Sheridan-Square

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“Sheridan Square”, lyrics by Howard Ashman and music by Alan Menken
Not written for any particular show or film, but rather documenting the feeling that was pervading the gay community in NYC at the start of the AIDS crisis. Sheridan Square, for those that don’t know, is the area in the West Village where Stonewall is located.
I’m not sure the exact date of the song, but I believe it’s from the time when the disease was known as GRID (gay-related immune deficiancy, changed for obvious reasons).
Howard Ashman would, of course, go on to write the lyrics for The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and Aladdin before dying of AIDS himself in 1991.

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“Sheridan Square,” composed by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman,
performed at Howard’s funeral

“Sometime in the early ‘80’s, Howard and Alan wrote a song called ‘Sheridan Square.’ Sheridan Square is in Greenwich Village, not far from the Stonewall Bar–the emotional center of the Gay Rights movement. It was where men–I’m not sure about women–who were gay and different could go to be gay and not-different-at-all.

"Howard was funny about the song 'Sheridan Square,’ a little uncomfortable. It wasn’t his favorite song. I think the emotions and concerns were maybe a little too raw and certainly too personal. I think maybe he didn’t want to make art out of what was happening. But it’s a good song and, given all that happened then and has happened since, one worth listening to.”

– Howard’s sister, Sarah, “March 14, 1991, Twenty Years Ago Today

New York: The Sheridan Square commercial building in the West Village, occupied by Sheridan Square Painters and Decorators and Havana Plantation (a cigar shop). It was located at the corner of West 4th and Sheridan Square. 1920s.

5

A Festive Air of Momentous History in Greenwich Village.

Friday night, after the Drag March, we were milling about Sheridan Square looking for one another. Jack had suggested going to a party at Dake’s house across the street, and José, Victor, Jessica, Isabel, Valentine, Larid and I headed on the apartment in the historic building that houses The Monster on its ground floor.

The apartment was packed with people, and I made my way to the kitchen with Larid. I was parched; we grabbed a glass from the cupboard and had several glasses of water.

I sat in the dining room, where I said hello to Dake. I told him how much I loved his apartment, and he told me Andy Warhol’s personal trainer used to live there.

I saw David Serotte soon after and later on, he was striking poses on top of a Knoll marble table.

Blue sat next to me and as he was looking for a lighter in his handbag, I noticed he was carrying a rattle and asked him if I could play it. I started shaking it and feeling its rich vibration wafting into the ether.

Donald arrived soon afterward and he was wearing a beautiful black and white print hat draped with golden cloth. I admire him tremendously, and his incredibly fluid, ingenious style, which effortlessly takes him from channeling Walt Whitman to psychedelic vision in the blink of an eye.

I was so thrilled to see him and we kissed profusely about a dozen times, in love and appreciation. He then went into the story of how his friend—Andy’s trainer—lived in the very same apartment we were in and how, the day after the initial riot had broken out across the street in Stonewall, he had gotten a phone call from him as another confrontation was about to happen.

There was an electricity in the air as the Supreme Court’s decision to recognize gay marriage seemed to give everyone the additional confidence to express their behavior without restriction, as now, officially, gay behavior was mainstream and recognized by society’s highest court. I felt like it was 1975, such gorgeous enthusiasm and luminous spirit in the air… 

Sheki was wearing a tutu and pearls and I went over to say hello and take his picture.

The night wore on and I rocked to the rhythm of house music playing from a large bluetooth speaker while playing Blue’s rattle. I told stories of how I used to participate in sung rosaries during the May feast days in Puerto Nuevo, and how I was always asked to play the maracas or tom tom sticks. I would play them with utter abandon, propelling the tempo of all the music forward.

Larid and Valentine wanted to go on to the next party, and I agreed it was time. We congregated in front of the apartment for a while, and Val and I posed or a heartfelt photo on the stoop. I was wearing a neon pink chain as a necklace which Dake had taken off and thrown on the floor…it went beautifully with my dentelle lace blouse from L Train Vintage. Larid and I put our arms together to admire our shared bracelet story and documented while we were at it.

Stonewall Inn es declarado monumento histórico.

El icónico bar Stonewall Inn en el vecindario neoyorquino del Village, donde nació el movimiento internacional de liberación homosexual, fue declarado monumento histórico de esta ciudad. Stonewall Bar 1969 El Comité de Preservación de Sitios Históricos votó a favor del legendario local en la calle Christopher por su papel en reivindicar los derechos de esta comunidad, lo que evitará que pueda ser…

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