“The Life Cafeteria”

Painter and Greenwich Village resident Vincent La Gambina immortalized this 1936 scene from the Life Cafeteria, an eatery on Sheridan Square. 

Dubbed the “arrestaurant” by Village poet Max Bodenheim because of the unsavory characters who frequented the place, Life Cafeteria attracted bohemians, the downtrodden, male prostitutes, and other locals looking for cheap food and a comfortable place to watch the world go by.

This painting belongs to the Museum of the City of New York.

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One Response to ““The Life Cafeteria””

  1. Sam Bluefarb Says:

    Dubbed the “arrestaurant” by Village poet Max Bodenheim because of the unsavory characters who frequented the place, Life Cafeteria attracted bohemians, the downtrodden, male prostitutes, and other locals looking for cheap food and a comfortable place to watch the world go by.

    THIS WAS NOT THE LIFE CAFETERIA I KNEW.”OOWNTRODEDEN” “MALE PROSTTUTES”? Whatta thing to say of a place that deserved a better legacy.It attracted artists, writerw, and friends for convivial meetings and talk over coffee. You can’t sum up an instituy=tion in a few words, mostly supercilious and deprecatory. Bogies wit was overblown. No one was arrested in LIFE–that I knew of, or at leasr it wasn’t a practice common enough to justify such characterization.

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