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January Favorites from the Archive

The Village Preservation Historic Image Archive highlights the history of the people and built environment of Greenwich Village, the East Village, NoHo, and New York City in general. All the images provide a unique perspective reflecting on the time and location of when and where the photo was taken. Looking at just a few images here captured in Januarys past, there is a vast diversity of people and places highlighted:

The above image was taken on January 21, 1995. It is included in our Jillian Jonas Collection — Downtown Drag+ Performance in the 1990s Part II. It features Candis Cayne, Girlina, Mistress Formika, and Port-o-Potty (Pret a Porter) at boy bar, located at15 St. Marks Place, winter 94 and Jackie 60.

Jillian Jonas was the house photographer at the legendary boy bar on St. Mark’s Place in the mid-1990’s, where she captured thousands of images of drag performers who mixed gender-bending and illusion with downtown in-your-face attitude. Part I and Part II of the Jonas collections include images from a variety of shows at boy bar, the Pyramid Club, Florent, the NYC Marble Cemetery, and various other downtown nightlife and performance venues of the early-to-mid-1990s. Her pictures capture a golden age of LGBTQ+ nightlife and performance, as well as an edgy slice of downtown culture when drag and blurred boundaries of gender were just beginning to make inroads into the broader public consciousness, largely through this vibrant local scene.

The photo below, taken on January 27th, 2002, and a handwritten note added later, captures a much different part of NYC history.

Chris, Ben, John, Marge, Carol, and Peter, at Point Thank You January 27, 2002.

They were donated by Villager Lenore Mills. Mills and many of her neighbors and out-of-town volunteers gathered on the corner of Christopher and West Streets in the days and months after 9/11 to cheer on the rescue and recovery workers traveling to and from Ground Zero via the West Side Highway. A dedicated group gathered here every day until the last beam was removed from Ground Zero in May 2002, and on each anniversary of 9/11. This collection documents their volunteer efforts, including a trip the group took to Shanksville, Pennsylvania in 2002. Click here to see the full collection.

Do you have unique photos of Greenwich Village, the East Village, NoHo, or other NYC neighborhoods you would like to share with the public? Contact us today.

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