New York Songlines: 12th Street

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"In the days of my youth, in the days of my youth,
I lay in West Twelfth Street, writhing with Truth."
                                   --E.B. White



HUDSON RIVER



Hudson River Park





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Corner (469 West): The Superior Printing Ink factory was the focus of preservation efforts. Originally built as a Nabisco cracker factory in 1919--part of the same complex, designed by A.G. Zimmermann, as the Oreo factory on 16th Street that is now Chelsea Market. Despite some significance in the history of industrial architecture, the building is threatened with demolition; it would be replaced by the tallest building in Greenwich Village.




380: Waywest, converted to co-ops in 1979, was originally the Hubert Warehouse.

Corner: Highline apartments; the elevated railroad apparently used to go through this space.

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Corner (489 West): This was the Gulf Coast restaurant, a hot nightspot in the 1980s. By the early 2000s, it had fallen into disrepair in the early 2000s, but it was owned by the Gottleibs, a real-estate family that rarely sells anything, so developer Cary Tamarkin was forced to build his projects around it. Torn down in 2008.

397: One of Tamarkin's super-expensive condo buildings.

389: Was Diane Von Furstenberg Studio used to be a stable for police horses.

385: A seven-story 2008 development with a striking multi-planed, copper-clad facade. Designed and built by FLAnk.


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

South:

Drunken Idiot by madmonk, on Flickr

Corner (767 Washington St): Tortilla Flats, rowdy Tex-Mex restaurant/bar. Carrie and Miranda go on a double date here on Sex and the City.

328 (corner): Jarnac, French-Mediterranean. "The sort of spot you dream of finding in the Village"--Mimi Sheraton, New York Times

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Corner (775 Washington St): Barbuto, Italian ala California. The name means "Bearded"-- like owner Jonathan Waxman.

357-359: The AIA Guide calls these apartments a "modernist essay in brick."

353: Beyul Asian Antiques & Decorative Arts; the space was once a sailmaker's shop.







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

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village nursing home by van swearingen, on Flickr

Corner (607 Hudson): Village Nursing Home, a neo-Federal building from 1906. Marion Tanner, who inspired the character Auntie Mame, lived here.

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319-325: These townshouses date to c. 1841.

317: Actor Andrew McCarthy has lived here.









Corner (611 Hudson): Thai Spice Restaurant


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

South:

Abingdon Square Abingdon Square Park Looking Downtown by enrevanche, on Flickr

Admiral Peter Warren, a wealthy Royal Navy officer who owned most of pre-Revolutionary Greenwich Village, gave his daughter Charlotte land in the vicinity of this square when she married Willoughby Bertie, the Earl of Abingdon. When New York City was replacing royalist placenames in 1794, Abingdon Square was spared because the Abingdons in England had defended the rights of the Colonials. NYC - West Village: Abingdon Square Park - Abingdon Doughboy by wallyg, on Flickr

The square was made a city park in 1831, and given a redesign by Calvert Vaux in 1892. The statue in the square, a World War I doughboy by Philip Martiny, was dedicated in 1921 by Alfred E. Smith.

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299 (corner): A luxury apartment house built in the 1930s by & Bing.





























Corner (11 8th Ave): Spyros & Sons Food Mart


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302 (corner): Another Bing & Bing development from the 1930s




























284 (corner): Cafe Cluny, a bistro sibling of Odeon and Cafe Luxembourg. It's named for a town in Burgundy.

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The Ink Pad by adiything, on Flickr

Corner (22 8th Ave): Ink Pad, for all your stamping needs.











Beatrice Inn by ispivey, on Flickr

285: The Beatrice Inn, a classic Village Italian, closed in 2005 after a 50-year run. (Jane Jacobs, Charles Kuralt and Howell Raines were said to be regulars.) It was revived in 2006 as a hard-to-get-in lounge by Paul Sevigny, Chloe's brother. The building, with a Roman tile cornice, was created by merging two neighbors in 1928.

283 (corner): Smorgas Chef, Scandinavian mini-chain


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280: Robert McCloskey lived here in a fourth-floor studio when he did the art for Make Way for Ducklings; he would sometimes buy ducklings to sketch, keeping them in the bathtub.

268-274: Grand old houses

264-266: Greek Revival townhouses from 1841

258: Dated 1850.

250: The New York address of Lady Caroline Blackwood, novelist and bohemian; she married painter Lucian Freud and poet Robert Lowell. Replacement/Equinox by jpchan, on Flickr

Corner (86 Greenwich Ave): Equinox Fitness Center is on the site of the Greenwich Theatre cinema, here from 1936 until 2000. Joan Crawford goes to the movies here in Daisy Kenyon, as do Marisa Tomei and Vincent D'Onofrio in Happy Accidents and Sarah Jessica Parker in Sex in the City.

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281 (corner): The Cubbyhole, gay bar that "looks like Bugs Bunny took acid and threw up"--Shecky's.






247: This building, once the offices of the Manufacturers Transit Company, caught on fire on July 18, 1922. The flammable chemicals and whiskey stored here burned for four days, in what became known as the Greenwich Village Volcano. Somehow the building survived, to be converted into condos in the 1980s.

241: This is the address of Hope Davis' character in the TV show Six Degrees.

239: Dated 1843. day//-O by niznoz, on Flickr

Corner (103 Greenwich Ave): Was Day-O, island-themed restaurant


S <===         GREENWICH AVENUE         ===> N

12th Street takes a jog to the southwest here--if it continued straight westward, it would eventually meet up with Little West 12th Street.

South:

Corner (86 Greenwich Ave): This was the address of James & Susan Light's 17-room apartment, where many leading artists and intellectual stayed in the 1910s--including Djuna Barnes, Berenice Abbott and Malcolm Cowley. Dorothy Day was a downstairs neighbor. The building was known as Maison Clemanceau, because French statesman Georges Clemenceau had lived on the site from 1866-69, writing for the Paris Temps--he described this as the three happiest years of his life.

St. Vincent's Material Handling Center

200-202 (block): This triangular block was the site of Loew's Sheridan, a 2,300-seat cinema that opened in 1921 as the Mark Strand Sheridan Square. Writer Ruth McKenney and her sister Eileen would leave their apartment and go here when they wanted privacy. It's the subject of Edward Hopper's 1937 painting The Sheridan Theatre--the artist was a regular filmgoer here. After the theater was torn down in 1969, there was briefly a garden here known as the Village Green.

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225 (corner): The Village Den restaurant has been at this address since the 1960s. Features Leo and Friends, a 1999 mural by Greg Constantine that reimagines the Last Supper as a celebrity brunch.

O'Toole Medical Services Building

o'toole medical services building by limonada, on Flickr

Was National Maritime Union of America (1964); note portholes. Or are they waves? Now part of St. Vincent's Hospital, which wants to dismantle the building and replace it with a 300-foot lens-shaped hospital building.


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St. Vincent's Hospital

08-NYC-Photowalk-0817 by Kadath, 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. And poet Dylan Thomas died here in 1953.

Survivors of the 1912 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; unfortunately, there were far few survivors needing medical care than they anticipated.

190: Jimmy Herf, a semi-autobiographical character in Dos Passos' Manhattan Transfer, lived at this address.

144: This was the address of nature writer and literary critic Joseph Wood Krutch.









100 (corner): The Mark Twain, a low-rise apartment building c. 1960. Twain lived a few blocks from here when he was a New Yorker.

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175 (corner): Nineteen-story condo building that went up in 1960.

171: These apartments, built in 1922, were home to several lesbian couples who were part of Eleanor Roosevelt's circle, including Democratic activist Mary Dewson and her radical partner, Polly Porter; Communists Grace Hutchins and Anna Rochester; and Todhunter School founders Nancy Cook and Marion Dickerman.

167: The Co-Operative League of America had its offices here. Later it was the home of James Beard (1903-85), one of America's premier food writers and teachers. After his death, it became the home of the James Beard Foundation, which was initially plagued by unscrupulous management but is now under new leadership.

137-151: Apartment complex noted for its stonework

117: Well-preserved Greek Revival/Italianate townshouse from 1846

The John Adams

Twenty-one-story grey brick monstrosity was built in 1963. As vice president in 1789, John Adams lived in New York at Varick and Charlton--though the building is said to be named after the architect's children, John and Adam. Why you'd want to put your kids' names on something like this is beyond me.

487 6th Ave (corner): Sculptor Ibram Lassaw had a loft studio here in a now-demolished four-story red-brick 19th Century industrial building. The Club, an influential society of abstract expressionists like Willem de Kooning and Robert Motherwell, was founded here in 1949 after the Waldorf Cafeteria, where the artists had previously hung out, raised the price of coffee to a dime.


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South:

joe junior by Shira Golding, on Flickr

Corner (482 6th Ave): Joe Junior, old-school local burger chain

78-80: Early 19th Century townhouses

New School for Social Research

NYC - Greenwich Village: The New School - Johnson and Kaplan Buildings by wallyg, on Flickr

66: Founded in 1919 with support from John Dewey, Thorstein Veblen et al. in 1919. Became a "University in Exile" for refugees fleeing Nazi Germany. Now has war criminal Bob Kerrey as president. This 1930 building by Joseph Urban is noted for its Art Deco lobby and auditorium, and murals by Thomas Hart Benton and Jose Clemente Orozco.

54-64: 1854 Greek Revival townhouses. No. 62 is the address of Peter Tarnopol, Philip Roth's alter ego in My Life as a Man.

50: This 1856 townhouse used to belong to Talking Heads frontman David Byrne.

42: This is Joan Holloway's address in the TV show Mad Men.

30: S. F. Vanni, Italian-language bookstore founded c. 1940

24: This 1851 building was a gift to war hero Winfield Scott, one of the most famous people in U.S. history to have been almost completely forgotten. He ran for president while living here, losing badly to Franklin Pierce. Now houses Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimo, NYU's Italian cultural center.

16: Symbolist painter Albert Pinkham Ryder lived here at one point.

14: Site of house and studio of John Rogers, popular 19th Century sculptor.

12: Church House of First Presbyterian, a 1960 building by Edgar Tafel, a student of Frank Lloyd Wright's. The Salmagundi Club was earlier in a building at this address; Theodore Dreiser lived there briefly after coming to New York in 1897.

First Presbyterian Church

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

Corner: The congregation here traces its history back to 1716; one of its earliest pastors was a 19-year-old Jonathan Edwards. It moved uptown to this location after the Great Fire of 1835. This gothic revival building, designed by Joseph C. Wells and dedicated in 1846, was modeled on Bath's Church of St. Saviour, with a tower based on Magdalene College at Oxford. McKim, Mead & White added a south transept in 1893. The Rev. Harry Emerson Fosdick gave a controversial pro-Darwin sermon here in 1922, "Will the Fundamentalists Win?" An enraged William Jennings Bryan engineered Fosdick's removal from the church, whereupon he became the pastor of Riverside Church until 1969.

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77: Edna St. Vincent Millay lived here in 1920-21, moving away from her family so she could concentrate on her work. When her sister moved into the same building, Millay sailed for Europe.

59: This 1931 Art Deco building, built by Bing & Bing and designed by architect Emery Roth, housed the apartment of narcotics agent George Hunter White. He carried out experiments for the CIA here, dosing unwitting subjects with LSD in a program known as MKULTRA. Guitarist Jimi Hendrix lived here at the time of his death in 1970, in apartment 10C. Actresses Marisa Tomei and Anabella Sciorra, designer Isaac Mizrahi and children's book author Maira Kalman have also lived here.

45: The east side of this building is at an odd angle to follow the course of Minetta Brook, now underground. Frank Lloyd Wright's sister used to live here.

41-43: Built for Wall Street banker Frederick P. James (1861). The Butterfield by edenpictures, on Flickr

37: Butterfield House (1962)--fits in well, for a modern building. Built over and named for the home of Daniel Butterfield, the Union general who composed Taps. Elvis Presley is said to have stayed here.

35: This cute little 1840 building was cut in half by the building of 31-33 next door. The Ardea by edenpictures, on Flickr

31-33: Ardea Apartments, 1895-1901. Originally built by George A. Hearn, department store magnate who was Macy's chief rival, as a residence for his executives. ''Ardea'' is the genus of great herons--presumably a pun on the builder's name.

29: Was the Ardsley House Hotel; the building dates to the 1870s.

19: Meryl Streep has lived in this 1845 townhouse.

15: A 13-story Modernist apartment building completed in 1959.





Forbes Building

Forbes Building Quinta Avenida by Rafael Chamorro, on Flickr

Corner (60-62 5th Ave): Houses the magazine and a museum of Malcolm Forbes' strange collections, including some important historical artifacts--and the world's largest collection of Faberge eggs. Originally the Macmillan publishing house was based in this "pompous limestone cube" (AIA Guide) built in 1925.


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Corner (51 5th Ave): NYC - Greenwich Village: 51 Fifth Avenue by wallyg, on Flickr

51 (corner): This 15-story Thomas W. Lamb building, completed in 1928, was home to former Gov. Al Smith, the first Catholic to run for the presidency for a major party, after he lost the 1928 election to Herbert Hoover; he lived here until the early 1940s. The building was featured in the sitcom Mad About You.

Gotham Bar & Grill

Christmas 2007 015 by PrettyKateMachine, on Flickr

12: Some of the best -- and most expensive -- food in New York City since 1984. In 1923, this was a sweetshop called Just Born (owned by Russian immigrant Sam Born), where the chocolate covered ice cream bar was invented--also, supposedly, the chocolate jimmy.

Cinema Village

Cinema Village by warsze, on Flickr

22: Shows off-beat arthouse films, especially Asian imports. Originally built in 1900 as a firehouse for Engine 72 (disbanded 1957), it became a repertory cinema in 1963. Diane Lane and Olivier Martinez went on an adulterous date here in Unfaithful.

24: Was Yujin, sushi joint that had 29,500 chopsticks hanging from its ceiling. Also Big Enchilada, University Stationery.

Corner (94 University): Buona Sera, Italian that shows Fellini films.

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Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law

Cardozo Law School HQ by fake is the new real, on Flickr

Corner (55 5th Ave): Yeshiva University's law school, named for the Supreme Court justice. The corner was once No. 53, which was the address of James Lenox, whose family owned Lenox Hill. His book collection, which included the U.S.'s first Gutenberg Bible and the manuscript of Washington's Farewell Address, helped form the basis for the New York Public Library. His home later became Presbyterian House, a center for church offices.

7: The 12-story Fairchild Publications Building, built in 1948 to house Women's Wear Daily and other Fairchild trade publications. "They used to have in their basements a gigantic printing press that was constantly running, and all their publications were printed right in the premises," a former employee recalls. The Bauhaus-esque modernism of the building's original design, by Harrison & Abramovitz, was replaced in 2011 by a glassy, luminous facade by Mitchell/Giurgola Architects when the building became the home of NYU's School of Continuing and Professional Studies.

11: Was 12th Street Books, used and rare, specializing in art, theater and psychology. Moved to Brooklyn.

13: Strip House, expensive burlesque-themed steak house

15: Marquet Patisserie; Village Voice raves about the sandwiches. Bowlmor Lanes by edenpictures, on Flickr

Corner (100 University): This building houses Bowlmor Lanes, one of the very few bowling alleys left in Manhattan. On the roof is Pressure, a pressurized dome that contains the most beautiful bar in New York. On the corner is Japonica, a sushi place that opened in 1978 (at 90 University).


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Amalgamated Lithographers by edenpictures, on Flickr

Corner (113 University): Rugby clothing is in the building that houses the Amalgamated Lithographers union. The National Lawyers Guild and the National Writers Union also have offices here.

34 1/2: Police Athletic League Building (since 1958). Built in 1855 as Grammar School 43, one of NYC's first schools for girls; later the 12th Street Advanced School for Girls.

36: Seidenberg antiques is in a notable Beaux Arts loft building from 1895. In 1902, the Commercial High School for Girls opened here, which later moved to Irving Place and became the Washington Irving High School. This was much later the address of Le Q, a pool hall where on February 28, 1992, members of the Tung On Boys, a Chinatown street gang, shot and killed a Stuyvesant student named James Rou and wounded four others, mistaking them for members of the rival Ghost Shadows gang.

40: B. Adler

42: Another Beaux Arts loft from 1894

48: Wenchow Importing The Weld Building  by edenpictures, on Flickr

Corner (817-819 Broadway): A striking 1897 building by George B. Post. Houses Broadway Kitchen and Baths.

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University-Restaurant by SteveMcN, on Flickr

Corner: University Restaurant, long-time diner. I used to order the fried-egg sandwich here when I was a starving intern; I think it was 85 cents.

33: Village Temple is a synagogue whose congregation was organized in 1948 at the Brevoort Hotel. 12th Street Lofts by edenpictures, on Flickr

35-43: Converted Beaux Arts lofts date from 1894-97. No. 35 was the headquarters of the Communist Party USA for two decades starting in 1927. Dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov later lived there.

47: Other Foods organic cafe Old Forbidden Planet by edenpictures, on Flickr

Corner: No Difference shoes; former home of Forbidden Planet, when it was the best comic book store in town. Before 1981 it was the University Place Book Shop, which opened here in 1932. The 10-story building is an impressive prow-like red brick in the Rundbogenstil.


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824 Broadway by edenpictures, on Flickr

60 (corner): The Bean, local coffee chain, is in Hewlett House, a 1963 building. Formerly a white-brick eyesore, the building looks considerably better since it was reskinned. Used to house Proctor Galleries.













Corner (112 4th Ave): Folksinger Pete Seeger lived at a previous building here in 1941; Woody Guthrie stayed with him for a week.

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The Strand

The Strand by drauh, on Flickr

Corner (828 Broadway): Billed as the world's largest used bookstore with "18 miles of books," this store opened 1927 on 4th Avenue's Booksellers Row, and moved to this location in 1957. A recent renovation kept all that was cool about the place and removed much that was annoying. Jungley Corner by edenpictures, on Flickr

77 (corner): This ivy-covered apartment building used to have almost a World Without Us feel. Unfortunately it's been cut way back.


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South:

J.L. Taylor Building by edenpictures, on Flickr

Corner (111 4th Ave): Utrecht art store is in the International Tailoring Company building and in the J.L. Taylor Building--two buildings with the same address. These date to 1921, by Starrett and Van Vleek.

110: Was St. Ann's Rectory, a charming old building with wonderfully peeling paint. Demolished to make way for a NYU dorm.

St. Ann's Shrine Armenian Catholic Cathedral

St. Ann's Facade by Ara Alexis, on Flickr

Built c. 1847 as the 12th Street Baptist Church; was the Temple Emanu-El synagogue from 1856-68, where the influential Reform congregation, formerly based on Chrystie Street, introduced the innovation of allowing families to sit together rather than being segregated by gender. After the synagogue moved to 43rd Street, the building became the Catholic St. Ann's, where Al Smith, the first Catholic to run for president, worshipped. Everything has been demolished but the facade, which now serves as an entrance to an oversized 26-story NYU dorm.

126: Was Gallagher's Magazine Archive and Gallery







Corner: Parking lot

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The Petersfield by edenpictures, on Flickr

Corner: The Petersfield apartments; originally the Fish Building. (Petersfield was the name of Peter Stuyvesant's estate, and the Fishes were a branch of the Stuyvesant family; I assume a connection.) There's a branch of Crunch Fitness here.

111: Was Gametime Nation, a videogame salon with huge flat-screen TVs and comfy chairs. Earlier it was the location of Kozmo.com, New York's most notable dot-com failure.

113: Was Footlight Records, specializing in showtunes--now Internet only.

121: Was the New York Edison Company Building. The Zachary by edenpictures, on Flickr

125: The Zachary, one of my favorite unsung New York buildings. "The building's tight and unusual facade composition expresses great strength, while the arched windows and unusual roofline assert a good degree of elegance and individual[ity]," writes Carter Horsley.

135: Loeb Hall, New School dorm 12th Street Corner by edenpictures, on Flickr

139: News at 12, news- stand

Corner: New Amici pizza was Due Amici, whose clocks kept New York and Rome time


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Corner (77-83 3rd Ave): NYU's 3rd Avenue North dorm, built 1987. Midatlantic News, well-stocked with magazines, is on the corner.

208: Site of Il Martello, Italian anarchist newspaper

226-230: Virginia, 11-story red-brick building, dates to 1920s.

232: Was nursing school (note cornerstones). Built on site of boarding house at No. 234 where Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid hid out in 1901, on their way to Argentina.

Village East Cinemas

the theater roof by *hanne*, on Flickr

Corner: Built in 1926 as the Yiddish Art Theater, aka the Yiddish Folks (the main theater still has a Star of David ceiling); it went on to show films as the Century and the Stuyvesant (with Walter Matthau working concessions), and burlesque (featuring the likes of Blaze Starr) as the Casino East, Gayety and Eden.

Later it was the Phoenix Theater, where Carol Burnett debuted in Once Upon a Mattress (1959), and where Oh! Calcutta (1969), Grease (1972) and Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1978) had their Off-Broadway premieres.

It had other cinema incarnations as the 12th Street Cinema, Entermedia and Second Avenue before becoming the Village East, which is multiplexed with seven screens, but the main auditorium is still basically intact, making it "the closest thing" to a "still-operating historic movie palace" in New York City, according to Cinema Treasures. gypsy caravan at cinema village east by Shira Golding, on Flickr

The film The Night They Raided Minsky's was shot here, as was part of Woody Allen's segment of New York Stories.

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Surprise! Surprise! by DoctorWho, on Flickr

Corner: Surprise! Surprise!, housewares and furniture store--the East Village's answer to Ikea. Mill Building by edenpictures, on Flickr

201: Brick mill building built c. 1880; converted into apartments, 1981. This was apparently where Trow's Directory, an early 20th Century city guide, was published.




225: Cityscape cow, relic of Giuliani's embarrassing copycatting of a Chicago art project.

229: The Claremount, with beautiful pillars, dates to 1890s.









193 2nd Avenue by edenpictures, on Flickr

Corner (193 2nd Ave): Onyx Court, a six-story apartment building, was apparently built to house actors from the area's Yiddish theaters. Striking pediments above the windows. Film composer Bernard Herrman lived here as a child in the 1920s.


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Cafe Royal by edenpictures, on Flickr

Corner: Was Cafe Royal, which according to the New York Times was "the uncontested artistic and intellectual center of the Yiddish-speaking world in America." John Dos Passos and e.e. cummings were regulars here. Closed 1953; now Shima, a Japanese restaurant.

300: Angelica Kitchen, popular vegetarian Angelica Kitchen by edenpictures, on Flickr







John's

NYC - East Village - John's Italian Restaurant by wallyg, on Flickr

302: Classic Italian since 1908, said to be a favorite of Toscanini's. When Joe "The Boss" Masseria had rival crimelord Umberto Valenti killed in 1922 in retaliation for an earlier attempt on Masseria's life, he set up the hit by first having dinner with Valenti here. Anarchist Carlo Tresca (a good friend of John's) also had his last meal here before being assassinated in 1943. Later, John Lennon used to eat here with his friend Peter Boyle. Aside from all the history, the food is good, the dripping-candle decor is romantic, the staff is super-friendly and it's surprisingly affordable. The current owners purchased it from John's son in 1972.

















Asher Levy School

Asher Levy School by edenpictures, on Flickr

Corner: Elementary school named for 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.

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Red Pig Rising by IntangibleArts, on Flickr

Corner (192 2nd): Twelth Street Ale House, in a building with a big pig painted on it, was the gay Dick's Bar, and earlier La Bamba, Slugger Ann's. by warsze, on Flickr

303: Sweet little courtyard--unfortunately closed to the public.

Elizabeth Home for Girls by edenpictures, on Flickr

307: This Dutch-looking building, landmarked in 2008, was built in 1892 as the Elizabeth Home for Girls, a project of the Children's Aid Society that taught laundering, typing and dressmaking to orphans. It is attributed to Calvert Vaux, co-designer of Central Park, though Vaux's colleague Nicholas Gillesheimer may have done more of the actual design. In 1930 it was bought by "natural medicine" advocate Benedict Lust, and from the 1940s through the 1970s it housed troubled young women for the Florence Crittenton League. Converted to condos in 1982.

331: Sirovich Senior Center, the second-oldest senior center in New York City

There used to be a cemetery on this block that was the hangout of a gang led by Humpty Jackson, noted both for his erudition and his dangerous temper. "He carried no less than three revolvers, one in his pocket, another slung under his hump, and a third in a special rack built into his derby hat," reports The Gangs of New York. "With Jackson sitting on a tombstone like a crooked little gnome...his followers disposed themselves upon the graves."

One of the gang members, Spanish Louie--who dressed all in black, including his sombrero--was found shot to death on this street near Second Avenue.

343: Was Evil Sugar Boutique by newyork808, on Flickr

345: S'Mac, mac and cheese, was Bent Fish Editions, designer T-shirts and voodoo dolls

349: Room Service, Thai, was United Noodles, multi-ethnic; Una Pizza Napoletana, a contender (says Time Out) for the city's best pizza. (Was La Bella.)

351: Leon, well-faked French

Corner: Fuji Apple deli is my local bodega of choice.


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South:

East Village Tenements by edenpictures, on Flickr

Corner (196 1st Ave): 1st Avenue Gourmet Deli



LES Park

A pleasant community garden.

420: East Side Community JHS/12th Street Academy. In 2007, the principal here was arrested by the security guards for sticking up for one of his students--good for him.

432: Capoeira Angola Palmares, martial artists who can dance you up.

440: Mary Help of Christians, Catholic school and church. 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).

442: A small chapel here was part of Metropolitan Funeral Service. When the facade was demolished, it revealed a stained-glass sign reading "A. Mazzarella & Son Funeral Chapel."

Corner (191 A): Was Metropolitan Funeral Service

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North:

Corner (198-200 1 ave): Hearth, fancy American; used to be Tappo, another pricey place.

407: This is a new building, but the back part of it is skewed to the Manhattan grid, reflecting property lines that go back to the original layout of the neighborhood. Stuyvesant Street used to extend through this block.

413: The building housing Bikes by George! bears the name ''C. De Bellis.''

429: Salesian Sisters convent

437: Building with Lord of the Fleas vintage shop was beat poet Allen Ginsberg's longest New York home, where he lived on the fourth floor from 1975-96. Punk pioneer Richard Hell has lived as well, as has writer/artist Rene Ricard.














Corner (193 A): Was Milo Printing Company, founded 1911; now moved around corner.


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The western boundary of Alphabet City

South:

Corner (188 A): Was The Cock, randy gay bar

504: Ciao for Now, friendly cafe/catering joint

508: Jubb's Longevity, health-food deli run by David Jubb, who has a PhD in bionutrition. Everything here is organic and uncooked.

El Sol Brillante

A lush community garden whose iron fence is adorned with fantastical birds and lizards. El Sol Brillante by Atomische.com, on Flickr









12th Street Playground

Sliding by edenpictures, on Flickr Formally the Joseph C. Sauer Playground, named for a neighborhood World War I hero, it was created in 1934 by Robert Moses. By the 1980s, it was mainly used by drug dealers and prostitutes, and neighborhood activists fought hard to reclaim it and rebuild it for neighborhood children. It finally reopened with a new design in 1993. With the Avenue A playground closed for renovation in 2008-09, we're here quite a bit. NYC - East Village: Children's Garden by wallyg, on Flickr

Corner: Children's Garden, a small patch of greenery that's an annex to the playground. I think there used to be a crackhouse here.

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505: Mundial, bar named for the World Cup, was Totem, which featured herbal cocktails. Old devil moon by ten safe frogs, on Flickr

511: This was the home of Old Devil Moon, which served Southern food in a kitsch shrine. They had a sideline in erotic cakes called Master Bakers.



















527: This building was briefly home to painter Jean-Michel Basquiat; in 1987, Nuyorican Poetry Cafe founder Miguel Pinero was a resident.

537: El Sol Brillante Junior Garden

539: B4: 20th Century Design, featuring art and furnishings from the 1960s and '70s.

543: Kenosha, named for one of the co-owners' Wisconsin hometown, serves part-Indian, part-Midwestern vegetarian food.

545: Was Wild Lily Tea Room, a styley teahouse that had a twin in Chelsea.

Corner (196 Avenue B): Santa Barbara Deli. I don't know if this is the source of the name, but Santa Barbara is a major figure in Santeria, the equivalent of the African god Chango. Was Tolkin's Corner, bar featuring "harmless nuts," according to New York Unexpurgated.


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South:

610: Anna Howard Shaw Elementary School, a school whose namesake was a Methodist minister, medical doctor, temperance lecturer and peace advocate.





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635 (corner): Campos Plaza is a housing project named for Pedro Albizu Campos, a Harvard-trained lawyer who led the fight for Puerto Rican independence and spent much of his life in prison for seditious conspiracy.


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South:

730: Franklin Roosevelt Elementary School. The inspiration for Sesame Street's Roosevelt Franklin Elementary School?





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Jacob Riis Houses

A large public housing complex built in 1949. Named for a Danish-born photojournalist whose work documenting New York tenement life, especially his book How the Other Half Lives, helped inspire slum-clearing.





Is your favorite Twelfth Street spot missing? Write to Jim Naureckas and tell him about it.

This New York Times article by Mimi Sheraton gave me a lot of help on this page.

New York Songlines Home.

Sources for the Songlines.

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