"Two Dreams of Greenwich Village,"
November-December 1997, pp. 19-21.
Two Dreams of Greenwich Village
I was just seventeen when I moved to Washington Square on the bright Labor Day Weekend of 1955. The big yellow cab flew along the nearly empty streets, down from the Barbizon Hotel for Women and through the driveways of Grand Central Station. I was in the back with one arm around my new suitcase full of plaid Bermuda shorts and button-down shirts, my music, and my pencils and sketchbooks from the old School of the Art Institute of Chicago. This land is your land, This land is my land...
Speeding down Fourth Avenue on that sunny day, I dreamed of a life in art. I had visited my friend Willa from summer boarding school on Ninth Street in the Village, so I did know about folk music, Pete Seeger and the Weavers. I knew that we could sit on the fountain rim in Washington Square Park with our friends in the warm evenings, playing the guitar and singing folk songs. But I had yet to learn that for a hundred years and more writers had lived in Greenwich Village: Melville, Poe, Mark Twain, Henry James, Walt Whitman. I had never heard of the Actors Studio, the Cedar Bar, Steve McQueen or Joe Papp, or any of the Village coffeehouses, or The Village Voice.
As the cab stopped in front of the Judson, the old yellow brick hotel on Washington Square South . . . .
We will be adding the rest of this piece soon.