[EPISODE] The West Village, One of Manhattan’s Oldest Neighborhoods
Jeff is joined once again by Joyce Gold to discuss The West Village. Joyce begins tonight’s show discussing her time growing up in Pennsylvania before moving to Queens. Joyce tells how she became interested in New York’s history. Joyce notes the origin of the name Greenwich Village and details the early development of the area. Jeff and Joyce discuss the grid plan in the Village and the architecture of certain buildings in the Village.
Jeff and Joyce continue to explore the Village’s history, touching on the history of the Docks in the area. They talk about the development of the Landmark district in the West Village. They touch on the ethnic profile of the area and how it changed throughout history. Joyce shares the story of Chumley’s at 86 Bedford Street, a noted speakeasy rumored to to be the origin of the phrase “86 it”.
Jeff is joined by Nicky Perry, owner of Tea and Sympathy. Nicky gives her background and how she moved from Greenwich in London to Greenwich Village in New York. Nicky mentions her career working in tea shops in London and America. She tells how these jobs led her to open her own restaurant to bring British cuisine to New York City. She explains how she used her passion, care, love, and compassion to make her restaurant successful.
Jeff and Nicky discuss the changes she’s seen in the West Village in the past thirty years. Nicky laments the negative changes she has noticed in her time owning a business in the area. She mentions the loss of business in the area due to rent increases and high real estate taxes. Joyce, Jeff, and Nicky mention how even famous businesses like the The Strand Bookstore face these issues. Nicky urges citizens to be involved and deal with these community issues.