#250, Greenwich Village, NYC
Earlier this year, I was reading the paper in a musty hotel bar in Dublin when I got the news that Patrick McGoohan, the star of the 60's television show The Prisoner, had passed away. I've never been a big television watcher, but reruns of M*A*S*H and DVDs of The Prisoner are my two exceptions, so I was sad to hear of his passing.
The concept behind The Prisoner, for those of you who've never seen it, is vaguely Orwellian. "The Prisoner" in question, played by McGoohan, is a sports-car driving man-about-town who finds himself, after resigning from an undisclosed business/company/agency, subjected to poison gas by a man in a top hat in his flat in London. When he wakes up, he finds he's trapped in a creepily idyllic town known only as The Village. The dress code is mod meets French 60's films meets Disney: lots of primary colors, stripes, and capes. Instead of names, everyone is assigned a number. McGoohan, though he rails against it, is known in The Village as Number Six.
It's hard for me to say I'm going to Greenwich Village, AKA "The Village," without thinking of The Prisoner. Even as I type it, it's on my mind. And as I look at the backdrop to this 250, the bright spot of sunlight reflected here in a Mercer Street window transforms itself into the Rover, the giant white bubble that acts as border patrol for The Village. Try to escape, and the Rover will bump, roll, bounce, and track you down, then envelop you in its outer membrane. In other words, you're toast. Looks like I'll be stuck in The Village for awhile.