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.


lpc said...

“Stand by Me” “My Life as a Dog” and “To Kill a Mockingbird” – all great adolescent films.

Barbara said...

Thanks, Loren!
Your taste is impeccable, as always.

nancytait said...

ditto for "To Kill a Mockingbird" and I add "Ann of Green Gables." actually, the audio tape of the latter rates higher in my "book" than the movie; not only is it beautifully read, but playing it was my salvation as my then young and prone-to-fight nieces and I traveled by car from Italy back to Germany.

Barbara said...

Thanks! I will have to check it out. I am getting a treasure chest of suggestions here....

Diane said...

OK, it's hard to separate movies about adolescence from those about childhood and those about young adulthood--they kinda spill over--but here's some I liked:

Dead Poets' Society
16 Candles
Radio Days
Bless the Beasts and Children (though I haven't seen this since 1971, so it may not be as good as I remember)

BynsterNYC said...

A thousand clowns is one of my favorite films! Another is the cooky and (maybe) obscure Aussie film, "Starstruck", and the 80's over the top flick "Heathers" are near and dear.