“69th NYS Memorial Mass, St. Brigid’s Church, August, 1861, Imagined,” 2014, oil on linen, by Patricia Melvin. The painting depicts the Memorial Mass for the soldiers of the 69th, the Irish Brigade, who fell at the first Battle of Bull Run. The artist said: “This piece was painted from my imagination, written records, various images of New York City’s dry dock area in the 19th Century and help from the 69th Regimental historian.” Go to patriciamelvin.com for more information about her work.
By Frances Scanlon
Come to your Census — over 70 million households have responded to date — the one that’s designed to count you in as much as anyone else, online, by mail or by phone.
Of course if the U.S. Census Bureau’s recent request to Congress for statutory relief to extend the window for field data collection and self-response to Oct. 31, 2020 (the Irish New Year, Samhain) is granted, apportionment counts will then be delivered to the U.S. president in exactly a year’s time, April 30, 2021, and redistricting data will be delivered to the States no later than July 31, 2021.
But if 120 additional days are given to the Census Bureau to ensure the completeness and accuracy of the 2020 Census, which is so vitally important inasmuch as the distribution of more than $675 billion in federal funds, grants and support to states, counties and communities are reliant on a correct data-set, then you can mark-time until the statistics are disclosed.
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Or you can instead in the meanwhile craft your own census tract, an area roughly equivalent to a neighborhood — for example, the East Village, and landmark your East Village meanderings, memories and musings.
Now’s the time to digitize your impressions of your finger prints and foot paths throughout the East Village courtesy of Village Preservation, the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation.
Village Preservation saves what remains, indelibly, brick by brick, building by building, block by block — the tales and treasures contained therein of the Village’s past, present and potent future.
If you can’t wait a second longer to commemorate your East Village “Irish Tract,” log-on to www.gvshp.org/buildingblocks,- where your commentary will be uploaded, gratis with gratitude, alongside an image, location address and architectural history of the building thereat.
Any specific questions about a given East Village location that you can and/or can’t identify on EVBB (although over 2,200 properties are cited), email Harry Bubbins, East Village and Special Projects Director, at [email protected].
Some legendary East Village-Irish connections surely must include St. Brigid’s Church, McSorley’s Old Ale House. Merchant’s House Museum, birthplace of Alfred E. Smith, original 1870 kick-off venue for the St. Patrick’s Parade, Sin-é, etc.
Ready, set, go: make certain your Irish milestones are counted in the East Village Building Blocks.