Sybil Dawkins

Sybil Dawkins
Wed, 10/10/2018 - 13:51
When did you live in SoHo?


Where did you live in SoHo?

Well, actually, I lived on the corner of Mulberry and Prince Street, just across from Saint Patricks Old Cathedral...Little Italy, as it was called then.

What was your occupation when you lived in SoHo?

babysitter, house painter, plumbers assistant, photographers assistant, hand made clothes designers assistant, temp office worker/receptionist, theatre performer, massage therapist, nurse.

What do you miss most about SoHo in the 1970s?

The mix of cultures, of working class and middle class, families, and single folks, old and young, and artists, and real life. The streets at night, barren but full of promise and fun. So many characters,

What do you miss least about SoHo in the 1970s?

The chicken slaughter house across the street from my apartment building on Mulberry Street. It smelled horrible in the summer heat.

If you no longer live in SoHo, why did you leave?

I had a re-union and fell in love with my old High School boyfriend (friend) and moved to and island in the Caribbean to live with and marry him. And I left behind a well lived in-rent controlled apartment!!

What is your most vivid SoHo memory?

There are a few: During my first summer there, 1977, there was the big Blackout in the Northeast. I remember sitting on my fire escape around three in the morning and seeing more stars than I'd ever seen in NYC. Mike Fanelli, asking the local tradesmen/artists, "are you working", and not charging folks if they were out of work. Then, there was the guy who, around 10 or 11 at night, every so often, would come riding across Prince Street on a bicycle, from the Bowery, towards Soho, singing opera at the top of his lungs, with his dog running along side of him. I could here him from blocks away, before he appeared outside my window. If I was in bed, I'd get up to run to the front room window, to see him. It made me feel joyful to hear and see him. The days surrounding the tragic disappearance of Etan Patz. I used to see him, playing on the side walk out in front of his parents loft, near Whole Foods.

Is there anything else you would like to add to your profile?

If I can find it, I have some old super 8 film that I shot from my 5th story window, of life going by on Mulberry and Prince...if I can find it, I'll come back here and add it.