Summertime theater in Patchin Place

Little Patchin Place, off West 10th Street in the Village, is one of those slightly scruffy 19th-century mews that thrill tourists and New Yorkers alike. I lived there for five years, and every day people would stand outside the front gate, peering in and soaking up the charm.

The apartments were kind of falling apart, but for the chance to live where e.e. cummings once resided? It was all okay. Below, Berenice Abbott’s 1930s Patchin Place photo.

Built around 1850 as living quarters for the Basque waiters working at the nearby Brevoort Hotel, the 3-story houses didn’t have electricity or running water until the teens, about the time the waiters moved out and artists, actors, and writers moved in.

Considering the artistic bent, it actually isn’t surprising that in 1918, residents of Patchin Place put on a play in the communal backyard behind one row of houses. According to a New York Times story, Patchinites performed Yeats’ “The King’s Threshold,” at midnight on July 1. About 300 people came to watch:

Tags: , , , ,

7 Responses to “Summertime theater in Patchin Place”

  1. Wendy Says:

    I grew up here in the 60s, and recently returned for the first time since 1990. I remember going to the cherry lane theater and the blue mill with my parents, so this was one of the first places I revisited. I, too, remember wondering at the winos on my way to elementary school…

  2. Bronx Boy Says:

    great site. Have you covered or intend to cover Poe Cottage in the Bronx? Haven’t been there in ages but its quite surreal as I recall. This old cottage in the middle of nowhere, Bronx. I’ll check your Bronx postings but I can tell you the Bronx has so many hidden treasures, City Island, Wave Hill, Country Club area, Coast Guard Academy, Louies Seafood (if its still there), Van Cortlandt Park, Woodlawn Cemetary, Grand Concourse, the list goes on. Sorry to coopt this post/

  3. Bronx Boy Says:

    great site. Have you covered or intend to cover Poe Cottage in the Bronx? Haven’t been there in ages but its quite surreal as I recall. This old cottage in the middle of nowhere, Bronx. I’ll check your Bronx postings but I can tell you the Bronx has so many hidden treasures, City Island, Wave Hill, Country Club area, Coast Guard Academy, Louies Seafood (if its still there), Van Cortlandt Park, Woodlawn Cemetary, Grand Concourse, the list goes on. Sorry to coopt this post/

  4. wildnewyork Says:

    Thanks for the kind words and Bronx suggestions. There’s some coverage of Bronx neighborhoods and history here, but not as much as I’d like. Expect to see more, perhaps Poe’s Cottage, in the near future.

  5. “Are you still alive, Djuna?” « Ephemeral New York Says:

    [...] By wildnewyork That’s what e.e. cummings reportedly shouted every so often out his window on Patchin Place, the little West Village gated alley where he and fellow writer Djuna Barnes both happened to be [...]

  6. A blink-and-you’ll-miss-it alley in the Village « Ephemeral New York Says:

    [...] New Yorkers know about the many courtyards and mews of Greenwich Village, such as Patchin Place, MacDougal Alley, and Charles [...]

  7. New York’s last gas lamp in a Village alley « Ephemeral New York Says:

    [...] one-lane stretch of circa-1850 brick walk-ups in the West Village is shaded by ailanthus trees and blocked off from traffic by a wrought-iron [...]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,428 other followers

%d bloggers like this: