Good evening from New York on the first evening of July.
I'll quickly apologize for not having posted in a while, without detailing all sorts of alibis.
Let me quickly upload a photo of a view from my current neighborhood before traveling a bit back in time.
The featured obelisk is not at all attractive to my eye, but it is typical of what is being built in NYC these days.
This evening I would like to remember a time in the mid-1970's when I returned to live in New York after a brief return to my Virginia roots. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to move into a huge, but spartan loft space in the downtown neighborhood that had been named by real estate interests as SoHo. South of Houston Street.
By the time I paid a fixture fee to the prior tenant (a model who was moving to Greece) and got the keys to the building from the landlady, with our mutual awareness that the space was not officially residential, galleries and a few restaurants had already set up business in an area that previously had been HQ for a variety of light industries, primarily in the textile trade.
Rents were cheap, one had to know someone to gain access to such places, plumbing was primitive, winters were chilly indoors. The notion of gentrification was just coming into the lexicon.
I still treasure my years in my Greene Street loft. A year before I moved into this space, a movie was filmed in a loft across the street and the movie's final scene was actually filmed in the street itself.
The film was and is An Unmarried Woman.
I currently work in a shop in SoHo. Nowadays, SoHo is mostly an urban shopping area. The artists have moved. The galleries have moved. Still, it's a destination for visitors from all over the world. Luxury hotels and international luxury retailers have set up business in SoHo.
A year or so ago, on a Sunday afternoon, I spoke with a gentleman who'd entered my workplace. I am now officially a senior citizen, and he was my elder. I enquired if I could help him find something, and he wistfully replied, thank you, but I am looking for something that doesn't exist anymore.
I am a curious person, and asked him to tell me more. It was then that he began to tell me that he'd once made a movie in this area.... I began to blush as I quickly realized that I was speaking with Paul Mazursky.
Mr. Mazursky's obituary has appeared today. I am doubly, perhaps triply, honored to have had the opportunity to meet him, to tell him how much I loved his movies, particularly An Unmarried Woman, and that I could indeed tell him where his remarkable, still very important movie, was filmed.
We had a lovely chat, and I know my blush deepened with every sentence. I "directed" Mr. Mazursky to the block of Greene Street that he was looking for.
Perhaps those of you who read this post might have seen the film, or some of the other films that Mr. Mazursky either wrote or directed. If not, you are in for a treat when you do get around to seeing them.
If you have seen them, then perhaps you will share my thoughts about his talent, and the way in which he was able to translate a very unique New York City time and place into film.
Thank you all for your visits here and your comments.