Click to search the Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library Skip Navigation

Blog Posts by Subject: Greenwich Village

"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

... Read More ›

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

... Read More ›

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 

... Read More ›

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:

... Read More ›

"Brava, Valentine" Discussion Wrap Up

Thank you for participating in this month’s Reader’s Den! I hope you enjoyed reading Brava, Valentine by Adriana Trigiani. Remember, the Reader's Den is always open! You are always welcome to begin reading the book, then come back and post your comments.

If you’re interested in reading other works by Adriana Trigiani or titles that are similar, then I would suggest these books:

... Read More ›

The Jefferson Market Courthouse/Library Archive: A Sneak Peek with Barbara Knowles-Pinches

Did you know that the Jefferson Market library has an archive of images, papers and press clippings dating back to the 1800s?  This collection of Greenwich Village history has recently been processed and made available to the public by archivist and librarian Barbara Knowles-Pinches, who began working at Jefferson Market in 2009.  The digitizing process has just begun; images and a finding aid will be available online in the near future. Here, Barbara tells us about some of her favorite items from the 

... Read More ›

The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire

The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, which took place 100 years ago today, was a tragic incident in New York City's history but also a turning point in the early labor movement.Read More ›

The Return of Adriana Trigiani!

A couple of weeks ago, Adriana Trigiani stopped by The Reader's Den to answer a few questions about Brava, Valentine. This week, she returns to answer a few more. Read on to see what she has to say!

You described many amazing locations in New York City and in Greenwich Village specifically. Did any one location in particular mean more to you than the others? Were some settings made up completely for the book? Out of all the places 

... Read More ›

Discussion Questions for "Brava, Valentine"

This week, I'm introducting a few discussion questions for this month's Reader's Den title Brava, Valentine. Want to participate? Simply comment at the bottom of this blog post.

When her Gram moves to Italy permanently at the beginning of the novel, Val feels that it’s her responsibility to step up as head of the Angelini Shoe Company. This puts her into a more forceful role than she has been in before. Her willingness to take ... Read More ›

Beware of Zombies: The Grim Origins of Washington Square Park

Centered on Washington Square Park, Greenwich Village is a neighborhood made legendary by the world famous artists, musicians, and writers that have flourished and created within steps of its arch. However, what lies beneath that splendid, recently re-landscaped and renovated outdoor sanctuary is a bit more morbid.

In his 2003 book Around Washington Square, Luther S. Harris posed the question, “What had made 

... Read More ›

Author Interview with Adriana Trigiani

Last week, I promised you an exclusive Reader's Den interview with this month's author of Brava, Valentine: Here is the wonderful Adriana Trigiani.

I think the first obvious question to ask you would be, how crazy is your real life family compared to Valentine Roncalli’s fictional one? Have you ever had a major holiday blowout like the one that happens in the book? That was 

... Read More ›

"Brava, Valentine" by Adriana Trigiani

The month of love may have just ended, but things are getting a bit romanticized for the March 2011 edition of The Reader’s Den. Get ready to discuss Brava, Valentine by Adriana Trigiani. An Italian-American woman born in Queens, Valentine struggles to balance love, work, and family in this heartfelt and touching novel.

This book, the sequel to ... Read More ›

Changing the Changing City

Seeking further enlightenment into the city we call home, I recently took a class on the literary and cultural history of New York City. Among the many themes common to New York City novels we discussed was the portrayal of the city itself as a character with power to shape the lives of its citizens.

Many of us New Yorkers have felt this pressure in our own lives: we choose where to live based on our budgets, our hobbies, our family situation, and often our ethnic, linguistic or religious 

... Read More ›

My Library: Judy

A book maven visits the Jefferson Market Library.

Read More ›

My Library: Nikko

Nikko's been coming to Jefferson Market for nearly half his life! A media omnivore, the library is his Netflix alternative.

Read More ›

Wrestling with Moses: How Jane Jacobs Took on New York’s Master Builder and Transformed the American City

Robert A Caro’s tome The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York is a thick, unwieldy book at 1344 pages. It sits on my shelf with yellowed pages. I bought it shortly after I moved to New York City 30 years ago. I enjoy history and learned after I moved here that Robert Moses was an important piece of the NYC history puzzle. The book upon first reading was lost to me. I had no real understanding of New York City at that point and Robert Moses’ story 

... Read More ›

Boss Tweed's Last Swindle

Amazing to think how something beautiful can come from something corrupt.  The inspiring Jefferson Market Library (born a courthouse) had just such a beginning. You may have heard of Boss Tweed?  William Marcy "Boss" Tweed was a 19th century politician who swindled New York City out of millions of dollars.  By the 1860s, Tweed became head of Tammany Hall, a powerful group of Democratic politicians.  He organized his associates into the Tweed Ring, which sponsored schemes for city improvements.  Millions of 

... Read More ›

Where Is St. John's?: The Old Burying Ground

St. John's Burying Ground used to occupy the space which is now James J. Walker Park, between Leroy, Hudson and Clarkson Streets. In a sense it still does since the old stones were buried in place and few of the 10,000 occupants were moved. The only stone remaining is one dedicated to three firemen who gave their lives in the line of duty over 150 years ago.

Read More ›

Where Is St. John's?: How Place Names Live On in the West Village

Why was a former railroad freight terminal named for a church? What's odder still is that the terminal was named for a church that had been demolished about 20 years before the terminal was built. And the location of the terminal and the church are not even particularly close. The connection is the railroad.

St. John's Church was built by Trinity Church in 1807 on Varick Street, a couple of blocks south of Canal. It and the private park it faced (also called St. John's) became the center of a fashionable neighborhood.But in 1867, Trinity sold St. John's 

... Read More ›
Previous Page 3 of 4 Next