We caught up with Vanessa Repice last week, who detailed her desire to reclaim a bit of her West Village neighborhood, where she’s been a resident for 12 years, and restore some of the charm she’s seen ebb away via her new restaurant Charlemagne.
But as with most areas of this city, some of her neighbors have called the enclave home for far longer, and one of them challenged her account of the West Village’s past.
Seriously? She found, “a little pocket of New York that was undiscovered” in the West Village? Yeah, right … becasue nobody had ever heard of Christopher Street before that … and a good thing she avoided walking anywhere near that nasty porn shop on Christopher and Greenwich. … sex shops in Greenwich Village? What is this world coming to?
I miss the old days when Christopher Street really would have scared the bejesus out of people like Repice with funky, inexpensive eateries and sex shops and bars and cruising and wild and crazy crowds that started something called Stonewall on that street–but I am sure she would have avoided that riffraff.
After all, after living there for a grand total of 12 years, and “discovering” the West Village single-handedly, without a map in French, she certainly is the world expert on what that neighborhood needs and wants–another overpriced foofoo restaurant.
Have memories of this part of town that confirm or conflict with Repice’s account? Join the conversation in the comments.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 15, 2013