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Exploring the Original West Village

Exploring the Original West Village

by Alfred Pommer, Eleanor Winters


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A literary and pictorial stroll through the charming and history-filled streets of New York's West Village reveals the history and little known tales of this fascinating and picturesque neighborhood.

Greenwich Village is a tourist's dream and a favorite weekend destination for New Yorkers. A part of Manhattan Island that holds its own amid the noise and confusion of the twenty-first century, it still retains much of the character of the old farming community that was part of the original settlement of Manhattan. The West Village, the northwest section of the neighborhood, is bounded by the Hudson River on the west and Greenwich Avenue on the east and is where it all began. Famous people such as Sinclair Lewis, Fiorello LaGuardia, William "Bill the Butcher" Poole, Frank Serpico, James Baldwin and Jackson Pollock, among dozens of others, called this neighborhood home. Stroll down the back streets and along the waterfront and peer behind the facades of these historic structures to discover its fascinating history, hidden secrets and little-known tales.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781609491512
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing SC
Publication date: 06/27/2011
Series: History & Guide
Pages: 128
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.31(d)

About the Author

Alfred Pommer of New York City is a self employed licensed New York City guide. He has been giving private and publicly scheduled neighborhood walking tours for groups or individuals in Manhattan's many diverse neighborhoods for over twenty years. During that time, Alfred has been constantly researching and improving each tour. He retired in 1991 after twenty-five years' service with the New York City Parks Department. During that time, he attended college part time, eventually graduating with a degree in labor studies. Alfred has had several articles about the history of various locations, streets and neighborhoods in Manhattan published by 10003 Magazine.

A native of Brooklyn, New York, Eleanor Winters has been exploring New York City on foot for several decades. A commercial and fine artist specializing in calligraphy, she has written five books for calligraphers, all of which are currently in print: Mastering Copperplate Calligraphy (3rd ed., Dover Publications, 2001), Calligraphy in Ten Easy Lessons with Laurie Lico (2nd ed., Dover Publications, 2003), Calligraphy for Kids (Sterling Publishing, 2004), 1-2-3 Calligraphy (Sterling Publishing, 2006) and Italic and Copperplate Calligraphy: The Basics and Beyond (Dover Publications, 2011). She also served as editor of The Calligrapher's Engagement Calendar from 1979 to 2005. Eleanor lives half the year in Brooklyn and half in Paris and teaches calligraphy to beginners as well as professionals in Europe and the United States. She exhibits her artwork widely and is represented by the Franklin 54 Gallery + Projects in Manhattan. Eleanor has a master's of art from New York University.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 9

Introduction 11

1 Development of Greenwich Village: A Little Background 15

2 Christopher Street, the Ninth Avenue El and the Story of William "Bill the Butcher" Poole 20

3 Christopher Street Continued: The Fighting Marine, the Stonewall Inn, Lucille Lortel and the Theater de Lys 29

4 Weehawken Street (the Shortest Street in Manhattan), Newgate Prison and the Empire Brewery 40

5 West Tenth and Charles Streets: Pig Alley, The Runaway Bunny and Diane Arbus 50

6 Onward Down Charles Street: Writers, Musicians and a Future Mayor 61

7 Perry Street: Frank Serpico, Jane Jacobs, Sir Peter Warren and Bleecker Gardens 68

8 Up and Down West Eleventh Street: The White Horse Tavern, a Palazzo and Many Writers and Poets 78

9 Busy Bank Street 88

10 West Street: Superior Ink and Herman Melville, Gansevoort Market, the Meatpacking District and the Death Avenue Cowboy 99

11 Up on the High Line, Down on Horatio Street: Odets, Baldwin, Pollock and the Hudson Dusters 108

12 Jane Street and Back to Bank Street: Alexander Hamilton and Max Eastman, Auntie Mame and Abingdon Square 117

About the Authors 127

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