Each year, Village Preservation honors neighborhood institutions at the Annual Meeting and Village Awards. This fun event highlights and celebrates the invaluable people, places, and organizations that make our neighborhoods some of the most interesting and exceptional in the city. The event also includes a review of Village Preservation’s activities and accomplishments over the last year. Use the links below to watch past award ceremonies, see pictures, and see more information on past years’ Village Awards.
Celebrating Our 2021 Village Awardees:
Casa Magazines, 22 Eighth Avenue
Mercer Street Books and Records, 206 Mercer Street
Newsbar Cafè, 107 University Place
Pangea Restaurant and Cabaret, 178 Second Ave
Hudson Park Library, 66 Leroy Street
Bon Yagi, East Village Restauranteur and Civic Leader
Regina Kellerman Award Winner: Linda Pagan, South Village Small Business Owner, Advocate, and Leader
CASA Magazines has been part of the West Village’s heart and soul for over 30 years, managed by Mohammed Ahmed. Situated on the corner of West 12th St. and 8th Ave, CASA is a beacon of the community. In light of paper media’s supposed decline, Mohammed calls himself the “Last King of Print,” curating a wall-to-wall treasure trove of international publications. Whether picking up a tabloid or popping in to talk politics, the weather, families, or local gossip, everyone is welcomed as a local with Mohammed’s dry sense of humor.
Mercer Street Books and Records is an absolute favorite neighborhood literary haunt, owned and operated by Wayne Conti since 1990. A massive selection in a small storefront, books range from art, architecture, and photography to poetry, literary criticism, and philosophy. All are encouraged to drift around and browse the shelves to explore, discover, and lose themselves. Embodying NoHo’s wanderlust charm, Mercer Street Books evinces a love of the neighborhood’s culture. Wayne advocates for artistic expression, for his community, and, of course, for the beloved books which open up new worlds in the neighborhood.
Newsbar Café was founded in 1998 by owner Jan Balascak, NewsBar Café is the perfect local spot to eat, drink or just pause our busy lives and take in their fabulous playlist with a fresh cup of joe. From choosing a house-baked blueberry muffin to their popular egg-wraps, meals are always delicious, and the servers always know regulars by their first name. Jan’s gentle personality and dedication to his customers defines NewsBar as “your oasis in the middle of NYC,” the quintessential Village-casual kitchen/office/living room/ study/restaurant. It truly does it all, and has saved a spot just for you.
Pangea Restaurant and Cabaret is heralded for its role as an incubator for local artists with an eclectic range of performance styles from traditional cabaret and the American Songbook to experimental performance artists to politically inclined musicians. Originally founded as “Spaghetteria” by Stephen Shanaghan and his partner Arnoldo Caballero in 1984, the venue adapted in the mid-90s, adding an intimate cabaret room in the back. In addition to supporting performing artists, the restaurant features rotating art exhibits by local visual artists. Pangea carries on the great Village tradition of showcasing and being a haven for alternative and emerging artists.
Hudson Park Library is crucial to the educational fabric of the West Village, helping children to develop a love for reading and providing our residents with access to their collections, to computers, and to public space. There’s something intimate about stepping into the lobby of the Hudson Park Library, a landmarked building built in 1906 and frequented by the Village’s many literary luminaries including modernist poet Marianne Moore, who worked as library assistant in the 1920s. Many visitors have remarked how they cherished the library as a child and how excited they are for their own kids to enjoy it.
Bon Yagi was raised in Japan shortly after the end of World War II. His story is one of hard work, drive, ingenuity and achievement. Yagi has been enormously influential in New York and has been credited with introducing many types of Japanese food, drink, and culinary techniques in America. A long time East Villager, Yagi helped create what is now known as Little Tokyo. Since opening his first Japanese restaurant, Hasaki, in 1984, Yagi grew his enterprise to thirteen different eateries. Yagi also aids international communities during hard times by raising money for Japanese tsunami victims, sharing food and generator power with locals during Hurricane Sandy, sponsoring parades, and creating a scholarship for American chefs to learn Japanese cooking techniques to carry on his legacy.
Regina Kellerman Awardee: Linda Pagan opened The Hat Shop in the South Village/SoHo in 1995 and has been using her creative intuition to help build a community network for local artists and residents. After 9/11, Linda helped to organize an art walk to attract pedestrians back to Thompson Street businesses. Now, exercising her power during the COVID-19 pandemic, she champions the “SOS – Save Our Storefronts” campaign to secure rent relief and preserve local commerce. An advocate for all, Linda also uses her platforms to celebrate the Sullivan Thompson Historic District and advocate for those in need. For her kindness and devotion to her local community, we present Linda with our Regina Kellerman Award, honoring those who dedicate their inspiring careers to the preservation of our neighborhoods’ unique cultural heritage.
Click here to see past awardees by year or in alphabetical order.
- Wednesday, June 16, 2021
- 6:00 pm