“Before the entitled lived here exclusively, the marginalized died in droves.”
In 1849, during a devastating cholera epidemic, the Sisters of Charity founded St. Vincent’s Hospital to care for the indigent immigrants of Greenwich Village.
In 2010, St. Vincent’s was sold to developers to create multi-million-dollar homes.
In its 161 years, the hospital played many historical cameos. Its staff treated Civil War soldiers and Bohemian poets, survivors of the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire and the Titanic. More recently, the hospital’s ER took in victims of the 9/11 attacks and the soaking survivors of “Sully” Sullenberger’s “Miracle on the Hudson.”
Despite all of this, St. Vincent’s most memorable role may be as Ground Zero of the AIDS Crisis.
GHOSTS OF ST. VINCENT'S is a riveting and lyrical history of the hospital told through the eyes of an unnamed narrator who spends the winter of 1995-96 on the hospital’s 7th floor AIDS ward and survives just in time for the “cocktail” of drugs that would bring second and third acts to so many lives.
Interspersed throughout this modern-day Lazarus tale are fictionalized parables that feature indomitable American icons: Edna St. Vincent Millay, Sidney Lumet, Gloria Vanderbilt, Cardinal Spellman, Roy Cohn, Ed Koch, The Ramones, Robert Mapplethorpe, Sam Wagstaff, Vito Russo, and others.
With humor and honesty, GHOSTS OF ST. VINCENT'S explores the themes of coming out and coming back from the dead, gender fluidity and gentrification, the price of forgiveness and the cost of survival, healthcare in the age of AIDS and the ephemeral nature of New York City.