A Native’s View

Dear Editor:

Let there be no doubt about it. Greenwich Village is a unique place in this dysfunctional world. It has always stood apart—and been quietly envied. If “individualism” ever had a designated spot on Earth, it is Greenwich Village. I write these words from afar, but only in a geographic sense. 153 West 11th Street is where I arrived to join in this mystery called “life.” My dear father was a surgeon at Saint Vincent’s Hospital. My dear mother was a registered surgical nurse at the same address. Three of my siblings also arrived at Saint Vincent’s. Nine children would eventually comprise the Casey Family. All of this, of course, was long ago and far away. The “Winds of Life” have carried us all hither and yon. I have been around the world. I fought and was badly wounded in Vietnam. I spent 30 years in the courtroom, as a career prosecutor, taking bad people out of society. Through the years and miles, The Village has remained in my heart. I take pride in being a part of it. Other than my siblings, I have never met anyone who is a Greenwich Village native. The Village represents individual freedom, respect of others, pragmatic use of the gifts given by the gods and a joy of Life. For such a tiny piece of this planet, it enjoys a clinquant reputation. Long may it shine as an example of societal elucidation. It is a net to catch the wind. Pax.

—James Patrick Casey