Friday, December 10, 2010

Long before the Mars Bar on Second Avenue

Thanks to Goggla for passing along this NYPL Digital Library link ... it's an undated photo of Second Avenue... looking north to First Street... The Mars Bar building once housed the Woolworth Theater. I couldn't find anything on it (granted, it was a quick search) ... So if you happen to know anything about the theatre... I wonder if people were devastated when the theatre shuttered?

Seeing the past helps put the present in perspective (OK, that was lame)... In trying times, I usually turn to the good book for inspiration.

"New York ... would seem on the face of it to be founded on progress, on change, on the bulldozing of what has faded to make way for the next thing, the thing after that, the future. The lure of the new is built right into its name; it is the part of the name that actually registers ... Manhattan is a finite space that cannot be expanded but only resurfaced and reconfigured ... New York has no truck with the past. It expels its dead."
Luc Sante, "Low Life"

Jeremiah has more on Before Mars Bar today here.


Ken Mac said...

great sad history. I am posting Mars Bars shots through the weekend, in memoriam, crap!! Man, this city becoming day a real rain will come along and flush it all down the F.....g toilet.

Larry Slade said...

Look how WIDE the sidewalk is!!
I wish they were that way now. It would make it a lot l more pleasant to want down the street.

Anonymous said...

Man, second avenue looks sooooo nice without a bike lane.

Anonymous said...

Seeing those old photos definitely calms me down about the changing faces of Manhattan. The scene is a rolling vista of construction, destruction, deconstruction, invention. Thank you, EV Grieve. I'll just try to fondly remember the bits of NY that I love and try not to frown too much at the new parts of NY that I don't.

beatricethecat said...

re: last anonymous poster.....I totally agree that "Seeing those old photos definitely calms me down about the changing faces of Manhattan". I'm pretty sure its always been in flux. That's the beauty of it.

I've been working on a project in conjunction with a show I'm having at La Mama gallery (right down the block from Mars Bar), and I've been doing research on the block where La Mama is (1st-2nd st, Bowery-2nd ave). It seemed to change radically over the past 200 or so years, and even still oddly follows old farm property lines somewhat. I remember that block the most from the 90's when it was only a few buildings and empty lots. Anyway, if you are interested I made a comparison of maps for my project, its here.

As always, thanks EV Grieve for a lovely and inspiring post.