Sunday, June 9, 2013


Vince Martin, Dominic Chianese
(a Still from documentary footage)
The Cafe Reggio has been an institution on MacDougal St for decades. It's seen dozens of other clubs and shops along the strip thrive, close and re-open under aliases. The original Kettle of Fish is a Vietnamese eatery today. The Folklore Center is a clothes boutique. The Cafe Wha? Is one if the few venues still thriving just a half a block south.

The Reggio, at 119 MacDougal, is not only still open but it still sports the same decor as it has for many years. It's reminiscent of McSoreley's on 7th where oil paintings depicting the inside done in the 1920s can be used to describe how it STILL looks to this day.

The Reggio is known for being the coffee shop where musicians, actors and luminaries would meet or hang out to "kill" a little time. It's central to everywhere and yet out of the way. It was a perfect place for us to wait for the call to begin shooting the next interview for my GERDE'S FOLK CITY DOCUMENTARY IN PRODUCTION.

However, we didn't wait to shoot and the patrons of Reggio's this past rain-drenched Friday were treated to a two hour show featuring the guitar playing and sweet singing of Vince Martin and Dominic Chianese.

Vince, the one time recording partner of legend Fred Neil, was a hit entertainer for decades on these streets. I wanted to hear my friend Vince talk on camera about my grandpa Mike Porco.

Dominic, known for roles in feature films and -most notably- as family patriarch Corrado Soprano on HBO, was instantly recognized by many of the patrons who stuck around extra to listen to the show. What they may not have known was that Dom is a musician at heart. Case closed.

He spent many years emcee-ing at Folk City for Mike Porco and because of his Italian upbringing, forged a bond with the Porco name that lasts to today.

These men are family. The outpouring of love for life and song was palpable. I thought the rain would dampen our original plans to shoot video in Washington Square. Boy, was I wrong. 

Vince, Dom, Bob and Jonathan Levin

Set and crew at 130 W3rd

Satisfied Minds

1 comment: