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)
The Mundane Indulgences
The Sidewalk Interests
The Eclectic Stores
And the people! The yuppies, the oddballs, the old and the young
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