There Was A Little Street…

December 22, 2008 by
Filed under: Williamsburg 

Millard Fillmore was without argument one of the WORST presidents to inhabit the Oval Office. From who else (other than our current lame duck) can your enjoy such rhetoric/doublespeak like this?

God knows that I detest slavery, but it is an existing evil, for which we are not responsible, and we must endure it, till we can get rid of it without destroying the last hope of free government in the world.

—Millard Fillmore

But I’ll cease beating around the proverbial Bush. I have the pleasure of sharing the same birth date as this jerk: January 7. Initially I felt guilty about liking the place that bears his name in Williamsburg (a beautiful block located in a wasteland of over-development and crass commercialism).

Until I noticed this.

Henry Miller* wrote:

There was a little street, just a block long, which lay between Grand Street and North Second Street, called Fillmore Place. This little street was obliquely opposite the house my grandfather owned and in which we lived. It was the most enchanting street I have ever seen in all my life, It was the ideal street— for a boy, a lover, a maniac, a drunkard, a crook, a lecher, a thug, an astronomer, a musician, a poet, a tailor, a shoemaker, a politician. In fact this was just the sort of street it was, containing just such representatives of the human race, each one a world unto himself and all living together, a solid corporation, a close knit human spore which could not disintegrate unless the street itself disintegrated.

I say we landmark this block (before it is disintegrated) and rename it Miller Place! Or at the very least give him a toast this upcoming Friday (December 26): Mr. Miller’s 117th birthday.

Miss Heather

*Whose tomes entertained me for many hours while working as a temp receptionist at Morgan Stanley/Dean Witter’s Equity Research department one summer. Tropic of Cancer is by far the better novel, but Tropic of Capricorn (clearly) has its moments. If my memory serves me correctly I also (re)read Slaughter House Five, Cat’s Cradle, Animal Farm and 1984 as well. Miss Heather loves to be paid $14.00 an hour to man a front desk, not answer phones, “buzz in” the occasional jerk who “lost” his pass card and read. Although on occasion I had a former temp (permanent hire) berate me for positioning the magazines on the coffee table in a linear fashion. She preferred them to be “fanned out”. She thought that was more appealing to visitors. Whatever.


3 Comments on There Was A Little Street…

  1. richardk on Mon, 22nd Dec 2008 10:09 am
  2. Henry Miller didn’t always have kind words for the city of his birth:

    But he was a New Yorker to the core, and no one is more deserving of having a Brooklyn street named after him. Wonderful idea. Go for it!

  3. nbenford on Mon, 22nd Dec 2008 11:24 pm
  4. i thought i saw that book in the junk store book rack.

  5. bitchcakes on Thu, 25th Dec 2008 12:06 pm
  6. I have always loved that street but had no idea of the history- thank you for the enlightening post!

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