Showing posts with label New York history. Show all posts
Showing posts with label New York history. Show all posts

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Your chance to capture some LES history

[Via the NYPL collection]

On Tuesday evening at 6, several NYPL volunteers will be conducting a oral history training session at the Tompkins Square Library branch for the Lower East Side Oral History Project.

A little bit about the project via the EVG inbox:

This is a neighborhood oral history project that works to both preserve document, and celebrate Lower East Side neighborhood history through the stories of people who have experienced it.

This project will collect oral histories of people who have lived or worked in the Lower East Side neighborhood. Community volunteers will be trained to conduct these interviews. Interviews will be preserved at The Milstein Division of US History, Local History and Genealogy and accessible at the New York Public Library website.

A link to RSVP to the event can be found here.

The session is from 6-8 p.m. on Tuesday. The Tompkins Library branch is at 331 E. 10th St. between Avenue A and Avenue B.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Labor Day story from Extra Place, 1913

From the Library of Congress Flickr page:

11:30 A.M. Jennie Rizzandi, 9 year old girl, helping mother and father finish garments in a dilapidated tenement, 5 Extra Pl., N.Y.C. They all work until 9 P.M. when busy, and make about $2 to $2.50 a week. Father works on street, when he has work. Jennie was a truant, "I staid home 'cause a lady was comin'."

1913 January. Hine, Lewis Wickes, 1874-1940, photographer.

Many thanks to EVG reader @superterrific for the link.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Today is the 99th anniversary of the Triangle Factory Fire

Last March 25, we wrote a post on the 98th anniversary of the Triangle Factory fire, which claimed nearly 150 lives... Once again this year, volunteers have taken the time to walk around the neighborhood and honor the factory workers, most of whom were young immigrant women. Here's an NPR report from 2003 on the fire.

A reader also noted a service this evening in honor of the anniversary. Marc Ribot will be among the performers.

6:30 - 8:30 pm
Judson Memorial Church
55 Washington Square South
(corner of Thompson Street)

Here's the Web site with more information.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Now and then: 10th Street and Avenue A

At Flickr, rollingrck has a great set of old East Village postcards, including this undated shot of 10th Street and Avenue A...

I tried to line it up to compare to today's corner...

Friday, November 21, 2008

Looking at Life (via Google)

Morning time sucker: Search millions of photographs from the Life magazine archives, from the 1750s to today, thanks to Google.

Here are a few shots that I liked from the neighborhood:

"Members of the 10th Street artists group, a loose group of abstract expressionist artists, dancing during a party at artist Milton Resnick's studio." From 1956.

"Peter Stuyvesant Village Housing Project." From 1949.

"A group of artists bringing work into the show at the Tanager Gallery on 10th Street." (Which was 90 E. 10th St.) From 1956.

"Overshot of East 10th Street." From 1956. (Anyone recognize the block...?)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Shit that you can't make up: Mental hospital edition

Norman Mailer, Allen Ginsberg, Charlie Parker, Sid Vicious and Edie Sedgwick have been among the many who have had a mental vacation at Bellevue. It's more than a nuthouse, of course: It's the oldest public hospital in the United States. Oh, well, now the original Bellevue building at First Avenue and 30th Street might become a fucking hotel. (New York magazine)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

One way of looking at it, I suppose

Great post on Runnin' Scared at the Voice about those million-dollar condos coming to First Street and First Avenue.

As Tony Ortega writes:

"[T]his morning, we received a cheerful note from developer Bruce Kaplan about his new condo building at First Street and First Avenue. He wondered if a Voice feature might be in the offing, seeing as how Kramer, in an episode of Seinfeld, once referred to "First and First" as the "nexus of the universe."

Yeah, that's clever, and a nice selling point, no doubt. But with Kaplan's one-bedroom condos going for about a million bucks each, we shot back a response: what sort of a feature was he looking for, with his building only adding to the difficulty the non-filthy-rich are having staying in the city?

Here is how Kaplan responded:

Perhaps you might take a longer view.
From, and as you probably know:

"between 1825 and 1840...shrewd speculators subdivided farms, leveled hills, rerouted Minetta Brook, and undertook landfill projects. Blocks of neat rowhouses built in the prevailing Federal style soon accommodated middle-class merchants and tradesmen. From 1820 a more affluent residential development emerged to the east near Broadway."

So without the actions of those shrewd speculators, there would not have been the canvas to paint on what would become the Village. Presumably the Minetta Brook Voice mourned that transformation.

As one of the Village's more famous residents wrote:

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won't come again
And don't speak too soon
For the wheel's still in spin
And there's no tellin' who
That it's namin'.
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin'.

If one looks back over time, there are several theorists (Ricardo, Mills, Alonso's Urban Land Theory) whose theories are that rising prices increases, not decreases supply. See also,

In any event, for what it's worth, what this shrewd speculator hopes to do with his million bucks is create affordable rental housing in the outer boroughs and preserve that diversity you value.

An oral history of the Lower East Side

Filmmaker/video editor Paul Dougherty shoots John J. McCroary's recollections of growing up on the Lower East Side while looking at the book "Life on the Lower East Side: Photographs by Rebecca Lepkoff, 1937-1950." Dougherty, a native New Yorker and East Village resident, tells us more about McCroary on his YouTube post.

I have posted other video works from Paul here.

A Veteran's Day history lesson

In honor of Veteran's Day, Inside the Apple provides a nice history lesson on the origins of York Avenue, named in 1928 for WWI hero Sgt. Alvin C. York. Wasn't actually aware either of the origins of Avenue A and Avenue B. Inside the Apple explains:

In April 1928, York had the honor of having Avenue A from 59th Street northward named for him. The move was sponsored by the First Avenue Association in an effort to revive the fortunes of the east side, which was better known for its German enclave (later dubbed “Yorkville”) and Yankee owner Jacob Ruppert’s brewery. Back in 1807, when the city deployed surveyor John Randal, Jr., to map out the new Cartesian grid plan, he and his team chose to create twelve wide avenues that ran the length of the island from Houston Street north. However, this left the problem of the area of the Lower East Side and Upper East Side where there was enough room east of the grid plan for more streets. Randal solved this problem by naming these eastern avenues “A,” “B,” etc. and on the original 1811 map of Manhattan, there is both an Avenue A in today’s East Village and one on the Upper East Side. (East End Avenue was originally designated Avenue B.)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A collector of New York ephemera

The Times has an obituary today on Herbert Mitchell, 83. "At the Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library at Columbia, where he worked from 1960 to 1991, and in his own sequestered apartment, he assembled something extraordinary, if slightly beyond description," the Times notes. “His was the most eclectic collection of the valuable, the semi-valuable and the somewhat-not-valuable,” his attorney said. Much of it is to be given to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, he added. Among the treasures he had already donated: 3,866 stereographic views of New York City from the 19th and early 20th centuries that show Central Park not long after its construction. “One of his real interests was ephemera — that part of history that disappears,” said Kitty Chibnik, the associate director of Avery. The above image from his collection was described by the Times as "The Everard Baths on 28th Street, where gay New Yorkers met."

Monday, October 27, 2008

Looking at the neighborhood circa the late 1970s

A friend gave me a used copy of "The Lower East Side: A Guide to its Jewish Past" by Ronald Sanders. The book, published in 1979, provides a straightforward history of the neighborhood from the 1870s to the 1920s. Text aside, I appreciate the many photos (99 in total) taken by Edmund V. Gillon, Jr. Here's a sampling of them, circa late 1970s:

Eighth Street and Avenue B.

10th Street.

Second Avenue near Sixth Street.

On Second Avenue (a cross street wasn't given).

At the Christodora on Avenue B before it was refurbished.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The city's greatest generation?

The Village Voice unleashes its annual "best of NYC" issue this week. Check it out here. The issue features an essay from Tom Robbins titled "The Hidden History of the City's Greatest Era." He writes, in part:

The fact is that to live in New York in the late '70s to early '80s was to enjoy a cornucopia of inexpensive artistic and intellectual entertainments.

Friday, September 26, 2008

NYC in black and white

Thanks to Alex at Flaming Pablum for posting more of the photos from his NYC archives...including two of my favorites from the neighborhood, 7B and Mars Bar.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Appreciating NYC's drinking past (and present)

I enjoyed Off the Presses author Robert Simonson's article in the Sun yesterday titled "Looking at New York's Liquid Past." Here's his look at Times Square:

Walk to Broadway and down two blocks south to the Crossroads of the World. Unsurprisingly, a lot of drinking history occurred at this intersection. On the southeast corner of Seventh Avenue and 42nd Street, you can still see the Mansard-roofed beauty that once was the Knickerbocker Hotel. The bar was so favored a watering hole of uptown swells in the first two decades of the 20th century that it was called the 42nd Street Country Club. (It was also the original home of Parrish's "Old King Cole" oil painting.) Its main importance in cocktail history, though, lies in the once-prevalent claim that its head bartender, Martini di Arma di Taggia, invented the martini in 1912. This is balderdash, since mentions of the drink had been appearing in print for decades prior to that. But give ol' di Taggia a quick salute, anyway.

Directly opposite Broadway was the Hotel Metropole, another popular way station for actors, politicians, and the like. Its house cocktail was the Metropolitan, which is basically a Manhattan, but with brandy standing in for the rye. It hasn't retained the fame the Manhattan has but is still a damned decent drink.

He also provides some nice details about current haunts such as the Algonquin and King Cole Bar.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Salvador Dalí in New York

MoMa is currently showing the exhibit Dalí: Painting and Film (through Monday). In conjuntion with that tonight and tomorrow, there's a discussion-and-films series titled Dalí in New York.

According to MoMa, "Dalí in New York explores the artist's diverse experiences and encounters in New York from the 1930s to the 1960s."

Among the films:

Screen Tests: Salvador Dalí. 1966. USA. Directed by Andy Warhol. By the mid-1960s Dalí had successfully created a marketable persona that was better known to the public than his paintings. This conflation of art and commerce was of distinct interest to Andy Warhol, and he recorded a pair of screen tests — one shot with the camera upside down — that depict a shrewd Surrealist performance by Dalí. Silent. Approx. 7 min.

Dalí in New York. 1966. USA. Directed by Jack Bond. Dalí, amid preparations for an exhibition at the Huntington Gallery of Modern Art, takes to the streets of New York City. He visits the Art Students League studios, comments on the work of Michelangelo, and creates performance art by lying in a coffin atop one million dollars in cash as ants crawl out of a broken egg and across his face. 57 min.

Here's a snippet of the screen test for Warhol:

And here's part of an interview in New York from last October with Robert and Richard Dupont, the underage twins Warhol fancied who became part of The Factory scene:

Richard: Andy brought us to dinner one Sunday with Salvador Dalí at the Versailles Room at the St. Regis. Dalí always had these dinners, and there were always a lot of drag queens. One named Potassa would be wearing a beautiful gown from Oscar de la Renta or Halston, and she would run around with a big bottle of Champagne and say, “Cham-pan-ya!” After we met her, she would always let us know when Dalí was in town and invite us for these dinners. Sometimes Andy wouldn’t be invited, which would make him upset.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Buy the Astrotower for $99,000

That's the going rate for an iconic piece of Coney island history. Ten Astroland Park rides were posted for sale last week following the announcement that the Coney Island park will close for good today. The rides are listed with Ital International, a Nashville-based broker. (New York Post)

Will there be a 11th hour repieve?

Meanwhile, there's a new book on what it was like to grow up in a deteriorating neighborhood adjacent to Coney island in the 1960s and 1970s. (Kinetic Carnival)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Nearly 90 years of Lower East Side history in 5 minutes (or so)

[Window Shade Repairman, St. Marks Place, New York, 1938, by Joe Schwartz. Via Stephen Cohen Gallery]

I was just looking through the archives from 1851-1980 at the Times. (Bought a few articles for some research.) There's a handy free preview with each article that let's you see the headline, date published, author and first paragraph. (While looking at the first paragraph, I was reminded of my first day in a newswriting class, when my professor told us that, with a strong lead, someone doesn't need to read the rest of the article.)

In any event, here are some kind-of random headlines and first paragraphs of articles from the Times that span nearly 90 years. This isn't meant as an exhaustive LES history, just a snapshot that provides a slice-of-life of, uh, life in the neighborhood . . . as well as its subsequent cultural transformation.

• SPLIT ON THEOSOPHY'S ROCK; MORE TROUBLE IN THE WILSON INDUSTRIAL SCHOOL. Resignation of the Matron, Mrs. Armstrong, and of Miss Kirkwood, a Teacher, Requested at a Hurriedly-Called Meeting Lost Friday -- The School, Left Almost Without Teachers, Ordered Closed -- Managers Have Taken Sides, and Serious Dissension Is in Prospect.
June 26, 1893

The spread of Theosophy among the Faculty of the Wilson Industrial School for Girls, at St. Mark's Place and Avenue A. has culminated in the dismissal of two other teachers and the indefinite closing of the school.

• PARKHURST RAID SUCCEEDS; Evidence Against a Tammany Man Discovered in St. Mark's Place -- Inspector Thompson Finds Little.
March 9, 1900

Marked contrast was shown between two raids of alleged poolrooms in this city yesterday. When agents of the Society for the Prevention of Crime, of which the Rev. Dr. Charles H. Parkhurst is President, swooped down upon a place at 9 St. Mark's Place they surprised more than 300 men and boys, and caught two alleged principals with money in their hands, and also seized a wagonload of poolroom paraphernalia.

• GAMBLERS RESIST RAID.; Throw Furniture at Detectives Who Enter Resort in St. Mark's Place.
May 9, 1912

Lieut. Becker and nine members of the "Strong Arm" squad drove up to 6 St. Mark's Place yesterday afternoon in a moving van, sprang from it, and ran up to the second floor of the house, where they found themselves confronted by an icechest door. While they battered at this with axes several shots were fired from inside the room and the detectives fired back. No one was hit.

• CHIEF AND GANGMEN HELD FOR MURDER; 'Dopey' Benny's Crowd Rounded Up and Charged with Killing Court Clerk Straus. MITCHEL AND McKAY ACT Mayor Will Give Police More Power -- Capt. Sweeney Suspended for Neglect.
January 11, 1914

Edward Morris, better known as "Fat Bull," a former Special Deputy Sheriff and official "bouncer" of Arlington Hall at 19-23 St. Mark's Place, before which Frederick Straus, a clerk of the City Court, was shot and killed on Friday evening; broke down last night under questioning by Second Deputy Commissioner Dougherty and Inspector Faurot.

• OLD ESTATE SALE.; St. Mark's Place Holdings of Wealthy Goldbeater at Auction.
February 28, 1915

Three tenements on St. Mark's Place (East Eighth Street) will be sold in the Vesey Street Salesroom by Joseph P. Day on Tuesday. Over half a century ago St. Mark's Place and Second Avenue were as fashionable residential thoroughfares as could be found in the city. The property is to be sold for the Nicholas Schultz estate.

• 12-FOOT WALL HIDES ONCE DAZZLING SHOP; It Is Designed to Check an Exodus of Doctors from St. Mark's Place. CONCEALS A SODA OASIS Menchell's Methods of Attracting Trade Became Unpopular with Medical Neighbors.
August 26, 1915

When the shop of Isrial Menchell at 13 St. Mark's Place, which dispenses candy, soda water, cigarettes, and souvenir postal cards to the inhabitants of that particular section of Manhattan Island, began to thrive and prosper some eight months ago, Menchell's neighbors, instead of showing pleasure at this prosperity, were inclined to carp and criticise.

• BLACK HAND PANICS SPREAD IN SCHOOLS; Three More Scares in One Day -- Police and Teachers Hunt the Troublemakers. LOLLYPOPS PARTLY BLAMED Black Candy in Shape of Hand Sold to Children -- Excited Mothers Add to Disorder.
June 18, 1926, Friday

Stirred by three more Black Hand panics in schools on the lower east side of Manhattan yesterday, in one of which 2,300 children and almost as many mothers and friends milled about the building in excited mobs, Police Commissioner George V. Mclaughlin and Superintendent of Schools William J. O'Shea took active steps yesterday afternoon to bring the scare to an end.

• FOUND WITH DYNAMITE, HELD IN PALMIERI CASE; Subway Blaster's Helper Had Fashioned Bomb, but Says It Was for Fishing Expedition.
March 6, 1927

A man who identified himself as George Falley, 40 years old, of 414 East Ninth Street, a blaster's helper in the subway, was arrested in a furnished room at 63 St. Mark's Place yesterday afternoon on the charge of having dynamite in his possession illegally, which is a felony.

• SNOWFALL A BOON TO THE JOBLESS; 300 at The Tub Are Put to Work Clearing Streets and Ledoux Postpones Auction. HE OUTFITS HIS WARDS Bankers' Journal Says One Cause of Unemployment Is Strikes In Coat Fields.
March 10, 1928

Because the Street Cleaning Department needed snow shovelers, the scheduled auction of unemployed by Urbain (Zero) Ledoux, in his shelter, The Tub, 12 St. Mark's Place, did not take place yesterday afternoon.

• RECEIVER DEBATED FOR 'MR. ZERO'S' $37; Court Decrees It Must Act for "the Tub's" Rent if There Is a Bank Account. FUNDS NOT HIS, HE SAYS But Counsel for Landlord Seeking $7,345 Contends Contributions Were Pledged by Ledoux.
June 10, 1931

Urban J. Ledoux, who as Mr. Zero carries on relief work for Bowery derelicts, appeared before Supreme Court Justice Walsh yesterday to oppose an application by Mrs. Anna M. Brindell for the appointment of a receiver for his property in an effort to collect something on a judgment for $7,345 obtained against Ledoux a year ago for rent of The Tub at 12 St. Mark's Place.

• FINDS LOWER EAST SIDE SUITED ONLY TO RICH; Housing Expert Says Land Value Demands Costly Dwellings -- Doubtful of Present Plans.
March 18, 1932

Addressing the housing section of the Welfare Council last night, Carol Aronovici, housing and town-planning expert, decried the efforts to rehabilitate the lower east side as a residential area for the poor.

• CROWD AT WEDDING STAMPEDED BY FIRE; ONE KILLED, 40 HURT; 250 Rush for Exits of Hall as Flames Start in Canopy Over Head of Bride-to-Be.
June 16, 1935

Fire that started in the canopy beneath which the bride-to-be was sitting, just before the wedding ceremony was to have begun, drove 250 relatives and friends into a stampede for the exits of a first-floor hall of The Mansion, 57 St. Mark's Place, just before last midnight.

• Nine Persons Routed From Tenement Homes When Wall Cracks, Threatening Collapse
March 10, 1938

Nine persons, imperiled by a cracked wall that caused an inspector to declare the building in danger of collapse, were ordered from their homes in an old-law tenement at 82 St. Mark's Place last night, while the police roped off the sidewalk to keep passers-by from possible injury.

• Changes Are Noted in Lower East Side; Indoor Markets Eliminating Pushcarts
February 21, 1939

The lower East Side of Manhattan is in the public eye these days. This old neighborhood south of Fourteenth Street is undergoing many changes which realty men and property owners hope will help to bring about the long-awaited revival of interest in the district.

• Fewer Tenements on the Lower East Side Now Unprotected Against Hazard of Fire
August 8, 1940

Thousands of tenants of old buildings on the lower East Side of Manhattan below Fourteenth Street are living in quarters which are much safer from fire hazards than they were a year ago.

• Mecca Theatre on Ave. A Sold for $170,000; Site Included in East Side Housing Project
April 23, 1943

The Mecca Theatre and the adjoining stores occupying the west side of Avenue A from Fourteenth to Fifteenth Street, have been acquired by the Acropolis Holding Corporation, a subsidiary of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, as part of the site for the big post-war housing project which the insurance company will erect on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.

• COURT SANCTIONS STUYVESANT TOWN; High State Bench Approves Building of 'Walled City' on East Side After War
December 3, 1943

By a vote of 4 to 2, the Court of Appeals refused today to enjoin the building in the post-war period, of Stuyvesant Town, the eighteen-block "walled city" planned by the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company on Manhattan's lower East Side

• HOLD-UP SUSPECTS CAPTURED IN STORE; Police Balk 3 Armed Men as They Line Up Victims in St. Mark's Place Shop
January 29, 1946

Balked by a patrolman breaking in through a side door, three armed hold-up men who were lining up eight victims in the rear of a candy store at 102 St. Marks Place, near First Avenue, were captured yesterday and one of them was shot when he made a dash for freedom.

• AIR RAID TEST SET IN EAST SIDE AREA; Drill Tomorrow Evening Will Be Based on Assumed Atom Bomb Drop 3 Miles Away
June 24, 1954

A four-block area on the lower East Side, just above Manhattan Bridge, will be the center tomorrow night of the third annual Civil Defense training exercise in this city.

• Our Changing City: :Old Lower Manhattan Area; New East Side Housing Provides Most of Difference in the Last 25 Years
June 24, 1955

The oldest part of New York -- from Fourteenth Street southward --looks and is pretty much as it was twenty-five years ago with one spectacular exception.

• CAR KILLS 1, HURTS 7; Plows Into Pedestrians on Sidewalk on East Side
November 27, 1961

A man was killed and seven other persons were injured yesterday when a station wagon mounted a sidewalk at St. Mark's Place and Avenue A on the East Side, struck pedestrians, smashed a fire hydrant and then hit a car that rammed a third car.

• It's Stupendous, Colossal Tiny; It's a Circus With Clowns and Animals and Even Poetry on St. Mark's Place
December 21, 1961

St. Mark's Place, a rather bizarre street of the avant garde and Russian bath rubbers, was made no less whimsical yesterday by the sight of a llama staring languidly down from a window at pedestrians below.

• Black Jeans to Go Dancing at the Movies: It's Inevitable
April 11, 1966

WHAT does one wear to go dancing at the movies? Anything.

• THE NEW BOWERY: AN ERA OF CHANGE Shops, Theaters and Artists Drift Down the Street
October 16, 1966

The Bowery is slowly changing. Theaters and antique stores are to be found on the dismal thoroughfare and at the intersection Cooper Square at its northern end. Artists who once only rented lofts on the Bowery have begun to purchase and convert buildings; the number of studios increases yearly.

• TALK IS STRANGE IN EAST VILLAGE; Drug Users Are 'Heads' and a 'Bag' Is an Event
April 16, 1967

"This is the real bag. The scene here is where it's at and we don't need any outsiders. We've all sees shrinks and they couldn't help us. We have to find out ourselves where our head is and then we're O.K."Crime and Violence Are Commonplace in Nether World of Lower East Side March 20, 1969To the casual observer, the Lower East Side block where a youth was tortured and burned to death this week is a grimy string of dingy tenements, murky storefronts and nondescript industrial establishments.

• Swinging in the East Village Has Its Ups and Downs; UPS AND DOWNS IN EAST VILLAGE
July 15, 1967

Hundreds of Negroes and whites from all over the city and from Connecticut, New Jersey and Long Island are converging in the East Village these nights to dance at the old Polish National Hall building at 23 St. Mark's Place.

• 500 HIPPIES DANCE AND PLANT A TREE; St. Mark's Place Jammed as Police Watch Patiently
August 13, 1967

Five hundred hippies and hangers-on jammed St. Marks Place near Third Avenue for about two hours late last night. They danced, shouted and planted a 5-foot evergreen in the middle of the street.

• Downtown Boutique For Uptown Crowd
January 5, 1968

THERE'S no one named Gussie or Becky at Gussie Becky. Ruth Graves, designer and owner of the boutique at 20 St. Mark's Place, just likes to play with names. Now there's a new Gussie Becky up one flight at 717 Lexington Avenue (between 57th and 58th Streets).

• 60 Hippies in a Bus See the Sights of Quaint Queens
September 23, 1968

A group of East Village hippies who became annoyed with the increasing number of tourist buses visiting St. Mark's Place turned the tables with a vengeance yesterday.

• For Many Hippies, Christmas Means Emptiness; HIPPIES' LAUGHTER MASKS EMPTINESS
December 26, 1968

A raw wind rattled the gates of the closed stores along St. Mark's Place yesterday. The street was cold and empty and filthy.

• Not a Boy, Not a Girl, Just Me'
November 2, 1969

JACKIE CURTIS, 21, 5 feet 11 inches, gender male, "not a boy, not a girl, not a faggot, not a drag queen, not a transsexual -- just me, Jackie," grooving down St. Mark's Place in miniskirt, ripped black tights, clunky heels, chestnut curls, no falsies ("I'm not trying to pass as a woman"), Isadora scarf gallantly breezing behind her, is the newest playwright to make the Off Off Broadway scene.

• You Don't Have to Be High
December 28, 1969

IT's 2 A.M. at the Fillmore East, just down freaky Second Avenue from St. Mark's Place, and John Mayall, lanky in white bell-bottoms and a headband, is going "chicka-chicka" into his harmonica and driving the audience wild.

July 4, 1970

SAN FRANCISCO: The Velvet Underground was playing experimental rock in 1965 when the Beatles just wanted to hold your hand and San Francisco was still the place where Tony Bennett left his heart.

• W.H. Auden Plans to Move Back Home to England
February 7, 1972

Another great institution is leaving New York City -- a one-man corporation of letters named W. H. Auden.

• Rock Meets Disco: Where To Try It; Rock Meets Disco: Where To Try It The Mudd Club Hurrah Trude Heller Now The Rocker Room Club 57 and Studio 10
April 27, 1979

THERE'S a different sort of disco in Manhattan these days, and its proliferation shows every sign of becoming a genuine trend. These "new wave" discotheques are still mostly large, dark places with flashing lights and eager crowds dancing to pulsating, heavily amplified music. But the music they are dancing to isn't disco; it's rock-and-roll.

• The Pop Life; Growth, change and David Johansen.
August 17, 1979

ROCK-AND-ROLL can be a cruel profession, enforcing stylistic limits on those who'd like to grow and branding others as losers before they've even had a chance to win.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The death (and life) of Ruth Greenglass

There's an obituary in the Times today on Ruth Greenglass, who passed away this past April. She was 84. (News of her death was only recently disclosed.)

The story of this Lower East Side native is fascinating.

As the Times notes, her husband, David, was an Army sergeant assigned as a machinist to the Manhattan Project, the program to develop the atomic bomb, at Los Alamos, N.M. Long story, but her testimony in the Rosenberg atomic-bomb spy case of the early 1950s helped lead to the execution of her sister-in-law Ethel Rosenberg. On June 19, 1953, Ethel and her husband Julius Rosenberg were put to death in the electric chair at Sing Sing. Greenglass' testimony was later called into question. She had lived the last four decades of her life under an assumed name.

It's all quite complicated. The FBI has the full story of the case here.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Report: A Big Apple coming to 23 Wall Street

"The Corner" is the iconic former home to JP Morgan & Co. at 23 Wall Street that sits across from the New York Stock Exchange and Federal Hall. Now it looks like the luxurious space will become home to ... an Apple store.

According to the New York Post:

Sources tell us that Apple is seriously negotiating for the entire 12,500-foot building at 23 Wall St.

It's now an empty building connected to its tall residential and luxury condominium neighbor at 15 Broad St., which has an Hermes shop on the Broad Street side, facing the New York Stock Exchange.


More from the Post:

Recall that 23 Wall also serves as the quirky Philippe Starck and Yoo Development-designed rooftop terrace for the residents of 15 Broad St.

It has tremendous windows that we're sure Apple CEO Steve Jobs will enjoy illuminating with neon Apple logos.

My office is I walk by this area quite often. I'm sure the folks who sit on the steps of Federal Hall taking in the city's history may be lured to go buy an iPod.

Meanwhile, Forgotten New York has the story on the bomb that exploded in front of 23 Wall Street in 1920 that killed 33 people and injured some 400 people.