Today is the first day of Christmas, so you should, by rights be looking at a partridge in a pear tree, but I am honoring the season by rerunning my post from last year. There is sad note to this, though. Our brilliant and beloved Partners in Crime is no more. The Greenwich Village mystery bookstore succumbed to the changing neighborhood and book selling milieu last September. But here it is again In Memorium. GREAT good wishes for a wonderful 2013!
“City Sidewalks, busy sidewalks, dressed in holiday style,
In the air there’s a spirit of Christmas!” ♫
Our neighborhood is decked out for Christmas. We’ve been around photographing how lovely it looks at this time of year.
In human history, the Village began as a camping site for the Carnarsee Indians. They fished in a local stream they called Manetta or “devil water.” (A lot of devil water is still being served up in local watering holes.)
The Village is world famous for many reasons, including its literary history. A remarkable number of writers have lived and worked here. The Wikipedia entry on our neighborhood mentions:
Robert Louis Stevenson, Mark Twain, Walt Whitman, Anaïs Nin, Thomas Wolf, Robert Lowell, Horton Foote, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs, James Baldwin, Truman Capote, Marianne Moore, Maya Angelou, and Dylan Thomas.
The brilliant Willa Cather is not included, but she was also one ours. She first lived at 82 Washington Place and later at 35 Fifth Avenue. I used to live down the block from her house at 5 Bank Street. I would imagine that many, many others haven’t made the list.
Edna St. Vincent Millay was actually named after our local hospital. While her mother was pregnant for her, her older brother, then twelve years old, became dangerously ill. After the nursing Sisters of St. Vincent’s saved the boy’s life, the grateful mother named her new baby Edna St. Vincent.
Though today, the Village townhouses are often owned by hedge fund managers and big time lawyers, there are still enough rent stabilized apartments and tenement flats to keep the Village’s diversity intact, at least for the nonce. The charm endures thanks to historic architecture, lovely neighborhood pubs and restaurants, and independent bookstores. And writers. Lots and lots of writers. Including yours truly, who wishes you a beautiful Christmas Day.