Hamptons Market Place, with two locations on the West Side, is taking over the former Olympic Deli space on First Avenue at 13th Street ...
And the new owners have cleared out where the flowers were once sold on the 13th Street side...
...exposing part of the building's original features...
There are fewer and fewer places to buy fresh flowers around here all the time. I used to buy them every week at Stuyvesant Grocery at 14th and A before the fire. Then this place, before it closed. I've noticed other delis have reduced the amount they sell (like Best Price deli on SE 1st @ 12th, an otherwise wonderful deli), or don't sell at all on certain days.
Now I go to a place on 1st Ave at 19th Street. It's a bit out of the way, but flower addicts need their fix! I guess most new residents don't want them? It's sad. Flowers make everyone happy.
Just wondering if anyone knows what that floor-level arch is about - previously a fancy, subterranean entrance to the cellar, perhaps?
Isn't this the site where di Bella's was, a legacy of the Italian neighborhood around Avenue A - 2nd Ave, north of 9th Street to 14th? I remember the 7-foot-tall Chinese guy behind the counter relishing a long sniff of the Gorgonzola saying, in his resonant bass, "Hmm, so good" to the funky cheese. And it was good.
Agreed with Anonymous. I rarely buy myself flowers but when I do, it's like a friggin' "Where's Waldo" game to slog through in order to find unwilted varieties (or any flowers at all) in the area. I agree that Best Price Deli is the go-to place when I need to satiate my desire. It's a little bit of a hike but worth it. I hate to think we'll have to start heading WEST to get a decent bouquet! :-o
Yeah, Rob, that was 'Di Bella Bros.' The original owners were before my time, but a really sweet Korean couple ran the place back in the 80s/90s. (Don't think the husband was that tall, though.)
I loved Di Bella Bros., the owners were very nice. And for all you flower buyers, NEVER buy blooms from the place on the corner of 10th and B, they look nice until you get them home, at which point they begin to die. Never had a bouquet from that place last longer than two days. The owner is an absolute asshole, too.
Grieve, thanks for the architectural shots, always fun to see.
I was sad when Di Bellas closed, the incongruity of the Korean owners and the Italian themed deli was fun. They had decent bread, and now the only place left is Russo's. I tried to talk that cookie store on 1st Avenue into adding bread to the mix, I mean, as long as they have ovens, can't they make bread? but they thought I was an idiot.
I've seen those little entryways for tiny people in various places, but could never figure out what was going on, unless the sidewalk used to open up to a downstairs in that spot.
@Jill - Given that the cookie store (oh dear God) USED to be an Italian bakery that sold lovely bread before closing to make way for upscale (but IMHO tasteless and overpriced) blobs of sweet dough, you think they would have been a little less incredulous when you asked them to diversify. But I guess since you can't walk down the street texting or gabbing on your cell phone while stuffing it into your mouth, they don't see the need to offer it.
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