Are U on FLICKR.. if not you should and it’s FREE

    Keep posting and snapping with that natural look on things.. ;-)

    • The Juicer says:


      Thanks, the photography is definitely on the fun side. I enjoy it!
      The writing, runs deep in my head, and shakes me up.
      I am on flickr. I will look out for you!

  • Abdullah Khan says:

    I am pleasantly surprised. Great photos and Great Camera work.
    You write very efficiently & effectively with camera.

  • saundra says:

    AWESOME pictures!!!

  • bhavna says:

    Love Love Love it!

  • B.Brill MUA says:

    Beautiful Photography… love your writing.

  • rubelphotography says:

    Well, I’ve never been to NY, always wanted to get there one day. Your pictures showed me the “everyday” places with everyday people. Makes me want to pack up my camera and catch a flight. I like how you describe the events along with your pictures. Nice shots!

    • The Juicer says:

      Rubel- such lovely comments! Yes, that’s what I have been capturing here, frames from everyday life. Some pics are just fun, some tagged in my head with random thoughts:)
      Do contact me when you visit NYC & keep in touch!

  • um ‘starbuck’ NEVER such a chain twenty plus years ago…
    –upscale ‘additions’ more or less ‘sucks’–for lack of a tackful more insulting word..
    –thanks for the view–sad as it is with the likes of joggers and shiny silver bug mobiles…

    • The Juicer says:

      And what kind of a view would you rather have 47whitebuffalo? :)
      Would you be interested in sharing more, more freely?

      • Hey, you’re doing just fine. The past is ‘gone’ just the places remain. I’ll be back for more of your wares. grins.

        • The Juicer says:

          I figured that’s what you meant…but wanted to hear more. I agree, although the places remain, they do not reverberate with the same beat. Were you here in the 60’s or the 70’s? I was prodding on those lines:)

          • oh no, I wish. just the early 80s for a visit on dark gloomy days where homeless people seemed to be everywhere. A friend lived there then. He would have many memories. sorry to disappoint your expectations. Things rest in the corners.

            • The Juicer says:

              The 80s…days of grunge. I think I would’ve fitted in snugly.
              But I secretly wish I was around (alive!) in the 60s and living in the Village. The waves of music, journalism, art, literature would have irked me into a tumultuous sort of satisfaction. And now, the lovely old buildings are all I can lust after.
              Aside, it is interesting to study the yuppie contrast with this architectural backdrop, the remnants. Looking at how neighborhoods, cities and culture changes over time, is quite fascinating.

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