Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Memories of Veselka: Recalling the beatniks, artists and punks; and squirting the owner with breast milk

The Times today takes a look at the history of Veselka, which has been serving up Ukrainian specialties on Second Avenue and Ninth Street since 1954. Here's an excerpt for the piece, titled "A Ukrainian Beacon in the East Village" ...

"We were in and out of Veselka all day, every day," said Penny Arcade, the writer and performance artist who arrived in the neighborhood as a teenage runaway in 1967 and is still a Veselka regular. "It had the Village Voice before anywhere else, a row of phone booths, smokes for a dime and cheap good food that never changed." Mr. Darmochwal [the original owner], she said, never hid his disapproval of the hippies and beatniks, artists and punks who lingered there over coffee and cigarettes and free challah. "But he never threw us out, either," she said — even in 1969, when an anarchist squirted him with breast milk after he objected to her breast-feeding at the table.

And, say, whatever happened to Veselka on the Bowery...?

[Photo by Youngna Park via Grub Street]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Best Veselka memory:

Keith Herring drawing a Radiant Child in the fog on the window & the old front door.