Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Paddington Lady

On West 11th Street, in the townhouse that replaced the townhouse that the Weathermen blew up in 1970, there's a Paddington bear. For years he has stood in the window, his costumes changed by the elderly woman inside, according to the holiday or the weather. It was an odd sight, but one I came to look forward to on my many walks down that block.

Now that woman is gone--and Paddington wears a black funeral suit.

Norma Langworthy died on January 28 at the age of 92. An affluent philanthropist and patron of the arts, she also produced many on and off-Broadway plays and is well remembered by the Roundabout Theater.

She is survived by children and grandchildren, but I wonder if any of them will keep the Paddington bear tradition alive. I doubt it. Without Norma, we will likely see this strange sentinel of 11th Street vanish.

Easter 2010

Weathemen Easter
Mystery Window


Rachel said...

Oh, this makes me very sad. I've been watching Paddington face the seasons for nearly twenty years.
Thanks for posting.

Melanie said...

Thanks for telling the story behind Paddington and his clothes. RIP.

randall said...

Sadly something as quaint and homey as Paddington Bear probably has no place in New New York. RIP.

Mykola ( Mick) Dementiuk said...

Dustin Hoffman lived on the bottom floor, or maybe it was next door, and had to evacuate the building. Next day the Daily News showed him fleeing with a painting he was trying to save.

Marty Wombacher said...

I hope they keep this tradition alive.

marjorie said...

I caught my breath when I saw this post. I used to walk past Paddington every morning a dozen years ago when I was in a job I loathed -- it was the best part of my day! Looking forward to seeing how Paddington was dressed for the weather, whether he was celebrating any was just SWEET. I never saw a human coming or going from the townhouse or changing the window or moving around inside, so I chose to think of it as Paddington's house. RIP, lovely Paddington lady.

Romy Ashby said...

How sad, and how pretty she was, the lady. What a sweet thing to do for all those years.

wbfnyc said...

This makes me very sad. I often wondered who lived in the apartment. Would have been great to have known Ms Langworthy. She seems to have been a very whimsical person.

BabyDave said...

Bless you, Ms. Langworthty.