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Posts from Hudson Park Library

The Voice of the Village?

Norman Mailer, best known for The Naked and the Dead and The Executioner's Song, was born on January 31. He lived at 73 Perry Street in New York City.

Perhaps his biggest contribution to 

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Thomas Paine and "Common Sense"

Thomas Paine was born 275 years ago on January 29. He died in 1809 at 59 Grove Street in New York City, where a plaque marks his passing.

Paine’s writings, especially Common Sense, helped the American cause in the Revolution, and John Adams credited him with a crucial role in the winning of that war.

Paine was not shy in 

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Edith Wharton at 150

Edith Wharton is 150 years old on January 24, 2012, still alive in her consistently popular novels. She lived at 7 Washington Square North in Greenwich Village, as well as other locations in New York City.

Celebrate her birthday by reading (or re-reading) one of her novels and taking a 

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Djuna, Did You Used to Visit?

Djuna Barnes, born January 12, lived her final 42 years at 5 Patchin Place in New York City, across the street from E. E. Cummings. A novelist, poet, and playwright, Barnes became friends with

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"The Prophet" in Greenwich Village

Khalil Gibran’s book The Prophet is one of the best selling books of all time and was written while Gibran lived in the Village. Gibran may be known as the national poet of Lebanon, but he lived the final 20 years of his life here, at 51 West 10th Street in New York City, among other places. He died at

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The Ultimate Sophistication: William Gaddis

William Gaddis was born on December 29 and lived at 79 Horatio Street in New York City.

Here’s a quote from his best known novel:

Stop being so God Damn humble … You know God damn well that … that humility is defiance … ... Read More ›

Moving Six Times: Who Has Time to Write?

Theodore Dreiser moved around a lot.

I have six addresses for him in New York City's Greenwich Village, including 16 St. Lukes Place, right across the street from NYPL's Hudson Park Library. I hope he dropped in sometimes.

He also lived at

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Mr. Flood's Party

If you are of a certain age, you may be familiar with Edwin Arlington Robinson from a Simon and Garfunkel song, "Richard Cory." The words of the song were changed somewhat from what Robinson wrote but it still ended with the same shocking, brutal conclusion. Here’s the whole poem:

Whenever Richard Cory went down town, We people on the pavement looked at him: He was a gentleman from 

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How Many Anthropologists Can You Name?

Margaret Mead was something of an anthropology superstar. After all, how many other anthropologists can you name? Her birthday is December 18 and she lived in the Village at 72 Perry Street and

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Come Discuss "Tinkers" by Paul Harding

The story behind Tinkers by Paul Harding is as inspirational as many novels.

A quiet, contemplative novel which imagines the last days of a man interspersed with scenes from the death of his epileptic father, it was rejected by many publishers before being picked up by a small press.

Community bookstores championed the work and Tinkers became the first independently published novel to win the Pulitzer Prize (2009) since

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The Very Best and the Very Worst: Happy Birthday Ford Madox Ford

Most of the writers who ended up in the Village came from the small towns of America, but some came from overseas. Ford Madox Ford, an Englishman, lived for a time at 10 Fifth Avenue. His birthday is December 17th.

A few words from Mr. Madox:

Only two 

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Made of Stories

Muriel Rukeyser, poet and activist, was born on December 15, 1913.

She lived in Westbeth at Bethune and West Streets in the West Village.

Her words will tell you more about her than anything I can write:

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What Would You Get for James Thurber's Birthday?

James Thurber lived in New York City's Greenwich Village on Horatio Street near Ninth Avenue. He even wrote a poem called “Villanelle of Horatio Street, 

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Willa Cather's Birthday

Willa Cather's birthday is December 7th. Although famous for writing about the Midwest, especially Nebraska, Cather spent much of her life and career in New York City's Greenwich Village. She took up residence at several locations in the Village including 60 Washington Square, 82 Washington Place, 5 Bank Street, and the Hotel Grosvenor.

Celebrate her birthday by reading one of her books!

Some Cather quotations:

The dead 

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Happy Birthday, Calvin

Calvin Trillin, a friend of the Library and a Village writer, celebrates his birthday December 5, 2011. You can celebrate, too, by checking out one of his books!

As someone who often serves leftovers, I offer this Trillin quote:

“The most remarkable thing about my mother is that for thirty years she served the family nothing but leftovers. The original meal has never been found.”

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What Kind of Reader?

What kind of reader are you?

And what is the nature of reading?

It’s a simple enough question, and like many simple questions, it doesn’t have a simple answer.

In If On a Winter’s Night a Traveler Italo Calvino explores this question. It’s ingenious how he does it, and it’s the subject of Hudson Park’s next book club meeting on Saturday, 

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A Moment in Time in Greenwich Village

There is something about a photograph that speaks of permanence, but what it captures is the quintessence of the ephemeral — a moment in time.

Drew Martin has captured a neighborhood in time — Greenwich Village, April 2011 — in his current show at Hudson Park Library: UNDER THE HOOD: New York. Over 250 black and white photographs with personal comments document the people, pets, and places around Hudson Park Library.

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First Blooms: Witch-Hazel in Greenwich Village

Witch-hazel. Many plants have evocative names, but few can beat witch-hazel. It sounds magical, although as an old-fashioned treatment for insect bites, maybe it is less than magic, but its scent always makes you feel cooler and fresher.

What is magical about witch-hazel is that it is, right now, on March 1st, in full bloom. The first tree (after all, it's still winter) to flower, witch-hazel does not have particularly showy blooms. Its yellow pales compared to daffodils or forsythia, but it 

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Review of Fusiliers: The Saga of a British Redcoat Regiment in the American Revolution

Fusiliers: The Saga of a British Redcoat Regiment in the American Revolution by Mark Urban should be required reading for all aspiring historians on the American Revolutionary War. Many older historians should also take note of this fine book. Mark Urban purports to tell the story of one British regiment, the 23rd, or Royal Welch Fusiliers, but it is really about the whole British expereince in the war that the book concerns itself. While focusing on this one illustrious corps the author provides us a means to evaluate 

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Artist finds inspiration in France and closer to home

Village artist Elliott Gilbert finds his inspiration in the landscapes and ancient buildings of France. And sometimes he finds his inspiration closer to home, as in this work City Hall Park.

He is exhibiting 15 pieces at the Hudson Park Library through the end of February 2011.

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