With the City’s Council’s vote this week on the Hudson Square rezoning, which will decide if the South Village is saved or its destruction accelerated, we thought we’d remind everyone of why the South Village is so special to so many people.
Some wonderful individuals with strong connections to the South Village allowed us to record some of their thoughts about the importance of preserving this neighborhood, and put them on our YouTube page.
The first is actor/performer/comedian John Leguizamo:
John has been a great supporter of our preservation efforts in general, but has a particular passion for the South Village and the role it played in helping him to hone his craft and launch his career.
Rob Kaufelt is the owner of Murray’s Cheese on Bleecker Street, and a longtime South Village resident. The South Village’s distinctive character and history attracted him to owning a business and raising a family here.
The Rev. Donna Schaper of Judson Memorial Church knows how important preserving our history and understanding where we come from is; Judson’s social justice ministry has been an essential part of the South Village for more than a century.
Matt Umanov has seen a lot of changes since he first opened the world-renowned Umanov Guitars decades ago. But the South Village has always been a place where people passionate about music and the arts have flocked.
Connie Masullo has lived in the South Village her entire life. Her father was one of a huge wave of Italian immigrants who came to this neighborhood between the late 19th and early 20th centuries and utterly transformed its character. Connie remembers him writing poetry in Washington Square Park.
Brendan Sexton has helped shape cities for decades, having served under five New York City mayors, established the first recycling program for a major American city, and spent several years as the President of Municipal Art Society and the Times Square Alliance. He also calls the South Village home, and knows that you can try but never quite succeed in re-creating the kind of unique and irreplaceable urban chemistry the South Village has in spades.
Anita Isola has deep family roots in the South Village, her family having owned and operated a business on Bleecker Street for generations. Now she’s an activist fighting to protect her neighborhood.
If you want to help preserve the South Village and ensure that the City Council does not approve the Hudson Square rezoning UNLESS the South Village is given landmark protections, click HERE or HERE to help.