A Brief History of GREENWICH VILLAGE

EARLY SUNDAY MORNING
 
by Edward Hopper
 
7th Avenue, Greenwich Village NY
 
 

Greenwich Village is one of the world’s most famous neighborhoods, located on the southwest corner of downtown Manhattan in New York City.

Steeped in history, the village is also known as “West Village” or simply “the Village.” It has Broadway on the east, the Hudson River on the west, Houston Street on the south, and 14th Street on the north. Surrounding communities include East Village to the east and Chelsea to the north.

Originally a small farming community, the area surrounding the village was once marshland. It was referred to as “Sapokanikan” in the 16th century. The land was turned into a pasture by the Dutch settlers in the 1630s and then it came to be known as “Noortwyck.”

In 1664, the village developed as a hamlet separate from the larger downtown Manhattan when the English occupied the Dutch settlement of New Amsterdam.

It officially became a village in 1712 and was first referred to as “Grin’wich” in the records of the Common Council. As a result of recurring yellow fever in New York City in 1820s, many people fled to the healthy area of Greenwich Village and remained there. The village was converted into a military parade ground and park in 1826.

With a history spanning nearly two centuries, Greenwich Village was a mecca to Bohemians, and they played a major role in propagating new political, artistic, and cultural ideas in the area.

Since the turn of the 20th century, the Village has been a destination to famous artists, writers, entertainers, and intellectuals, such as E.E. Cummings, Eugene O’Neill, and Edgar Allan Poe.

The village also remained home for political rebels such as John Reed and Marcel Duchamp who proclaimed the founding of “The Independent Republic of Greenwich Village.” Further, the village’s role as a center for movements is remarkable.

Presently, the Village is a vibrant area, dominated by some important monuments, beautiful townhouses, multitudes of dining areas, and a wacky serpentine layout of streets.

The Federal-style row houses, Greek Revival townhouses, and quaint carriage houses, apart from the office buildings of the late 19th century and towering 20th century apartment buildings, reflect the creative and diverse population of the Village.

The heart of the neighborhood is the historic Washington Square Park, which is a hub of activities such as chess playing, skateboarding, and walking or jogging. The Village is also the seat for some of the important educational institutions in the nation, such as New York University (NYU) and New School University.

The world’s oldest gay and lesbian bookstore – Oscar Wilde Bookshop – is located here. Petrosino Square, Little Red Square, Time Landscape, Desalvio, Thompson Street, and William Passannante Ballfield are other important landmarks in the village.

Also, located here is The Cage, officially known as the West 4th Street Courts. It is one of the most important venues for the city-wide amateur basketball tournaments. In addition, the Village is the place for the renowned Halloween Parade – a mile-long parade of life-sized puppets and masqueraders that draws more than two million spectators.

 

 
 
 
 
 
Macdougal Street
 
 
Macdougal Street and Bleecker Street are two of the most famous and historical streets in all of Greenwich Village. They were the main streets that spawned such Bohemian Types as Jack Keroac of the Beat Generation known as Beatniks. Macdougal Street and Bleecker Streets and the area where they converge was the epicenter of Folk Music in Greenwich Village in the many clubs, cafes, and Coffee Houses back in the 1960s with such musical artists as Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Maty Travers of Peter Paul & Mary, John Sebastian, John Phillips and Cass Elliot (Mamma Cass) of the Mammas & Pappas, Pete Seger, John Denver and others, and later on such notables as Jimi Hendrix at Cafe Wha, Steven Tyler and Aerosmith.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Map of GREENWICH VILLAGE
 
 
 
 
 
 
SUNDAY SAUCE is NEW YORK ITALIAN
 
 
Greenwich Village for a long time from the early 1900s to the early 1960s was primarily an Italian Neighborhood made up of immigrants of the Southern Italian enclaves of Naples and Sicily, as well as some from Genoa, Calabria, and Abruzzo. There are still a few great old Italian businesses left like; Monte’s Trattoria (Since 1918), Raffetto Pasta Co. since 1906, and PORTO RICO COFFEE owned by the Longo Family Since 1907, and CAFFE REGGIO since 1927, which features paintings from the School of CARAVAGGIO and Renaissance  Benches from a Medici Pallazzo that can actually sit in as you sip your Italian Cappuccino and listen to Classical Music in a most delightful way. This is just a little taste of the charms of Greenwich Village New York.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Native Writer of Greenwich Village
 
 
 
  
 
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Best Selling Greenwich Village Italian-American
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JAMES BOND “WHY EVERY MAN NEEDS A GOOD WATCH

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JAMES BOND “SEAN CONNERY” WEARING A ROLEX   “He Always Gets The Girls!”

 

A Good Watch. It’s something every man needs, but few have, well, percentage wise anyway.

I’m not talking about a Timex, or “God Forbid” one of those nasty looking Casio watches. A Rolex or Omega are the most popular top end standards, not everyone can afford to spend $3,00 for a Omega or $5,000 and up for a Rolex. If you can afford it, there is nothing like having a Rolex Submarine or GMT Master. The classic look of these two great watches is timeless. ONE look at the Submariner and you’ll notice it’s all business with classic yet simple design, that is “Timeless.” The Submariner is a sport watch but because of its timeless design can be worn with a suit for business or Tuxedo.

This watch made of the fine stainless-steel with a classic black face, black dial, and Mercedes style hands. It is waterproof to 300 meters and is powered by a World Class movement. Believe it or not, a Rolex at $5,000 is a bargain. Considering that there are watches on the market that go for $10,000, $20,000, $100,000 and even 1 Million Dollars, which as much is I love watches, feel that anything over $20,000 is absolutely insane. Obscene even. A Rolex will give you instant cache, no matter how rich the group you are amongst. So the the cache a $5,000 Rolex gives, even comparable to a $10,000 to $100,000 watches, the Rolex Submariner or GMT Master is a bargain.

So back to everyman needing a good watch and what one can afford to spend. As stated, if you can afford the Rolex, you’ve just got to get it. If you can’t afford the Rolex or Omega, you have other options as their are great watches available for $350, even less that have the look of watches cost $3,000, $5,000 or more. I bought a S. Coifman Dive Watch that can almost be put in the same league as the Submariner or GMT Master. My S. Coifman has the same top tier stainless steel, saphire crystal, and Swiss Movement as the Rolex watches. It is 100% Swiss made from a famed Swiss watch company that has been in business for some 150 years. This watch is practically every bit the equal to a Rolex from a quality and style point of view. The watch normally retails for $1,500, though much cheaper than the Rolex, it is total equal in terms of quality. I paid just $299 for the watch that looks every bit the part of a $3,000 plus timepiece.

If possible, if you decide you will buy and were a good quality time piece, the first step would be to get a great Dive watch, such as a Rolex or Omega if you’ve got that kind of cash? If not, and you can get your hands on something like my S. Coifman Diver for $500 or less. you can even get a Invicta Pro Diver for $200 or less that looks pretty much like a Submariner, and the quality is pretty good.

So you get a great looking Diver, your next step would be to get a beautiful looking classic style dress watch with a great Crocodile, Alligator, or fine Leather Strap. A company called Sturhling Original makes some amazing looking dress watches that look like $5,000 and $10,000 time pieces but can be had for $250 or less at Amazon. No Bull. It’s true, some of these Sturhling watches look just like $100,000 ones.

Men, get yourself a great watch, put on some Levis, a great shirt, good leather shoes and belt, and you are set. Add a good sport jacket and you’ll look like a Million Bucks. A lady killer.

Daniel Bellino Zwicke

 

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ROLEX SUBMARINER  “A TRUE CLASSIC” AND STATUS SYMBOL of LUXURY               and SUCCESS

 

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Daniel Craig Classically Sports a Tuxedo with ROLEX ….

 

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MY FIRST DAY In ROME

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Sunday June 16, 1985, my First Day in Rome. Ever! I fell in Love that day, with Rome, Italy, Italian Food, and the Italian Lifestyle. What a day. I was like a little kid on Christmas Day, the best day of the year for any true American Blooded Kid … Do you remember the euphoric feeling you’d get as a child, running down to open your presents under the tree on Christmas Day as a young child, a sort of feeling that’s hard to get as an adult, but I had it on that hot Summers day in Roma 1985 … A day I’ll never forget. It was beautiful, a game changer.

I flew from New York, JFK to Rome, Fiummacino Airport. On board the Pan Am 747 Jetliner, aI sat next to a couple, also going to Rome for the first time. As for myself I was on my own. The guy was in his mid 30’s and the girl was a few years younger. We became friends on the plane, hitched a Taxi into the center of Rome (Quite Magical itself that first entrance to the Eternal City of Rome) … I realized on a subsequent trip that the cab driver was a gypsy driver and that we got ripped-off, over-charged, but no big deal, the dollar was strong and we had split the cost. Anyway, we dropped the couple off at there hotel, The Hotel Forum, across from the Roman Forum and Colosseum. We had made plans to meet for lunch the next day. I had the driver drop me off at the train station, as I didn’t have a room yet, but had a plan to get one. This was my first trip to Europe and I was learning the ropes of travel. I had a Frommers Guide Book of Europe, Europe on $25 a Day, and had read it through and through and had learned that I could check my bags cheaply at any train station in Europe, so I did, and for the first time at the train station in Rome, which was right in the center of a number of inexpensive pensiones that I had marked down in my guide-book and would go to try and procure a room. So I went to the baggage room at the station and checked my two bags with the man there, and was off to get my room. If I remember correctly I got a room at the first place I went to. The room was just $14 and only two blocks from the train station. So I told the concierge I wanted the room, I went back to the station, got my bags and then lugged them back to my hotel. It was a simple room with a big queen sized bed. The bathroom was down the hall, and I quickly used to take a shower, before running out to explore La Bella Roma. I walked up to the train station, then made a left, and within a block I was at the Piazza Republic. I remember seeing the little tiered fountains filled with pieces of fresh coconut and water flowing down over them. These coconut vendors were all over the city but I never got any of the coconut as I found Gelato much more to my liking at just .50 cents a pop for a small one, .75 for a medium and $1.00 for a large. Or if not Gelato, I’d get a slice of Watermelon. But I’m getting ahead of myself now. Let me tell you about my first meal in Rome and how I fell in love with the Tremezzini. So I came upon the semi-circular Piazza Repubulica. Across the street I noticed a tiny little park next to the Church of Santa Maria degli Angeli. In this little park was a little kiosk with a few tables outside under the trees. It looked quite inviting so I walked inside. Inside on the counter I spotted these tiny triangular little sandwiches with various stuffings. I got a bottle of Apricot Juice (Sutta di Frutta di Albicoca) and a couple of those little sandwiches, one filled with ham & cheese and the other I can’t remember. I took my stuff, got a table sat down and relaxed. The Apricot Juice was refreshing and the little sandwiches quite tasty. I fell in love with them instantly and would have three everyday for breakfast along with an Espresso and Frutta di Albicocca. I walked around after that little breakfast in my first expoloration of Rome, of Italy. I just so happen to walk past the Quirnale, the Place of The President of Italy. I found Trevi Fountain, The Spanish Steps and The Piazza di Popolo, with Gelato stops in-between, before heading back to my hotel, very tired. I was planning on going out that night, but was so darn tired from being up all-night, then a fe w hours walking around Rome with no sleep. Yes, I went back to the hotel to take a nap for a couple hours, but didn’t get up to early the next day.

The next day, I got up, took a shower, then headed out for a nice little breakfast at a caffe on the Via Cavour on my way to the Colosseum. I had three different Tremzzini, an Espresso and a little bottl of Apricot Juice. I was walking around and came upon a beautiful market near the Stazione where I bought some fresh Apricots and Mozzarella Cheese. Yumm. So I walked down to the Collesseum and to the Forum Hotel where my friends were. This hotel had a nice roof-top garden and we went up there for a cocktail and my first Campari ever. Wow, that was quite nice, sipping a Campari and Soda, hanging with my new friends and a tremendous view of the 2,000 year-old Roman COLOSSEUM just a block away. Things couldn’t get much better than this. I had Campari & Soda for the first time, and later on the trip would have my first Negroni in The Piazzo San Marco in Venice.

After our drink on the rooftop, we walked over to the Colesseum, walked around it and inside. Quite remarkable! We left the Colesseum then walked over to the Trevi Fountain and on to The Spanish Steps. We walked up the famed Spanish Steps to the top where there is a church. We marveled at the fabulous views of Rome with all the many churches and bells ringing. Wow! I had discovered a cute garden trattorria near the Spanish Steps on my previous days exploration, and went there for lunch. We sat at a table in the garden. We had a spectacular view combined with tasty antipasti, Pasta and Wine. I was in 7th Heaven.

to Be Continued

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“LA TAVOLA” is FINALLY HERE

Yes “La TAVOLA” is Finally Here. It’s a wonderful book with entertaining Stories of Italian-American New Yorker’s Adventures of the Table which includes recipes and stories on; SUNDAY SAUCE, Spaghetti & Meatballs, Sausage & Peppers, and the famed Italian Christmas Eve Dinner of “The FEAST of The SEVEN FISHES”
La Tavola is a great read for the Summer os 2012 and we Highly Recommend it. It’s now available on AMAZON .. Get it!

LA TAVOLA ..ITALIAN-AMERICAN NEW YORK’S ADVENTURES of The TABLE

LA TAVOLA  by Daniel Bellino Zwicke,  available August 2011 on AMAZON.com

Ever wonder what it would be like to have a book that could be described as A Year in Provence meets New York Italian America? Well that sort of explains La Tavola. A book about Italian-American Friends and Family in New York and the metropolitan area surrounding it. Where tables are filled with
Chianti, Antipasto, Pasta, Sausage, and Meatballs instead of Coq au Vin and Bouf Bourguignon, and the lush rural Sun-Soaked landscape of Provence in The South of France is replaced with Italian-American New Yorker’s in Brooklyn, Jersey, Manhattan, and Da Bronx, home to Dion and The Belmonts, Al Pacino, and Jake LaMotta.
The characters in La Tavola replace the French of A Year in Provence with Italian-Americans, Italian and Italian-American Food replace the French and French Food while Trattoria and Pork Stores are in place of the French by Butcher and Bistros. La Tavola is filled with many wonderful stories of life among the Italians of New York, with many antidotes and info on; who has the Best Sausages or Cannoli, which are the best Italian Restaurants, Caffes, and Italian Pastires. Including 30 Wonderful Recipes from Daniel and his Family. Enjoy!

AUGUST 2011 at AMAZON.comLA TAVOLA