When I moved to Greenwich Village in late 1977, renting an apartment on West 11th Street, I’d no idea how near I was living to the once home of James Thurber — the fellow whose work brought me to the big city. In the photo above (thanks Google!) the grey and yellow-paneled modern building all the way to the right at 65 West 11th Street, was the location of Thurber’s home in the late 1920s (1928, according to Harrison Kinney’s excellent Thurber biography, James Thurber: His Life and Times, Henry Holt, 1995). Thurber and his wife moved to West 11th from their Horatio Street apartment [anyone have an address for Thurber’s Horatio apartment? Neither Kinney nor Bernstein’s biographies have it]. The building that housed Thurber’s apartment was replaced by the New School’s Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts in the late 1950s.
Just past the yellow school crossing sign, at the corner of 6th and West 11th, there was a magazine store. It was at that corner, back in April of 1977, that I opened the latest issue of The New Yorker to see my name listed for the first time. Quite a moment. My apartment was on the other side of 6th, a few doors past what once was (the fabulous) Ray’s Pizza (Ray’s was on the NW corner of 6th and West 11th, street level in the red brick building you see beyond the yellow school crossing sign).
Years later I came to learn how many New Yorker folks lived on West 11th. Here’s a close-up of the street from the Ink Spill map of The New Yorker’s New York, posted in 2013. I had some sliver of interaction with all of these folks, except, of course, Thurber, and Ross, who died before I was born. Peter DeVries “fixed” one of my earliest captions (he was, at the time I began at the magazine, a caption doctor); I lived in the same building as Donald Barthelme, in the apartment just above his; courtesy of Mr. Barthelme, I met, sat next to, and listened to Steinberg in the garden of the apartment building (as you see on the map snippet, he once actually lived in an apartment on the corner of 6th and West 11th); also courtesy of Mr. Barthelme, I spent some time chatting with Grace Paley at a Barthelme party; walked past S.J. Perelman on Carmine Street, but was too afraid (or intimidated, or whatever) to introduce myself. Just walking past him was experience enough.
Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon
Adam Douglas Thompson on Waldo & distancing. Mr. Thompson began contributing to The New Yorker in April of 2019
…From Submittable, March 18, 2020, “5 Literary Cartoons By Ali Solomon” Ms. Solomon began contributing to The New Yorker in November of 2018.
…From Believer Magazine, March 18, 2020, “The Coffee Isn’t Even Bitter: A Comic” by Jason Adam Katzenstein. Mr. K. has been contributing to The New Yorker since 2014.