New York Songlines: 13th Street

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HUDSON RIVER



NYC: Hudson River Park - Pier 54 by wallyg, on Flickr

Pier 54: Semicircular metal structure on the riverfront marks the Cunard Piers, where the Titanic was supposed to dock in 1912; and where Lusitania sailed from in 1915.


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South:

The Standard

848 (corner): A 20-story boutique hotel built in 2006 to straddle the High Line, then in the process of being transformed into a park. The hotel drew some controversy when it was discovered to be a great place to be an exhibitionist.

High Line Park

High Line NYC by Lee Otis, on Flickr

Bridging the street here is a disused elevated railroad that was used to transport freight along the Westside waterfront, replacing the street-level tracks at 10th and 11th avenues that earned those roads the nickname "Death Avenue." Built in 1929 at a cost of $150 million (more than $2 billion in today's dollars), it originally stretched from 35th Street to St. John's Park Terminal, now the Holland Tunnel rotary.

Partially torn down in 1960 and abandoned in 1980, it now stretches from Gansevoort almost to 34th--mostly running mid-block, so built to avoid dominating an avenue with an elevated platform. In its abandonment, the High Line became something of a natural wonder, overgrown with weeds and even trees, accessible only to those who risked trespassing on CSX Railroad property.

In 2009 it was opened to the public as New York City's newest park; it truly transforms its neighborhood and hence the city.

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North:

Corner: This was the divey gay dance club Alex in Wonderland.









High Line Park






















Corner (860 Washington St): Atlas Meat, one of the dwindling number of wholesale shops that make this the Meat Packing District.


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South:

Signs, Washington Street at 13th Street, Meatpacking District, New York by Michael Dashkin, on Flickr

Corner (843 Washington): Ottomanelli, one of the last meat businesses in the Meatpacking District.














416-430: This was the Collier's Weekly Building, built in 1902 as the home of the once-popular magazine. e.e. cummings had his first New York job here in 1917, reading readers' mail; the letter writers' idiosyncratic punctuation and syntax has been suggested as an influence on his poetry.















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North:

Hogs & Heifers

Hogs and Heifers, Meatpacking District, New York by david_shankbone, on Flickr

Corner (859 Wash- ington St): perhaps the most authentic expression of the kind of bar where drinks are poured down throats, the bar is danced upon and bras are hung from the ceiling.

421: Site of Delamater Iron Works, where the engine for the U.S.S. Monitor was made. In 1960s, this address was The Zoo, gay "members only" club.

419: APT, an ultralounge

415: Bumble & Bumble, where you can get your hair cut for free by a student stylist-- but you don't get to pick what hairstyle you get. This is also the address of the Bohen Foundation, whose private gallery turns shipping containers into exhibit spaces and offices.

409: Was The L.U.R.E., gay fetish club; name stood for Leather, Uniforms, Rubber Etc. Now Bagatelle, a French bistro.

407: This building appears as Samantha's home on Sex and the City (with its address given as 300 Gansevoort), and as Ashley Judd's in Someone Like You. It's been the real-life home of model Amy Wesson. No Doubt played a party here on 1999's New Year's Eve. Spice Market, Meatpacking District by Luke Robinson, on Flickr

403 (corner): Spice Market, exotic and trendy South Asian


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South:

Hotel Gansevoort

NYC - Meatpacking District: Hotel Gansevoort by wallyg, on Flickr

Block (18 9th Ave): This controversial 14-story luxury hotel, built by Michael Achenbaum and designed by Stephen B. Jacobs, featuring LED light boxes that vary the facade's colors, and a rooftop pool/lounge called Plunge.




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NYC - Meatpacking District: Little Flatiron Building by wallyg, on Flickr

North:

This triangular building, built as a factory c. 1849, houses Vento Trattoria, hip Italian. Downstairs is the restaurant's lounge, Level V, which used to be J's Hangout, an underground gay club, which was formerly gay leather club The Manhole, and before that the straight Hellfire Club. The building also contained Glenn Close's apartment in Fatal Attraction. (For real-life sexiness, try the Triangulo tango studios on the third floor.) Ed Harris jumps out of the north corner in The Hours.

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South:

Block (652 Hudson): Catherine Malandrino, fashion designer. This is the address given for Glenn Close's loft in Fatal Attraction.


S <===       GANSEVOORT ST

320 (block/corner): White Columns, founded in 1970, calls itself "New York's oldest alternative art space." Moved to this location in 1998. The organization has given early exposure to artists like David Wojnarowicz, Andres Serrano and William Wegman.


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308 (corner): Tipton Charles Ltd., spa products


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North:

345 (corner): Actress Julianne Moore used to live in this building; Will Ferrell has lived here as well.

327: Notre Dame School, a Catholic girls' high school founded in 1912 by Sisters of St. Ursula from France. It's been located on 142nd Street, 79th Street and St. Marks Place, and moved to this facility in 2002. Formerly St. Bernard's?


















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Jackson Square

Left or Right? by 24gotham, on Flickr West 13th Street by Edgie168, on Flickr

This 1826 park was apparently named for President Andrew Jackson, a hero of New York Democrats at the time. He's a deeply ambiguous historical character--he certainly did make the United States more democratic, but he's also probably the country's leading ethnic cleanser.


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South:

Corner/Block (2 Horatio): A 17-story red-brick coop that was built in 1931. Its facade features two strips of white terra-cotta balconies.

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South:





224: Critic Edmund Wilson moved here in 1929 from across the street.

LGBT Community Services Center

208: Was the Food and Maritime Trades Vocational High School, built 1869-1887, sold to the Center in 1983. Now home to 300 lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgendered groups, including the National Museum and Archive of Lesbian and Gay History, the gay Catholic organization Dignity and the Lesbian Switchboard. The Harvey Milk High School was based here temporarily. Noted for a sexy Keith Haring mural in the second floor men's room.




O'Toole Medical Services Building

O'toole Medical Services Building by ehpien, on Flickr

Corner (20 7th Ave): Was National Mari- time 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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North:

253 (corner): This Art Deco electrical substation was built in 1930 for the city's IND subway line.

Great Building Crackup

251: A 1971 architectural statement that served as home to the First National Church of the Exquisite Panic, Inc. Was the Jackson Square Library, designed by Richard Morris Hunt in 1887.

229: Integral Yoga Institute, founded in the 1970s by Swami Satchidananda, a guru invited to the U.S. by artist Peter Max. It has ''one of the city's best vegan buffets,'' says the Vegan Guide. Edmund Wilson lived here from 1925 to 1929.

215: Writer Anais Nin lived on the top floor here in the 1940-'60s. NYC - West Village - United Methodist Church of the Village by wallyg, on Flickr

201 (corner): Was the Metropolitan Duane Methodist Church; the first support group for parents of gay children was held at this inclusive church in March 1973. The building dates to 1932, when it replaced an 1856 building where U.S. Grant had worshipped that burned down in 1928. The congregation was originally the First Wesleyan Chapel, founded in 1833, later becoming the Central Church and then the Metropolitan Temple. Now, after a merger with two other progressive congregations, it's known as the Church of the Village.


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South:

Corner (37 7th Ave): Galileo housewares

160: Xena's Beauty Co.

154: Domicile, snug eclectic

152: Was offices of The Dial, the literary magazine that first published T.S. Eliot's "The Waste Land." Poet Marianne Moore edited the journal from 1925 until its demise in 1929.

150: Offices of the National Psychological Association for Psychoanalysis, which publishes The Psychoanalytic Review, the oldest continuously published psychoanalytic journal in the world--since 1913. Also here is the Theodore Reik Clinical Center for Psychotherapy, which offers sliding-scale psychoanalysis.

City and Country School

146: K-8 school founded in 1914 by Lucy Sprague Mitchell, who helped start The New School; actor Matthew Broderick is a graduate. Buildings date to 1842.

140: Gonzo; grilled pizza a speciality at this northern Italian. Formerly Antonio.

138: These were the offices of The Liberator, the magazine that Max Eastman edited after the government shut down The Masses during World War I. Much later, Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke lived here.

128: Center for Unlimited Vision, eye doctors

126: Gradisca Vino e Cucina; Village Voice likes the lasagna. In 1951, the restaurant Little Venice was here.

112: E.B. White lived here in 1925 as a young unemployed writer. It's also an address of the title character in Sister Carrie.

104: Salam Cafe, cozy Mideastern. This used to be Hilly's, Hilly Kristal's pre-CBGBs bar.

The John Adams

13th Street & 6th Avenue by mysticchildz, on Flickr

Corner (101 W 12th): Twenty-one-story grey brick monstrosity was built in 1963. As vice president in 1789, 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.

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North:

175 (corner): Cambridge Apartments. The artist Stuart Davis used to have a studio on this site.








Portico Place

141-145: Apartments resembling a Greek temple were built in 1847 as the 13th Street Presbyterian Church (1846). Later Village Community Church, shared with a synagogue; the two congregations had a falling out over the 1973 Arab-Israeli war, and the synagogue moved to Gramercy Park. Converted to residence, the look of a church was retained; the address resembles hymn numbers.

135: Musician Joe Jackson has lived here.

Markle Evangeline Residence for Young Ladies

123-131: Art Deco Salvation Army home built in 1929.

117: Greenwich Court apartments, 1920s neo-Georgian

113: Site of Downtown Galleries, where Georgia O'Keefe's art was displayed. Since 1967 it's been the Spain Restaurant, something of a time capsule. alumni reunion by YoungToymaker, on Flickr

105: Cafe Loup ("Wolf Cafe"), French bistro launched in 1977; used to be the Bells of Hell, pagan hangout, and Turnover, early 1970s gay bar. The building is Greenwich Towers, c. 1960.






Corner (509 6th Ave): All Natural vitamin store


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South:

60: Village House apartments; at this address in 1897 the Boys' High School opened, the first New York public high school for boys. It later becomes De Witt Clinton High School.

54: Was La Dolce Vita, Italian, and Taste of Tokyo, a John Lennon/Yoko Ono hangout, closed 2007, demolished 2008, scheduled to be replaced by a glass highrise by 2009.

13th Street Repertory

50: Founded 1972, this theater features the longest-running off-off-Broadway play: Israel Horowitz's Line, which started here in 1974. Bette Midler and Chazz Palminteri played here early in their careers. The building is said to date to the late 18th Century and to have served as a stop on the Underground Railroad. Now threatened with demolition.

42: The Bakery Building

40: From 1898-1999, this gothic archway marked the Rambusch studios. Originally specializing in stained glass for churches, this firm was also responsible for the interiors of some of the country's most opulent movie palaces, including New York's Roxy and Beacon. It's now the Jewish Enrichment Center's Reunion, home of Birthright Israel Next: New York.

36: International Tae Kwon Do Center

Quad Cinema

by kramchang, on Flickr

34: Manhattan's first multiplex shows art films, somewhere between Angelica and Film Forum in quirkiness.

30: Filaments, antique and custom lamps

8: Kate's Paperie, fancy stationery store, founded 1988.

Parsons School of Design

parsons the new school for design by samuraispy, on Flickr

2: A prominent art and design school founded 1896, now part of the New School; Norman Rockwell, Edward Hopper, Jasper Johns, Donna Karan and Isaac Mizrahi are all alums. Muralists Diego Rivera and Thomas Hart Benton both lived at this address in the 1930s. Max Eastman lived here from the mid-1940s until his death in 1969.

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65 (corner): This handsome building with arched windows was built by Henry Siegel, co-creator of the Siegel-Cooper store six blocks north. He sold his interest in the "Big Store" in 1904 to make an even bigger department store in the area vacated by Macy's--but the new store went bust and Siegel went to jail in 1914 for defrauding creditors.

55: The New School's Arnold Hall, its center for jazz and contemporary music. Used to be the school's Knowledge Union/Center for Education and Technology. This used to be part of Macy's, an expansion built c. 1896, before it moved to Herald Square.

49: Mandee clothing

47: Silk Day Spa is on the ground floor of an NYU dorm.

43A: Tenri Cultural Institute, promoting Japanese language and cultural exchange. A project of the Tenrikyo Church.




41: Biscuits & Bath Doggy Gym

37: Concrete Skate Shop

35: Maurizio Trattoria, Italian, was India Pavilion







23: Montparnasse apartments, 1960s building named for Paris' Bohemian neighborhood--itself named for Mount Parnassus, the home of the Muses in Greek mythology.


The Parsons New School + Our rental car by Graffiti By Numbers, on Flickr

1 (corner): The New School's Milano Graduate School of Management and Urban Policy, named for Robert J. Milano, a chemical tycoon, deputy mayor and New School trustee who helped make the university what it is today. Also houses a sandwich shop with the peculiar name of M & Subs. The offices of The Nation used to be here, where I interned in 1985.


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South:

Corner (61 5th Ave): Was Lone Star Cafe, NYC's main country music venue in the 1980s; famous for the giant iguana on its roof. Later known as Cafeteria 61.


13th street by neonarcade, on Flickr

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12: There's a Hertz car rental outlet in the parking garage here.


18 East 13th Street by Rev. Santino, on Flickr

18-20: Village Copier includes Cyberfelds, Internet cafe.

22: Borgo Antico Ristorante. A reader reports that in the early/mid-1970s, this was the address of the Mushroom Bar, a fixture of the Glitter scene: "Bands like The Dolls, Johnny Thunders, The Patti Smith Band, Brian Eno, Kiss, Teenage Lust and most of the hipper musicians from the Max's Kansas City/Mercer Art Center underground scene would stop by to hang after gigs or join in the late-night jam sessions."

24: The Village branch of the New York City Health and Racquet Club is in an elaborate old building.

28: Souen, longstanding vegan

30: Was the sweet-potato joint Hero's; now DoSirak, offering "simple good Korean food."

32: Blinds & Beyond

34: Wet Nose Doggy Gym

Corner (116 University): The building with University Place Gourmet Deli (est. 1976) on the ground floor has been used by such left groups as the Socialist Workers Party, Socialist Party and the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW).

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North:

New School for Social Research

Corner: Graduate Faculty of the university founded by John Dewey, Thorstein Veblen et al. in 1919. Became a "University in Exile" for refugees fleeing Nazi Germany. Once one of the most progressive academic institutions in the United States, it now has war criminal Bob Kerrey as president. This rather depressing grey modernist building is known as the Albert List Building, named like most things at the New School for someone who wrote a check; the school wants to replace it with a 350-foot-tall glass structure.

9: Izu/Lemongrass Grill, three-level Thai restaurant/sushi bar/karaoke club, plus Joe the Art of Coffee, are in Woolworth's long-vacant warehouse.




13: Arthur's Invitation and Prints, three-story "ultra-glam" print shop, is also in the old Woolworth's space.

15: EastSideCopy.com Erskine Press by warsze, on Flickr

17: Anais Nin moved her self-publishing operation here in 1944, where the Erskine Press was later located. Downstairs is now the tearoom The Adore (pronounced "Tay Adoray," "Adored Tea"). The courtyard next door is quite lovely.

21: Manhattan Kids Club, daycare manhattan by joe holmes, on Flickr

25: Parsons New School for Design offices

27: The Van Buren apartments, a 1960s building named for a president who was governor of New York in 1829.

Corner (120 University): Giant Bagel Shop


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South:

Corner (113 University): Amalgamated Lithographers of America, printers union








48: Was Artisan Workshop, metalwork and tiles, both crafted here and imported from Morocco.

52: Crunch Fitness branch

56: A bold balcony

58: Jeniette Day Spa, est. 1982

Corner: Maybe if Washington Mutual Bank hadn't opened up so many branches like this one, they wouldn't have gone belly-up.

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North:

35 (corner): L'Annam, Vietnamese; upstairs is 13, mod dj bar.

39: Tong Thai Brasserie was Levenbach Lumber

Roosevelt Building

cool building by gwarcita, on Flickr

Corner (839-841 Broadway): This 1893 building with a Cosi branch on the ground floor is named for Cornelius Roosevelt, Teddy's grandfather, who lived up the block. The rooftop was the original site of Biograph Studios (1896-1908), which later made movie history on 14th Street.


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South:

Forbidden Planet

Forbidden Planet 2 by luccawithcheese, on Flickr

Corner (840 Broadway): Part of an international chain of comics stores. Gives out free boards-and-bags--for comic collecting. Noted for its action figure selection. Used to have a great science-fiction section. Moved here in 1996.

72-74: Appears to be cast-iron. Used to be the antique dealer Irving Lubin, who once sold a century-old embryonic whale.

76: Was Plaid, a rock club inhabiting the space of Spa, the nightspot where Vince Vaughan met Puff Daddy in Made. Before that, it was The Cat Club. Courtney Love was arrested for allegedly assaulting a patron at Plaid, March 18, 2004. The club closed shortly thereafter.

Corner (132 4th Ave): Building that used to be Dental Arts and the Peridance Center has been gutted; the idea seems to be to use the facade as the base for a hotel.

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North:

NewYork200710 097 by Ecnerwal, on Flickr

Corner (850 Broadway): Site of Wallack's Theater, which Newland Archer attended in Age of Innocence. Later at this site (as No. 842) were the offices of the Village Voice in the 1980s. The Union Square 14 multiplex is here now, which I think of as the theater where the movie you want to see is most likely to be sold out. Aligned by alq666, on Flickr

Corner (140 4th Ave): The southeast corner of this building was vacant for years before becoming Union Square Wines & Spirits.


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South:

We All Crunch by M.V. Jantzen, on Flickr

Corner (127 4th Ave): Brothers Deli is a one-story taxpayer that seems to have taken a bite out of the building that surrounds it.

102: This is the same building as 127 4th Avenue, the Hancock Building, built 1897. "What a delight!" says the AIA Guide, which doesn't often gush. It was the Hammacher Schlemmer store from 1904 until 1926.

108: FDNY Hook & Ladder Co. No. 3; has been at this location since 1865. The building dates back to 1929; Mayor Jimmy Walker's name is on the plaque.

110: Photo Tech Repair Service

114: The American Felt Building, now apartments. Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes used to have an apartment here. Note the heads of rams-- providers of felt's raw material.

126-128: The barn-like space was the Kearney & Van Tassel Auction Stables, built in 1889 for horse-trading; this is where the Belmonts and the Vanderbilts bought their horses. In World War II, it was used to teach women industrial skills. Later it was used as a studio by artist Frank Stella, who sold it in 2006 to a developer who planned to tear it down. But it looks like it will instead become the new home of the Peridance dance studio. I'm inordinately fond of this building.

Classic Stage Company

by clydesan, on Flickr

136: Leading off-Broadway theater has an expansive definition of "classics." Actors like Stanley Tucci, Liev Schreiber, Frances McDormand, Uma Thurman and Mira Sorvino have performed here. by ShellyS, on Flickr

Corner (106 3rd Ave): Gothic Cabinet Craft, handmade furniture--we have a bunch of furniture from here, including the custom-made desk I'm typing at right now. Cool dinosaur mural on north wall.

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North:

Corner: The two-story strip mall here has NYU offices on top.

Back entrance to NYU's University Hall--replaced the building that was Luchow's, classic New York restaurant.









113: The Genesis/Robert F. Kennedy Apartments (1995). Provides permanent housing for the homeless.




Back entrance to NYU's Palladium Hall--replaced The Palladium, classic New York nightclub.





123: The site of a boarding house run by Hannah Wilson, William Randolph Hearst's mother-in-law. It's believed that the boarding house was actually a brothel under the protection of Tammany Hall.









137: Play N Trade Video Games










141: Apt 141, housewares

143: Stock Vintage, formerly Dullsville, eclectic antiques; The Flower Stall (whose longtime proprietor died in 2011).

145 (corner): Hea, styley bi-level Korean, was Oahu Deli, with the curious slogan ''The Gathering Place.'' In the late 1970s/early 1980s, this was the site of the UK Club, a live music venue.


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South:

Where, exactly, is the apartment for rent? by ianqui, on Flickr

Corner (103 3rd Ave): Cafe Deville is a Parisian-style bistro featuring Sunday jazz brunches. Le Bar Bleu is in the basement.

202: There used to be pillars on either side of this doorway advertising "Furnished ROOMS."

204: Robert De Niro meets Harvey Keitel--Jody Foster's pimp--here in Taxi Driver.

Emma Goldman's House

210: The famed anarchist leader and free-love advocate lived here from 1903 to 1913. From 1906 until 1913, it was also the offices of Goldman's Mother Earth magazine. Margarita Maza de Juarez, the wife of President Benito Juarez of Mexico, lived in this same house when her country was invaded by France in the 1860s.

222: An abandoned brownstone--you don't see too many of these anymore. NYC - East Village: Taxi Driver apartment by wallyg, on Flickr

226: Jody Foster worked here in Taxi Driver--the site of the bloody climax.


238: Upland Trading Co.

240: SEI-Tomoko, Japanese hair salon. At a Christmas party in an apartment here in 1983, Barack Obama met the woman who would become his first serious relationship.

242: Was Savacou Gallery, African-American art gallery, opened 1985; named for a Carib Indian warrior bird.

244: Mo'Hair, black-oriented salon-- "for a mo' better you." Boasts of many celebrity clients, including Queen Latifah and Mary J. Blige. At the same address is Zabb City, "zesty Thai food"; formerly Chaa-Chaa, a cafe.

Momofuku Ssam Bar by Andrew Huff, on Flickr

Corner (207 2nd Ave): Momofuku Ssam Bar, Korean spin-off of a hot Japanese noodle restaurant; was vacant for many years.

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North:

Kiehl's

NYC 27 by kramchang, on Flickr

Corner (107-109 3rd Ave): "Since 1851" is part of the official name of this old-time apothecary, with its own line of beauty products and historical displays. It's expanding to the corner, taking over the spot that used to be Cafe Centosette--but where Kiehl's long ago used to be. There's a couple of buildings that look like upscale cabins on the roof.

This corner was the reported site of the Stuyvesant Pear Tree, which New Amsterdam Governor Peter Stuyvesant planted in 1647, having brought it back from a return visit to the Netherlands. It lived for more than two centuries, until 1867, when it was killed by a wagon accident. by nycbone, on Flickr

The vacant lot in the middle of the block was the site of the Jefferson Theater, a vaudeville venue that opened in 1913 and featured acts like the Marx Brothers, Mae West, Jack Benny and Fred Allen. George Burns called it "the toughest house in New York." A cinema from the 1930s to the '60s; demolished 1999. NYC - East Village: Karl Bitter Studio by wallyg, on Flickr

249 1/2: This charming little building was the studio of Karl Bitter, sculptor for the Met's entrance and the Pulitzer Fountain-- he died in 1915, run over by a car the day he finished the model for the fountain's Pomona. Note "BITTER & MORETTI SCULPTORS" on facade.

Corner (213 2nd Ave): Nightingale's, formerly a gritty dive bar...now kind of loungey. Was once Tell's Tea Room, a local coffee shop.


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On April 4, 1824, when this spot was a rural field, it was the site of the hanging of John Johnson, a landlord who murdered a sailor for his money. It's said that 50,000 people--a third of New York's population at the time-- turned out to witness the execution.

On October 5, 1912, Big Jack Zelig, the leading gangster of his day, was shot to death on a streetcar here by a small-time pimp.

South:

Corner: Art Deco AT&T Building (now Verizon)

320: At a tenement since torn down for the phone company building (similar to No. 324 still standing), Dr. Henry Meyer had his wife pretend to be married to their friend Gustave Brandt, on whom she took out two large insurance policies. Meyer then gave progressively larger doses of arsenic to Brandt--with his knowledge--so that a doctor could see his deteriorating condition. Brandt had been told that a look-alike corpse would be found so that the policy could be collected, but in the end an extra-large dose of arsenic allowed Brandt to play the role of corpse himself. The scam was discovered and Meyer did time at Sing Sing and the Matteawan hospital for the criminally insane.

326: Screaming man above doorway

336: Blue Meadow Flowers

340-342: Twin buildings with interesting carved faces; owners can't agree on a paint job.







354: In 1921, this was the home of five-year-old Giuseppe Varotta, who was kidnapped and later killed by members of the Black Hand gang. The gangsters mistakenly believed that his father had collected $10,000 in an accident settlement. After the perpetrators in this sensational case were convicted, the parents continued to receive death threats and had to be given new identities, in what may have been the first witness protection program.

Corner (217 1st Ave): Olympic Deli & Grocery. This was DiBella Brothers, an Italian grocery known for its stuffed artichoke hearts.

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North:

New York Eye & Ear Infirmary

New York Eye & Ear Infirmary by edenpictures, on Flickr

Corner: Building constructed 1890; the institution, founded in 1820, is the oldest specialized hospital in the Western Hemisphere. The hospital scenes in The Godfather were shot here.

329: Red brick and white limestone building

333-337: Set of brownstones with a rusticated base

Rear of the 14th Street Y; used to be a school that Lucky Luciano attended.

349: Antonio Marino, the ringleader in the Varotta kidnapping, lived here, across the street from his victim. His death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment because his confession was beaten out of him. The address is now The Redhead, bar-turned-restaurant with Deep South food (as in "bacon peanut brittle"); formerly Detour, a noted no-cover jazz bar.

351: Spanish-American Food

Corner (219 1st Ave): Mee Noodle Shop was Allen Ginsberg's favorite Chinese -- and mine, too, I guess. It closed in 2005 after the building started to collapse.


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South:

400: Johnny Air Cargo Phillipine Parcel Service

420: A glassblower named Al Fristachi had a shop here in the 1960s, featuring glass ships, swans, horses etc.

428: In April 26, 1895, in a saloon here, teenager Maria Barbella used a straight razor to slit the throat of her lover, Domenico Cataldo, for reneging on a promise of marriage. He stumbled to the corner of Avenue A before dying. Barberi would have been the first woman to go to the electric chair, but national sympathy brought her a new trial and an acquital by virtue of insanity. by verndogs, on Flickr

432: Keybar, a well-designed but unpretentious bar. The owners originally intended to give out keys to regular customers; fortunately, common sense prevailed. Also at this address is Divertimento, Italian; formerly Lima's Taste, Peruvian. St. Rosalie, an Italian social club, used to be here; it held an annual Feast of St. Rosalie block party.

Corner (209 Ave A): Inkstop Tattoo

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North:

Corner (218 1st Ave): Was Victor's Marketplace, long-running meat market. The building has recently been thoroughly uglified.

405: The address of American Empirical Pictures, Wes Anderson's production company.

419: Immaculate Conception High School; this seems like the back of the school, but it's actually the front.

421: Eastside Lumber Inc.

Back of Stuyvesant Post Office

447: The Phoenix, straight-friendly gay bar. I had described it as "semi-gay," to which a reader remarked: "If you see this as a semi-gay bar, please take me to a 'gay' bar immediately. Can't be any gayer than the Phoenix; if it is, I can't wait!"

From 1913 until 1987, there was a private chapel here with a statue of the Black Madonna of Tindari, a dark-skinned representation of the Virgin Mary, popular among Sicilians, that may be connected to the pagan mother goddess Cybele.

Corner (211 Ave A): On October 10, 1928 , Salvatore D'Aquila, then head of the Gambino crime family, was gunned down here outside a doctor's office. More recently Boys Room, gay bar; Fuzion on A, Asian fusion; and Oggi, pricey Italian.


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The western boundary of Alphabet City

South:



506: In her apartment at this address, police officer Kenneth Moreno molested a woman he was supposed to be helping while his partner Franklin Mata stood guard. A jury later acquitted both men of most charges despite his on-tape admission he had had sex with the incapacitated woman.

Roberto Clemente Center

540: Community health center established in 1982, named for the baseball great who died bringing relief to Nicaraguan earthquake victims. days-and-flowers by Aaron Edwards, on Flickr

Dias y Flores Garden


544: A long-standing squat that got legal title in 2002; Rosario Dawson of Men in Black II grew up here.

548: Bible Crusade Assemblies of God

Corner (212 Ave B): B Cup, East Village Cafe; East Yoga Center offers ''doga'' classes for dogs.

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North:

Corner (210 Ave A): Al Diwan, Mideastern; the name is a kind of a high-ranking official. Was Nopal del Este, Mexican, which was was Il Covo dell' Este, Italian.

513: There used to be a private chapel for St. Sebastian here.

531: Filthmart, vintage clothes

541: Squatters here were evicted with the aid of a police tank in 1995.

543: Sunnyside Garden, noted for its chicken population.

545: Another squat that received military-style eviction in 1995.














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13th Street between B and C is closed to through traffic.

South:

Corner (193 Ave B): This used to be the Charles Theater, center of the underground film movement from 1961-63, under the management of Jonas Mekas. Earlier the Bijou. In front of it is the Yu Suen/Dragon Garden.

620: Tanya Towers, a 1974 building designed for deaf residents. Tanya Nash led the New York Society for the deaf for 35 years.

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North:

Corner (215 Ave B): The Sylvia del Villard Program of the Roberto Clemente Center, an outpatient center named for a choreographer and a baseball player who died bringing relief to the 1972 Nicaraguan earthquake.





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South:

St. Emeric School

A Catholic school named after a pious Hungarian prince, killed in 1031 by a wild boar.

Corner: This was originally on the shore of the East River, a promontory known as Burnt Mill Point.

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North:

Con Edison

This power plant has been blamed for high rates of asthma in the neighborhood.




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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 Thirteenth Street spot missing? Write to Jim Naureckas and tell him about it.

New York Songlines Home.

Sources for the Songlines.

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