Culture on the Cheap
Peter J. McGuinness… Art Lover?
This week’s installment of Greenpoint goodness features two things Miss Heather loves:
- Peter “Pete” J. McGuinness
Known to most as little more than the namesake of a rather lackluster bit of road in Greenpoint, “The McGuinness” (as he was called) is my role model. Loud-mouthed, crude, contrarian assholes like us tend to stick together, and besides, what can you not love about a man who once said (regarding Prohibition):
It’s a shame to allow whiskey to lie idle when there’s people at Death’s door that might be saved by it.
On top of a shared affection for intoxicating substances I recently learned that Pete and I have something else in common: we both are art lovers. Who knew? Here is an article from the February 22, 1935 edition of the New York Times entitled “Brooklyn Beckons To Civic Virtue”. Enjoy!
Do not let Pete’s colorful rhetoric fool you; this man was not stupid. His career surviving the Seabury Commission‘s investigation of Tammany Hall is a testament to his wiliness. And of course, being buddies with Fiorello La Guardia probably didn’t hurt either.
Those of you who are looking a slightly meatier piece of summer reading (and want to learn more about the Seabury Hearings and the fall of Tammany), check out Once Upon a Time in New York by Herbert Mitgang. While a little tedious here and there, it is completely worth taking the time to read.