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The Fat Black Pussycat

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The Fat Black Pussycat Theater was a relic of the 1960s and attracted performers like Richie Havens, Cass Elliott, and Bob Dylan— in fact, Dylan gave one of the first readings of “Blow-in’ In The Wind” there.

**After reading LLA, some readers wrote to me wanting to know more about the Fat Black Pussycat Theatre…

An Excerpt from Love Lost Adventure: The Lie:

“MINETTA STREET

“No way, that’s it!” She gasped, and her hands began to shake. Tucked in between 6th and MacDougal Street sat a very narrow, crooked, old cobblestone road that had yet to be cleared of snow. And maybe in the swinging sixties, the place was bustling with artists and musicians, but on this cold day, there wasn’t a soul around. A single path of footprints led the way, and Teddy followed.

The area was once a natural stream called Manette or Devil’s Water by the native Lenape Indians. In the 1600s, when the Dutch settled there, they referred to it as Bestevaer’s Killetje or Grandfather’s Little Creek. And then, about two centuries later, New Yorkers paved over the waterway and erected buildings on top. They called it Minetta Brook. However, it’s most famously known as the home to one of the oldest black playhouses in America.

“Wow, The Fat Black Pussycat Theatre… I can’t believe I found it.” She stared in awe at the faded black sign above the red Mexican restaurant. “No wonder Cole loves it here. It’s absolutely magical.”

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Down in the Village, there is a tiny lane laid out atop Minetta Brook called Minetta Street. It is a place steeped in history and culture, a rich tapestry of New York City’s past. The Fat Black Pussycat was located in Greenwich Village and is considered one of the oldest black theaters in America. In the 1820s and 1830s, the area was also one of New York City’s original black neighborhoods called Little Africa.

A relic of the 1960s, the Fat Black Pussycat Theatre was also a coffee bar that had been a beatnik haven, attracting performers like Richie Havens, Cass Elliott, and Bob Dylan— in fact, Dylan gave one of the first readings of “Blow-in’ In The Wind” there. 

Then, in 1972, Panchito’s, a Mexican Restaurant, opened in the old Pussycat space but retained the painted sign on the wall above the awning because of the locals. However, after COVID-19 hit, the owner painted over the sign and closed it—What a shame. That made me very sad. However, there’s a new version of the Fat Black Pussycat just blocks away. It’s a comedy club, and the place is known for its fun atmosphere. Visit them here: https://thefatblackpussycat.com/

xo
RG

 

To learn more about the Fat Black Pussycat Theatre, please visit:

 

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