A Fabulous Day In The West Village


I can't help it, but anytime I'm in Greenwich Village in New York City, particularly the West Village, I immediately think of the Village People.

And why is that do you ask?

Well, because it was in the late 70's that the Village People (whose name refers to Greenwich Village) became an overnight success; particularly with the gay community. And particularly those in the gay community who were into disco music and disco nightclubs.

Which, "I" was most definitely into both of those things. I did all of my heavy clubbing during the 70's and 80's.

And OMG...did I ever PARTY! Sometimes every single night of the week!

Yup...I was (and still am) a lover of disco music. In fact, I enjoy listening to disco whenever I go on my long walks because it keeps me motivated and pumped to walk at a brisk pace. Sometimes I'll even catch myself singing (out loud) without ever realizing I'm doing it because I have my headphones on. LOL!

Anyway...

One day last week I took a trip into New York City and decided to spend most of my time in the West Village. I hadn't been to that neighborhood in years, so I was excited to revisit my old stomping ground. Before I went, I google mapped various locations (old and new) so that once I got there I could use my smartphone to find them.

As I've mentioned before, regardless of the years that I lived in NYC, plus the years I've spent going back on trips, it never ceases to amaze me how I always stumble upon areas of the city I never knew existed. Therefore, it's always an adventure.

I took A LOT of photographs last week, so this post is heavy with images and chit-chat.

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Greenwich Village wouldn't be Greenwich Village without visiting Village Cigars on Christopher Street because it is literally a New York City landmark.

Here is a photo of what it looked like in the 1970's...


Here is what it looks like today...


For those of you who have been reading my blog for awhile may recall a post I published back in 2016, in which I shared about attending The American Academy of Dramatic Arts for acting. Well, I also attended another acting school, HB Studio, on Bank Street in Greenwich Village. I took classes there for two years and really enjoyed it. So, while I was in the area, I decided to revisit.

And WOW...what a delight it was to walk down this street; look to my left; and spot it...


HB Studio was founded by Viennese actor/director Herbert Berghof in 1945.

What I found extremely valuable about attending this school was that the teachers were actually working actors in theater and film. There was a wonderful down-to-earth quality that you felt at this school. It wasn't at all pretentious, considering that a great many well-known actors are on its graduating roster.  

This is the door that I and fellow-acting students would walk through whenever we attended class. Seeing it again was like remembering as if it were yesterday...


One of the things I adore about the West Village (and all of Greenwich Village) is how it's retained much of its original physical charm. Also, you don't see a ton of homogenized businesses. Much of the Village is made up of privately owned businesses that give it a "homey one-of-a-kind" feel.

Here are a few...



After watching a YouTube video in which the vlogger suggested trying, Partners, because the coffee, the food, and the atmosphere were great, I decided to give it a go. They were right...it was awesome! I would have taken photos of the inside but it was crowded that day, so there were no available tables. However the weather was utterly gorgeous, so I sat outside on one of the benches and savored the day...


In the photo below, notice the little dog sitting on the gentleman's shoulder...





Isn't this a cool-looking garden bar?...


I love the way the sunlight illuminated this building, so I had to stop and take a picture...


Pink is one of my favorite colors, so I had to stop and take a picture of this apartment house...


New York is a very dog-friendly city. You see dogs everywhere...


And speaking of dogs, I spotted this dog-walker crossing 10th Street in the Village.
How cute is this...


I leave you with one final photograph of a picture I saw by an artist who was selling his work on the street, which reminded me of why I love this city so much.

Because no other city expresses itself quite like New York...


Wishing you a faaaaaaaabulous week, y'all!
X

24 comments

  1. http://ladyfi.wordpress.comFebruary 11, 2020

    What a great part of the city! Love that pink building. And how great for you to have a lovely trip down memory lane! Thanks for sharing it with us.

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  2. One man and his dogs .. how lovely is that! I found this very interesting, Ron, and if I was there I would insist on visiting the Sevilla Restaurant.

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  3. Hey there, Fiona!

    Isn't that pink building faaaaaaabulous? The minute I spotted it, I knew I had to snap a photo.

    I had such a great time last week in my favorite city. And anytime I visit, it always feels like an adventure.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a grrrrreat week!
    X

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  4. Valerie, I was so lucky to get that photograph of the man and his dog because I was simply taking a picture of the two people sitting outside the restaurant, when he walked out the door and SNAP!....I got the shot.

    I agree....doesn't the Sevilla Restaurant look so inviting? It looks like something you would see in a European city. If you click on the photograph, I added a link that will take you to the Sevilla Restaurant website.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, dear friend. Have a lovely week!
    X

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  5. I love it when you post those before and after shots. It's so interesting to see what has changed and what has remained the same. And how fabulous to see that door again at HB Studio for you. I'm sure it felt like just yesterday AND a lifetime ago. I love the beauty of all those shops and restaurants. You don't get that in the suburbs. Hope you have a great week!

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  6. Ron, as one of your other readers expressed, I love when you post before and after shots. LOVE the pink apartment building!!!! I also love the dog walker. OMG...how adorable! You always make me miss my city when you post things like this. You're one of New York's GREATEST advocates!

    I really enjoyed seeing the pics of the acting studio you attended. I bet it was like experiencing a flashback. The picture of the Village People made me smile because although I wasn't even born in the 70's, I love disco!

    What a fun post, Ron! Have a wonderful week! xo

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  7. I love how Village Cigars looks basically unchanged, though I'm curious whether they still sell clocks and paperbacks. At least they didn't change their name to Village Vape in a reflection of the times!

    I think I'd like Greenwich Village. It's pretty much the creative epicenter of NYC, right? I'm curious if you are a fan of the Pet Shop Boys. They're one of my faves and they do an excellent cover of the Village People's "Go West."

    Great post, as always!

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  8. Aw...thank you :) I really enjoy doing the research in finding before and after shots because I LOVE history. And you're right, it's so interesting to see what has changed and what remained the same. What's really cool about the West Village is that other than it's gotten much cleaner since the 70's, it's remained structurally the same.

    Yes, it did seem just like yesterday AND a lifetime ago. Isn't is something how when you're experiencing a time it seems to move slowly. Yet, looking back...it seems like it flew by!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a grrrrrreat week!
    X

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  9. Hola Denise!

    When I spotted that PINK apartment house, I grabbed my camera and shot about three pictures. Isn't it the color faaaaaaaaaabulous! I know what you mean because even though I visit NYC frequently, I still miss it when I leave and can't wait to go back!

    "The picture of the Village People made me smile because although I wasn't even born in the 70's, I love disco!"

    HA! I know a lot of people who weren't born in the 70's and LOVE disco as well. In fact, I work with a young gal who loves listening to not only disco, but all of the old 70's music. I always kid her and tell her she's a "old soul."

    Thanks so much for stopping by, girl. Have a most excellent week!

    X

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  10. "At least they didn't change their name to Village Vape in a reflection of the times!"

    HAHAHHAHAHA! OMG Mark, that was freaking hilarious! And you're right...everything today has changed to VAPING. Actually though, "Village Vape" sounds very cool!

    Yes, you're right....the Village is pretty much the creative epicenter of NYC. It's very
    bohemian and earthy.

    And OMG.....YES!.......I LOVE the Pet Shop Boys! in fact, I still have one of their CD's that I got in 80's. I love their sound!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a fantastic week!

    X to you and Tara

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  11. Ron, this is so interesting! I've never been to Greenwich Village, but the very first website I created was for our local YMCA -- and yep, we had "YMCA" as the background music, ha!! I kid you not!


    Love all these little dogs! I find it so cool that the dogs seem so at-home in the middle of such a big city. Dallas is spoiled, thinking only the rural areas are habitats for pooches.


    You crack me up with your singing out loud on the street. Here, somebody would probably want to drop a net over your head and haul you off to the drunk-tank! But you're right, there's something so uplifting about disco music. And it's wonderful to do aerobics to!


    Enjoy your week -- thanks for sharing "your" city with us! xx

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  12. "and yep, we had "YMCA" as the background music, ha!! I kid you not!"

    OMG Debbie...that is HILARIOUS!!! And how clever of you to have that song as background music!!!!

    "! I find it so cool that the dogs seem so at-home in the middle of such a big city."

    I know, it's so impressive to see how adaptable they are to all the noise, movement, and sensory overload of a city like NY. But they just walk around like the they own the place. LOL!

    "Here, somebody would probably want to drop a net over your head and haul you off to the drunk-tank! "

    HA! And that's why I love living in a city because they're a totally different animal. Cities are a bit on the 'weird' side. And that's why I love them. Because I'm definitely weird!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a great rest of your week!
    X

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  13. Oh Ron, what a fun post! Your captures of the West Village are wonderful! Whenever I've gone to New York, the Village is an area I always tried to visit because I really like the vibe there. I feel the same about Soho. I'm sure it felt very "deja vu" when you saw HB Studio. I think it's fascinating that you were acting at one time in your life. I would love to hear more about your experiences. Do you ever miss it or feel like you would go back to it?

    Love that last photo from the artist! LOL!

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  14. Hey there Candice!

    Thank you :) I hadn't been back to the West Village in years, so it was such a delight to hang out all day. I too like the vibe there (and SoHo as well). Both of them have a BOHEMIAN feel.

    It was so cool seeing HB again. I attended that school waaaaay back in 1975, so it was awesome to see it again. Oddly enough, the exterior hasn't changed since then. The interior is actually much bigger than you would think, looking at it from the outside. It's got mult-levels (including a basement), and it goes back in depth.

    I do miss acting at times, but not enough for me to want to go back professionally. I do consider to community theater, however, there is not much here in Philly.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a great rest of your week!
    X

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  15. Oh, Ron, I felt like I just took a ride on a time machine! The Village People! Disco! The Village! Little Pink Houses!! What a blast!

    I swear, nobody photographs New York the way you do. You have a gift for finding the heart and soul that lie beneath the cursing and the concrete.

    I loved reading about your disco days and your experiences at HB Studio. What a crazy club kid you must've been! For some reason, I found myself thinking about the PBS production of "Tales of the City." Even though it's about San Francisco, it does capture that wild disco era.

    Next time you come to New York, we'll get some stogies at Village Cigars, pet all the nice doggies, and have a fabulous dinner at Sevilla Restaurant!

    It's be so fucking nice!

    Take care, buddy!

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  16. Hey there Rob!

    Being a native New Yorker, I KNEW you'd identify with this post. I adore the Village (then AND now) because outside of it being cleaner, it pretty much has stayed the same as far as its structure and "vibe."

    " You have a gift for finding the heart and soul that lie beneath the cursing and the concrete."

    Ha! Thank you! I always say that I should have been born in New York because it's a city that completely understand and feel at home. I love that city unconditionally.

    I see New York City as my "spirit animal,"

    "I found myself thinking about the PBS production of "Tales of the City." Even though it's about San Francisco, it does capture that wild disco era."

    OMG....I cannot believe you mentioned "Tales of the City" because I own the VHS collection of all three tapes. I also read the books, which the movie is based from, written by Armistead Maupin. One of my Florida friends knew Armistead Maupin, and would visit him in San Francisco.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, buddy. Have a great rest of your week!

    X

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  17. Ron, forgot to mention in my first comment about the last photograph by the street artist. You're right, It's SO New York!

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  18. Ron, you should be "the" official tour guide for New York because not only do your know so much about that city, but you also make everything you share sound so interesting. Just judging by your photos (which are FANTASTIC, by the way), I know the West Village would be an area that I would love because you can feel the how special it is! fascinating to hear about the acting school you attended. What a cool looking street! And I love the name, Bank Street.

    Both my girlfriend and I laughed when we saw that final photo. I bet I would love New York!

    Great post, dude!

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  19. Hiya Matt!

    OMG...I would LOVE to be a tour guide for NYC! I have always found that city to be so utterly fascinating because for as long as I've lived (and visited) there, I keep experiencing new and different areas. It's such a massive city, yet at the same time...it feels very intimate and personal. It's a city that one others LOVES (like me) or finds it too overwhelming.

    Being artistic, I know you would love the Village because it's very bohemian and artsy. I think your girlfriend would love it too. It's an area that reeks of creativity.

    Isn't that last photo brilliant? I almost bought it!

    Always so great to see you, my friend. Have a great rest of your week!
    X

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  20. You can't stop the music! Seriously, what's not to like about the Village People?

    I've only been to the Village once, and loved it. For years I had a t-shirt from a bar there "on the corner of Walk and Don't Walk." I wore it until it was in threads.

    What a nice day of reminiscing for you!

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  21. HA! OMG...yes!...not only do I remember that song, but also the movie with Valerie Perrine and Steve Guttenberg!

    "For years I had a t-shirt from a bar there "on the corner of Walk and Don't Walk." I wore it until it was in threads."

    Oh what a great memory! And how faaaaaaabulous!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. And welcome back! You were missed.

    X

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  22. Happy you had a nice trip down memory lane. I love the composition of the Love Shack photo. And you do a great job of capturing the way light plays off the buildings. I giggles at the dog walker because her dog in more observant than she is with her nose in her phone! I think I'd love to spend the afternoon at Sevilla Restaurant. Too bad they don't have outdoor seating. It's would be a perfect place to sip wine and people watch. I've always thought of Greenwich Village as the epitome of bohemian culture. I'm sure photos don't do it justice. Hope you are having a great week. X

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  23. Thank you, Lisa :) Isn't that store so charming? It looks like it should be on a street in London.

    "I giggles at the dog walker because her dog in more observant than she is with her nose in her phone! "

    HA! I know, I thought the same exact thing! And it's funny because when I turned the corner and spotted the dog, he/she looked over at me and I quickly snapped the picture. I only took one shot and was so happy that it turned out. Isn't that dog such cutie?

    Most of the restaurants in NYC, especially in the Village and SoHo do have outdoor seating, however, not all through the winter months. It just so happened that the day I went there the weather was so springlike that many of the restaurants provided outdoor seating.

    You're right....the Village is very much bohemian and that's why I love it so much. It's a great creative vibe!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Welcome back! I can't wait to read all about your vacay in Mexico! Looking forward to your photos too!

    X

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