11th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues was described by Jane Jacobs as a “dignified and interesting street” to walk on, because of the diversity of uses and ages of the buildings here. Today, most of this block and its adjoining one feels rather eerie constituted, as it were, with historic, turn-of-the-century townhouses looking beautiful and elegant, but somewhat trapped in time. Sitting squarely within the Greenwich Village Historic District, the neighborhood has also been cleaned up so well that it smacks of Disneyland.
Two haunting landmarks can be found here: the Second Cemetery of the Spanish and Portugeuse Synagogue, the City’s smallest cemetery, harboring the bones of its Sephardim dead; and the St Vincent’s Hospital, the main hospitals where survivors from the Titanic and more recently, the September 11th Terrorist Attacks, were taken for treatment. Who knows, the souls of these tragic dead may still be here, trapped in Limbo, unable to pass Beyond.
I am indebted to New York Songlines (www.nysonglines.com) for detailed information about the landmarks on this street.