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christopher street

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Day three...

 Photo  ©  2016 Estate of Fred W. McDarrah. All Rights Reserved.

 Photo © 2016 Estate of Fred W. McDarrah. All Rights Reserved.

 Photo  ©  2016 Estate of Fred W. McDarrah. All Rights Reserved.

 Photo © 2016 Estate of Fred W. McDarrah. All Rights Reserved.

 Photo  ©  2016 Estate of Fred W. McDarrah. All Rights Reserved.

 Photo © 2016 Estate of Fred W. McDarrah. All Rights Reserved.

  The Day After: The Judson (inarguably the least known but most important peace and creativity venue of the 1960s), which had a prayer service last night, updated its sign Tuesday - while still keeping track of the war dead.

  At Christopher Park, the George Segal sculpture and the Parks Dept sign with its iconic Fred W. McDarrah Gay Pride image (upper left of photo), were bathed in remembrances.

  The ground near the "Four Figures" sculpture has the names of the Orlando victims written in chalk.

  Today's Save the Village tour was the most somber one yet. But it was also perhaps the most thoughtful and educational. Discussing the balance between progress and preservation, the meaning of the history and importance of a place like Stonewall and the reaction to the slaughter in Orlando left everyone more aware of the problems of the world we now all live in.

  And, some positive ideas on how to begin to solve them. 

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Orlando mourned on Christopher St.

Putting on a shirt before going into the Stonewall Inn today, after leaving flowers in front. Photo © 2016 Estate of Fred W. McDarrah. All Rights Reserved.

Putting on a shirt before going into the Stonewall Inn today, after leaving flowers in front.
Photo © 2016 Estate of Fred W. McDarrah. All Rights Reserved.

  In 1969, the cops raided the Stonewall Inn. Today, 48 years later, they were there to protect it, in the wake of the massacre in Orlando.

  Laws and attitude have come a long way over the last few decades, but there is still obviously a long way to go.

  You can not legislate against hate, or stupidity. But you can educate and lead by example.
Look at all these photos. Think about what happened. Do what you can to help make sure it never happens again.

  The Save the Village tour stops at Stonewall. Now, unfortunately, there will be one more story to tell, about June 12, 2016, when thousands gathered there to share their sadness, grief and hope for a better world not only for the LGBT community, but for everyone.

  Go to the Save the Village Tours Facebook page to see amany more photos of the sad day.

  https://www.facebook.com/savethevillagewalkingtours/

Outside Stonewall today. Photo © 2016 Estate of Fred W. McDarrah. All Rights Reserved.

Outside Stonewall today.
Photo © 2016 Estate of Fred W. McDarrah. All Rights Reserved.

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Re-Joice. Sort of.

The stretch of Christopher Street where the Lion's Head bar once served ink stained wretches and the folks they covered was renamed after its former owner in 1999.

The stretch of Christopher Street where the Lion's Head bar once served ink stained wretches and the folks they covered was renamed after its former owner in 1999.

After Bobby Kennedy was shot, Pete Hamill, who was next to him when it happened, wrote about it in the June 13, 1968 Village Voice:

"We knew then that America had struck again. In this slimy little indoor alley in the back of a gaudy ballroom, in this shabby reality behind the glittering facade, Americans were doing what they do best: killing and dying, and cursing because hope doesn't last very long among us."

La plus ca change, huh? Americans doing what they do best. Kill people.

The tie here is that Kennedy's career in electoral politics is due to Hamill, Jack Newfield, the Village Voice and the Lion's Head.

And Wes Joice, who owned the bar from the early 1960s until 1994, before dying of lung cancer in 1997.  

All discussed on the Save the Village tour.

In his book "A Drinking Life," Hamill wrote about the Lion's Head:

"I don’t think many New York bars ever had such a glorious mixture of newspapermen, painters, musicians, seamen, ex-communists, priests and nuns, athletes, stockbrokers, politicians and folksingers, bound together in the leveling democracy of drink."

It was in Joice's joint - steps away from the offices of the Voice - that Hamill and Newfield convinced Kennedy to make the surprise move to run for the Senate from New York in 1964.  (Some say Kennedy decided to run for the Presidency there as well, but these are likely altered versions of the Senate story, as he made that decision after meeting with a hunger-striking Ceasar Chavez in California in early 1968.)

Pete and Jack wrote for the Voice, knew Kennedy well, all were Irish and enjoyed an occasional pint, and the deed was done.

One of Kennedy's biggest campaign rallies that fall was also in the Village, captured by Voice photographer Fred W. McDarrah. Kennedy evoked Beatlemania by Balducci's when he leaped  on the back of a flatbed truck with local pol Assemblyman William Passannante during a campaign event.

First, go and read this.

http://www.villagevoice.com/news/pete-hamills-eyewitness-account-of-robert-kennedys-assassination-6692381

Then take the Save the Village tour.