Comment

First Downtown Biennial

All Holes Matter. Why certainly! Art from the Biennial from Ajay Kurian. (Photo by Estate of Fred W. McDarrah)

All Holes Matter. Why certainly! Art from the Biennial from Ajay Kurian. (Photo by Estate of Fred W. McDarrah)

The first Whitney Biennial below 14th Street opens March 17 - and we got a sneak peek Monday. The younger and lesser known artists chosen to participate in the contemporary survey always set trends, and the show is always one of the most controversial of the year.

Museum Director Adam Weinberg and Biennial curators Christopher Y. Lew and Mia Locks were on hand as were many of the artists.

There is some good work, some is overtly political, some funny, some waaaaay too derivative, and some, well, not so good. The Whitney building remains a work of art. That is why you should go see it. It is up thru June 11.

(The event began as an annual exhibition in 1932 when the museum was on 8th St.; the first official biennial was at the Madison Avenue space in 1973.)

The Biennial is a great way to spend an afternoon, especially after learning about the original Whitney and so much more on a Save the Village tour.

Adam D. Weinberg, the Alice Pratt Brown Director of the Whitney Museum and Biennial curators Christopher Y. Lew and Mia Locks. (Photo by Estate of Fred W. McDarrah)

Adam D. Weinberg, the Alice Pratt Brown Director of the Whitney Museum and Biennial curators Christopher Y. Lew and Mia Locks. (Photo by Estate of Fred W. McDarrah)

Comment

Comment

Memorable!

The 8th St. Book Shop, February 2, 1965. The corner, now home to a chain coffee store, is a stop on a Save the Village tour. (Photo by Fred W. McDarrah/Getty Images)

The 8th St. Book Shop, February 2, 1965. The corner, now home to a chain coffee store, is a stop on a Save the Village tour. (Photo by Fred W. McDarrah/Getty Images)

Her tour was in October, and she just posted a Trip Advisor review this week.

A Save the Village tour resonates for a long, long time.

Book one today!

"I went on this tour with a group to which I belong and it was fabulous! The guide provided a unique experience. His father was a photographer in the 50's. 60's, and 70's who seemed to often be in the right place at the right time. He provided us with a set of "postcards" that were photos his father had taken. As we moved from location to location, we could compare the sites today with the photos from the past. There was an important message to the tour about preserving the character of Greenwich Village and working to stop needless and heedless destruction of buildings and parts of our history. He is a dynamic speaker and spoke with enthusiasm and heart. He had many fascinating anecdotes to share. His father seemed to know everyone (Bob Dylan, Andy Warhol to mention a few) and had a knack for being on hand to take timely, important photos. Very Special." 

Comment

Comment

Celeb Central

  Last season, tour groups ran into all kinds of recognizable faces, from Daniel Day Lewis to Philip Glass to some celebrity chefs (Batali, Bouloud).

  Here is one guy the tour won't run into: the late John Belushi, snapped by Fred W. McDarrah in front of Belusi's pad at 376 Bleecker St. (there is now a Cynthia Rowley store on the ground floor there).

  Book a 2017 tour today at SavetheVillagetours.com.

Comment

Comment

Getting closer

Washington Square Park fountain, summer 2016

Washington Square Park fountain, summer 2016

  Beautiful photo of a rainbow over the fountain in Washington Square, taken by a Save the Village Tour-goer last summer.

  It is a nice reminder not only of a great 2016, but warm weather ahead and a sure to be spectacular 2017 season.

  Make your plans now and book a Spring, Summer or Fall 2017 tour today! 

Comment

Comment

NYU. P-U.

Just like Disneyland! An historic recreation.

Just like Disneyland! An historic recreation.

  The evil real estate company known as NYU has a long history of indiscriminately tearing down important and historic Greenwich Village buildings so they can make money and build a needless dorm or another out of place faculty office building, hotel, or coffee bar.

  On East 3rd St., they razed Edgar Allan Poe's house, and put up a plaque congratulating themselves for recreating the facade of the place.

  An historic reenactment! Just like Disneyland!

  NYU will perhaps one day realize that part of the reason they can get away with charging $60,000 in tuition is not that you get a good education, but because kids want to be in Greenwich Village.

  And when they have fully destroyed things, and their paid attendance drops, they will have no idea why.

  See many, many places that NYU has torched in favor of "progress" on a Save the Village tour.

Looks can be deceiving.

Looks can be deceiving.

Comment

Comment

Hey... aren't you ....

Comedian, singer, actress and author Sandra Bernhard

Comedian, singer, actress and author Sandra Bernhard

Another tour, another celebrity entertains the group.

Some of the bold faced names the tours have recently come across include actor Daniel Day-Lewis, chef Mario Batali and R.E.M. musician Michael Stipe.

This time, it was comedian, singer, actress and author Sandra Bernhard.

As the tour on Tuesday was in front of 14 East 10th St., the former home to Mark Twain, and scene of a horrendous 1987 crime, the actress walked by. The tour leader called her over, and she stopped to briefly chat with the group.

Only in Greenwich Village and only on a Save the Village tour.

Book one today!

Comment

Comment

Guest star

Another surprise while out on a Save the Village tour last week.

The group was in front of the Judson Church on Washington Square South, inarguably the most famous and least appreciated or acknowledged icon of the 1960s.

We were discussing the above photo, "Poet Peter Orlovsky, dressed in underwear and eyeglasses, reads from his collection 'Clean Asshole Poems' under a giant wooden cross at Judson Memorial Church, December 6, 1964. Among those on stage behind him are his longtime companion Allen Ginsberg (second from right) and Gregory Corso (R). The Judson hosted early performances and exhibitions by unknowns like Merce Cunningham, Claes Oldenberg, Yoko Ono, Lucinda Childs, Red Grooms, Jim Dine, Tricia Brown and Robert Rauschenberg. (Photo © Estate of Fred W. McDarrah)"

The woman photographed below walks up to listen.

Turns out she was The Rev. Dr. Donna Schaper, who now leads the Judson. She graciously invited the group inside, and offered far more history than a tour guide ever could. It is a rich and fascinating history.

And it was a better and far more educational, entertaining and enlightening treat than last week's tour interaction with Daniel Day-Lewis, which wasn't bad at all.

Only in Greenwich Village. Only on a Save the Village tour.

The Rev. Dr. Donna Schaper of The Judson.

The Rev. Dr. Donna Schaper of The Judson.

Comment

Comment

Presidential

  President John Tyler was 54; his bride, born on an island bearing her name off the east end of Long Island, was 24.

  It was a secret engagement and marriage, which took place on 5th Avenue and 10th Street in Greenwich Village.

  Another fun fact you learn on a Save the Village tour.

Church of the Ascension, 10th Street and 5th Avenue.  Gardiner lived a short walk away, at LaGrange Terrace - now known as Lafayette Street, on Colonnade Row, where John Jacob Astor also resided.

Church of the Ascension, 10th Street and 5th Avenue.  Gardiner lived a short walk away, at LaGrange Terrace - now known as Lafayette Street, on Colonnade Row, where John Jacob Astor also resided.

Comment

Comment

Famous faces

 Newland Archer, out of character

 Newland Archer, out of character

  A Save the Village tour-goer started talking to a passing fellow as he waited for The Beats and Bob Dylan tour to start on Tuesday, near the corner of MacDougal Alley and MacDougal Street. Finally the tour-goer said to the fellow, "You look an awful lot like Daniel Day-Lewis." Seems it was.

  Lewis was heading to Washington Square Park to enjoy the warm afternoon, where the tour group passed him as he lazed on a bench. Lewis nodded hello, and the group continued on its way.

  He is often seen out and about downtown. He and his wife, filmmaker Rebecca Miller (progeny of playwright Arthur Miller and Magnum photographer Inge Morath) live on West 10th St., a few blocks from Miller's college roommate, feminist author Naomi Wolf.

  Twice lately the tour crossed paths with croc-clad Babbo chef Mario Battali, tapped by the Obamas to cater their last state dinner.

  Just part of the fabric of the greatest neighborhood on earth.

Comment

Comment

Take A Tour Today!

In the wake of the Nobel Prize announcement this week, it may be a good time to consider this: "Save the Village: Walking Tours of the Photographs of Fred W. McDarrah - The Beats and Bob Dylan."

This is the ONLY regularly scheduled Dylan-themed walking tour in New York. It runs every Tuesday at 2 pm, or privately by appointment

For each of the four Save the Village tours, walkers get a keepsake multi-postcard set of classic images by Fred W. McDarrah, the first photographer for the Village Voice. The tours go to the same locations as where the photos were taken, to see how things have changed, how they are the same and to hear the stories behind the famous photos.

Tickets and info are here: http://www.savethevillagetours.com/

See you there!

Comment

Comment

Tangled up in Admiration

  Congratulations to the winner of the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature, Bob Dylan.

  Here is a vintage Fred W. McDarrah image of Bob, standing in Sheridan Square, outside the offices of the Village Voice, on January 22, 1965.

  The Save the Village: The Beats and Bob Dylan tour goes by this locale, and features several classic Dylan photos. 

  Sign up for a tour today!

Comment

Comment

Old/New

Looking east on 8th St. from Sixth Ave., 1950 and today.

Walk along the historic street on a Save the Village tour. (Photo by Fred W. McDarrah/Getty Images)

Comment

Comment

Folks Who Work to Save the Village

Andrew Berman, Executive Director of the GVSHP, addressing supporters.

Andrew Berman, Executive Director of the GVSHP, addressing supporters.

  The people who do the REAL work in Saving the Village were out having a well deserved nice time Thursday night.

  Over 100 trustees, top donors and supporters and the staff of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation were feted Thursday night by the family that owns Murray's Cheese at their minimalist West Village mini-mansion.

  The big news was that GVSHP director Andrew Berman revealed that the expansion of the South Village Historic District will become reality.

  Check out their website to learn more about the battle to help get designation for the swath of real estate below Houston St. and east of Sixth Ave. 

http://www.gvshp.org/_gvshp/preservation/south_village/south_village-main.htm

  Berman and his staff (Sarah Bean Apmann, Director of Research & Preservation; Harry Bubbins, East Village & Special Projects Director; Chelsea J. Dowell, Director of Communications and Programming; Matthew Morowitz Program and Administrative Associate; Sam Moskowitz, Director of Operations; and Lannyl Stephens, Director of Development and Special Events) are the hardest working group of its kind anywhere, their achievements are noticeable, real and breathtakingly important and if your balance sheet allows, you should make a (tax deductible!) contribution to this organization if you care about saving the Village.

 

Comment