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stonewall inn

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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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Making the Invisible Visible: NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project

Andrew Dolkart, A Columbia professor and Director of the school's Historic Preservation Program, name checked Teddy McDarrah - grandson of the photographer we're here for - at an NYPL event tonight. See more photos on the Save The Village Tours Facebook page.

Andrew Dolkart, A Columbia professor and Director of the school's Historic Preservation Program, name checked Teddy McDarrah - grandson of the photographer we're here for - at an NYPL event tonight. See more photos on the Save The Village Tours Facebook page.

  Pretty solid event at the Celeste Auditorium at the big New York Public Library on 5th Avenue this evening.

  "Making the Invisible Visible: NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project" has the entirely worthy goal of making more gay-themed historic sites in New York City.

  There are only a handful nationwide, and some cities have more than New York does. We have so few you can use one hand to count them.

  Go here to learn more:  http://nyclgbtsites.org/ 

  And see some of the proposed (and the few existing) sites on a Save the Village Tour.

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All clean. In its own inimitable way.

The famous Stonewall Inn,  sans  scaffolding once again.

The famous Stonewall Inn, sans scaffolding once again.

  In addition to the sparkling exterior, a lot of the interior art - mainly pages of photos taken from the 1994 McDarrah opus "Gay Pride: Photos from Stonewall to Today" which marked the 25th anniversary of the uprising - have spiffy new frames.

  Go inside and check the place out. All are always welcome.

  And kudos to owner Kurt Kelly for his expert handling/balancing act of not only running a viable working business, but at the same preserving and honoring the bar's tradition, history, meaning and historical importance.

groupon redux

Groupon Approved: George Segal's sculpture "Four Figures" in front of the Parks dept. interpretive sign with a Fred W. McDarrah photo, in Christopher Park. The park is directly across the street from Stonewall.

Groupon Approved: George Segal's sculpture "Four Figures" in front of the Parks dept. interpretive sign with a Fred W. McDarrah photo, in Christopher Park. The park is directly across the street from Stonewall.

Well the folks at Groupon ultimately refused to use a Fred W. McDarrah image on the deal page for Save the Village Tours.

They did use this snapshot taken by yours truly. They did not ask about the copyright, and were thrilled that it is a color photo, and in focus.

Check it out: https://www.groupon.com/deals/save-the-village-tours 

What is under the scaffolding?

New signs on the green plywood in front of the Stonewall Inn announce what is under the scaffolding.

New signs on the green plywood in front of the Stonewall Inn announce what is under the scaffolding.

Maybe it was hard for people to figure out where the world famous Stonewall Inn had disappeared to?

Regardless, two new signs went up the other day alerting passers by and anyone else what the business was under the scaffolding.

Not terribly unusual for signs to be on scaffolding, but this made us do a double take.  

It's official for Stonewall

City Council makes official what occurred back in June.

Serious: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/stonewall-inn-offical-landmark-gay-rights-movement-article-1.2380701

Sarcastic: http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2015/10/stonewall-inn-officially-landmarked.html#

As we were saying...

Tour-goers photograph George Segal's "Four Figures" and the Park Dept. interpretive sign (with Fred W. McDarrah image) at Christopher Park, which lawmakers are now pushing for National Park status.  Stonewall is in background with the green scaffolding.

Tour-goers photograph George Segal's "Four Figures" and the Park Dept. interpretive sign (with Fred W. McDarrah image) at Christopher Park, which lawmakers are now pushing for National Park status.  Stonewall is in background with the green scaffolding.

As we reported a few weeks back (scroll down), there is a push to create a national park at Christopher Park to honor the 1969 Stonewall Riots.

Now the movement is getting bigger.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/21/nyregion/lawmakers-seek-national-park-in-honor-of-stonewall.html?ref=nyregion&_r=0  

Excellent. More plaques to go up for us to photograph! Nah. Seriously, federally protected status won't much change anything in the park itself, as the current owner, the City of New York, isn't about to do anything to fudge things up. But it could help in preserving the Stonewall façade, ensure funds from Washington D.C. to maintain the park and streets around it, and it adds another level of legitimacy and gravitas to the location.   

And it couldn't hurt with preserving other landmarked and non-landmarked but vitally important historic places in New York on the Save the Village walking tour route, and elsewhere.

When Is Kickoff?

Green Bay Packers fans awaiting a Sunday opening of the Kettle of Fish bar, which hosts gathering of Wisconsin sports fans.

Green Bay Packers fans awaiting a Sunday opening of the Kettle of Fish bar, which hosts gathering of Wisconsin sports fans.

A funny thing happened on the way to the tour the other Sunday. There was quite a crowd across the street from Christopher Park, the kick off point for the Save The Village tour. But as we quickly learned, they were not there for an entertaining two hours learning about the Village or why there needs to be a real balance between progress and preservation.

They had not heard of the Village Voice, and while most were not from New York, they were not tourists. More like interlopers. From Wisconsin, of all places.

Fans of most out of town football teams - college and pro (as if there is a difference!) have an adopted New York bar where they gather to watch and root for their old school team, or their hometown NFL team.

The Kettle of Fish, which has a proprietor who used to be a Wisconsin Badger, is where Green Bay Packers fans come to watch their team play. (Badger college football fans gather there too, apparently.) And they gather before 10 am for a 1 pm game. Or even for a 4 pm game. Anything to get a good seat by the TV.

Idiotic, I thought. Then I realized it was not much different from our old game plan of being in the Lincoln Tunnel by 9 am to get a nice parking spot in the swamps of the Jersey Meadowlands to tailgate before we'd root for Richard Todd to finally beat Dan Marino.

All the Packers fans were offered a Greenwich Village walking tour sometime to learn more about the significance of the Kettle of Fish, and the Lions Head bar that preceded it, and the Stonewall Inn a few doors down, and all the other historic spots within, well, walking distance.

Nah. To a man (and woman), each and every one of them passed on a golden opportunity to learn something.

Hence the reason they are called Cheeseheads.  

            

Thanks, New York Times!

Save the Village (every Tuesday) Last year the Steven Kasher Gallery in Chelsea put on an exhibition with the photography of Fred W. McDarrah, who documented the changing scene of Greenwich Village since the 1960s. Now, the spirit of that show has taken the form of this walking tour, which includes stops at the places McDarrah captured on film: locales like Washington Square Park and the Stonewall Inn. At 10 a.m.; the tour meets at Christopher Park, Stonewall Place, at Seventh Avenue, West Village, savethevillagetours.com.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/21/arts/spare-times-for-aug-21-27.html

Making Christopher Park a National Park

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Making Christopher Park a National Park

A campaign is underway to make a National Park out of Christopher Park, located across from the Stonewall Inn on Christopher Street. Go to savestonewall.org to learn more.

At .19 acres (according to http://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/christopher-park) it would not be the smallest National Park. That would be the Philadelphia house where Polish freedom fighter Thaddeus Kosciuszko lived, which clocks in at .02 acres. His name should be familiar to drivers who have spent hours crossing the short, potholed and badly designed bridge on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway that bears his name, which crosses Newtown Creek.

As of June 2015, Christopher Park has a new informational sign posted by the city Parks Department, detailing the famous 1969 riots that mark the start of the modern day gay rights movement. The image on the sign was taken by... Fred W. McDarrah, making him part of the official New York City story of the gay rights movement. It is on the Save the Village tour

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