GREENWICH VILLAGE, NY
Pandemic of 2020
I spent a lot of time at one of my long time favorites, Caffe Reggio during the 2020 Pandemic in New York. They let me sit inside when indoor seating in bars, restaurants and caffes was not permitted. They opened up again and I started going every single day, beginning in September 2020. I went to get out of the house, get my coffee (cappuccino), get on my computer, do some writing, and promotion of already published books. I went to Caffe Reggio 2 times a day, and some days I even made 3 stops. I did a good bit of writing and by the end of January 2021, I had finished writing my book Positano The Amalfi Coast Cookbook / Travel Guide, and it was published on February 7th 2021, and up for sale on Amazon .com .. “Another in the Bag, as they say.”
I have been going to Caffe Reggio since I was just 15 years old, when I’d hop on a bus in East Rutherford and take into the Port AUthority Bus Terminal in New York. Once at Port Authority I’d take 3 escalators down to Subway level and hop on the A Train and make my way downtown to Greenwich Village, taking the train to the West 4th Street Subway Station, where I’d hop out and make my way to Washington Square Park with my 35mm Camera to hangout, watch the musicians, jugglers, and other street performers perform, and what not. I’d shoot a couple rolls of film, walk around and have a great time. I loved it. I was just a kid of 15, having some fun, and learning a little about life.
One day I was so very fortunate. I was hanging out in the middle of the park when this guy dressed all in black tight and a black top-hat rolled up to where I was, he was riding on a unicycle and he had a blag bag slung over his shoulder. He stopped and hopped off the unicycle, not saying a word. As it would turn out, he would not say a word at all. He was a mime. But that was not all he did. He pulled some things out of his bag. He had balls, juggling pins, a long piece of rope and other things. He started juggling the balls. The the pins. He took the piece of rope and tied one end to a tree, and the other end to another tree. It was about 7 feet off the ground. Once it was set up, he got up on top of it and started tight rope walking, and jumping on it. The he pulled out 3 balls and started juggling them as he balanced and walked upon the rope, miming all the time. This guy put on a wonderful show, and I justed loved it. Of course I took pictures. To this day, it still remains one of the best performances of any kind that I’ve ever seen in my life, and I’ve seen some wonderful shows. I’ve seen the great Frank Sinatra perform 7 times, I went to 4 Tony Bennett concerts, I’ve seen Diana Ross, 2 of The Beatles, The ROlling Stones, numerous Broadway Shows, Tome Jones, The New York Philharmonic Orchestra, and a score of other shows.
Now I’m not saying this guy was better than Frank Sinatra or The Rolling Stones, just that his little show in Washington Square Park ranked up there with them. A few months after seeing this guy in the park, the same guy did something that no one had ever done, or will ever do again, just him. This guy that I saw do this great little sort of circus show, did something completely unique and historical in New York, on August 7, 1974 he walked a tight-rope between the Twin Towers, 1,368 feet above the New York City pavement below. “Incredible.” The man was none other than the great Phillipe Petit.
When I saw him do his little show in Washington Square Park a few months earlier I had no idea who this man was, or what he would do a few months later, walking 8 times back and forth from one World Trade Center to the next. To this day, it is still one of the greatest and most memorable moments in New York City History, and people still marvel over this mans great feat.
Phillipe Petit Walks a Tight Wire over The Twin Towers
August 7th 1974