Thursday, January 12, 2012

Let's take a walk along First Avenue in the East Village in 1997

In 1997, EV Grieve reader Dave Buchwald worked on the cover art for 2600 Magazine, the publication that sponsored the Hackers on Planet Earth (HOPE) conference at the Puck Building. As a favor, Buchwald walked around the neighborhood, taking pictures of the restaurants, bars and stores that a computer hacker might want to visit while in New York.

He was kind enough to pass along some 100 of these photos, from Houston to 14th Street, Second Avenue to Avenue A. We thought we'd start today looking at First Avenue and East First Street heading north...

These photos are only 15 years old, but when looking at them, it suddenly seems like a long time ago...























To be continued...

52 comments:

NYCDreamin said...

My first visit was in 1997 and I remember it being, like in these photos, a much more colorful place than what it has become recently. Can't wait to see the rest of the photos!

Jeremiah Moss said...

much looks the same, but it's the people who have really changed. it's not just different styles, it's a completely different demographic.

LvV said...

Thanks to Mr. Buchwald for these. This was about the time I moved to the neighborhood so these are bitterweet for me. Loving the little ones in slides 17 and 21!

Alex in NYC said...

Bendix diner is gone now, no? I used to enjoy their chicken noodles soup. And I do miss Xunta. The was a regular stop of mine for a while.

TXC said...

Great job, Dave! I moved to 9th St. between 1st/A in 1996, so I recall all of those storefronts, and ate in many of those restaurants.

jennifer said...

OMG - First! Loved that place as they served tiny tinis (child-sized martinis we use to call them)

Great photos but kinda makes me feel a little old, just a little

argie said...

Haha, yes, tiny tinis! I used to go to First a lot because my friend's friend was the chef...

Anonymous said...

I Really Liked these places. Nice to see them again if (just) in photos--thank you for photographs!!!and those who mind the works.
It is comforting to see the past somehow.

James Campbell Taylor said...

Not a cellphone or straw fedora in sight.

I suddenly noticed a couple of months ago that the Veniero's sign on the corner of First Avenue had disappeared. I like the old-old Russo's mural.

Anonymous said...

@Jeremiah, completely agree, it's the people and the vibe that has changed.

I never thought I'd miss the 90s but here we are.

Jeremiah Moss said...

is the photographer going to collect them all on flickr or a website? they're a great record.

esquared said...

no cargo shorts, and pink shirts either. neither are mini-skirts and high-stiletto heels.

glamma said...

HO. LY. CRAP.
Thank you.
Instant flashbacks of some of the best years of my life, dates i will never forget...
sassy sliders.. getting haricuts around the corner and then eating there... lollipop buffalo wings at FIRST.. bacon cheeseburgers at christines.. jeez these days im a hard core vegetarian LOL.. but still a healthy dater : )

Anonymous said...

To be fair, the things that are still there:
the juice stand
Boca Chica
lucky chengs* (not for long, I know, sad to see it go)
DBA,
3 of Cups,
Dok Sunis,
Stromboli's
Coyote Ugly (*Will move, not sorry to see it go...)
De Robertis
Venieros
Sahara East

... so, yes, some of it has been replaced by subways (yuck.) but a lot of those places are still there!

Tom said...

Yay Sassy's Sliders. Gone too soon.

EV Grieve said...

@ anon 11:29

Very true...

Would to have these same photos from 1987... 1977...

Anonymous said...

I miss 5 Rose's Pizza SO MUCH!Lovely family owned place with amazing piza and sauce you could take to GO.

esquared said...

and where are the limos? and EV Lambo?

Marty Wombacher said...

Loved the photos and I miss Mod World. It's great that the only person talking on a phone is using a payphone.

Her, Suzanne76 said...

omg this is GREAT! i moved to 9th and 1st ave in '95/'96. i LOVED sassy's sliders! that was right next to Commodities, right?? i would get the turkey burgers... i still have a clothes i wear that i got at Rose's vintage...that place was fantastic...

ddartley said...

Wonderful stuff! I have been meaning to do similar, video documenting of the Avenue myself since moving there in 2002. I intended to do it about 3 or 4 times a year. I finally got around to it a few months ago--I got a cargo bike, which finally made for the perfect camera equipment. I didn't do a great job, but the next one will be better. Please note this is only the west side of the ave. I haven't gotten around to uploading the East side footage. It's nothing too entertaining, but in the future it will be more worthwhile than now: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uEdGygu-bcM&context=C3323e7fADOEgsToPDskJRbyktwrZSt4eyRBKHKG1N

LiberationNYC said...

Though some of the stores and restaurants are still there the photos posess a totally different vibe than what we have today. The city has become so white -the demographic, the new "architecture" and the mainstream culture. Such a shame to see a special place die like this.

Anonymous said...

Mmm. Miss the catfish poboy at Baby Jakes.

Ken from Ken's Kitchen said...

Good to see so many businesses still around, esp the irreplacables like Russos, DeRobertis, Venieros, and DBA. Other irreplacables (for me anyay) would be Sapporo East. As were Kurowycky's and the other Polish butcher a block up, and the butcher on the corner of 13th street that's now an always empty Vitamin Shoppe. Oh, and now the Neptune is irreplacable since Christine's and KK are history. (Geez, even the Ambrosia Diner recently closed on just the other side of 14th St).

Anonymous said...

Christ, we've lost so much. I'm hating what the city is becoming.

Goggla said...

Ah, I miss Mod World...always found the best (and weirdest) creations in there.

Anonymous said...

**Five Roses RIP**

Buzzkill said...

My decision to leave my beloved EV came when I was on my way out of my building one evening, 3 years ago. In front of me were 2 new young tenants, dressed in what I would imagine they thought made them look appropriate for a night out (too short/tight dresses & very high heels) & reeking of perfume. They were going out to be in the middle of "it", their new neighborhood. I realized then that the "it" I'd come to be in the middle of in 1982 was long gone.

KTaxiFareFinder said...

I love this post! I love this blog! I don't get out much and your posts really help me feel like I'm still seeing the world ;)

TXC said...

I particularly missed Teresa's and their tripe soup when they closed.

Ken Mac said...

so much personality, so many mom and pop businesses. Makes me sad, and angry, everything we've lost.

kent said...

I've been on 2nd St since '95, seems like the only places that have survived are the ones that serve alcohol. Too bad the CB doesn't realize it but booze pays the bills.

Anonymous said...

Miss Bendix, miss Five Roses. Wow, DokSuni used to look cool, now it looks kind of douchey. Seeing the Wraporama makes me chuckle. Mid to late 90s definitely the height of the wrap sandwich craze. It was a simpler time.

Anonymous said...

@James Taylor:
I was wearing my straw ferdora in 1990, so I'm "grandfathered". (though current times do make it kinda more "painful" to wear it these days) (sigh)

diana said...

1997 was the year I first moved to Manhattan, these are great!

evflip said...

I had a beautiful pair of plastic green and navy mules from Little Ricky's. They made a horrible clop, clop, clop sound when I walked and they hurt like hell, but I loved them anyway! To this day I regret not buying a paper dress there. My heart broke a little when I saw the photo. Another reason I won't be enjoying Starbucks!

James Campbell Taylor said...

@Anonymous 2:52PM:

As long as you didn't pay $38 for it at Urban Outfitters I'll forgive you.

Anonymous said...

If you love these places shop there and encourage your friends to do so or they will be gone. So instead of Lasso, or South Brooklyn or Papa Johns for pizza go to Stromboli or Muzzarella - instead of Puddin, Jane's Sweet Buns, NYC Icy, The Big Gay or some other fancy, carpetbagging artisinal dessert place go to Di Roberta's or Something Sweet.

Anonymous said...

So the ones that are closed are in buildings now most likely owned by Ben Shaoul/Magnum RE, Terrence Lowenberg and Todd Cohen/Icon Realty or Steve and Harriet Crowman. The ones that remain open probably own the building or have an old school landlord.

Anonymous said...

@anon 4:34 and Bob Perl/Tower too. Not my hero sorry!

Anonymous said...

Makes me want to cry.

Anonymous said...

thank you for posting! this is the first summer i lived in the neighborhood. i remember all these places so well....i wish there were more stories like this!

EV Grieve said...

Thanks for the all the comments. Will post another batch, this time from Avenue A, next week.

Anonymous said...

Why all the grief about the demographics when everyone in the post is caucasian . Nothing has changed at all except some guy has a really out of date pony tail.

LvV said...

What are you talking about, Anon 8:33? There are clearly people of color in slides 6, 7, 16, the two adorable kids I mentioned earlier in 17 and 21, and quite possibly 5, 15, and 22 as well. It's like you came here, took one look at ponytail dude, and then made your preconceived comment. If you can't see that the neighborhood has become more whitebread, you're fooling yourself.

word verification: "witingst"

KairosKim said...

awwww - love you my clever neighbors!
even if
I don't even get the "witingst" reference...
love it anyway

same way I love to tell some horn-honker to 'go fkyerself' and tho slightly undignified I'm also a proud adopted-to New Yorker foreva

the Bendix was before or after Lucky Dog and either one had KowTom or something like that, for breakfast, which was a rice congee - THE best thing after too late a night before - I miss it now

and Little Ricky's: the Go To place for any great unexpected gifty thing for anyone/anytime

by the look these pictures anything still around is
just dirtier...

let's keep loving the EVill- knowing that if you have found yourself by the grid and grit of this place it will overcome any screamin hyena tottering with her woo-hoo posse any day of the millenium.

there is always more to lose than one knew they ever loved

xo

LvV said...

lol Kim, I thought "witingst" sounded like "white-ing-est" and seemed apropos and significant at the moment ... I enjoy it when we play word verifications like tarot cards.

"if you have found yourself by the grid and grit of this place it will overcome any screamin hyena tottering with her woo-hoo posse any day of the millenium"

hell yeah! <3

Anonymous said...

Oh man, I LOVED 2600! Best magazine of all time...

I know that it still exists, but I miss the days of phreaking boxes and pranking on public phones...

Great pictures too; man do I miss 1997.

Mike N said...

Oh man, I miss Five Roses Pizza so much.

Anonymous said...

Just had to mention that the 'guy w/an out of date pony tail' is now a beat cop in the 9th. Yep.

eddieaudio said...

I LOVE these pix!

I lived in the East Village from 1980 to 1999. I lived at 51 first ave until fall 81, when I moved to the 6th floor of 68 east first street and by '88 had an electronics repair shop in the ground floor storefront that had previously been the rehearsal space for the band Floor Kiss.

The 1st street shops that we got to know didn't exist then. They were boarded up spaces. I remember the space that became Boca Chica was a used clothing store for a while.

Of the other spaces between my shop (MST) and Boca was a bakery (long before I got there). Maria Del Greco had her clothing shop there. Shrimpton and Gilligan had their clothing shop next door I think, in a space that was previously a butcher shop.

I remember when some friendly skin head dude was gutting the space in exchange for living there. Little Ricky's had its start on first street. it's possible the brass letters are still in front of that space - it had become the First Street Cafe before it became a wine bar. The cafe owners opened Baby Jake's around the corner on first ave. (I had a Juke Box there.)

That neighborhood transformed in the 19 years that I lived there. Before the park, the 'playground' was 4 or 6 Bocce courts that were used as fireplaces by the homeless.

From winos, the hood segued into its heroin phase and then crack. There was a shooting at the bodega at 58 east first street. It was around this time that Little Ricky's moved 3rd street and First and the First Street Cafe took its place. I think the cafe was either responsible for or came just at the time when it could transform the hood in a positive way - it became our community center.

All this was long before Prune and the restaurant that preceded it. the sunshine theater was still closed and to the east was a club called downtown beirut.

Anonymous said...

That's me. I'm in the 7th. :)