New York Songlines: 11th Street

West St | Washington St | Greenwich St | Hudson St | Bleecker St | W 4th St | 7th Ave S | Waverly Place | Greenwich Ave | 6th Ave | 5th Ave | University Place | Broadway | 4th Ave | 3rd Ave | 2nd Ave | 1st Ave | Avenue A | Avenue B | Avenue C |





HUDSON RIVER





S <===           WEST STREET           ===> N

South:

372: Was Cell Block, 1970s butch/leather bar

Palazzo Chupi

Pink Palace by 24gotham, on Flickr

360: Artist Julian Schnabel created a scandal when he bought a three-story former stable here and put a 110-foot tower on top, and painting it either "pompeii red" or "hot pink," depending on who you listen to. I usually side with the preservationists, but I have to say I think Schnabel's Venetian-inspired architecture fits in with the neighborhood far more than most of the new glass apartment towers do--and I rather like the color. The building has not sold well, though Richard Gere bought a unit.

West Village Houses

348 (corner): Opened in 1974 as Mitchell-Lama housing, this 420-unit housing complex is losing its rent-regulated status.

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377: Dancer/actor Gregory Hines has lived here.

359: Left Bank, nine-story condo built 1999.

West Village Houses



















Corner (722 Washington Street):


S <===           WASHINGTON STREET           ===> N

South:

344 (corner): Wallse, hip Austrian

328: Washington Arms, two old tenements upgraded in the 1970s

322: Delicia Restaurant



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323: Turks & Frogs, antique store turned wine bar

321: Novelist Carson McCullers lived in this 1838 house in 1940, the year her first novel, The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, was published.





S <===           GREENWICH STREET           ===> N

South:

314: The Spotted Pig, fancy pub grub, was Le Zoo

White Horse Tavern

White Horse Tavern by slurve, on Flickr

Corner (567 Hudson): Founded in 1880 as a longshoremen's bar. Where poet Dylan Thomas drank himself to death, beat writer Jack Kerouac was thrown out repeatedly and novelist Norman Mailer conceived the Village Voice. Other regulars included James Baldwin, Anais Nin and Michael Harrington.

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307: Novelist Jack Kerouac revised On the Road here at his girlfriend Helen Weaver's courtyard apartment. He also wrote part of Desolation Angels, which mentions this building and its "Dickensian windows." Now owned by photographer Annie Leibowitz; her renovation is creating controversy.









S <===           HUDSON STREET           ===> N

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Bleecker Street Playground

West Village Family by dsjeffries, on Flickr

Statue of circus act is The Family ( Chaim Gross, 1979).


S <===           BLEECKER STREET           ===> N

South:

Bleecker Gardens

In the late 1920s, poet Mark Van Doren and his neighbors tore down the fences and outbuildings in the center of this block and created a common space that still exists.



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285: In 1932, director and acting teacher Lee Strasberg and his wife, actress Paula Miller, lived here in a small apartment above Suttor's Bakery. They took in playwright Clifford Odets, then an actor in Strasberg's Group Theater with no place to live.

263: Thomas Wolfe lived here (1927-28) when he finished Look Homeward, Angel.


S <===           WEST 4TH STREET           ===> N

South:

232: Manhattan Seventh Day Adventist. You know, they've got a point about the sabbath being the seventh day.

224: Writer Mary Cantwell, author of Manhattan, When I Was Young, moved here to an apartment owned by St. John's--and has never lived outside the Village since.

St. John's-in-the-Village Church

216-222 (corner): Grecian details in a 1974 postmodern church pay tribute to the Greek Revival predecessor destroyed by a fire. Houses Rattlestick, an off-Broadway theater that aims to "present diverse and challenging plays that otherwise might not be produced."

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10a.GreenwichVillage.NYC.31aug07 by ElvertBarnes, on Flickr

253 (corner): Tartine, affordable French

247: In 1972, this building became Liberation House, a gay community center best remembered for the Gay Switchboard, a service that at one point answered 60,000 gay-related questions a year.

217 (corner): A six-story building from 1916.


S <===           WAVERLY PLACE           ===> N

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Corner (192 7th Ave S): Fantasy World, mildly naughty sex shop; Mr. M Discount Center

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Two Boots Exterior by Adam

201 (corner): Two Boots to Go West, Cajun pizza mini-chain. (The "boots" are Italy and Louisiana.)


S <===           7TH AVE S / GREENWICH AVE           ===> N

South:

Mulry Square

21.TilesForAmerica.Village.NYC.08sep07 by ElvertBarnes, on Flickr

Corner: This triangular parking lot was formerly the site of a wedge-shaped diner that is said to have been the inspiration for Edward Hopper's painting Nighthawks (though this identification has been challenged). The diner's tiling can still be seen on the one remaining wall. The parking lot's fencing supports Tiles for America, a September 11 memorial consisting of some 6,000 tiles created across the country. There's a proposal to turn Mulry Square into a small park.

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This triangular block was the site of Loew's Sheridan, where writer Ruth McKenney and her sister Eileen would go to from their apartment when they wanted privacy. (It was painted by Edward Hopper, a regular filmgoer here.) Later a garden, the Village Green.
















S <===           GREENWICH AVE / 7TH AVE S           ===> N

11th Street makes a 45 degree turn here at a confusing intersection with two avenues.

South:

Corner: West Village Florist is at the end of another pointy block.

Elephant & Castle restaurant's back door

152: Built 1836

134: Comedy writer S.J. Perelman lived in this brownstone (1955-66), where he wrote, among other things, the screenplay for Around the World in 80 Days

126-128: Unadilla apartments, named for an upstate town

118: Once part of Rhinelander Gardens, a row of houses designed by James Renwick Jr., notable for its New Orleans-style cast iron balconies. William Rhinelander's first tenant here was Samuel Osgood, the minister of the Unitarian Church of the Messiah (at 790 Broadway); a descendant says that Osgood "later wrote an unusually glowing obituary of his landlord (which has to be unique)." Osgood's daughter Mabel Osgood Wright, a pioneering birder and author of My New York, was born here in 1859; the family later moved up the street to No. 154. Theodore Dreiser moved here in 1923, where he wrote An American Tragedy. Demolished in 1955 to make room for the school.

P.S. 41: The Greenwich Village School

p.s. 41 - greenwich village school by limonada, on Flickr

116: After the World Trade Center attacks, this K-6 school was evacuated for several days and used to house firefighters and other rescue workers. Part of Rhinelander Garden's balcony is preserved in the school's rear fence.

Corner: Sammy's Noodle Shop & Grill

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St. Vincent's Hospital

St. Vincent's Hospital by myyearofnewthings, on Flickr

Poet Edna St. Vincent Millay was given her middle name because her uncle's life was saved here. Poet Kahlil Gibran died here in 1931, as did Dylan Thomas on November 9, 1953--several days after his famous night at the White Horse. Survivors of the Titanic disaster were taken here for treatment. This was the main hospital used for treating victims of the September 11 World Trade Center attack in 2001.

Harold R. Cronin Research Building

123: Poet and critic Carl Van Doren moved here in 1927.

113: Author Thomas Pynchon lived in the basement here on and off in the early 1970s, staying with Kirkpatrick and Faith Sale's apartment. (Faith Sale edited V. and Gravity's Rainbow.) Earlier, starting in 1963, author Donald Barthelme lived on the ground floor here.

101: Little Tony & Elisa Be Good Unisex Hair Stylists

Famous Ray's Pizza

The famous Ray's Pizza by Paul Lowry, on Flickr

Corner: Not the original, but this is the famous one--and deservedly so. In the movie Elf, this is recognized at the North Pole as the real Ray's.


S <===           6TH AVENUE           ===> N

Urban critic Jane Jacobs cited 11th Street between 5th and 6th avenues as "both dignified and interesting to walk on" because of its diversified buildings and uses. The Big Map has the full quote along with a phototour of the block.

South:

78 (corner): French Roast Cafe, 24-hour bistro in a 1915 apartment building. There used to be a roadhouse here called The Old Grapevine that dated back to 1830; it was a center of neighborhood gossip and was supposedly the origin of the phrase "I heard it through the grapevine." This etymology seems unlikely to me.

Second Cemetery of the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue

Early 19th C NYC Graves on path by Lanterna, on Flickr

Manhattan's smallest cemetery; much of its original extent is now under Eleventh Street. Active from 1805 to 1829.

70: The tall building next to the cemetery was home to composer Charles Ives from 1908 to 1911.

66: Was Enrico and Paglieri, Italian restaurant noted in the 1939 WPA Guide.

64: New School's Theresa Lang Student Center. In the 1910s this was the address of the Concolo Gatti Matti (''Crazy Cat Club''), a favorite of Djuna Barnes.

56: Harold Ross lived here (1919-20) a few years before he founded The New Yorker. Part of this time he worked for the American Legion's magazine.

52: Once owned by Mel Brooks and Anne Bancroft, and later rented by fake newsman Jon Stewart.

50: This was the first home of Gerald and Sara Murphy, on whom Fitzgerald modeled Dick and Nicole Diver in Tender Is the Night.

48: Playwright Oscar Wilde lived here for several weeks after a U.S. lecture tour in 1882.

46: 11th Street Pediatrics--taking care of my child since her birth.

40: Gerald and Sara Murphy (see No. 50, above) were married here, at her parents' house.

32: Vincent Pepe, redeveloper of Minetta Lane, committed suicide in 1935 by hanging himself from the bannister here after being accused the year before of ripping off an investor.

30: Pepe's house, where he was living at the time of his death.

Weatherman House

NYC - Greenwich Village: 18 West 11th Street by wallyg, on Flickr

18: Modern-looking, odd-angled house was originally built in 1845, one of four houses on the block built by Henry Brevoort Jr. for his children; it was later the home of Charles Merrill (of Merrill Lynch), whose son, the poet James Merrill, was born here. In 1970, it was a hideout for the radical Weathermen group (including Kathy Boudin and William Ayers), who were using it as a bomb factory. On March 6, 1970, 60 sticks of dynamite accidentally exploded, killing three group members and virtually destroying the house. It was rebuilt in modernist style in 1978.

16: Actor Dustin Hoffman lived here in the 1960s, and witnessed the Weathermen explosion.

14-26: Built by local landowner Henry Brevoort (1844)

Judge Crater House

Corner (40 5th Ave): 40 Fifth Avenue by edenpictures, on Flickr This 17-story brown brick building, with something resembling Independence Hall on top, is a Van Wart & Wein design finished 1929. Judge Joseph F. Crater, who inexplicably disappeared in 1930, lived on the fourth floor of this building at the time he went missing. "Almost five months after he vanished and after several police searches, three envelopes with cash, insurance policies and the judge's will mysteriously turned up in the bedroom."--All Around the Town.

An earlier building with this number was an early Second Empire house built in 1857, designed by Calver Vaux, co-architect of Central Park, for John A.C. Gray, one of the park's commissioners. Later, from 1866-71, it was the home of reaper tycoon Cyrus McCormick. Sara Wiborg and Gerald Murphy, the models for Nicole and Dick Diver in Fitzgerald's Tender Is the Night, were wed here in 1915. And President John F. Kennedy's personal physician, Janet Travell, was living here as a young woman in 1925.

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Corner (462 6th Ave): Was Nikos Smoke Shop, one of the world's greatest newsstands.

Side door of Charlie Mom

73: Gene's, traditional Italian since 1919.







Eugene Lang College

by Liberté, Égalité, Safari, on Flickr

63-69: The New School's undergraduate division. Lang, an entrepreneur, gave the undergrad program a big grant in 1985. Writer and illustrator James Thurber lived in an apartment building formerly on this site (1928-29) when he was managing editor of The New Yorker.





















35: Saturday Night Live's Jane Curtin has lived here.









Larchmont Hotel

27: Larchmont Hotel, decent, affordable hotel. Max Eastman moved here in 1917, the year he became editor of The Masses.














11: Nature writer Joseph Wood Krutch lived here until he moved to Arizona in 1958.














Church Parish House; designed by McKim, Mead & White.

First Presbyterian Church

NYC - Greenwich Village: First Presbyterian Church by wallyg, on Flickr

The congregation was founded in 1716 and built their first church on Wall Street in 1719. Their 1846 Gothic Revival church here, designed by Joseph C. Wells, is modeled on St. Saviour, Bath; the tower is based on Magdalene College, Oxford. McKim, Mead and White added a chapel in 1893.


S <===           5TH AVENUE           ===> N

South:

Corner (41 5th Ave): This 15-story 1923 building was designed by Rosario Candela.











NYC - Greenwich Village: 20 East 11th Street by wallyg, on Flickr

20: Eleanor Roosevelt kept an apartment here during much of her White House years (1933-42).



















34: Village Bleachers Laundromat



Corner: University Chemists, drugstore

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43 Fifth Avenue by edenpictures, on Flickr

Corner (43 5th Ave): This 1905 Beaux Arts building was the grandest apartment building on lower 5th Avenue. In 1946, actor Marlon Brando lived in this 1905 Beaux Arts building with a Russian violinist named Igor, who moved out after Brando filled his violin with horse manure. Novelist Dawn Powell lived here 1960-63, when The Golden Spur was published. Hugh Grant lived here in Woody Allen's Small Time Crooks; the building was also featured in Allen's Deconstructing Henry and Everyone Says I Love You.

11: Was a pre-1898 stable; now Conservative Synagogue of Fifth Avenue.

15: Hotel Van Rensselaer, formerly the Hotel Alabama--built 1902 in the Italian Renaissance style. The Van Rensselaers were big landowners in the Hudson Valley.

21: Mary Cadwalader Jones, Edith Wharton's sister-in-law, held literary salons here featuring such luminaries as Henry Adams, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, John Singer Sargent and Theodore Roosevelt; Henry James stayed here during visits from Europe. Jones' daughter, Beatrix Farrand, grew up to be a landscape architect who designed the East Garden of the White House and the Rose Garden at the New York Botanical Garden.

23: In 1903, this was the Free Home for Destitute Young Girls.

25: Poet Hart Crane lived here briefly in 1917.

Corner (80 University): In the late 1960s, this building housed the offices of the counter-cultural Grove Press. On July 26, 1968, a grenade was thrown through a window here, apparently in retaliation for Grove's publishing the writings of Cuban revolutionaries.


S <===           UNIVERSITY PLACE           ===> N

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The Albert

42 (corner): Building with Dean & Deluca Coffee/Tea on the ground floor (where the title character of Felicity worked) is the Albert Apartments, formerly the Hotel Albert--named for painter Albert Pinkham Ryder, whose brother owned it. Robert Louis Stevenson stayed here, making a big impression on local writers. Novelist Thomas Wolfe lived here (1923-26) when he first moved to New York to teach English at NYU. Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention, Lovin' Spoonful, Michael Bloomfield and electronica pioneers the Silver Apples all lived here at the same time c. 1966. John Phillips wrote "California Dreaming" here.

44: The Little Antique Shop. One of many antique stores on this block.

46: Tudor Manor antiques

48: Retro-Modern Historical Lighting

50-52: Big Apple Antiques. No. 52 was a later address of Grove Press (see corner of University Place), as well as of the Evergreen Theater (which produced Samuel Beckett's Film and the Black Circle Bar.

54-56: Paramount Antiques and Reproductions

58-60: Bijan Royal Antiques. Symbolist painter Albert Pinkham Ryder, for whom the Albert Hotel was named, lived at No. 60, 1889-96.

64: University Place Garage building has some wild detailing.

72: J. Garvin Mecking antiques

74: Roland & Victor Carl antiques

80: Kensington Place Antiques; this building was the American Communist Party HQ in the 1920s.

St. Denis Hotel

St. Denis Hotel by edenpictures, on Flickr

84: Building with Far Eastern Art & Antiques was once (1848-1917) one of the most fashionable hotels in NYC. Guests included Abraham Lincoln, U.S. Grant, P.T. Barnum, Sarah Bernhardt and Buffalo Bill Cody. Alexander Graham Bell Hotel St Denis 01 by rollingrck, on Flickr demonstrated the telephone by calling Brooklyn from here in 1877.

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45 (corner): Kings Antiques; like many shops on the block, this is wholesale only.









49: Formerly the St. George Hotel, this 19th Century building was converted to apartments in the 1970s.

53: The home of New York's Bahai Center. Also the offices of the Metropolitan New York Library Council.























61: Antiques H.M. Luther









Cast Iron Apartments

James McCreery & Co. by edenpictures, on Flickr

67: Was James McCreery & Co. dry goods, which opened here in 1869; it later moved to 23rd Street. Ground floor now houses George N Antiques, Flores & Iva Antiques and Global Fine Reproductions.


S <===           BROADWAY           ===> N

Grace Church

god is in the house by dickuhne, on Flickr

11th Street was stopped between Broadway and 4th Avenue to preserve landowner Henry Brevoort's apple orchard. The orchard didn't survive, but in its place we have Grace Church, one of NYC's architectural treasures. Designed by James Renwick Jr., whose first building it was; he was the winner of a design contest (and also, coincidentally or not, Brevoort's grandson). The Gothic style employed helped inspire the Gothic Revival.

New York's most fashionable church in its day, Grace Church was the site of Archer Newland's wedding in Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence, and circus star Tom Thumb's in real life.

Boss Tweed tried and failed to connect 11th Street through the church's property; the parishioners of Grace Church were collectively more powerful than Tammany Hall.

Grace Memorial House

NYC - East Village: Grace Church Complex - Grace Memorial House and Clergy House by wallyg, on Flickr

94-96 4th Ave: Designed in 1883 by James Renwick Jr., who also designed Grace Church. The building, which originally housed what may have been New York's first daycare center, was donated to the church by Levi P. Morton, Benjamin Harrison's vice president, in memory of his wife. In 1927 it became Huntington House, which housed young female workers and students.


S <===           4TH AVENUE           ===> N

South:

Corner (85 4th Ave): Amsterdam Billiards (formerly Corner Billiards) Long shot by calebdcochran, on Flickr


































Village Pour House by edenpictures, on Flickr

Corner (64 3rd Ave): Village Pour House was Roll 'n' Roaster, Manhattan outpost of a Brooklyn "slow food" burger joint. Earlier Penang Bar & Grill, Malaysian with Adventureland decor; before that a pawn shop.

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NYC - East Village: U.S. Post Office, Cooper Station by wallyg, on Flickr

Corner: Cooper Station Post Office

117: Originally St. Ann's School (1870), connected to the church on 12th Street; now apartments.

Webster Hall

NYC - East Village: Webster Hall by wallyg, on Flickr

119: Built in 1863, it was dubbed the "Devil's Playground" for its wild Bohemian parties. In the 1910s, The Liberal Club and The Masses would hold costume balls here as fundraisers, often involving nudity and free love. In the '20s, the Hall held an annual gay and lesbian drag ball. Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America were founded here in 1914 by Sidney Hillman; the New York Sacco-Vanzetti Defense Committee met here. A "Blind Man's Ball" was held here in 1917 to protest an exhibition's refusal to accept Marcel Duchamp's urinal as a work of art.

Later called Casa Galicia, O Noso Lar and (in the 1980s) the Ritz rock club. Returned to Webster Hall, now a nightclub, in 1990s. by Kramchang, on Flickr

Corner: Loews Village VII, seven-story cinema built on the site of a Department of Public Charities building from 1871.


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South:

Corner (55 3rd Ave): M2M, convenience store open "morning to midnight" featuring Korean and other Asian imports.


206-208: All Saints Ukrainian Orthodox Church

232: Neighborhood Preservation Center; originally the St. Marks Rectory, designed by Ernest R. Flagg (1900). Houses the Historic Districts Council, the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation and the St. Marks Historic Landmarks Fund. NYC - East Village: St Marks West Yard - Garden of Healing by wallyg, on Flickr

The space between St. Marks' rectory and the church was to be filled in by an 18-story apartment tower designed by Frank Lloyd Wright; with all due respect to Wright, it's a blessing that the Great Depression scuttled the plan. Some of the ancient maples in the yard were lost to the Asian Longhorn Beetle in 2000.

St. Marks-in-the-Bowery Church

St. Mark's by muckster, on Flickr

"The Bowery" was Dutch governor Peter Stuyvesant's farm, and his private chapel used to stand on this site--making this the oldest site of continuous worship in Manhattan. This church was erected 1795-99, with a Greek revival steeple added 1828 and an Italianate portico completing the structure in 1854.

Originally a church of Manhattan's elite, St. Marks became a progressive force in the neighborhood both socially and culturally. Supportive of immigrant, labor and civil rights, the church was a meetingplace for Black Panthers and Young Lords, and launched the first lesbian healthcare clinic. by jacobito, on Flickr

Poets W.H. Auden (who was a parishioner), William Carlos Williams, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Amy Lowell, Carl Sandburg, Kahlil Gibran, Allen Ginsberg, Patti Smith and Jim Carroll have all read here; since 1966, the St. Marks Poetry Project has organized poetry events. The Danspace project has featured dance legends like Isadora Duncan, Martha Graham and Merce Cunningham. Sam Shepherd's first two plays were produced here, and Andy Warhol's early films were screened. The church served as the setting for a wedding and a funeral in the film The Group.

St. Marks Churchyard

February and March in NYC 007 by mvhargan, on Flickr

Famous occupants include former governor and vice president Daniel Tompkins, who abolished slavery in New York; Commodore Matthew Perry (later disinterred), who forced Japan to accept U.S. trade; and New York Mayor (and noted diarist) Philip Hone. NYC - East Village: St Marks Churchyard - Peter Stuyvesant statue by wallyg, on Flickr Peter Stuyvesant himself is buried under the church, and six generations of his descendants also rest here.

Department store pioneer A.T. Stewart, whose store filled the block between 9th and 10th streets east of Broadway, was originally buried here in 1876, but on November 6, 1878, his body was snatched and held for $200,000 ransom. The widow eventually regained possession of the corpse in 1881, after bargaining the bonenappers down to $20,000.

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Third Avenue North by edenpictures, on Flickr

Corner: Building with Fern Cliff Deli is NYU's Third Avenue North dorm. Lady Gaga lived here when she was an NYU student.
















































229: In 1981, the first home of what later became the Fun Gallery, the first art space of the 1980s' East Village art scene.

Third Street Music School Settlement

235: Founded in 1894 on (where else) Third Street, this community music school moved to 11th Street in the 1970s. Songwriter Irving Caesar, who wrote "Tea for Two" and "I Want to Be Happy," was a student here. 11th Street, 2nd Avenue by edenpictures, on Flickr

Corner (175 2nd Ave): Kanoyama (formerly Iso), a highly regarded Sushi restaurant, is on the site of a house built in 1845 by Peter Gerard Stuyvesant, a descendant of the governor. He died two years later, willing the house to his grandnephew on the condition that he change his name from Stuyvesant Rutherford to Rutherford Stuyvesant. The renamed heir then gave the house to his father, Lewis Rutherford, a distinguished astronomer; he set up an observatory in the backyard that produced some of the best telescopic photographs of the era.

About 1915 the house was converted to part of the St. Marks Hospital. It closed in 1930 and was replaced by the present apartment building in 1935.


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170 2nd Avenue by edenpictures, on Flickr

Corner (170 2nd Ave): A building formerly on this site, built in 1857, was the museum of the New-York Historical Society before it moved to the Upper West Side. Lucky's Juice Joint, aka Liquiteria, is on the corner of the current apartment building, selling herbally enhanced smoothies.


NYC - East Village - Knickerbocker Boarding by wallyg, on Flickr

310: Note faded sign above the garage--"Knicker-bocker Boarding"-- indicating that it once housed horses, not cars.

314-316: From 1930.

318: Soon Beauty Lab. Abraham Goldfaden, "Father of Yiddish Theater," died here January 9, 1908.

320: O Mistress Mine, vintage clothing and collectibles, has been around since 1969 (formerly on 7th Avenue) and claims such customers as Susan Sarandon, Boy George, Deborah Harry and Sonia Braga. The name is from the Shakespeare sonnet that ends, ''Youth's a stuff will not endure.''

322: J.C. Casey Design Rubber Stamp

326: Was Krazy Sushi.

328: King Billy's Piercing Art Studio; Odin, named "best guy's boutique" by Time Out, has the Norse god's raven as a logo.

330: From 1982-85, this was the first permanent home of the theater group WOW (Women's One World). Later it was Sandobe Sushi, now on 2nd Avenue.

Cinema Classics

332: A tiny theater that showed old movies and traffics in video; in back of Rififi, a dj bar named for a French film noir. Starshine Burlesque played here Thursday nights. Unfortunately, the place seems to have closed.

334: Tokyo Joe, consignment store. In Thomas Disch's dystopian novel 334, written in 1972, this is the address of a monolithic apartment building.

338: Marla Ruzicka, the activist who was killed on April 16, 2005 in Iraq while researching civilian casualties, had her home here at the time of her death.

340: Was the prostitute's apartment in Eyes Wide Shut.

Veniero's

Veniero's Pasticceria & Cafe by theDawg, on Flickr

342: Founded by Antonio Veniero in 1894, it was originally a pool hall that served pastry. Now world famous for its desserts. Bruce Springsteen is a cousin of the family.

Right in front of the entrance to the apartments here is the Con Edison service hatch that electrocuted Jodie Lane, a psychology grad student, on January 16, 2004. Her death drew attention to the the dangers posed by Con Ed's lackadaisacal maintenance.

344: Russo's, old-school pasta store founded 1904. Nice mural.

Corner (177 1st Ave): Something Sweet, formerly Black Forest Bakery. Not as famous as Veniero's, but a friendly little place with tasty cookies.

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Corner: Was A&A Deli NYC - Plump Dumpling by wallyg, on Flickr

299: Plump Dumpling, participant in the East Village dumpling war of 2005. This is my daughter's favorite restaurant. Was Onion Bag soccer shop.

301-309: This apartment complex was named "most meritorious building alteration" by the East Side Chamber of Commerce in 1940-- according to a plaque.




























































Asher Levy School

Asher Levy School by edenpictures, on Flickr

Corner (185 1st Ave): Levy was an early Jewish immigrant, a kosher butcher, who won an important victory for religious tolerance when he successfully appealed Peter Stuyvesant's ban on Jews in the New Amsterdam militia. His first name is often given as "Asser," but you can see how that might be unfortunate in the name of an elementary school.


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South:

Corner (180 1st Ave): Village Fabrics building dates to 1872.

402: Reciprocal Skateboards was Hip Tadpoles, ironic kids' clothes, and before that Piece--art, art-clothes and espresso.

408: Bella Tile, founded 1983, owns much of the block.

416-418: Love Gospel Church tore down its building and built a new one that was topped by million-dollar condos in 2001. The construction somehow brought a plague of rats to the block. No. 418 was said to be an "Italian blackhander" (i.e. Mafia) hangout in the early 20th Century.

422: East Village Community Garden

426-428: Fabria Houses (NYC Housing Authority)

430: Another "Italian blackhander" hangout.

432: Home since 1991 to New York Songline compiler Jim Naureckas. You can see the scar left on the bricks from the explosion of a motorcycle parked in front in 2000.

434: Marrakech East, beautiful Morrocan imports. The owner is sort of the mayor of the block.

436: RDS Delivery Service, founded in 1975 and located here since 1997, is a leader in hiring people with disabilities.








by machfive, on Flickr

Corner (173 Ave A): Westville East, popular spinoff of a popular West Village joint, was briefly Angolo della Pasta and for many years La Ceiba, longstanding Mexican named for the Mayans' sacred cottonwood tree.

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Madina Masjid/Islamic Council of America

Madina Masjid Mosque by edenpictures, on Flickr

401 (corner): One of the only mosques in lower Manhattan. Founded 1976 by owners and workers of the Bengali restaurants on 6th Street.

LES Park

A pleasant community garden. There used to be a bus depot here. Auditorium Doors by edenpictures, on Flickr

Back entrance of East Side Community JHS, featured in the Hugh Grant film Mickey Blue Eyes.

435: Mary Help of Christians Catholic school, built 1925. This manifestation of Mary was inaugurated by Pope Pius VII, who credited her with helping him get free after being imprisoned by Napoleon from 1808-14. Mary, Help of Christians is the official patron saint of New York, and is also honored by the Salesian Fathers, who run this school (which is not long for this world, a victim of the archdiocese's downsizing). by machfive, on Flickr

Corner: This parking lot, which used to host weekend flea market, apparently was formerly a cemetery associated with the church. Its most famous resident was Lorenzo da Ponte, the librettist of Mozart's operas The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni and Cosi Fan Tutte, who died in 1838. The cemetery's remains were relocated to Calvary Cemetery in Queens in 1909.


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The western boundary of Alphabet City

South:

Corner (172 Ave A): Bar On A, a cozy cocktail lounge-- recently expanded to the corner--with a snaky decor, reflecting its nickname BOA. Sundays has the burlesque show Kitty Nights. The corner used to be Aquilino, a bistro, and before that a bodega.

500: Angels and Kings, bar founded in 2007 by a number of rock musicians, including Fallout Boy's Pete Wentz and William Beckett of The Academy Is.... (Beckett grew up in my hometown, incidentally.) Was the much quieter Orchid Lounge, bar/teahouse.

502: A former nunnery, this became the home of painter Jay Rosenblum in 1971; the top floor was his studio. He died in 1989 after being hit by a bus while riding his bike just around the the corner.

510: 11th Street Bar used to be famous for having no name. Sort of literary. Has Irish music on Sunday nights.

526: Was the address of Civilian Warfare Gallery, which helped launch the East Village art scene in the 1980s and was an early promoter of David Wojnarowicz's work.

528: AAA Glass Plus

534: This was the address of Steven Vincent, an East Village activist and writer who was murdered in Basra, Iraq, days after publishing a New York Times op-ed warning that occupation forces were tolerating death-squad activity. Oddly, two of the most famous U.S. civilians to die in the Iraq War--Vincent and Marla Ruzicka-- lived on the same street in New York, almost exactly two blocks apart. Free Public Baths Of The City Of New York by neatnessdotcom, on Flickr

538-540: The Bathhouse, a former public bath where part of Ragtime was filmed, now converted to a photography studio. Photojournalist Eddie Adams has lived here.

Corner (174 Avenue B): Rue St. Denis Vintage Clothing

On January 27, 1972, police officers Gregory Foster and Rocco Laurie were assassinated on this corner by the Black Liberation Army. A communique described the killings as a retaliation for the 1971 Attica prison massacre.

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Paradise Alley

Corner (174 Ave A): Was the site of Paradise Alley, tenement courtyard featured in Jack Kerouac's Subterraneans and Allen Ginsberg's "Howl." After the buildings were torn down in 1985, following a fire, part of the site became the Chico Mendez Mural Garden, commemorating the murdered Brazilian environmentalist. After the garden was bulldozed, the Weinberg Apartments were built here by the Educational Alliance, a group originally dedicated to assimilating Jewish immigrants.

507: This building was The Rock, headquarters of a cocaine-selling operation run by Alejandro "The Man" Lopez, who took in $4 million a year until his 1988 bust. A line of coke-buyers is said to have stretched from here all the way back to Avenue A.

519: Solar Home won a landmark battle enabling houses with renewable energy sources to give power back to the grid.

521: This condo was built atop an old garage, formerly noted for its massive collection of old shoes hanging above the doorway.

533: In the 1991 film The Super, Joe Pesci plays a landlord who is sentenced by a judge to live in one of his derelict buildings--namely this one.












Ice Cream, Jesus & Parking by Stillframe, on Flickr

543: Father's Heart Ministry Center, built in 1868 as the People's Home Church and Settlement.

Corner: Spin City, elaborate laundromat. I have washed many an article of clothing here.


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The characters in the musical Rent sing, ''We live in an industrial loft on the corner of 11th Street and Avenue B, the top floor of what was once a music publishing factory.''

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G384 East Village, USA by Stillframe, on Flickr

647: Tiny sake bar Kasadela is modeled after traditional Japanese bars. Matilda is a stylish Tuscan/Mexican named for the owner's daughter.


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180 Avenue C: Village East Pizzeria is the longest surviving pizza parlor in the neighborhood, and was featured in the 1985 kung-fu movie The Last Dragon as ''Daddy Green's Pizza.'' ''Some of the best pizza the city has to offer, courtesy of the same owners for almost 25 years now,'' claims a reader.





What am I missing on 11th Street? Write to Jim Naureckas and tell him about it.

Michael Frank wrote an essay about 11th Street for the New York Times.

New York Songlines Home.

Sources for the Songlines.

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