Villager Expat

Two years ago I moved away from Greenwich Village. I write this blog to make myself feel better.

Celebrating John Sloan's birthday around the world

A Woman's Work, 1912,
Cleveland Museum of Art

What images come to mind when you think of John Sloan? For many women from as far away as Spain, Turkey and Iceland who remembered his birthday on Twitter yesterday, it's his paintings of women hanging laundry.

Sloan painted these scenes from his apartment windows in Greenwich Village and, later, Chelsea. In his time, clotheslines were ubiquitous in immigrant neighborhoods (for  photos see "A Fine Line: The Art of the Clothesline" on MCNY Blog: New York Stories).

Sunday, Women Drying Their Hair, 1912,
Addison Gallery of American Art

But as more women went to work, clotheslines fell out of favor and city dwellers used clothes dryers and laundry services. I haven't seen any clotheslines in Greenwich Village, but "right to dry" environmentalists who want to save energy are hoping to change that. There's no law in NYC against hanging laundry outside but co-ops and condos prohibit it. 

Greenwich Village Alley,
Jessie Tarbox Beals, MCNY

The laundry scenes in Sloan's paintings look nostalgic to us, but the reality is closer to the clutter in old city photographs. We don't want to bring that back, now do we?

What Is A&R? "My romp through Tin Pan Alley," Part 2

How are new songs found by record companies? What do talent scouts listen for when they pick new songs? 

Once I saw from my summer job in music publishing that the Tin Pan Alley shop for new songwriters didn't exist, I set my sights on getting into an A&R department. 

My romp through Tin Pan Alley

Everyone comes to New York with a dream. Armed with a copy of The Songwriters' Success Manual, I set out for the city in 1976 to sell my songs. I knocked on doors of music publishers whose addresses I found in the phone book, about fifty in the city at that time. I made the rounds with my reel-to-reel tapes and lead sheets . . . 

Ladies who lunch: remembering my mother on Mother's Day

Are you a lady who enjoys the ritual of lunching out?

I am! When I was around five my mother invited me out for our first lunch together, a special trip to Kaufmann's department store in Monroeville, PA. It was a Saturday, and we spent all morning getting ready . . . 

Making my way back to Greenwich Village

Are you stuck with your lease, wishing you lived somewhere else? I made a mistake. I left Greenwich Village. Tempted by larger apartments and lower rents in other neighborhoods, I left. But once you've lived in the Village, you'll miss it.

I'm trying to get back. I signed a lease for a one-bedroom in Midtown . . . 

Exploring opportunities in digital and other media. No longer representing writers or accepting submissions.

Waverly Place Literary Agency has closed. If you're looking for an agent, I recommend looking at writers' conferences' websites for participating agents. 

Writers' Digest is holding a conference in NYC August 22-25, 2019

Contact info

Debbie Carter, Blogger
(212) 925-3721 is no longer accepting queries

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