New York Songlines: 14th Street

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Fourteenth Street is the traditional northern boundary of Downtown--some people boast of never going south of it, others of never going north. ("Don't ever, if you can possibly help it, go below 14th Street. The Village literati are scum"--H.L. Mencken.)

After the September 11 attacks, a barricade at each avenue along this street kept out all but emergency traffic. Residents going to their homes had to show ID to police or military personnel--a well-intentioned precaution that I fear paved the way for more serious violations of civil liberties.



Hudson River Park 05.09.07 by inhyung, on Flickr Hudson River Park by HAPHOG, on Flickr

HUDSON RIVER

It was called the Muhhekunnetuk by the Mahicans, meaning the River That Flows Both Ways--a reference to its formal status as an estuary or fjord, a glacier-carved branch of the sea with salt water as high as Newburgh and tides all the way up to Troy. Originally known by the Dutch as the North River--as opposed to the South River, now called the Delaware--its current name honors Henry Hudson, the English explorer who sailed up it in 1609. He's also the namesake of Hudson Bay, where mutinous crewmen left him to his presumed death.

Hudson River Park

DSC06634 by Kramchang, on Flickr

Back when Manhattan was one of the country's major seaports, the Hudson waterfront was bustling with shipping, transoceanic travel and ferries taking residents to and from the hudson-river-park-3 by dandeluca, on Flickr mainland. As New York deindustrialized, jets replaced ocean liners and the island was linked with bridges and tunnels, the waterfront became a sleepy, rather shabby zone with a forgotten feeling. Starting in 1998, the city decided to stop turning its back on the sea and this project, stretching from 59th Street to Battery Park City, was begun. The first segment opened in 2003.


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South:

Liberty Inn

Liberty Inn by mercurialn, on Flickr

500 (block): A short-stay hotel. Used to be the Strand Hotel, a sailors' haunt built in 1908 by the Conron Brothers poultry dealers. In 1912, it served as the New York Times' headquarters for covering the Titanic disaster. Later The Anvil, a decadent gay club (1974-86) frequented by German director Werner Rainer Fassbinder. Felipe Rose was discovered dancing here in an Indian costume, inspiring and becoming the first member of the Village People.

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North:

End of 14th Street by edenpictures, on Flickr A lushly green traffic island.
















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South:

Corner (56 10th Ave): A vacant lot

High Line Park

On The High Line 04/23 by nicolaitan, 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 Eden and Finnegan on the High Line by edenpictures, on Flickr 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. The High Line (New York), June 2009 - 24 by Ed Yourdon, on Flickr In 2009 it was open- ed to the public as New York City's newest park; it truly transforms its neighborhood and hence the city, though it lost some of the World Without Us quality that was its original appeal.

450: The park runs through the High Line Building, a 10-story glass tower designed by Morris Admji. The Cudahy Cold Storage Facility, a 1932 Art Deco brick meatpacking building, serves as a base.

440 (corner):
Diane Von Furstenberg headquarters by Ed Yourdon, on Flickr Built in 1887 by the Astor family as workers' housing, it later became a cold-storage warehouse for the Gachot & Gachot meatpacking company. In 2004 it was purchased by designer Diane von Furstenberg, who put a very 21st Century asymmetrical glass dome on top, despite the Meatpacking District's historical designation.


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432: Was Mother, home to many fetish and drag events (Jackie 60, Meat, Clit Club etc.). Later the Filter 14 dance club. Now Scoop, hip clothing store that takes up much of the block

420: Heller Gallery showcases work in the medium of glass.

416: R&R aka Rare, rock club, was Cooler--before that a meat locker. Also Casey Kaplan gallery, specializing in conceptual art.

410: Rubin Chapelle, minimalist gallery/boutique

408: Israeli designer Yigael Azrouel and Brazilian designer Carlos Miele share this address-- also furniture showroom Design Within Reach.

Kelly Building

Gaslight by edenpictures, on Flickr

400: 1886 building housed The Toilet, 1970s gay sex club. Later home to Lee's Mardi Gras (3rd floor), crossdressing emporium that served as consultant to Tootsie, The Birdcage and To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything. Ground floor is now Gaslight, 1890s-themed bar.

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High Line Park

Corner: Cuts through this corner lot.

Milk Studios Building

Milk Photo Equipment Rental by edenpictures, on Flickr

449: An eight-story brick building from 1936. once part of the Nabisco complex. It's named for Milk Studios & Gallery, which has done cover shots for Vanity Fair and Vogue and is also a noted event space. It also houses Jeffrey New York, noted for super-expensive shoes, led the move of high fashion back to 14th Street. Another tenant is Phillips de Pury & Co., world headquarters of an auction house founded in 1796 by Harry Phillips, (senior clerk of James Christie), and merged in 1999 with the Zurich-based art gallery de Pury & Luxembourg. Phillips has held auctions for Marie Antoinette, Napoleon and Beau Brummel, and is the only house to have conducted an auction at Buckingham Palace.




14th Street From the High Line by edenpictures, on Flickr

439: Attractive red-brick three-story building, dates to 1900.

435: Jean Shop carries Western fashions.




stella by 416style, on Flickr

429: Stella McCartney, boutique noted for thigh-high cowboy boots-- owned by the Beatle's daughter

427: DDCLab features futuristic clothes on meathook-hung mannequins-- in a nod to the neighborhood's meatpacking roots. Plus a coffee bar.

425: La Perla, the ''creme de la creme of luxury lingerie''--New York




419: Was Baktun, club for club kids--named for the Mayan calendrical era.

417: Alexander McQueen, outrageous fashions at outrageous prices. McQueen committed suicide in 2010.

415: Bodum, houseware store organized by color

413: Was Mizrach Kosher Poultry.

409: Lotus, celebrity nightspot, includes Suzie Wong's Late Night Cafe.

407: Was Little Pie Company, decadent desserts son cubano by irina slutsky, on Flickr

405: Son Cubano, hip Cuban

403: Was Western Beef, a grocery store in a former meat locker--which was still refrigerated, so the meat just sat on shelves.

401 (corner): The country's second-biggest Apple Store, opened 2007. Was Markt, Belgian; before that M&W Packing--meatpacking, of course.

Apple Store Meatpacking District by Laoch of Chicago, on Flickr


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South:

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

Block (675 Hudson): 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 the 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:

350 West 14th Street by edenpictures, on Flickr

350 (corner): Four-floor tenements with three (sort of) matching stories added on top--you can see how much better old brick looks. Houses Hudson Health Food.

348: The West Side Discussion Group was based here in 1972, holding gay-related public consciousness-raising talks. In 1903, this was the Co-operative Home for Self-Supporting Girls. Now it's the DJ school Dub Spot, and Chelsea's Best (coffee, Italian ice etc.).

344-336: Grey brick apartments with black Grecian details are from 1910.

342: Blow hair salon. Back entrance to 345 W. 13th Street, which is the Newton Building, an unusual 1890 manufacturing/ office building designed by James Farnworth for developer John Pettit.

336-338: Elegant red-brick townhouses

Our Lady of Guadalupe at St. Bernard's

Our Lady of Guadalupe by edenpictures, on Flickr

330: Was St. Bernard's Roman Catholic Church (1875), designed by Patrick C. Keely in the Victorian Gothic style. This was the first church dedicated by the U.S.'s first cardinal, John Cardinal McCloskey. In 2003, the archdiocese merged this church with Our Lady of Guadalupe down the street.

328: Rectory for the church

326: "Holy Cross" above door

320: Lucy Barnes, Scottish designer

314: Chelsea Village Medical Building was built in 1907 by druggists Daggett and Ramsdell. One of the few remaining single-bay loft buildings on 14th Street.

310: Istanbul Grill, Turkish; King Food, Chinese take-out

304: Elegant Deli & Grocery; Due Amici pizza. In the 1950s, Village Voice photographer Fred McDarrah lived here, documenting the Beat movement.

New York County National Bank Building

NYC - Chelsea - New York County National Bank Building by wallyg, on Flickr

Corner (75-79 8th Ave): Neo-classical 1907 building designed by DeLemos & Cordes, the same architectural firm that did Macy's. Was the New York County National Bank, whose name can still be made out above entrance; the caduceuses on the side presumably refer to Mercury as god of commerce. Later a Manufacturers Hanover branch. After 1999 alterations, it was a theater and now Nickel, a spa for men.

SUBWAY:
A/C/E to West 4th Street

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North:

44 Ninth Avenue by edenpictures, on Flickr

Corner (44 9th Ave): Diner, the kind where a grilled cheese sandwich sets you back eleven bucks. In a three-story building with dormers.

351-355: Unusual peak-roofed tenements. 355 was the Eagle Tavern, long-running bar, then the Village Idiot, the original dance-on-the-bar, hang-up-your-bra place; now Gin Lane, upscale drinkery. 353 is the comedy club Comix.

349: Site of the Spanish-American Workers Alliance. This stretch of 14th Street was once the center of a community of immigrants from Spain--some remnants of which still remain. Later this space was the Village Preschool Center and A Bicycle Shop--now ADI courier service.

335-337: Neo-Grecian apartments from 1900

333: The Prime, new condos that advertise that they're "from $3 million"--as if that's a selling point. And 333 isn't even a prime number, which would have at least made the name clever.

325: Redden's Funerals is in a townhouse that was built for dry good merchant James McCreery in 1851; the "grand old man of business" lived here until 1869 and owned it until his death in 1903.

319: A young Orson Welles lived here (1935-37) while working with Harlem's Negro Theater and the Federal Theater.
Chelsea Pines Inn by Famille Robinson, on Flickr

317: The Chelsea Pines Inn, named for the posh Fire Island resort. H.P. Lovecraft's horror story "Cool Air" is set in a four-story brownstone on West 14th Street--said to be based on this 1850s building, where Lovecraft's friend George Kirk lived.

315: The Vidon














New York Savings Bank Building

NYC - Chelsea: New York Savings Bank Building by wallyg, on Flickr

Corner (81 8th Ave): Domed Greek temple built 1896-98 for the New York Savings Bank, designed by R.H. Robertson. Later Goldome Bank, then Central Carpet. Now Balducci's, upscale grocery store.


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Near this intersection was the center of Sapohannikan ("Tobacco Field"), an Indian community that became the nucleus for Greenwich Village.

South:

14TH STREET STATION:
L to 6th Avenue
C/E to 23rd Street
A to 34th Street/Penn Station Tom Otterness - Life Underground by Alain-Christian, on Flickr -->
The 8th Avenue/ 14th Street station features a whimsically disturbing sculptural installation by Tom Otterness called Life Underground (2000).

Corner: North Village Delicatessen

254: North Village Wine & Liquors. I don't believe there is any such thing as the "North Village," but you can't blame them for trying.

252: Ipanema Bar

248: Dirty Disco, stylish dance club, was 2i's, which featured Hunkmania, a male strip show for women.

Darby

The Plumm gets packed for Rainforest Action Network benefit by rainforestactionnetwork, on Flickr

246: A spendy 1920s-themed restaurant with a band that can play Jazz Age covers of Britney Spears tunes. Used to be Plumm, a purple-themed celebrity-ridden nightclub, and NA before that, but the space is most famous as Nell's, the nightclub that introduced the idea that just hanging around could be nightlife too.

Birth control advocate Margaret Sanger lived at this address c. 1918-22.

244: A two-story Art Deco taxpayer built in 1930. In 1939, this was the Chelsea Bowling Center.

242: This four-story building started out as a brick rowhouse in 1853, then had an iron storefront added in 1897 by architect Frederick Bayliss. Artist Franz Kline's studio was on 2nd floor (1958-62). On the ground floor, Passion was Jerry Ohlinger's Movie Material Store used to be here; now Passion, a porn store.

240: Crispo, Mediterranean with an open kitchen, is in an Italianate 19th Century rowhouse with cast-iron window and door surrounds.

238: Here Comes the Bridesmaid

234: Woody McHale's, after-work bar

232: El Rey Del Sol, subterranean Mexican with freaky Aztec/Catholic decor. Tasty and discreet. I had a fascinating dinner date here once that ended up at the Chelsea Hotel.

222: Sequoia Apartments (1987) has notable cornices. Used to house Elizabeth Seton Childbearing Center; now an extension of St. Vincent's.

218: Was Casa Moneo, a Latin food store that was a center of West 14th's Spanish-speaking community from 1929-1988.

214-216: Teamsters Local 237--for city employees.

212: Gavroche

210: Casa Moneo moved to this 1848 rowhouse in the late 1960s. Upstairs was La Bilbaina, a Basque/Northern Spanish restaurant. Artist Marcel Duchamp rented the 4th floor here in 1943, where he secretly worked on Etant Donnes, a collection of found objects now in the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

204: Dirty Bird to Go, chicken

202: Primitivo Osteria NYC - Chelsea - 200 West 14th Street by wallyg, on Flickr

200 (corner): Built in 1888 as the Jeanne d'Arc, the earliest surviving example of the "French flat," a kind of middle-class multi-family dwelling. It's an interesting building, with a statue of Jeanne, gargoyles etc. Houses Papaya King; used to have Sucelt Coffee Shop, beloved Latin hole-in-the-wall; and Bagelry, which had the best bagels in NYC, according to Chowhound.

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Bankers' Trust Company Building


NYC - Chelsea - 80 8th Avenue by wallyg, on Flickr

Corner (80 8th Avenue): A 20-story highrise designed in 1930 by William Whitehill for Vincent Astor's investment bank. The upper floors were largely occupied by Meatpacking District-related offices. The Art Deco design is a strong example of the "wedding cake" style resulting from the 1916 zoning law that required buildings to occupy less space as they went up.

This building is home to the Greenwich Village Chamber of Commerce--is it a bad sign that it's located outside the Village? Here are also the offices of the International Cinematographers Guild. On the top floor is New Directions, a publishing house founded by steel heir and poet James Laughlin in 1936, which brought out volumes by Ezra Pound, HD, William Carlos Williams, F. Scott Fitzgerald, James Joyce, Hermann Hesse, Henry Miller and numerous other avant-gardists.




245: McKenna's Pub

243: Bistro Cassis was once the Tammany Tough Club, a club founded in 1865 associated with the Tammany Hall political machine; Mayor Jimmy Walker was said to hang out here, and FDR supposedly visited at least once. It survived at least into the early 1980s with an aging membership. Later was Tequila's Bar & Grill, then Kloe.

Andrew Norwood House

241: Named for the stockbroker and developer who built it, this 1847 Italianate house was one of the first built of masonry on the street--marking the beginning of 14th Street's brief fashionable era.

239: Centro Espanol La Nacional, aka the Spanish Benevolent Society

Former Our Lady of Guadalupe Church

229: This Catholic church serving a Spanish-speaking congregation was in an 1854 townhouse once owned by restauranteur Charles Delmonico, converted into a Spanish-style church in 1921 by Gustave Steinback. It was at one point the national parish for Spanish-speaking Catholics. Jack Kerouac for a time attended daily. Now offices for the merged OLG/St. Bernard parish.

Our Lady of Guadalupe is a syncretic combination of the Virgin Mary and the Aztec goddess Tonantzin.

221: Was Macondo, Spanish-language bookstore.






207: Time Machine: Memorabilia Comics Collectibles

205: Flannery's Bar, Irish-y
THE DONUT PUB by roboppy, on Flickr

203: The Donut Pub, old-school doughnut shop. Stained glass can be seen here as a remnant of a long-vanished Victorian saloon.

201 (corner): Sence Deli Flower & Grocery

SUBWAY:
1/9 to Christopher Street
2 to Chambers Street

Bernard Goetz got on the express here on December 22, 1984, and before he had gotten to the next stop had shot four teenagers who had asked him for money. One of the teens, Darryl Cabey, was shot again after he fell; "You don't look so bad--here's another," said Goetz, who was convicted merely of gun possession and sentenced to six months in prison. Cabey was paralyzed and brain damaged for life.


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South:

154-160 West 14th Street by edenpictures, on Flickr

154-160 (corner): Lavish terra cotta on a 12-story 1912 loft building by Herman Lee Meader, known for his elaborate decoration.

152: Symbolist painter Albert Pinkham Ryder had a studio here c. 1912.

148: Folksinger Woodie Guthrie lived in this building in 1942. Now houses Extraordinary DVD, perhaps the best porn outlet in the city; has a good selection of ordinary DVDs as well.

138-146: Roman Revival lofts from 1899, inspired by the 1893 Columbian Exposition.

144: Pratt Institute

142: Site of Church of the Annunciation, where former president James Monroe lay in state after being exhumed from the New York City Marble Cemetery in 1858--27 years after his death--before being shipped to Virginia for reburial.

128: Site of Metropolitan Museum of Art (1873-79) before it moved to Central Park.

Centennial Memorial Temple

NYC - Chelsea: Salvation Army Centennial Memorial Temple by wallyg, on Flickr

120: This Art Deco fortress was built for the Salvation Army in 1930 as a national and territorial headquarters, replacing an earlier Italianate headquarters built in 1895. The architect of this building is Ralph Walker, designer of One Wall Street.

116: The Dix Building, 12 stories built by developer Samuel Weil in 1907 to a Louis Korn design, is named for longtime tenant Henry A. Dix, a garment manufacturer who was among the first to give his employees a five-day work week and paid vacation time. When he retired in 1923, he turned over his business to his workers.

This was the last New York home of Frank Moore, an artist and AIDS activist who helped create the AIDS ribbon. Also the longtime offices of Screw magazine, the trade paper of New York sleaze. City Streets clothing is on the ground floor.

110: Entertainment Outlet, bargain DVDs

108: NY Sunset clothing is in a three-story rowhouse converted to retail with the addition of a double-height cast-iron storefront.

104: A five-story 1875 cast-iron building designed by William Field & Son for George C. Flint & Co., part of 14th Street's "Furniture Row." In 1894, it became Cowperthwait & Co., a carpet and furniture store. Today there's Karma Kids Yoga, which says it's the only yoga studio for kids. Also here is the White Tea Spa; on the ground floor are Krazy Fashion and Vana Gift Shop.

102: E&L Sportswear

100: Part of 527 6th Avenue. Union Square News & Smoke used to be Valentino Jewelry; NYC Candy was Funny Cry Happy Gift, a well-named store. 527 Sixth Avenue by edenpictures, on Flickr

Corner (527 6th Ave): A fortress- like 1896 building, commissioned by Albert Wyckoff and designed by Theo Thomson in a Romanesque Revival style. It's actually three separate buildings with a continuous facade.

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SUBWAY:
1/9 to 18th Street
2 to 34th Street DSC_0233 by ben salthouse, on Flickr
There is a transfer to the L and the F from this station through a block-long underground passageway I think of as the Hall of Elliptical Chewing Gum.

Vermeer Apartments

Corner (77 7th Ave): This 1964 building has a reproduction of a Vermeer's The Art of Painting in the lobby. Westside Market on the ground floor.

149: Was Kooky's Cocktail Lounge, in the Stonewall era, one of only two lesbian-oriented bars in NYC. Kooky, the owner, was said to be hostile to the gay liberation movement, fearing it would cut into her business. Now La Nueva Rampa.

147: Model Training Center--driving lessons

139: Was Dapper Dan Imperial Clothes

137: Was Libreria Lectorum, Spanish-language books--both Spanish bookstores on 14th closed c. 2008.

131: Desco Vacuum has a great neon sign.

McBurney YMCA

125: Probably the most historic Y branch in the country moved here from 23rd Street in 2002. The oldest Y in NYC (from 1869), it's named for Robert Ross McBurney, an early leader of the Y movement. Merrill met Lynch in its 23rd Street swimming pool in 1913; William Saroyan stayed there when he came to NY in 1928, as did Keith Haring 50 years later. Other members have included Edward Albee, Andy Warhol and Al Pacino (and me, for a while). This Y branch inspired the Village People's "YMCA."

Above the Y is an apartment building known as Armory Place, named for the former occupant of the site, an oppressive National Guard armory constructed out of slabs in 1971. It housed (until 1993) the 42nd Infantry Division, an Army/National Guard unit that was led by Douglas MacArthur during World War I, and which liberated the Dachau death camp in World War II. From 1895-1965, the site held the 244th Coast Artillery Armory, also known as the 9th Regiment Armory. The 9th/244th was organized in 1799 for defense of the city, when it incorporated units that were first created to put down the rebellion of Jacob Leisler in 1690--giving it a claim to "the most ancient lineage of any military organization in the United States."

105-109: This was the address of the Theatre Francais, which opened here in 1866 with 1,100 seats. In 1873 it became the Lyceum, and in 1886 the 14th Street Theatre. This became the Civic Repertory Theater in 1926 and the Labor Theatre in 1932 before closing for good in 1935. Demolished 1938.

103: Was Entertainment Outlet, bargain CDs and DVDs, now moved across the street.

Corner (531 6th Ave): This bank--now an HSBC-- was built as a Greenwich Savings Bank branch in 1952, designed by Halsey, McCormack & Helmer in a late Art Deco style. It features a 1954 mural by Julien Binford, A Memory of 14th Street and Sixth Avenue, A Memory of 14th Street and Sixth Avenue III by edenpictures, on Flickr that can be seen from the street. (HSBC stands for Hong Kong Shanghai Bank Company--that seems very 21st Century to me.)

SUBWAY:
L to 8th Avenue
F to 23rd Street


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This intersection was the site of street battles during the Draft Riots of 1863.

South:

14TH STREET SUBWAY:
L to Union Square
F to West 4th Street

Maria's Kebab Wagon, a fixture at this corner, is said by the New York Post to have the best street kebab in the city.

14th Street Store

14th Street Store by edenpictures, on Flickr

Corner (526 6th Ave): This handsome 1903 building with arched entrances, designed by Cady, Berg & See (who did the Natural History Museum), was built by Henry Siegel, co-creator of the Siegel-Cooper store five blocks north. Siegel sold his interest in the "Big Store" to make an even bigger department store in the area vacated by Macy's--but the new store, in a no longer fashionable location, went bust in 1914, and Siegel went to jail for defrauding creditors. Now it's a branch of Urban Outfitters, a chain owned by one of the chief financial backers of homophobic Sen. Rick Santorum, which tells you all you need to know about faux hipsterism.

58: On the site of novelist Henry James' childhood home. Recently was Vinocur's Furniture. Old Macy's II by edenpictures, on Flickr

56: A remnant of the original Macy's, which used to take up some 11 buildings extending to and around the corner of 6th Avenue. This was the last to be added and the sole survivor, built in 1898 and abandoned for Herald Square in 1902. Isador and Nathan Straus, Macy's owners, commissioned German architects Schickel & Ditmars (who also did the Stuyvesant Polyclinic) to design this richly detailed annex. (A Macy's ad is still visible on the west wall of this building, which dates to c. 1896; a Macy's sign above the door is visible when the building needs painting.) Most recently Balas Electronics & Gift. Hearn's by edenpictures, on Flickr

34- 42: Party City, NY Sports Clubs are in a large five-story cast-iron Renaissance Revival building by William Wheeler Smith, built for the Ludwig Brothers Dry Goods Store in 1878. The eastern three bays--more than half the structure--were added in 1899, when it became Rothenberg & Co. department store. Later the building housed Hearn's, Macy's old and bitter rival. Crowds used to smash windows and doors at its annual Washington's Birthday sale, when major appliances would be offered for one cent.

No. 36 was the site of poet Emma Lazarus' childhood home.

No. 34 houses the Legacy School for Integrated Studies (grades 7-12), serving mainly students from Harlem and Chinatown.




24: White Cat Vision Big D by edenpictures, on Flickr

22: Big D Stores, discounts

16: V.I.M.






4-6: Best Value Electronics; 14th Street used to have a lot more places like this. Offices of modeling agency Karin are upstairs. Manhattan Penthouse - 5th Ave by larrykang, on Flickr

2 (corner): An impressive 16-story building designed by Robert Maynicke and built in 1907; the top floor is a banqueting hall called Manhattan Penthouse. Former offices of the National Gay Task Force, founded in 1973 to work for gay rights from within the system. In 1986, the group (now the NGLTF) moved to D.C. The building now houses Lucille Roberts Fitness; also Cohen's Fashion Optical, Due Amici pizza.

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North:

Living Theatre by edenpictures, on Flickr

69 (corner): Was The Living Theatre (1956-63), experimental theater company producing plays by T.S. Eliot, Auden and Gertrude Stein; Martin Sheen's first acting job was here, reportedly appearing with Samuel L. Jackson. Now houses 69 W 14th St. Dance Studios, Capoeira Angola. Courtney House by edenpictures, on Flickr

55: Was Veg City Diner, "Vegetarian American." (Its successor is Curley's Vegetarian Lunch, down 14th Street.) Courtney House, the white-brick apartment building here, has been home to subway vigilante Bernhard Goetz (who is also an outspoken vegetarian).

53: This defunct address was once the Scotch Presbyterian Church, founded in 1756 and moving here in 1853. Wigs & Plus by edenpictures, on Flickr

51: Futon Furn- iture Center is at the address of the New Workers School, where Diego Rivera painted Portrait of America, a series of portable murals. Rising Dragon Tattoos is upstairs.

49: Wigs & Plus IUPAT Headquarters by edenpictures, on Flickr

45: When DC 9 of the International Union of Painters & Allied Trades retrofitted this 1875 rowhouse as a headquarters in 1960, architect William Conklin gave it a glass front with a cast-iron latticework. Conklin said he was trying to evoke the cast-iron architecture of 14th Street; that kind of a nod to the past was way ahead of its time.

43: Mr. Skewer & Co., Brazilian barbecue

35: Lighting & Beyond Gallery One Six Nine by edenpictures, on Flickr

33: Gallery 169, with an intentionally graffitied facade, is associated with Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Local 69 (which is now called something else). A "taxpayer" building put up by the Van Beuren family.

31: Here were the basement offices of The Little Review, the magazine where Joyce's Ulysses was first published, in installments from 1918 to 1920. Also a venue for writers like Sherwood Anderson, Hart Crane and Djuna Barnes. Edited by Margaret Anderson and Jane Heap. Now Cosmic Clothing Company.

25: The swanky health club Clay; also Guitar Center, a corporate chain outlet that threatens to drive a lot of independent guitar stores out of business.

19: Grocer John's is a rebranding of the Gristedes grocery store chain, owned by would-be mayor John Catsimatidis; he tried to call it Trader John's but was sued by Trader Joe's. Union Square Optical by edenpictures, on Flickr

11: Universal News

9: Union Square Optical; poet e.e. cummings lived at this address when he got out of the army in 1918. One West 14th Street by edenpictures, on Flickr

1 (corner): An imposing 1902 building by Buchman and Fox. Built on the site of the headquarters of the Old Guard of the City of New York, a ceremonial battallion of New York infantry veterans founded in 1826.


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South:

Albert List Academic Center

New School Occupation 4.10.09 by joshuaheller, on Flickr

Corner (65 5th Ave): Graduate faculty of the New School for Social Research, a university founded by John Dewey, Thorstein Veblen et al. in 1919. Became a "University in Exile" for refugees fleeing Nazi Germany. Now headed by war criminal Bob Kerrey; students protesting his tenure occupied this building twice in 2009. On the site of the noted store Lane's.

8: A four-story 1879 cast-iron building in the Renaissance Revival style, it was designed by Alfred Hoe for the J.G. Johnson Department Store.

10: Labor-owned Amalgamated Bank has a branch in this cast-iron building. Formerly Kidstown.

12: Formerly Woolworth's

20: A cast-iron storefront put up in 1911. New School Offices by edenpictures, on Flickr

22: Cast-iron building by D. & J. Jardine was built for retailer James McCreery in 1880. Later was Baumann Brothers furniture store until the 1950s. More recently housed bargain basement Dee & Dee. Now New School offices.

28: Journeys clothing is in a five-story cast-iron building with central bay windows--apparently a rare use of this technique for residential purposes.

30: Shoe Mania

32: Foxy Lady clothing 8 Union Square South by edenpictures, on Flickr

Corner (8 Union Square South): This was the site of the Paterson Silk Building, built in 1949 for Crawford Clothing to a design by Morris Lapidus; it was noted for the glass tower on the corner with a jauntily angled roof. Bought in the 1970s by the silk company, which covered it in signage, its Modernist attractions were revealed when it was leased by Odd Job Trading in 1998. Attempts to save it from demolition via landmarking failed in 2005. Now on the site is a luxury building nicknamed 8USS, whose glass corner seems to be a tribute to the lost Lapidus.

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august 169 by emilyaugust, on Flickr

Corner (69 5th Ave): Wedgewood House apartments are built on site of Delmonico's third location, opened in 1862. Banquets were held here for Charles Dickens, Grand Duke Alexis of Russia and Samuel Morse, inventor of the telegraph. Baked Alaska was invented here to celebrate the territory's purchase in 1867.

The nation's first women's organization, the Sorosis Club, was organized here in 1868, as well as the Lambs Club in 1874. This branch closed c. 1876, when the Madison Square incarnation opened.

Before it was Delmonico's, it was the house of Moses Hicks Grinnell, who hosted a breakfast meeting between President-elect Abraham Lincoln and New York business leaders, February 20, 1861. The Shining by mdumlao98, on Flickr

7: The Victoria apartments; includes Garden of Eden, etc. No. 11, a defunct address, was Biograph Studios (1906), where D.W. Griffith, Mack Sennett, Mary Pickford, Lionel Barrymore and Lillian Gish all got their starts. The studio had been the Cunard Mansion, and later Steck Hall. No. 17 was once the home of Florence Chandler, who in 1889, as Florence Maybrick, was convicted in England of poisoning her husband James Maybrick. Maybrick, however, was an arsenic addict, and seems to have poisoned himself; the case became a cause celebre and Grover Cleveland and William McKinley both interceded on her behalf. She was released in 1904 and returned to America. The husband, incidentally, has been posthumously accused of being Jack the Ripper.



Lincoln Building

Lincoln Building by edenpictures, on Flickr

Corner (1 Union Sq W): R.H. Robertson is the architect of this 1889 Romanesque Revival building, an early and influential example of skyscraper design. Diesel clothing on ground floor.


S <===     UNIVERSITY PL / UNION SQUARE WEST     ===> N

South:

Originally Ohrbach's by edenpictures, on Flickr

38 (corner): A two-story building dated 1910; Strawberry clothing is there now.

40: DSW, Designer Shoe Warehouse, allows you to find your own size without a clerk; Forever 21, frighteningly named designer knockoffs; Whole Foods. Used to be a Bradlees, which used to be May's (1965-88), and before that Ohrbach's.

46: This was the address of Automatic Vaudeville, a penny arcade opened in 1903 by Adolph Zukor, who later founded Paramount, with the backing of Marcus Loew; it featured penny-operated peeps, phonograph listening stations, stationary bikes, punching bags and a shooting gallery in the basement. When projected movies came in, the establishment added Crystal Hall, a cinema that was reached via a glass staircase that contained a simulated waterfall and colored lights. Charlie Chaplin films played nearly continuously there from 1914 to 1923, when a fire gutted the interior; no one was hurt, but the complex was converted to retail, becoming Orbach's; apparently some of the original building is still incorporated into the present structure. 851 Broadway by edenpictures, on Flickr

Corner (849 Broadway): Shoe Mania is in a 29-story building from 1929 known as the Union Building. Previously here was the Union Place Hotel, later the Morton House and then the Hotel Churchill.

Earlier on this site was the home of Cornelius van Schaanck Roosevelt, Theodore's grandfather (and Eleanor's great-grandfather), who hosted celebrities like James Fennimore Cooper, Washington Irving, Louis Napoleon. Young Teddy watched Lincoln's funeral procession from a second-story window on April 25, 1865.


S <===    BROADWAY

This intersection was known as Dead Man's Curve for its frequent cable car accidents.

Metronome by Captain Chaos, on Flickr

52 (block): Goes by the fake address of 1 Union Square South; it featured a Virgin Megastore, which closed its doors in 2009 and was a key location in the zombie novel Monster Island. Also a branch of the deservedly bankrupt Circuit City chain. Like most of the new buildings on this stretch of 14th, it was designed by Davis Brody Bond architects (1999).

The stuff on the wall, including steam and flashing numbers, constitute an art piece called Metronome. (The numbers are a 24-hour clock mirrored by a reverse 24-hour clock--they meet at noon and midnight.)

56: Was the Union Square Theater, built in 1870. Oscar Wilde's Vera premiered here, the only production of any of his plays in America that he oversaw; it was a terrible flop. In 1893, the theater was bought by the Keith & Albee Vaudeville circuit, and that same year George M. Cohan made his (disastrous) New York debut as a song-and-dance man here. On June 19, 1896, the Lumiere Brothers' Cinematographe was first exhibited here--not the first film projected in New York (Edison beat them by a couple of months), but a sensation nonetheless. It became a cinema in 1922--premiering with Mary Pickford in Little Lord Fauntleroy-- and changed its name to the Acme Theater. In 1932 it began billing itself as New York's only "American-Soviet Kino," and its barkers urged passerby to see the movies and join the Communist Party. It closed for good in 1936, but was not torn down until 1995. by minusbaby, on Flickr

62: In the middle of the block was the Bluebird Cafe, in front of which gang leader Monk Eastman--by this time down on his luck--was shot to death by a corrupt Prohibition agent, December 26, 1920. Eastman, who loved animals, used to carry a trained pigeon on his shoulder.

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Gandhi Statue

Mohandas K. Gandhi by Monika N., on Flickr This 1986 work was placed here in recognition of Union Square's history of (mostly) non-violent protest.





Union Square

The square is not named for the North or for labor, but because Union Square East can be considered to be the union of Broadway and 4th Avenue. In the 1811 grid plan, NYC planned to eliminate Broadway north of 14th Street, making its union with 4th Avenue permanent. Fortunately, the city was unable to raise money to buy out the properties that had already been built on Broadway, saving midtown Manhattan from complete predictability. Union Square, New York City December 2005 by Trig, on Flickr

Union Square has a long tradition of political engagement: 250,000 gathered to support the Union during the Civil War (1861), the largest crowd ever assembled in North America up to that point; the first U.S. labor day parade (1882); Emma Goldman's arrest for telling the unemployed to steal bread (1893); an anarchist bombing that managed to kill only the two bombers (1908); a funeral march for Triangle Shirtwaist Fire victims (1911); protests against Sacco & Vanzetti's execution (1927), and against the Rosenbergs' (1953). After the destruction of the World Trade Center in 2001, Union Square became a spontaneous center of grieving and peace vigils.

NEW YORK CITY - UNION SQUARE FOLKS by Punxutawneyphil, on Flickr

The south end of the square in particular is one of Manhattan's great public spaces, a haven for political ranters, skateboarders and breakdancers--and for those who want to watch the passing scene. The Critical Mass bicycle rallies gather here on the last Friday of every month --though police repression has taken much of the fun out of it. There's a craft fair here every year in December.






George Washington

NYC: Union Square - General George Washington Statue by wallyg, on Flickr

The 1856 statue of George Washington by Henry Kirke Brown (assisted by John Quincy Ward) was formerly on the traffic island next to 4th Avenue, where it supposedly marked the actual spot where Washington greeted the citizens of New York when he liberated the city from British rule after the Revolutionary War, on November 25, 1783. Back then, though, the junction of Broadway and Bowery was probably closer to where the statue is now.






UNION SQUARE STATION: NYC: Union Square - 14 St-Union Sq Subway Station by wallyg, on Flickr
Uptown:
6 to 23rd Street
4/5 to 34th Street
N/R to 23rd Street
Downtown: 14th Street - Union Square Subway Station by B. Tse, on Flickr
6 to Astor Place
4/5 to City Hall
N/R to 8th Street
Crosstown:
L to 6th Avenue
L to 3rd Avenue


S <===         4TH AVE / UNION SQUARE EAST         ===> N

South:

Top of 4th Avenue by edenpictures, on Flickr

Corner (145 4th Ave): NYU's School of Continuing and Professional Studies was formerly Touro College. Built on the site of Jacob Abraham's bookstore, a shop on the famous Bookseller's Row that was used to pass messages to German spies during World War I. Earlier, this address was sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens' studio.

106: The site of Huber's Dime Museum, a sideshow-style enterprise that exhibited Dr. Henry S. Tanner, who gained notoriety by surviving a 40-day fast in 1880. Escape artist Harry Houdini performed here in 1891, at the age of 17; he reportedly learned the rope-tie trick from Huber's barker.

University Hall

University Hall by edenpictures, on Flickr

110: NYU structure built by Davis Brody Bond in 1998. Built on site of Luchow's (1882), a famous German restaurant. Piano maker William Steinway ate here daily, and his patronage helped make it a hangout for music figures from Enrico Caruso to Cole Porter to Leonard Bernstein, as well as writers like H.L. Mencken, O. Henry and Theodore Dreiser, and such politicians as Al Smith and Theodore Roosevelt. Victor Herbert conducted the house orchestra every Sunday. The ASCAP was founded here; "Yes Sir, That's My Baby" was written on a Luchow's tablecloth in 1925.

Luchow's building was put up in 1840 and was demolished in 1995; University Cafe now feeds people in its stead.

114: Buildings from here to No. 134 were damaged or destroyed in "one of the fiercest fires on record" at the Hippotheatron on December 24, 1872. Later, in 1910, the 2,000-plus-seat City Theatre was built on this site by cinema mogul William Fox; it was the first theater designed by famed theatrical architect Thomas W. Lamb. After different incarnations showing vaudeville, legitimate theater and newsreels--but mostly movies--it was demolished in 1952. PC Richards by edenpictures, on Flickr

116: P.C. Richard appliance store is on the site of Gramercy Gym, where boxing legend Cus D'Amato trained Floyd Patterson and Jose Torres. Torn down 1993. Note "Cus D'Amato Way" streetsign.

126: The address of the Dewey Theater, a vaudeville and burlesque house opened in 1898 in a former church by Tammany Hall's Big Tim Sullivan. (It was named for Spanish-American War hero Admiral Dewey.) In 1908, the theater was leased to William Fox--as in 20th Century Fox--who started alternating vaudeville acts with silent movie reels, bringing in an average of 9,000 customers a day. In 1916, the building's conversion was declared unsafe and it was torn down; the New Academy of Music was built on its site.

132: The address of Grace Chapel, built 1876. Presumably this was church that became the Dewey.

136: Here was the Theatre Unique, a penny arcade that became one of the first houses to project films. It was torn down by 1926, when the New Academy of Music was built in part on its space.

Palladium Hall

IMG_3486.JPG by las.photographs, on Flickr

140: NYU dorm built by Davis Brody Bond in 2001; The Palladium, popular 1980s dance club, was torn down to build it--along with Julian's, one of the all-time classic pool halls, which shared the building.

The Palladium was built in 1926 as the New Academy of Music, a 3,600-seat cinema built for William Fox and designed by Thomas W. Lamb, replacing the old Academy of Music across the street. The cinema was not a success, the entertainment district having moved uptown to Times Square, and Fox lost it along with the rest of his theater empire in the Great Depression. While operating for decades as an increasingly shabby movie house, it also featured music shows, including performances by Tito Puente in the 1950s that helped fuel the mambo craze.

The venue began showing rock acts in 1964--including the Rolling Stones, Beach Boys, Kinks, Black Sabbath, King Crimson, Alice Cooper, Yes, Grateful Dead, Byrds, Fleetwood Mac, Lou Reed, Stooges, New York Dolls, Genesis, Springsteen, Crazy Horse, Frank Zappa, Todd Rundgren, Patti Smith, Ramones, David Bowie, Elvis Costello and Blondie (in all cases--when they were good!). It was one of New York's main rock venues--especially after the Fillmore East closed--though it's remembered as something as a pit. It was rechristened The Palladium--named for a mythical image of Athena that protected Palladium Hall by edenpictures, on Flickr the city of Troy--with a show by The Band in 1976. The guitar-smashing cover photo of The Clash's London Calling was taken at a Palladium show.

In 1985 it became a multi-level disco, with a conversion designed by Arata Isozaki. The building was demolished c. 1997.

After being vacant for several years, the ground floor of the new dorm became a Trader Joe's in 2006, to great hooplah.

Corner: The empty building on the corner was Disco Donut, where Robert De Niro took Jody Foster in Taxi Driver. Upstairs was Carmelita's Reception House, a sketchy club used in the audience-participation play Tony and Tina's Wedding. (New Wave band The B-52s stayed here when they first came to New York.) It was closed down after the 1990 Happyland fire resulted in a safety-code crackdown. Former Disco Donut by edenpictures, on Flickr The upper floors of the building were removed in a deal that allowed NYU to build Palladium Hall higher--a strange public policy that rewards the creation of squat buildings like this one. Most recently Robin Raj Discount Drugs was here.

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Zeckendorf Towers

Zeckendorf Towers by Lee Kottner, on Flickr

Complex topped by pyramids was built by Davis, Brody & Assocs. in 1987. It seems to have more Zeckendorf Towers by edenpictures, on Flickr personality than the firm's later work on this street. Built on the site of S. Klein's department store (1921-75; slogan: "On the Square"). Actress Kelly McGillis has lived in the Zeckendorf; Beth Israel's Phillips Ambulatory Care Center is here. Zeckendorf Towers at night by tomdz, on Flickr
























71-73: The site of Steinway Hall, built in 1866 by the piano company for performances that would showcase its instruments. Charles Dickens gave several readings here in 1867-68. Reporter Henry Stanley first told his story of finding Dr. David Livingstone to a New York audience here in December 1872. Demolished 1916.


IRVING PLACE ===> N

Corner (2 Irving): The former corner address from 1854 to 1926 was the Academy of Music, which early on was the cultural hub of New York's elite, as represented in the first scene of The Age of Innocence. In 1860, it hosted a famous ball for the Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII. President-elect Lincoln saw Verdi's Masked Ball here in 1861--the only opera he ever saw. In 1870, the literary Lotos Club was founded here. After fashion moved uptown to the Metropolitan Opera House, the Academy presented vaudeville and later silent movies. It had another incarnation across the street that later became the Palladium.

Con Ed Building

Con Ed and Zeckendorf by edenpictures, on Flickr

Corner (4 Irving): Apple Bank for Savings is on the ground floor of the Consolidated Edison Building, designed by Henry Hardenbergh in the Beaux Arts style, 1913; six stories were added to his original 12, and in 1927 Warren & Wetmore added a 02112007114 by k dellaquila, on Flickr Doric temple-topped clock tower, the Tower of Light, conceived as a memorial to Con Ed employees who died in World War I. Starting in 1854, 4 Irving Place was the address of the Manhattan Gas Light Co., from which the utility companies spread to take over this entire block.











































143: Was St. Joseph's Night Shelter, a gaslight-era shelter for homeless women.

145: This was the Con Edison Energy Museum--which is no longer open.

145-147 (corner): Con Ed Parking Lot by edenpictures, on Flickr
East end of Con Ed building and parking lot were Tammany Hall from 1867-1917, when the corrupt political club was at height of power. Hosted the 1868 Democratic convention. The ground floor was Tony Pastor's New 14th Street Theatre, popular vaudeville venue from 1881 until 1908, where stars like Lillian Russell and Sophie Tucker performed. Harry Houdini played here with his wife Bess in 1895.


S <===             3RD AVENUE             ===> N

South:

3rd Ave Station by tinatinatina, on Flickr

SUBWAY: L to 1st Avenue

The climax of the noir classic Pickup on South Street is set here.

202: Was BFD clothing, described by the Voice as ''cheap--really, really cheap.'' Torn down 2008.

206: Was Manhattan Sight & Sound and Video 206, a well-stocked porn shop; also torn down in 2008. Movie Star News by edenpictures, on Flickr

210: Chickpea, local falafel franchise

212: This was the address of Movie Star News, run by "King of Pin-Up" Irving Klaw and his sister Paula, which sold cheesecake and bondage photos featuring burlesque dancers like Blaze Starr, Tempest Storm and Lili St. Cyr, not to mention Bettie Page.

214: The vacant lot here was the entrance to the Jefferson Theatre, a vaudeville venue designed by Thomas Lamb that opened in 1910 and featured acts like the Marx Brothers, Mae West, Jack Benny and Fred Allen. George Burns called it "the toughest house in New York." An RKO cinema from the 1930s to the '60s, it showed horror/kung fu triple features in the 1970s, then hosted an infamous after-hours club in the early 1980s. Demolished 1999, to be replaced so far by nothing.

The Jefferson Bar was here, next door to the theatre --not sure of the exact address.

218-220: Was Fresco Market 14, gourmet grocery; now Vanessa's Dumpling. Kings Head Tavern by edenpictures, on Flickr

222: King's Head Tavern is a neighborhood bar --the sign is much improved. The Roosevelt by edenpictures, on Flickr

226: The Navarre, 1880s apartments named for a Spanish province.

230: Ram's Sports Cards is in The Roosevelt, a twin to The Navarre.














Thai Me Up by edenpictures, on Flickr

238: Thai Me Up, Thai sandwiches














Temple Courts by edenpictures, on Flickr

242-250 (corner): Temple Courts apartments, named after a neighborhood in London which in turn is named for a Roman era temple of Mithras. Built in 1924 to an Emery Roth design as the Labor Temple, commissioned by the New York Presbytery as a community center for working-class immigrants, replacing an underutilized Presbyterian church. Includes Daphne's Caribbean Cuisine N Cafe by edenpictures, on Flickr at 250; No. 246, N Cafe -- was Japanese Gummy Gummy. 244 was once the Russian restaurant Kretchma.

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SUBWAY: L to Union Square

201 (corner): Coral Towers, NYU dorm built (with non-union labor) on site of the Sahara Hotel, a notorious drug and prostitution den.

203: Redhouse, Chinese take-out, is in an interesting crumbling brownstone. Union Square Inn by edenpictures, on Flickr

209: Union Square Inn, formerly a flophouse called Regina House. My mother has stayed here often and gives it mixed reviews. The building itself is quite lovely red brick in the Rundbogenstil.

211: 211 New Taco Grill, Bite snack bar; was Throb, dance music disks.

223: 14th Street/Union Square Business Improvement District office, quasi-governmental organization

225: Friend House 2, Thai/sushi.

227: Ace Moving Store was Amy Down Hats; Russian Souvenirs has fascinating tchotchkes.

229: The Royal Wigs Beauty Bar by edenpictures, on Flickr

231: Beauty Bar, salon-themed saloon, is in a six-story building that was put up in 1920-21 as the Italian Labor Center, a community center Italian Labor Center by edenpictures, on Flickr organ- ized by the ILGWU labor union that was a hub of anti- fascist organizing; note frieze still on the facade. Architects John Caggiano, Matthew Del Gaudio and Anthony Lombardi employed innovative design and materials. The building later housed the Ukrainian Center for Social Research. Blind Pig by edenpictures, on Flickr

233: Blind Pig, tavern, was Daphne, Jamaican restaurant. (A "blind pig," according to Wikipedia, was a low-rent speakeasy that circumvented Prohibition by charging customers to see some sort of marginal attraction--such as a blind pig--and giving them a "complimentary" beer or cocktail.) Edelstein Bros. by edenpictures, on Flickr Note an old "Edelstein Bros." pawnshop sign at top; the business was here from 1945 until 1981.

239: Site of the Eclectic Medical College, founded 1865.

241: The New 14th Street Theatre opened here in 1914, the first full-fledged movie house designed by prolific cinema architect Lorenz F.J. Weiher. It was renamed The Arrow about 1940, and in the 1960s it became The Metropolitan, one of New York's most notorious porno theaters. The Met closed in 1988, was torn down and replaced with the current apartment building. Metro Bicycles was on the ground floor for a time.

243: Bambou, a swankier Jamaican. From 1913-1980, this was Hammer's Dairy Restaurant, a kosher eatery frequented by Milton Berle and other vaudeville comedians. Featured in the 1976 film The Front. 231-235 2nd Avenue I by edenpictures, on Flickr

Corner (231 2nd Ave): The W.M. Everts [sic], an apartment building built on the site of the home of U.S. Sen. William Maxwell Evarts; Evarts, who was also U.S. secretary of state and attorney general, died in 1901 and his house was torn down about that time. 231-235 2nd Avenue II by edenpictures, on Flickr His grandson Maxwell Evarts Perkins, who edited the likes of Hemingway, Fitzgerald and Thomas Wolfe at Scribner's, was born here on September 20, 1884. The corner restaurant used to be the Lunch Box Cafe.


S <===             2ND AVENUE             ===> N

South:

New York Eye & Ear Infirmary

ear and eye clouds by snapawayoungman, on Flickr

310 (corner): Hospital founded in 1820, oldest specialist hospital in Western Hemisphere Nowhere by edenpictures, on Flickr

322: Nowhere, gay bar that has a night for short men and their admirers. Was Briam, Greek restaurant, then City Slickers.

324: Andy Warhol protoge Jackie Curtis died at this address, May 15, 1985. 14th Street Gargoyle by edenpictures, on Flickr

328-330: Curly's Vegetarian Lunch, a meat-free diner named for a grandparent's restaurant. Formerly Westville East, Johnny Mozzarella's. Note gargoyle heads above windows.

332: In 1939, this was the address of Kavkaz, a Russian restaurant. Now a bicycle shop. Town and Village Synagogue by edenpictures, on Flickr

334: Tifereth Israel/Town & Village Conservative Synagogue, named for Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village. The building was originally built in 1866 as the First German Baptist Church, designed in the Rundbogenstil by Julius Boekell. It became the Ukranian Church in 1928, when it gained two of its onion domes. It lost its rooftop cross and gained a third dome when it became a synagogue in 1962.

338: Was 14th Street Florist, where many of the important flowers in my life were bought. Engine Company No. 5 by edenpictures, on Flickr

340: Engine No. 5 was founded here in 1865, incorporating the "United States" volunteer fire company. This building dates to 1880 and was designed by Napoleon LeBrun, the FDNY's most famous architect. Plaques here honor fallen colleagues, including Captain David Waters, who died in the 1866 Academy of Music fire, and Manny DelValle, who died in the World Trade Center collapse. 14th Street Y by drauh, on Flickr

344: The 14th Street Y, formerly known as the Sol Goldman YM-YWHA; originally P.S. 19, which was the alma mater of gangster Charles "Lucky" Luciano. Luciano used to charge his classmates a penny or two a day not to beat them up; one of his victims, who impressed the young thug with his ability to fight back, was future criminal associate Meyer Lansky. 1st ave and 14th Street by su1droot, on Flickr

Corner (237 1st Ave): The First Federal Savings and Loan Association Building went up in 1949 to a design by R.B. O'Connor and W.H. Kilham, Jr. It was intended to serve the residents of newly built Stuyvesant Town, which is why it has a diagonal corner entrance facing that development. It late was Love Discount Store, one of the last branches of a local drug store chain. Former city Council member Margarita Lopez's offices were in this building.

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Eye & Ear Infirmary Annex by edenpictures, on Flickr

301 (corner): New York Eye & Ear Infirmary annex, built in 1923 as the Mechanics & Metals Bank Building, built in a Georgian (late 18th Century) style that reflected the post-World War I shift away from the Classical temple look for bank buildings. Jazz on the Town by edenpictures, on Flickr

307: Was Knit, coffeehouse that catered to yarnophiles. Upstairs is Jazz on the Town, a hostel.

309: A well-preserved brownstone dating to 1901 houses Park's Upholstery.

311: Steve Express Shoe Repair; I've gone here for many of my tinkering needs.









325: Crocodile Lounge, bar featuring free pizza and SkeeBall. Was briefly the Cellar coffeehouse/lounge; before that Manila Garden, long-shuttered Filipino restaurant Rose Hill by edenpictures, on Flickr

329: Rose Hill apartments. Rose Hill was the name of the estate of Horatio Gates, at what's now 2nd Avenue and 21st. Gates was a Revolutionary general who won the Battle of Saratoga, arguably the most important battle of the war.

331: Was Johnny Air Cargo Phillipine Parcel Service












347: Mambo Italiano closed in 2008; was the more prosaic Pizza & Pasta. O'Hanlon's Bar by edenpictures, on Flickr

349: O'Hanlan's Bar, Irish tavern opened in 1974, and recently spruced up.

351: Kambi Ramenhouse was New Manila Food Mart.

353: 14th Street Deli Grocery Corp boasts the "best prices on 14th St."




Papaya Dog by edenpictures, on Flickr

Corner: Papaya Dog (formerly 14th Street Papaya) is a Gray's Papaya imitator, offering cheap, tasty hot dogs and frothy tropical fruit drinks.


S <===             1ST AVENUE             ===> N

When this area was the estates of the Stuyvesants, the land from here to roughly Avenue A was the Stuyvesants' skating pond.

South:

1ST AVENUE STATION: L to Williamsburg Saturday morning, heading home from Michael's by bitchcakesny, on Flickr

On this subway platform, on September 15, 1984, Michael Stewart allegedly wrote on the wall with a magic marker--a crime that resulted in his being beaten to death by the NYPD.

402: Painter Larry Rivers' final Manhattan residence was at this defunct address.

404: Poet Allen Ginsberg died here April 5, 1997, in a loft that he had bought the year before. The corporate burger chain on the ground floor provides an ironic touch.

Immaculate Conception Church

NYC - East Village: Grace Chapel and Hospital by wallyg, on Flickr

406-412: This striking Roman Catholic church was built in 1894-96 as Grace Chapel and Hospital, an Episcopalian mission for Broadway's Grace Church. The chapel did not charge pew rent, which was unusual in those days. Converted to a Catholic church in 1943. (The immaculate conception is not the same as the virgin birth; it's the idea that Mary was born without original sin.)

432: Stuyvesant Post Office (10009) was built in 1949, designed by Wechsler & Schimenti.

<===       AVENUE A

Western edge of Alphabet City

510: Blarney Cove, old-school Irish dive bar.

514: Generation 14 Clothing Center

520: Was Our Kitchen, tasty Singaporean

532: Was Yes! This Is Charlie's, the least pretentious store in Manhattan. Moved to Avenue C.

538: Was Barmacy, drugstore-turned-bar; now Otto's Shrunken Head, a tiki joint. The retro band Fisherman plays here regularly.

542: Was Stuyvesant Farms.


S <===           AVENUE B

600 (corner): Dynasty Coffee Shop, at this corner since c. 1955.

628-640: This series of tenements was built in 1890 by George F. Pelham as one of the first large-scale housing developments for immigrants. The buildings have a "dumbbell" layout to comply with the 1879 Tenements Law requiring light and ventilation for new housing.

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1ST AVENUE STATION: L to 3rd Avenue First Avenue Station by Paul Lowry, on Flickr

This subway stop is chiefly responsible for making Williamsburg a hip neighborhood-- people could live there and still get to the East Village easily. Now people go from the East Village to Williamsburg in search of something cool to do.

Stuyvesant Town

Stuyvesant Town, May 2008 by Marianne O'Leary, on Flickr

Built in the late 1940s by Met Life Insur- ance Co. as affordable housing for World War II vets; now being converted to high-priced apartments. When stuyvesant town by dandeluca, on Flickr Met Life sold it and Peter Cooper Village -- a total of 110 apartment buildings -- for $5.4 billion in 2006, it was reportedly the biggest real estate transaction in history. The purchaser was Tishman Speyer Properties, a real estate group that owns Rockefeller Center, among other things.

Built on the site of the notorious Gashouse Stuyvesant Town by warsze, on Flickr District, where fumes from chem- ical plants kept out all but the poorest immigrants. The district produced the fearsome Gashouse Gang; since there was little to steal on their own turf, they would travel to other neighborhoods and rob the criminals there. Veterans Housing in East Village by mmwm, on Flickr

In The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Jane Jacobs uses Stuyvesant Town, with its lack of nonresidential development, its scarcity of streets and its repetitive architecture, as an example of how not to fix cities. Fountain by edenpictures, on Flickr












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South:

Con Edison Plant



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Con Edison Plant

High asthma rates in the neighborhood have been blamed on Con Edison's pollution.

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North:

Con Edison Plant

Con Ed in the East Village by Jebb, on Flickr The East River Generating Plant of Consolidated Edison was first built in 1926, with a design by Thomas E. Murray, but the most visible part of the complex dates to the 1950s, and has been compared in its "purity of form" to the "Fascist Style architecture...of Giuseppe Terragni."

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Kite by edenpictures, on Flickr

East River Park

Robert Moses built this park on landfill and former docks in the 1930s, during the construction of the FDR Drive. The section nearest the river had to be closed and reconstructed during the early 21st Century, because decreasing pollution in the East River allowed woodworms to survive to eat the wooden pilings that supported it.



East River









What am I missing on Fourteenth Street? Write to Jim Naureckas and tell me about it.

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