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.