Posts Tagged ‘Waverly Place’

The loneliness of a New York all-night cafe

May 8, 2017

Lamb, beef, and eggs are on the menu board on the sidewalk. Inside, the room is lit up, and people appear to be sitting together, or at least in close proximity to one another.

But this lone figure standing on the snowy sidewalk outside an all-night cafe in New York circa 1900 isn’t part of it. He’s an emblem of the 24-hour, modernized city, a New York with more than three million residents divided and isolated.

Maybe he can’t afford to go in; perhaps it’s not his class or crowd. Painter Everett Shinn, a member of the Ashcan School — artists who focused on the grittier side of urban life — isn’t letting us read the man’s face for clues.

Shinn had a studio on Waverly Place. Could the current occupant of this cafe be Joe Coffee at 141 Waverly?

A popular 1840s literary salon on Waverly Place

October 12, 2011

Even in the 1840s, Greenwich Village was a literary hub.

No wonder a young teacher and poet named Anne Charlotte Lynch (left) moved there when she relocated from Rhode Island in 1845.

While trying to break into the periodicals of the day, Lynch began hosting literary salons at her house at 116 Waverly Place.

Extroverted and unpretentious, she attracted lots of big-name writers.

Edgar Allan Poe, living just over on West Third Street, was a regular; supposedly he read “The Raven” aloud one night.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (below), Herman Melville, and Horace Greeley were also among the frequent guests.

“She received every Saturday evening,” recalls an 1894 journal called Literary News. “American literature was just beginning to make itself felt, and her house became the weekly gathering-place for aspiring poets, writers, and novelists.”

After she married, her salon moved to her new home on West 37th Street. She ran it each week at least through her 60s, carving out an unpretentious, creative space that helped nurture American talent.

The proud knights of Waverly Place

March 26, 2010

At the corner of Sixth Avenue and Waverly Place is a 16-story apartment house, appropriately named The Waverly.

It has the beige-brick prewar elegance of many Village residences, but what stands out is the ornate two-story entrance.

Carved into the facade are reliefs of knights with swords on horseback, soldiers in helmets, and unicorns.

Why all the Medieval imagery?

It’s a nod to Waverley, the 1814 historical novel by Sir Walter Scott set in the Scotland Highlands that features lots of chieftains and castles.

The novel was extremely popular in the early 19th century. After Scott died in 1832, the street was named for him at the insistence of local residents.

Strange that they misspelled it though!