Tuesday, March 30, 2010

William Steig Lived Here

... And so did John Barrymore and Cary Grant and Margaret Mead and Edna St. Vincent Millay.

Also: my grandparents.

I believe that this video from Daniel Basbus, a NYC Realtor, expounding on "the most charming townhouse located in the heart of the West Village," is the same townhouse that my grandmother (school teacher) and grandfather (jazz musician) rented back in the 1930s. Their apartment was at the top, which was where John Barrymore used to live. The place is close to Washington Square Park, and the speakeasies and the arteests of the Village.

Fun to unexpectedly run across this on YouTube. And I never knew that a cartoonist lived at that same place!
And, so far ass I can tell, Steig actually lived there the same time that my grandparents, Phyllis and Francis Lynch, did!
"[New Yorker editor Harold] Ross published sixty of Steig’s drawings in 1932, seventy in 1934. He also permitted Steig to write his own captions, or, rather, to draw his own ideas (the magazine’s usual practice was to buy an idea and assign it to a staff artist). Steig was becoming an insider."
-- Paul La Farge, The Tablet

Steig met many luminaries during this time, including Elizabeth Mead, anthropologist Margaret Mead's sister. They were married in 1936.

When I moved to NYC in the 1980s, finding this building in the West Village was a priority. Sure, many times I'd wished that my grandparents would have bought and kept it! Alas, it was not to be. Soon after my father's birth in Brooklyn's Long Island College Hospital, they moved to Pasadena, California. It would be 50 years before another Lynch would live in the City!

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