Thursday, June 10, 2021

All along 1st Avenue with Neil Goldberg

Text and photos by Stacie Joy 

Like so many New Yorkers, especially those of us who live in the East Village, I was deeply moved by local resident Neil Goldberg's op-ed piece "Hallelujah Anyway, Anyway" in The New York Times earlier this spring.

A video piece that speaks of his experiences watching shopkeepers all along First Avenue rolling up their gates each morning, and how the city and our neighborhood have changed since he first started videotaping merchants in the early 1990s. A meditative piece dealing with twin viruses, first AIDS and now COVID, Neil reflects on change, impermanence, resiliency and hope. 

I recently met up with the artist and we walked along First Avenue from Houston to 14th Street on both sides and revisited some of the storefronts featured in his story. We even visited his former apartment building, where his name remains on the buzzer. 
We chatted about old favorites long gone like Baby Jake's, Black Forest Pastry Shop and Foot Gear Plus, and marveled at places that are (thankfully!) still here, such as Speedy Lock & Door, Gizmo and Cosmo's Launderama ...
You can keep up with Neil here ... and tune into his podcast, "She's A Talker."


bill said...

I remember the typewriter shop that was where the Benjamin Moore store is now. It closed in 1992 just after I bought one there.

Anonymous said...


Felton Davis said...

Oren Moverman's probing study of homelessness was filmed at Cosmo's, with Jena Malone working in the laundremat, and her father (Richard Gere) wandering around Tompkins.

KPR789 said...

Wow I loved Neil Goldberg's video, especially how he capped it at the end, weaving in footage of the hankerchief-waving person during the community clap last spring. And loved your post about it, EVG, showing us Neil and revisiting the sites of his video.
Both so well done. Thanks. Hallelujah times two. - Jeanne K