Jefferson Market: Gay
Awaiting word about a transit strike, threatening to paralyze the good people of Gotham, Old Jeff hears the distant echo of conversations between two sisters [late residents of 14 Gay Street] who had to endure heart-stopping blasts of dynamite shaking their apartment as the Seventh Avenue subway was being built during the 1930s. Ruth McKenney's stories about her sister Eileen were often printed in The New Yorker, and mentioned incidents at Jefferson Market Court; these were collected in the 1938 bestseller My Sister Eileen.
• • Joseph Fields and Jerome Chodorov adapted the short fiction into a play, My Sister Eileen, which ran on Broadway 1940-1943. December 26th, 1940 was opening night at the Biltmore Theatre.
• • Four days before, author Nathanael West [October 17, 1903 - December 22, 1940] was in California with his bride, Eileen McKenney. Racing to catch their train to New York, they ran a stop sign and died in a car accident.
• • Distraught and bereaved, Ruth McKenney never saw the play.
• • Et in Arcadia ego.
• • Sketch: Gay Street 1890s
New York Public Library