The Girl from Bleecker Street

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As such, the cast stepped out of the way to let the story and setting shine. To cut their precious scene? No superlatives of mine can do her justice: You must see this performance.

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She played—and was nominated for an Oscar for her role as——Queen Charlotte in the The Madness of King George , and took on the title character in the mini-series Elizabeth I for which she won a Golden Globe and Emmy. But there is a big difference between playing a costumed lady and a living person connected to a national tragedy less than a decade old. Hand her the Oscar now. Mirren, who had gained her reputation playing literary and cultured roles, was attracted to the fun of doing something completely different. As she told Collider.

The appeal was Bruce Willis, an evening dress and a machine gun. Maybe so, but malarkey doesn't get any better. I thought a lot about the violence, but then I decided to do it anyway, because I thought it was a smart movie. It is a part of the fashion, and the MacDougal-Bleecker crowd pays careful attention to fashion.

The real hippies have been forced into coats and ties, now that their old turf has been overrun by creeps. It was the fashion, for several weeks last spring, for girls to walk along Bleecker carrying a single flower. If they could get nothing better, they would carry a plastic flower, but there were dozens of these girls with their flowers. That ended. And little white ankle boots.

Then bellbottomed denim slacks with broad-striped jerseys worn loose around the waist. On dress occasions they wore discotheque dresses and patterned stockings that made the skin on their legs look diseased. The esoterics, gurus and prep-school liberals took to wearing rimless glasses, often with hexagonal lenses, and with the glasses came effete Danish pipes, and floppy felt hats like the ones W.

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Yeats used to wear—all kinds of Yellow Bookish paraphernalia. And they come down here to parade all this, each one sure that the Village has never seen anything like it. After dark the sidewalks become so crowded that you have to take odd little two-inch steps or else walk around the cars, police and motorcycles in the street. If you have had the practice you can discern the slightest trace of marijuana in the air, although they say that it is only Sano cigarette smoke.

There is usually music, either from a passing folkie or from a transistor radio. Old Number Nine is probably a train what folkie ever sang about a cross-town bus? You got a cigarette? The mounted police go on duty just before dark, to back up the foot patrolmen and the prowl cars that cruise along the curb all night long. Some nights there are so many police that it looks as though they were trying to bust the whole street, but there are nights when you are glad to see them.

The locals, the Italians, police their own, as they always have done, but it takes a uniform to cool the outsiders. There are a lot of warnings and a few arrests, mostly on charges of obscene or abusive language. Outrageous bad taste is not a misdemeanor.

The well-dressed and the elderly walk as quickly as possible and settle on one place, but the young circulate sluggishly. They block the corners and sit for hours on the hoods of parked cars. Boys and girls on dates drift by, sometimes several feet apart, not looking at each other. They stop at every window for a look inside, certain that if this one is not delightful, the next one will be. A clutch of tourists is standing in front of the Bleecker Street Art Mart watching sonic artists inside making the portraits of their customers.

You can have your likeness tapped onto a sheet of copper. Some samples of Art Mart portraiture are on display above the door, and one of the pictures has been made to represent Churchill. But through ineptness or some wild eccentricity of creative vision, it looks like Baudelaire with the bloat. In the neon glow, the effect is spooky. On this side of the street, as though the curb were reserved for them, the motorcycles line up night after night.

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A few of them are merely Enthusiasts, polished Upper West Siders, but most are part of a crowd that is all business, a motorcycle gang over from Brooklyn. They wear heavy steel-studded leather jackets over thin orange or purple T shirts. They sit pot-bellied and loose on their machines, drinking beer, and they look dangerous. No one stops to watch them very long. The mobs from MacDougal begin to discharge onto Bleecker.

A fat girl passes, dressed in a shaggy wool sweater. She is perspiring heavily. Her date is a young man with a black eye patch above his right eye. Then a Bleecker Street cowboy with sideburns down to his ear lobes and a sinister black hat. A boy comes on dressed in a three-button suit of cotton patch- work. He is topped, seconds later, by a young man whose suit is made of war- surplus camouflage material.

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Everyone is looking at everyone else with a weird, dead-eyed hostility. The red sight- seeing bus from Albert French Restaurant drives by, its passengers as astonished as riders in a bathysphere. Four boys are standing in front of the San Remo. They have been here for over an hour. One boy is slightly less ugly than the others, and is acting as arbiter elegantiae. The couple looking for their car have walked up and down Sullivan Street, and are back on Bleecker.

Out in front of the Figaro a wild group of Negroes with random shoots of beard stand waiting.

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The police will be by in a minute to tell them to move. They will move and come right back. These are tough Harlem Negroes, some Muslims, some with more than a fashionable interest in drugs and they are possibly dangerous. Some rough-looking whites keep to this corner, too. Then he calls your mother every name he can think of.

Whoever gets mad first is the loser. A white girl with hair down to her waist goes by, dressed in a peasant blouse and skirt and carrying a canvas sack full of copies of the Paris Review. A couple of the Negroes follow her right up to the door of the Figaro, but they have been barred from the premises and stick to the sidewalk.

Inside the Figaro the air is thick with Gauloises smoke and freshly steamed espresso. People will sit for an hour at the same table without speaking. Most of the crowd is young, but there are some sober middle-aged couples and a few of the older regulars, members of the nearly obsolete laborer-artist tradition. They are carpenters and steam titters who paint or write and who have worked this way for twenty years.

At a table near the entrance a reedy eighteen-year-old girl named Dorie is leaning over a copy of The Art of Loving, talking to her companions. An argument breaks out at one of the tables and a tall homosexual, obviously offended, walks out and leaves a man and woman alone at the table. He is introduced around as a film maker. Did you see Zorba the Greek? One of the waitresses carries the pastry tray around. It is hard work, but a girl can earn over a hundred dollars a week here.

Besides, a Figaro waitress carries special prestige in the Village, like the girls who sell the Herald-Tribune in Paris. The waitresses are all pretty, at least in some small way, and they are very careful with their customers. Their attention to business is often misunderstood. The waiting list is long. A coffeehouse dandy comes in, done out in hacking jacket, ascot, suede boots and a riding crop. He looks like a scion of the lesser nobility who happened by during a routine inspection of his estates. Just as he sits down, a commotion on the street makes people rush toward the big front window.

Something has happened out there, something wild, something that touches everybody, juicing up parched psyches, something inspiring, amusing, terrifying. It has caused an odd hush to fall over the whole street. There is a pursuit: seven motorcycles are heading west open-throttle, shooting past red lights and brushing frozen pedestrians.

Far behind them, and behind them for good, are four mounted police at full gallop. A warning shot is fired into the air. There is a wholesale loss of Cool, and it is a full two minutes before the defeated horses lope back and anything usual resumes. It is not quite light, just enough to indicate a cloudy morning, and there is a transparent moon in the sky. The street lamps are still on. At this hour the street is like the second-floor corridor in a French bedroom farce: it is always not quite empty.

In the Figaro only four of the tables are occupied, two of these by off-duty waitresses and their friends. The chairs have been stacked on the other tables so that the floor can he mopped, and the kitchen is closed. As the man nears the hotel the hag slips from his hand, its contents shattering and spilling over the sidewalk.

He sits down on the steps of the hotel and looks at the puddle, and after a.

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The pushcart vendors start early, uncovering their carts and folding the canvases neatly.

The Girl from Bleecker Street The Girl from Bleecker Street
The Girl from Bleecker Street The Girl from Bleecker Street
The Girl from Bleecker Street The Girl from Bleecker Street
The Girl from Bleecker Street The Girl from Bleecker Street
The Girl from Bleecker Street The Girl from Bleecker Street

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