My Neighborhood: West Village

Charles Busch is the author of more than 25 plays, including the hits The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife and Vampire Lesbians of Sodom. He has also directed films, written novels, acted on stage and in film (in drag and out), and performed his cabaret show in cities around the world. He has lived in—and loved—the West Village’s winding streets and welcoming atmosphere since 1980.

Cozy Corners

My Neighborhood

Tea & Sympathy is tiny, but it’s loaded with charm. The walls are filled with pictures of the Royal family, and every picture is skewed. It’s just a wonderful place to take a friend for British food—particularly sticky toffee pudding—on a lazy afternoon.”

Perfect Paella

“The Spanish restaurant Sevilla has been serving diners since 1941, and they haven’t changed the décor ever. It has great charm and huge portions. Huge! Paella that could last for three days. It’s always busy, but you can always get a table. I don’t know how they figured that out.”

Time to Browse

My Neighborhood

“If you’re looking for gifts, Kaas Glassworks has an amazing array of handmade decoupage. They do the work in their basement.”

“There’s also a tiny, eccentric shop called The End of History that sells enormous, long-stemmed glass bottles in vivid shades of orange, yellow, and turquoise. It’s so limited, but it’s very magical.”

“Pet Portraits by Mimi Vang Olsen sells exactly what you’d think—paintings of people’s pets. It’s all portraits of dogs and cats, and they’re very beautiful. You walk in there and you’re just dazzled. Everything has come and gone around it, yet it remains.”

Walk this Way

“When my sister visits me, if it’s nice out after we have dinner, we go to Abingdon Square. The park is usually pretty empty. I bought a bench in memory of my Aunt Lillian, who introduced me to New York City, so we sit on our bench. It reminds me of being on a movie back lot when they’re getting ready for next morning’s shoot. There’s something very romantic about it.”

—By Marcia Lerner

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