Born in Buffalo, New York, Joe Cino moved to New York City in 1948, age 16, to pursue his radiant vision of freedom and creative community. Ten years later he opened the legendary Caffè Cino, a cozy bohemian coffee house at 31 Cornelia Street in Greenwich Village, which soon began offering one-act plays along with the best Italian coffee we had ever tasted, becoming the birthplace of Off-Off-Broadway and a welcoming first stage for a generation of influential playwrights and theatre artists.
Joe Cino (1931–1967) was a beloved mentor and friend to countless young artists in the downtown theatre community in the early 1960s. His welcoming embrace and unselfish sponsorship of their work was a major contribution to a period of exceptional creative flowering and personal liberation.
This modest pamphlet consists of a touchingly earnest and emotional letter from Joe Cino to his mother, Mary Cino, written in April 1948, three months after he had run away from home and moved to New York City; an exuberant 1960 letter to his artist friend Tony Vaccaro, then in Paris, with a liberal helping of their unique mock-Italian lingo; and the full transcript of a March 1965 interview in which Joe Cino recalls his first years in the city and the founding of the Caffè Cino.
Joe Cino In His Own Words may be ordered from Fast Books, P.O. Box 1268, Silverton, OR 97381. $5 includes postage.