Dexter said McQueen, not yet famous, was a powerful personality who used the entire Bleecker Street apartment building as a rehearsal space — the stairwells, roof, and hallways. Apparently McQueen drove everyone in the building crazy, until those stairwell rehearsals paid off and he became a superstar.
Dexter fell in love with rare and unique toys after a tour had him traveling to cities all over America. He became an avid collector, and by his collection had outgrown his small Village apartment. With some nudging from his cramped roommate, Dexter capitalized on the inexpensive rents and vacant space lining much of Bleecker and surrounding Village streets.
Second Childhood became beloved across the city, and appealed to serious collectors as well as casual shoppers. The store appeared in myriad New York guidebooks and even had a reputation for offering respite to harried businessmen on their lunch breaks, looking to retreat into the world of play during a hectic work day.
Second Childhood had it all — wooden carousel horses, cast-iron banks, doll furniture, toy cars, marionettes, soldiers, and more. He sold high-quality and rare contemporary toys alongside the antiques, making the shop as surprising, eclectic and essential as the neighborhood in which it thrived. To Village families and farther-flung toy collectors, Van Dexter was always a familiar site behind his counter.
Perhaps because he was a toy collector before a purveyor, he truly loved the daily work of owning and managing the shop.
The Second Childhood of Mark Golden: Childhood in the Past: Vol 9, No 1
Decades of customers have recounted the quick and pleasant conversation Dexter always extended to regulars and tourists alike, and his perpetual passion for the collection and admiration of these toys. Dexter and his green awning presided over Bleecker Street until , when rising rents and old age forced the end of Second Childhood. When the shop closed, he sent most of its inventory , including his own collection , off to auction.
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Many conjectured that it was his deep enjoyment for his profession that accounted for his longevity and health. Van Dexter at his familiar post behind the Second Childhood counter. Second Childhood has been sorely missed on Bleecker Street since its closing.
And Dexter himself has been missed in the Village since his death in early A fixture in the community, Dexter brought joy, play, and nostalgia to the Village for decades. Shops like his make the everyday lives of Villagers so rich, which is why GVSHP honors and promotes local business each month. These personal, one-of-a-kind shops are essential to our neighborhoods. And if have your own memories of Van Dexter and Second Childhood , please share!
Maybe you even still have some toys you bought there? Among those who died with the disease in their 80s, the share of brains that showed no sign of abnormality rose to about a fifth. Intriguingly, though, among the people who died in their 90s without showing any symptoms at all, about half were found to have the plaques and tangles.
This poses a riddle for researchers and pharmaceutical companies.
The California study has also upended some assumptions about risk factors associated with the disease. For example, nonagenarians with high blood pressure, previously seen as one such risk factor, were actually less likely to get dementia. And the data are starting to show that nonagenarians who have or have had cancer also have a lower risk of getting the disorder, and conversely that those who have dementia are less likely to get cancer.
So far the mechanisms involved can only be guessed at. Dr Kawas says that in all the 30 years she has been working on dementia, people have been saying that a new drug to delay the onset of the worst symptoms is just around the corner. She thinks that a more promising approach would be to try to prevent it in the first place, identifying all the things that increase the risk and dealing with them. She points out that with stroke, for instance, there has been little progress in rehabilitating people who have had one, but a better understanding of its causes has made it less common.
That elusive cure
Even if this effort is successful, it will at best slow the rise in dementia. That will leave ageing societies with the same choice between institutionalisation and care at home as for other severe forms of mental illness. Many scientists, however, refuse to resign themselves to a world in which an ever-growing number of people will have to live with assorted mental conditions.
A revolution in neurobiology, they hope, will in time deliver cures for them all. Join them.
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Special report: The age of unreason Older people Second childhood As populations get older, more people will suffer from dementia. Special report The age of unreason Youthful folly Making cruel unusual Second childhood From neurosis to neurons. Reuse this content About The Economist.
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