Handprints of the Stars
New York, New York
The East Village has its own version of the Grauman's Chinese Theatre sidewalk. The selection may be limited (Grauman's has almost 200 hand- foot- and hoofprints) but there are some heavy-hitters here, including Joan "Mommie Dearest" Crawford, Myrna Loy, Gloria Swanson, Joan Blondell, Ruby Keller, and Dom DeLuise!
The sidewalk lies in front of Theater 80. Formerly a speakeasy, the building became a "legit" theater in the 1960s (You're a Good Man Charlie Brown opened there). Then in 1971 it was revamped as a movie revival house. Owner Howard Otway celebrated with a premiere party and invited a lineup of Golden Age movie stars (some well past their prime) to make their mark in wet cement (fastidious Joan Crawford signed with a chopstick). Other celebrity visitors have followed, including Joan Rivers, who added her handprints in 2011 while shooting a scene for her reality show, Joan and Melissa: Joan Knows Best.
A sidewalk replacement project in 1999 threatened these particular Hollywood-inspired Squares, but concerns were voiced and the glamorous surface was saved. Today throngs of oblivious passersby routinely walk right over them, slowly grinding some of the prints into unrecognizable blobs.
Still, there are those who stop, look down, and probably wonder to themselves, "Who was Fifi D'Orsay?"