“To weep is to make less the depth of grief.”
― from Henry VI, Part III, Act Two, Scene One, 1591 by William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
On Sunday, 2.February.2014 stage and screen actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead in his fourth-floor apartment at 33 Bethune Street; the building is called Pickwick House. The 46-year old actor won the Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal, in 2005’s “Capote,” of the title character, real-life author Truman Capote.
Hoffman was a family man and a fixture in his Greenwich Village neighborhood. Still paved with Belgian blocks, Bethune Street is a quiet residential street in the Village. He was often seen escorting his children to school at P.S. 41, at West 11th Street and Six Avenue, or taking them to Chocolate Bar, a candy shop near their home. Although not a native of New York, he called the city—and specifically the Village—his home. Like many, Mr. Hoffman must have been attracted to the Village’s small-town scale, as well as its quirkiness and lively character.
A memorial tribute of flowers, a snowman, candles, and an empty honey bottle sprang up outside the door to Pickwick House. Expressing one’s grief—even in a small, fleeting way—has the means of helping to carry us on through such shocking news. This was a very sad loss.