Grove Street

This is walking west on Grove Street. Marie’s Crisis was named for Thomas Paine, who died in a different building on this spot in 1809. Paine is the guy who wrote “These are the times that try men’s souls,” and that’s from a series of pamphlets he distributed called The Crisis. Oh sad. Just read his Wikipedia entry. I’d learned all this before but had forgotten. He was one of the earliest fighters against slavery, argued against organized or revealed religion, although he believed in God. He argued for something called deism, which is very interesting (reading the Wikipedia entry on deism now).

From Paine, “the account of Jesus Christ being the Son of God, and of his dying to appease the wrath of God, and of salvation, by that strange means, are all fabulous inventions, dishonorable to the wisdom and power of the Almighty.” Seriously. Why on earth would torturing and murdering a guy in this way become the path to salvation? It makes no sense. Anyway, for all these perfectly reasonable views he was hated, and only a handful of people attended his funeral.

Marie’s Crisis is a bar where people drink and sing, mostly show tunes. I used to go there when I first moved to the Village in the early 80’s. I haven’t been inside since then. I’m guessing it looks exactly the same.


Stacy Horn

I've written six non-fiction books, the most recent is Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York.

View all posts by Stacy Horn →

2 thoughts on “Grove Street

  1. Hi Stacy,
    Thomas Paine is very persuasive here.

    However, he didn’t have the advantages that come to us after 50 or 80 years of the study of comparative religions.

    You know, they asked Buddha, “Are you a god?”


    “Are you a demon?”


    “Are you an angel?”


    “What are you?”

    “I am awake.”

    This awakened state we know as enlightenment, and in fact we now have a good understanding what this “enlightenment” state is. I’ll spare you the particulars, but it does have definable characteristics.

    Another thing we know is that Buddha is by no means the only character throughout history and the modern world who enjoyed this enlightened state.

    It appears to many that Jesus bin Joseph spoke pretty much for the same enlightenment state as Buddha, and so the real issue is the level of consciousness that Christ was a personification of.

    If this interests you, Deepak Chopra has a few books out about it. And the theologian Richard Henry Drummond, PhD, has a book from the theological point of view called The Broader Vision: Perspectives on the Buddha and the Christ. 99

  2. I’ve always been attracted to this idea of being awake. It’s why I am drawn to mindfulness meditation.

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