Could You Make it a Little Harder to Use that Sidewalk, Please?

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 We love our tree-lined streets and beautiful townhouses, but along with that comes  sidewalks so narrow that people have to navigate them single file. Between the front stoops, the tree and garden plantings and basement doors, the width of a sidewalk in the West Village can be as narrow as a foot and a half in width.

Don’t get us wrong, we love any efforts to
beautify our neighborhood, but the sidewalk
on the Greenwich Street side of The Spotted Pig
is just a bit too restricting. The plants take up
a lot of sidewalk room, and the wooden
bench, although it’s the same width as the tree surround, makes it even narrower. Bikes are often parked in this narrow space as well. Can one imagine pushing a baby carriage through this opening?

So thank you, Spotted Pig, for all the pretty plants — but please consider people who have a difficult time walking on this block.


Obama Comes to Charles Street
Cheerful and well-behaved crowds gathered as close to Charles Street as possible to see Barack Obama’s motorcade arrive on the evening of June 14.
The preparations were in evidence earlier in the day as the tent in front of Sara Jessica Parker’s townhouse went up, and barricades lined the surrounding streets. Many noticed that all the corner trash receptacles had been removed and the mailboxes sealed—reasonable security precautions.
Neighbors with rooftops and fire escapes that would give a great view of the event were told to go back inside by cops and Secret Service.
After standing and waiting for hours, anticipation mounted as  vehicles with wailing sirens and flashing lights approached, and helicopters flew low overhead, but there were several false alarms, and the motorcade finally crossed Bleecker and Charles at 6:48 pm.
The fundraiser is said to have added $4.5 million to the President’s reelection campaign coffers.

Library Budget Saved —Thanks to Public Support
Thanks to letters and calls to Mayor Bloomberg’s office and the City Council, $40 million of the $43 million asked for kept for the New York Public Library budget.
The library has been operating with less than needed for the past four years, but this budget will keep the most serious cuts from happening.
See the previous West Village Word story Speak up for the Jefferson Market Library on the impending disaster.

Nothing if Not Picturesque
Many neighborhood residents have a problem with the multiplicity of stores like Marc Jacobs, Ralph Lauren and Coach along Bleecker Street. We all miss the wonderful  antique shops and other small businesses that once occupied those storefronts.
We have to admit, though, that even if many of us can’t afford to shop in these high-end boutiques, some of them are attractive to look at.
The Ralph Lauren Men’s store on the corner of Perry and Bleecker often has interesting and well-done window displays, and amazingly, the salesmen dress to match the aesthetic. Seen here, two of them enjoy the sunshine and fresh air waiting for the arrival of customers.


Pedestrians Beware
There has been a rash of tragic vehicle/pedestrian accidents in the Village over the past month.
On May 2 Lori Stevens, a long-time West Village resident and beloved neighbor, was struck by a taxi while crossing Jane Street while walking her dog Moose. She had the green light. She succumbed to her injuries early the next morning, and has been mourned by all who knew her. has posted a story about Lori, Moose, and how her neighbors have come together to honor her.
In the early morning of May 24, a young and pretty aspiring actress was hit, run over and killed by a dump truck at Broadway and 14th Street. She also had the green light. The hit-and-run driver has not yet been found.
On the night of May 28, a cyclist was struck by a car and left unconscious at the corner of Christopher and Hudson Streets. He was transported to Bellevue in critical condition.
Stay safe. Look both ways, even when you have the green light. Be aware of drivers who also have the green light, but don’t slow down as they make their turns. Check in both directions for scofflaw cyclists who speed through red lights and travel the wrong way on a one-way street.
Be careful out there!

Hard To Ignore
This young 140-pound Doberman Pinscher named Max, as seen on Hudson Street. He was calm and gentle as passers-by stopped to pet him and comment on his size.
Think of the food bills!

Speak up for the Jefferson Market Library
$43 million budget cut threatens services at our local library branches. If this goes through, it could mean layoffs, fewer new books and other materials, and a reduction in valuable programs that help children and seniors. It may also mean, for many branches, a four-day week, and possible closings. To see a video or read the testimony of NYPL President Anthony Marx about the potential cuts, go here.
This is a time when more and more of us are depending on the library for books and video loans, research, computer use and educational offerings.
Jefferson Market Library is a truly exceptional place where the manager, Frank Collerius, and his staff have worked hard to bring the best in free films, lectures, exhibits, children’s programs and more. If one reads WestView newspaper, the Events section is full of great programs put on each month at Jefferson Market Library. To see a listing of these events, go here.
Many of us use the Hudson Park Branch on Leroy Street, which would be affected as well.
To add your voice to those who want to block these extensive cuts, sign a letter to Mayor Bloomberg and Speaker Quinn by going to and clicking on the panel marked “Help Protect NYPL” in the upper right hand corner.

Adoptapalooza a Dog (and Cat) Treat
On Saturday, May 19, several animal rescue organizations came together in Washington Square Park to showcase adoptable cats and dogs. There were games, giveaways, a runway shows,  agility demonstration, and educational material for prospective owners.
The event was put on by The Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals ( which seeks to make New York a no-kill city, and is supported in large part by Maddies Fund, the largest contributor to the organization ( At left, one of the little guys up for adoption. Also up for adoption was a purebred Great Dane, who had been surrendered by a pet store when he grew too big. (Duh!)

Nustraty Imports Returns to the West
Nusraty Afghan Imports closed it’s Bleecker Street store in 2008 and moved to 10th Street off Sixth Avenue.
Mr. Nusraty’s store has been missed, but is now returning to a spot at 83 Christopher Street, and should be open for business by the end of May.

Storefront Watch May 2012
Self promotion to the extreme! These Karl Lagerfeld T-shirts at the KARL Pret-a-Porter store on Bleecker Street sell from $85 on up to well over $100.\

Curbside Museum
It’s always a treat to walk by Cooper Classics at 137 Perry Street, especially when they park their automotive gems in front of the building. Below are some recent sightings.

1951 Chevrolet 3100 Pickup

1966 Jaguar Roadster

1958 Mercedes-Benz 190SL