Thursday, March 5, 2009

A Journalist? Moi?

Happily, the answer is yes- sort of. The monthly neighborhood newspaper called WestView ("the new voice of the West Village") has invited me to be a columnist, and is publishing my saga of growing up in Greenwich Village in a series of regular columns. It's called "Sex and Sinclair Lewis: Tales From A Greenwich Village Girlhood" and so far my work has appeared in their February issue, and currently can be read online in their March issue under my nom de plume, Barbara Riddle.
You can find it at
I couldn't be happier- their main readership lives on the very streets, alleys and mews (mewses?) that I roamed as a 7- to 12-year-old, glorying in the wild freedom we had before cell phones could track kids 24/7.

Of course, such an adolescence is not generic to West Villagers.....I just happened to have had the good fortune to land here. Oddly, we kids actually knew at the time that we were living in the best of all possible (American)worlds. I totally missed out on that suburban-anomie-alienation thing, and didn't have a clue about the adult misery described in "The Feminine Mystique", since my mom had always worked and enjoyed it. No alcohol-soaked bridge games for her. (Although she could expound at length on unreliable younger-actor-boyfriend woes....)

The other night at a dinner gathering, we went around the table citing favorite movies. I mentioned "400 Blows" by Francois Truffaut- any readers out there have special films dealing with adolescence they'd like to mention? I also adore
"A Thousand Clowns", with Jason Robards. If you haven't seen it, rent it NOW. It is more timely than ever.