It's not the buildings, the architecture, or even the place that really matters. It's what happened there-the history, the culture, the personal experiences, the fights and weddings, the deals and friendships, the decisions and the general passing of time-and the stories we tell. Stories are the building blocks of history. Places hold stories, but they also disappear. Stories can last forever. To keep the stories, to allow them to be repeated as long as possible is what this proposal is all about.
HOW IT WORKS
My main goal is to create a virtual archive, a collection of stories, interviews, and recordings for each Place That Matters. The text can be recorded in as many different languages as possible. The stories can be archived in a database and then accessed in many ways. First and FOREMOST is via the telephone-most likely a cellphone, as one is standing in front of or walking around a site. For those without a cellphone or who are hearing-impaired, the stories will be downloadable (to a PDA, i.e. a Palm Pilot). Both the text and audio versions will be accessible via Place Matter's website (www.placematters.net).
A striking but minimal, easily recognizable logo still needs to be designed. The only information on it should be the name of the site, "Place Matters" and the appropriate phone number and extension.
I would like to thank Kent Albin (graphic design), John Conway (audio), and Peter Longo for their participation.
ITALIANS IN THE VILLAGE
PORTO RICO COFFEE IMPORTERS
THE CHURCH OF SAINT ANTHONY OF PADUA
Information Sources for Stories That Matter.
Gee, Helen. Limelight: A Greenwich Village Photography Gallery and Coffeehouse in the Fifties. University of New Mexico Press, 1997. Hendin, Josephine Gattuso. "Italian Neighbors." Greenwich Village: Culture and Counterculture. Eds. Rick Beard and Leslie Cohen Berlowitz, New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press for The Museum of the City of New York, 1993. Jackson, Kenneth T. The Encyclopedia of New York City. Yale, 1995. Kayton, Bruce. Radical Walking Tours of New York City. Seven Stories Press, New York, 1999. McFarland, Gerald W. Inside Greenwich Village: A New York City Neighborhood, 1898-1918. University of Massachusetts Press, Amherst, 2001. Perdergrast, Mark. Uncommon Grounds: The History of Coffee and How It Transformed Our World. The WPA Guide to New York City. The Guilds Committee for Federal Writers' Publications, Inc., 1939. Sawyers, June Skinner, ed. The Greenwich Village Reader: Fiction, Poetry, and Reminiscences, 1872-2002. Cooper Square Press, 2001. Ware, Caroline F. Greenwich Village, 1920-1930: A Comment on American Civilization in the Post-War Years. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, 1935. St. Antony's Church (stanthonys.org), Café Reggio (cafereggio.com). And Gary Simko.