Friday, May 22, 2009

Mae West: Woodhaven

Each time there is a MAE WEST walking tour in The Big Apple, astonished callers (who phone to RSVP) tell the tour organizer(s): "I didn't know Mae West lived in New York!" This summer an upcoming tour in Manhattan mid-August will wind down Chez Mae on the WESTside (and surely you knew this was coming).
• • An independent city until its consolidation with New York in 1898, Brooklyn is where baby Mae was born in August 1893. She also hung her hat in Manhattan as well as in an area now called Queens — — but then known as Long Island.
• • Woodhaven, Queens, NY • •
• • The West family moved around a lot. For a few years, they called Woodhaven home; during this period Mae began writing plays and registering her copyright with the Library of Congress from her mother and father's Boyd Avenue address.
• • Leonora Lavan knows all there is to know about Woodhaven, where she was born and bred. She is the president of the Woodhaven Cultural and Historical Society [WCHS], which meets regularly, plans events, hires speakers, reprints important historical research and monographs, maintains an archive, and does its share for civic pride.
• • To learn more about the group, and discover the history of one of Mae West's old stomping grounds, read this article: "Marking History A Site At A Time — — Woodhaven Society Continues To Celebrate Area's Past" by Bill Mitchell.
• • Published by The Times News Weekly — — — — Mr. Mitchell's article was a feature story earlier in May 2009.

• • Come up and see Mae every day online:
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• • Photo: • • Mae West • • 1933 • •
• • Feed — —
Mae West.

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