New York Songlines: 2nd Avenue

with Chrystie Street

E 59th | E 58th | E 57th | E 56th | E 55th | E 54th | E 53rd | E 52nd | E 51st | E 50th | E 49th | E 48th | E 47th | E 46th | E 45th | E 44th | E 43rd | E 42nd | E 41st | E 40th | E 39th | 39th St | 38th St | 37th St | 36th St | 35th St | 34th St | 33th St | 32nd St | 31st St | 30th St 29th St | 28th St | E. 28th | E. 27th | E. 26th | E. 25th | E. 24th | E. 23th | E. 22nd | E. 21st | E. 20th | E. 19th | E. 18th | E. 17th | E. 15th | E. 14th | E. 13th | E. 12th | E. 11th | E. 10th | E. 9th | St Marks | E. 7th | E. 6th | E. 5th | E. 14th | E. 3rd | E. 2nd | E. 1st | E. Houston | Stanton | Rivington | Delancey | Broome | Grand | Hester | Canal |


by las.photographs, on Flickr Second Avenue has the distinction of being the longest avenue in Manhattan, stretching from Houston to 128th Street. Someday, supposedly, it will have its own subway line.

Chrystie Street, which is the avenue's name below Houston, is named, like several Lower East Side streets, for a hero of the War of 1812. Lt. Col. John Chrystie (Columbia class of 1806) led two unsuccessful attempts to invade Canada at the Battle of Queenstown Heights; he was captured and died of "bilious colic" in 1813.



2nd Avenue

West:

Roosevelt Island Tramway

Cable Car by catchesthelight, on Flickr

It's like taking an amusement park ride to work. Built in 1976 as a temporary alternative to a long-delayed subway project.

It's attacked by the Green Goblin in Spider-Man, and it also appears in the Rafael Yglesias movie Dark Water.


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Queensboro Bridge

Queensboro Bridge by Darks Adria, on Flickr Also known as the 59th Street Bridge-- this is the bridge that Simon & Garfunkel sing about in "Feeling Groovy." Completed in 1909, the bridge is mentioned in The Great Gatsby: "The city seen from the Queensboro Bridge is always the city seen for the first time, in its first wild promise of all the mystery and the beauty in the world". It features as an icon in Woody Allen's Manhattan and the TV series Taxi.

W <===     EAST 59TH STREET     ===> E

West:

1103 (block): Le Triomphe, a 30-floor apartment building from 1983.







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Block (300 E 59th): Landmark Apartments, 36 stories from 1971.








W <===     EAST 58TH STREET     ===> E

West:





1085: Les San Culottes, long-standing French. The Sans-Culottes ("Without Knee-Breaches") were the working-class radicals of the French Revolution; appropriately, the restaurant serves peasant food.

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Block (300 E 58th): Excelsior Apartments are 47 stories from 1967, called a "white-brick monstrosity" by City Review. "Excelsior," "higher" in Latin, is the motto of the state of New York.






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West:

High School of Art & Design

1075 (block): Founded in 1936 as the School of Industrial Art, it moved to this present location in 1960. Alumni include singer Tony Bennett, animator Ralph Bakshi, playwright Harvey Fierstein, designer Calvin Klein, rap duo Mob Deep and prankster Joey Skaggs. The school has produced a number of major figures in the comics field, including Art Spiegelman, John Romita, Sr. and Neal Adams.

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1076 (corner): J.D. Salinger lived in a small apartment here in 1951-52, just after the publication of Catcher in the Rye.








W <===     EAST 56TH STREET     ===> E

West:










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Manhattan Art & Antiques Center

1050 (block): The Bristol Building is home to more than 100 antique galleries offering everything from Meiji Period art to Caucasian carpets. Opened 1975.





W <===     EAST 55TH STREET     ===> E

West:

Block (245 E 54th): The Brevard apartments, 29 stories of dark-brown brick put up in 1977.







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W <===     EAST 54TH STREET     ===> E

West:

The Mondrian

Corner (254 E 54th): Colorful 43-story apartment building put up in 1992, designed by Fox & Fowle, originally called Le Grand Palais; renamed for the modernist painter, who lived nearby. "Some class," says the AIA Guide, compared to neighboring contemporaries.

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Corner (300 E 54th): Connaught Tower, 35-story apartment building from 1978. Connaught is the least anglicized province of Ireland--but this building seems to be named after a London hotel.






W <===     EAST 53RD STREET     ===> E

West:





1037: Sapho Gallery, antiques




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998: Eamonn Doran's, Irish bar--Rugby-oriented

988: Coldwater's Restaurant, seafood

984: Mimi's Restaurant & Piano Bar, for lovers of quirky


W <===     EAST 52ND STREET     ===> E

West:


2nd Avenue Flow by midweekpost, on Flickr

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964 (corner): Nessa, a pub


W <===     EAST 51ST STREET     ===> E

West:
















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Corner (300 E 51st): Joe Namath has been a famous resident at this 19-story apartment building from 1959. The building was damaged by a falling crane from 51st Street on March 15, 2008.

954: This building was slightly damaged in the crane collapse. Blockhead's is the restaurant on the ground floor.

944 (corner): Described by the New York Times as "a sweet grey building with a Beaux-Arts feel," it was slightly damaged by the falling crane, which the landlord is trying to use as an excuse to tear down the building. On the ground floor is the restaurant Crave Ceviche Bar--for now.


W <===     EAST 50TH STREET     ===> E

West:









Corner: The art here is called Companions.

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W <===     EAST 49TH STREET     ===> E

East 49th Street between 2nd and 3rd avenues is known as Katherine Hepburn Way, named for the actor who lived on the block for many years.

West:

Corner (250 E 49th): Was the Box Tree Inn, a boutique hotel with only 13 rooms, each furnished with antiques, located in two vintage brownstones. Demolished in 2005.






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W <===     EAST 48TH STREET     ===> E

West:

885 (block): One Hammarskjold Plaza. Used to house the steakhouse Blair Perrone, which was formerly a Ruth's Chris Steak House branch.












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890 (block): Embassy House, 1960s white-brick apartment building, was built on the site of St. Boniface's Catholic Church. The church was connected to the bizarre 1913 murder/dismemberment of Anna Aumuller; Father Hans Schmidt, an assistant here, confessed to the crime, saying St. Elizabeth had told him to do it. It turned out that Schmidt was actually a counterfeiter posing as a priest, and that Aumuller, his lover, had died after a botched abortion. Schmidt had hoped to be declared insane, but he was sent to the chair at Sing Sing in 1916.

On the ground floor now is Nino's Positano, fancy Italian, as well as Nino's Bellissima Pizza, where you can buy a caviar pizza for $1,000.


W <===     EAST 47TH STREET     ===> E

West:

NYC - Turtle Bay: Dag Hammarskjold Tower and One Dag Hammarskjold Plaza by wallyg, on Flickr

Corner (240 E 47th): Dag Hammarskjold Tower, a 44-story apartment building from 1983, designed by Gruzen & Partners.









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Hammaskjold Plaza

Dag Hammarskjold Plaza by Randy Levine, on Flickr










866: 2 Hammarskjold Plaza


W <===     EAST 46TH STREET     ===> E

West:






845: Was Hunam, one of the first Hunanese restaurants in the United States-- opened in 1972.

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Corner: Envoy Towers--because the U.N. is nearby.








Corner: Delegate Apartments--likewise.


W <===     EAST 45TH STREET     ===> E

West:











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W <===     EAST 44TH STREET     ===> E

West:










815 (corner): Episcopal Church Center

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W <===     EAST 43RD STREET     ===> E

West:

Corner: Crystal Building






Corner (235 E 42nd): Pfizer World Headquarters; offices of the company that gave us Viagra.

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800 (corner): McFadden's Bar & Restaurant; opened December 31, 1999. There seems to be a number of these in different cities.


W <===     EAST 42ND STREET     ===> E

The boundary of Turtle Bay and Murray Hill

West:

News Building

NYC: Daily News Building by wallyg, on Flickr

220 (block): An Art Deco landmark built in 1930 for the offices of the Daily News--designed by Raymond Hood, who also designed Chicago's Tribune Tower. It became the Daily Planet for the Superman movie. The lobby features an enormous rotating globe.

The Daily News moved out in 1994, but WPIX/Channel 11, New York's WB station, is based here, as is the New York Tolerance Center, a project of the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

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Corner (300 E 42nd): Innovation Luggage



















W <===     EAST 41ST STREET     ===> E

West:





Corner (235 E 40th): Marlborough House, 35-story apartment building from 1975. Named for a royal palace in London. I'm not certain, but I think this building is also 755 Second Avenue, where New York magazine was based for more than two decades before moving to 444 Madison Avenue in 1996.

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W <===     EAST 40TH STREET     ===> E

West:











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Block (300 E 40th): Churchill apartments. Winston Churchill's mother, Jenny Jerome, was a New Yorker who grew up on Madison Square.








W <===             EAST 39TH STREET             ===> E

In the Marvel Comics Universe, the Daily Bugle (where Peter Parker works) is located at this intersection.

West:











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W <===             EAST 38TH STREET             ===> E

West:

699: Was Sandy's Place, aka Muffin's Pub, serious darts bar; now a petcare place called Biscuits and Bath.






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700 (corner): Bravest on 38th, neighborhood bar that was called Wanda's Full Moon Saloon. Bravest on 38th, neighborhood bar that was called Wanda's Full Moon Saloon. Wanda, who's married to a firefighter who survived September 11, renamed the bar in place as a memorial to "all those who gave their lives on 9/11 and also to all those brave soldiers who died, fought and are still fighting for our country."






W <===             EAST 37TH STREET             ===> E

West:

Queens Midtown Tunnel Exit Plaza

















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Queens Midtown Tunnel Entrance Plaza

Queens Midtown Tunnel by terraplanner, on Flickr

Opened in 1940 to relieve congestion on the East River bridges. Ole Singstad, who earlier dug the Holland Tunnel and later started work on the Brooklyn-Battery, was the chief engineer. FDR broke ground on the project in 1936.

The entrance to the tunnel is the western end of the Long Island Expressway.


W <===             EAST 36TH STREET             ===> E

West:











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St. Vartan's Park

Sadly enough, this out-of-the-way, one-square-block piece of green, bisected by the Queens Midtown Tunnel entrance road, is the only real park in Manhattan's 30s. It's named for the Armenian cathedral on Second Avenue; it was formerly named St Gabriel Park.



W <===             EAST 35TH STREET             ===> E

This intersection was roughly the northwest corner of the 17th Century farm of Jacobus Kip, from which Kips Bay takes its name.

West:














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St. Vartan Cathedral

620 (block): The first cathedral of the Armenian Orthodox Church to be built in North America, it would consecrated in 1968 and designed to resemble the 4th Century Cathedral of Holy Etchmiadzin in Armenia.

Vartan was a general who fought against Persia's effort to forcibly convert the Armenians to Zorastrianism.

The statue on the corner is Descent From the Cross by Reuben Nakian.


W <===             EAST 34TH STREET             ===> E

The boundary of Murray Hill and Kips Bay

West:













611: South Beach, Miami-themed bar

607: Rocky's Pizzeria II




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2nd Avenue by Martin Haesemeyer, on Flickr





W <===             EAST 33RD STREET             ===> E

West:





Corner (251 E 32nd): Riverview East apartments


W <===         E 32ND ST

581 (corner): La Bella's

575: Whiskey River, rustic bar; was the loungier Nectar

573: Original Fresh Tortillas Grill

567: Medieval-looking apartments


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This intersection was the center of some of the worst fighting of the Draft Riots of 1863.

561 (corner): Cafe Indulge, bakery with a chef in the window and a leopard-print decorating scheme.

555: Todaro Brothers, specialty foods since 1917.

551: K-Dee's, bar that serves books

547: Mee Noodle Shop & Grill

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Kips Bay Plaza

lots of windows by roboppy, on Flickr

Block: The two 21-story exposed-concrete slabs were built 1960-65 to an I.M. Pei design.

There's a strip mall on the 2nd Avenue side that includes the Loews Kip's Bay multiplex. I see a lot of movies here--it's usually pretty empty. The Borders bookstore here closed shortly before the whole company went belly-up.





















W <===             EAST 30TH STREET             ===> E

West:

Corner (250 E 30th): The Sycamore condominiums. The developer of this $35 million project is a working firefighter, James P. Kennelly.












531: Failte Irish Whiskey Bar; the name means "welcome," and the bar is made from a single County Kerry walnut tree.

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Waterfront Ale House by dmansouri, on Flickr

540 (corner): Waterfront Ale House. It's easy to forget that this is only two blocks from the East River--which is technically a branch of the ocean. An NYU med school hangout.

530: Profit Restaurant, an honestly named Chinese

524-528 (corner): Pinkerton Environmental Center; since 1979, a community garden and nature center for the Madison Square Boys & Girls Club.


W <===             29TH STREET             ===> E

West:

519 (corner): Paddy Reilly's, Irish pub; Black 47 was the house band here.







Manhattan has too many banks!

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W <===         EAST 28TH STREET         ===> E

West:

495 (corner): Basal Dali was Fast & Fresh Deli

493: Tong Chinese Food; David's Express Barber

491: Quality Deli




Corner (245 E. 27th): Nathan Straus Houses, public housing named for a co-owner of Macy's who gave much of his wealth to philanthropic projects, including lodging houses, a tuberculosis sanitarium for children, World War I relief and health centers in Palestine. Straus was a primary proponent of the pasteurization of milk.

P.S. 14 used to be on this site.

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Kips Bay Court

Phipps Houses by edenpictures, on Flickr

460-520: Large apartment complex was built in 1976 as Phipps Plaza West, part of the South Bellevue Urban Renewal program that provided nearby affordable housing for Bellevue workers. "Phipps" was Henry Phipps, a partner of Andrew Carnegie's who in 1905 founded the nonprofit development group that carried out the project. In 2002, however, people who put up money for the project sued to force it out of the Mitchell-Lama nonprofit housing program.


W <===         EAST 27TH STREET               ===> E

West:

Corner (240 E. 27th): Parc East Tower. This building was sued by the city in 2000 for locking a passageway from 27th Street to a small brick plaza with waterfall on 26th Street that the developers had provided in order to get a zoning variance.




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462: More of Kips Bay Court. On the ground floor is Totonno's, the second Manhattan branch of a beloved Coney Island pizzeria. Used to be Old San Juan Too, Puerto Rican/Argentine. Also Art Expo. The Vineyard Theatre, now in the Zeckendorf, used to be here.


W <===         EAST 26TH STREET         ===> E

West:

459 (corner): Mexico Lindo restaurant

455: New York School of Dog Grooming, founded in the early 1960s

453: A converted carriage house

449: DDG Deli Superette

Corner (245 E 25th): Banco Popular is in the Spruce Ridge House apartment building--a 20-story white-brick building that went up in 1963--at a time when the horrific effects of white brick on the urban landscape were not yet fully known. I'm not sure where the spruce ridge is supposed to be.

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444 (block): Phipps South Houses















W <===         EAST 25TH STREET         ===> E

West:

Corner : Tracy Towers apartments











423: Empire Cards & Gifts

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438 (corner): La Bodeguita was Ziti Italian Restaurant

434: Ole Spanish Restaurant

432: Papa John's Pizza

430: JMV Optical also offers "Rare Coins & Jewelry"

428: Manhattan Doll Hospital

The apartment buildings behind these are the New York Towers.


W <===         EAST 24TH STREET         ===> E

West:

415 (corner): Mike's Pizza

413: Derik's Open Flame

411: Fine Food Deli







401 (corner): Cooper Gramercy apartments

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East Midtown Plaza Apartments

East Midtown Plaza Apartments I by edenpictures, on Flickr

400: The AIA Guide is very impressed with this 1972-74 apartment complex. Carvel Ice Cream is in the northwest corner; Morton Williams Cafe in the southwest.


W <===         EAST 23RD STREET         ===> E

The southern boundary of Kips Bay

West:

by dickuhne, on Flickr

395 (corner): Cosmos Diner, since 1978

393: McSwiggans, Irish bar

391: Bao Noodles, Vietnamese; was Marguerita, Brazilian.

381-387 (corner): Gramercy House apartments; cool deco trim. Comprises Bruno Ravioli--since 1905 (No. 387), Gramercy Meat Market--formerly The French Butcher (No. 383B) and Gramercy Fish Co. (No. 383A).

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398 (corner): Former site of the East End Temple synagogue; the congregation moved to 245 E. 17th Street.









388: Organic Traditions, health food

386: Haironymus

384: Gramercy Food Market was Sims Food Stores


W <===         EAST 22ND STREET         ===> E

West:

Church of the Epiphany

373 (corner): Roman Catholic church built 1967, replacing an older church destroyed by fire; one of the rare successful examples of modernist religious architecture. Built on the site of Rose Hill, the mansion of Horatio Gates, the Revolutionary War general who won the Battle of Saratoga, arguably the most important victory of the war. This neighborhood is sometimes referred to as Rose Hill, though few New Yorkers could tell you where that is.

Monsignor Farricker Parish Hall is next to the church.

371: Theraphysical Care

Corner (245 E 21st St): Gramercy Park Salon & Spa is in Gramercy Court.

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380 (corner): Metro Sports Medicine was Gramercy MRI Associates




370: Was Magazine City


364: Police Academy Shop




Corner (301 E 21st St): The Petersfield apartments; named for the Peter Stuyvesant estate. Mary Cantwell, author of Manhattan When I Was Young, lived in this building when she was first married.


W <===         EAST 21ST STREET         ===> E

West:

Corner: Itzamna, medical clinic, named for the Mayan god of healing (among other things).

353: Andrett Funeral Home

351: Yo Sushi, mini-chain





349: Was 2nd Avenue Police Supplies. Built 1899, torn down in 2008, along with a whole row of old tenements. A shame--these kind of simple buildings are well-worth preserving.

347: Was Plate 347--torn down 2008.

345 (corner): Was McCarthy's Bar & Grill, earlier the 20th Street Pub. Torn down 2008.

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Peter's Field

by YellowArrow, on Flickr

Petersfield was the name of the old Peter Stuyvesant estate, which encompassed most of the east side of Manhattan from 23rd Street to 6th Street. Art along the 2nd Avenue side of these athletic courts suggests various other Peters they could be named for: not only Stuyvesant, but also Cooper, Pan, Parker, Piper, Pumpkin-Eater and Rabbit--not to mention "and the Wolf." On site of the New York Post-Graduate Medical School and Hospital.


W <===         EAST 20TH STREET         ===> E

West:

343: Andiamo Pizzeria was Academy Cafe, serving the nearby Police Academy.





341: Bloominghouse Farm, grocery store

333: Aloha Fine Wines & Spirits was Stuyvesant Fine Wines & Liquors

329 (corner): Gotham Animal Clinic

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Augustus Saint-Gaudens Playground

Saint-Gaudens Playground by edenpictures, on Flickr Saint-Gaudens was the sculptor of Madison Square's Farragut Memorial, Cooper Square's Peter Cooper and Grand Army Plaza's General Sherman.

W <===         EAST 19TH STREET         ===> E

West:

327 (corner): Capucines, Italian

325: Louise's Cozy Kitchen

323B: Step by Step Shoe Repair

323A: Queen Jane's Nails

321: Notable arches

317: Was the Ohsama Foundation, 1960s macrobiotic group. Second Avenue Corner by edenpictures, on Flickr

311 (corner): Lantern, classy Thai, was Pongsri Thai, more old-school

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Corner: Complete Orthopedic Services




322: 3 Steps, spiffed-up bar, was 19th Hole












310 (corner): Posto, tasty thin-crust pizza joint is a spin-off of Alphabet City's Gruppo. Used to be Tasty Corner, Chinese.


W <===         EAST 18TH STREET         ===> E

West:

Rutherford Place Apartments

'A Typical Condominium' by andy in nyc, on Flickr

303-305 (block): Was New York Lying-In Hospital (1899), designed by R.H. Robertson; in early 20th Century, 60 percent of all NYC hospital births were here. (Check out the dancing babies on the facade.) Wesley Snipes, Judd Nelson and David Lee Roth have all called this their home.

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Hospital for Joint Diseases

Hospital for Joint Diseases by edenpictures, on Flickr Founded in 1905, the hospital has been here since 1979. My GP has an office here.












W <===         EAST 17TH STREET         ===> E

West:

Stuyvesant Square

March0806 013 by ShellyS, on Flickr

The land for this park was donated to St. George's Church by Peter G. Stuyvesant, a descendant of the Dutch colonial governor, and turned into an English-style park in 1836. Somehow it's failed to become the kind of vibrant public space represented by Union, Tompkins, Washington or even Madison squares; perhaps it's the bisection by 2nd Avenue, or the forbidding if historic fence. Maybe the neighborhood, dominated by hospitals, just isn't so lively. Peter Stuyvesant by hoggardb, on Flickr

The western half of the park features a 1936 sculpture of Governor Stuyvesant by Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney. Ironically, he's facing the meeting house of the Quakers, a denomination he persecuted in life.



Stuyvesant Park by hoggardb, on Flickr

There's also a rather lethargic fountain.

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Stuyvesant Square

Antonin Dvorak  by edenpictures, on Flickr

The eastern half of the park has a statue of composer Antonin Dvorak, which was put up in compensation when Beth Israel tore down his nearby house.









Ugly dog run at Stuyvensant Park by hoggardb, on Flickr
























W <===         EAST 15TH STREET         ===> E

West:

Corner (244-246 E. 15th): St. Mary's Catholic Church, a Byzantine Slavonic Rite church built 1982.









235: The U.S. Senate building; named for William Maxwell Evarts, a senator from New York. Part of the same building as 231. 231-235 2nd Avenue I by edenpictures, on Flickr

231: The W.M. Everts [sic], an apartment building built on the site of Evarts' home; Evarts, who was also U.S. secretary of state and attorney general, died in 1901 and his house was torn down about that time. 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.

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Manhattan Comprehensive
Day and Night High School

Day & Night School by edenpictures, on Flickr

240 (corner): The only academic high school in the country that holds classes night and day--from 10 a.m. to 10:45 p.m. Built in 1905 as the Hebrew Technical School for Girls.




Gateway School by edenpictures, on Flickr

236: Building with the friendly lions in front is The Gateway School.








230 (corner): New York Eye & Ear Infirmary annex, formerly a bank.


W <===         EAST 14TH STREET         ===> E
The northern boundary of the East Village.

West:

Temple Courts by edenpictures, on Flickr

Corner (242-248 E 14th): Temple Courts apartments. Named after a neighborhood in London which in turn is named for a Roman era temple of Mithras.







221: Finnerty's, formerly on 3rd Avenue, is in the space that was Gemini Lounge and before that Dan Lynch's.

219: Professor Thom, bar named for legendary bartender Jerry Thomas (namesake of the Tom and Jerry). Was Flamingo East, happening gay club that hosted the Clit Club. Upstairs is Mama Rose's, kitschy cabaret.

213 (corner): Nightingale's, formerly a legendary dive, now a lounge. Once Tell's Tea Room, a local coffee shop.

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New York Eye & Ear Infirmary

ear and eye clouds by snapawayoungman, on Flickr

Corner: Founded 1820, it's the oldest specialized hospital in the Western Hemisphere.




New York Eye & Ear Infirmary by edenpictures, on Flickr

218 (corner): New York Eye & Ear Infirmary building constructed 1890. The hospital scene interiors for The Godfather were shot here.


W <===         EAST 13TH STREET         ===> E

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.

Riding a streetcar through this intersection on October 5, 1912, Big Jack Zelig, the leading gangster of his day, was shot to death by small-time pimp Red Phil Davidson-- a murder that conveniently kept Zelig from testifying against crooked cop Charles Becker.

West:

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.

215: Ukrainian National Federal Credit Union. Radical journalist Rose Pastor Stokes lived here in the late 1920s, after her marriage to millionaire James Graham Phelps Stokes and after her conviction for espionage was overturned.

203: The Ukrainian Museum shared an address here with the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America, which has been accused of anti-Semitic associations. I think the museum has moved to 7th Street. by YellowArrow, on Flickr

201: Deli of Life, named in reaction to deli across the street, which was morbidly renamed Diana-Dodi Deli for a time after Lady Di's death. Once was the Russian Cafe Russe.

199: Was Guys and Dolls, mid-1960s bar featuring "some mean-looking kids and middle-aged JDs"--New York Unexpurgated. Jade Mountain by Adam

197: Was Jade Mountain, old-school Chinese. Opened c. 1931, it closed after its owner was killed in 2006 making a bicycle delivery. I'll miss their classic CHOW MEIN neon sign.




193 2nd Avenue by edenpictures, on Flickr

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

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Verizon East Village by edenpictures, on Flickr

Corner: Art Deco phone company building




























200: Little Pakistan deli was Diana-Dodi Deli, named after Lady Diana's fatal crash; Little Poland restaurant





blueowlfrontfx by nycnosh, on Flickr

196: The Blue Owl Cocktail Room recalls the speakeasy era, in part by being hard to notice; look for the blue owl. Mie Japanese, which was formerly here, was one of the first Sushi restaurants, opening in the 1960s. pig, owl, red sofa by suezsue, on Flickr

192 (corner): 12th Street Alehouse was Dick's Bar, bright orange gay bar with a big pig painted on it; before that La Bamba, WGAF (for "Who Gives A...") and for many years Slugger Ann's, where Warhol protege Jackie Curtis tended bar and had a cabaret act.


W <===         EAST 12TH STREET         ===> E

West:

Village East Cinemas

gypsy caravan at cinema village east by Shira Golding, on Flickr

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

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

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

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

Post-modern artist David Wojnarowicz lived in an apartment here until his death from AIDS in 1992.

179: Cafe Viva, health-food pizza, which is not necessarily such a good idea. In 1891, the site was the Instituto Italiano, an organization founded to promote the welfare of Italian immigrants. Bar Veloce by edenpictures, on Flickr

175: The customers at Bar Veloce, a wine bar named for a scooter, were all taken hostage on June 16, 2002; four people were shot, including the disturbed gunman, but no one was killed. Formerly Orson's.

Veloce expanded into the space of Monkey Royale, a coffeehouse that used to be Taylor's, a tasty bakery. It's now called Bar Carrera, a tapas place. Carrera, meanwhile, took over the space next to it, which had been the nearest decent newsstand to my apartment.

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

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

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At this corner on August 11, 1922, gangleader Joe "The Boss" Masseria had rival crimelord Umberto Valenti killed in retaliation for an earlier attempt on Masseria's life. Ladder by ilovemods, on Flickr

190-188 (corner): Shima, Japanese restaurant, was Cafe Royal, which according to the New York Times was "the uncontested artistic and intellectual center of the Yiddish-speaking world in America." John Dos Passos and e.e. cummings were regulars here. Closed 1953.




186: Himalayan Visions, Tibetan store; East Village Thrift Shop




184: Open Pantry, coffee beans









182: Cacio e Pepe, Italian named for a spicy pasta; was India Village (aka Mouchak Bangladesh), opened 1978.









180: Polish National Home; Thai on Two was Siam Lemon Leaf.



178: Pangea, modern Italian



176: Singas Famous Pizza, well-regarded local chain. Was a leather cleaning place that impressed me by refusing to clean my leather jacket.



Plump Dumpling I by edenpictures, on Flickr

174 (corner): Plump Dumpling, Chinese, is my daughter's favorite restaurant. Was A&A Deli & Food Market.


W <===         EAST 11TH STREET         ===> E

West:

St. Marks-in-the-Bowery Church

St. Mark's by muckster, on Flickr

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

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

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

St. Marks Churchyard

February and March in NYC 007 by mvhargan, on Flickr

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

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

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170 2nd Avenue by edenpictures, on Flickr

170 (corner): Apartment building houses Liquiteria, formerly Lucky's Juice Joint, and Black Hound, an upscale bakery that the Voice's Robert Sietsema proclaims "Manhattan's king of cookies." A building formerly on this site, built in 1857, was the museum of the New-York Historical Society, before it moved to the Upper West Side.
































166: Urban Outfitters' head honcho was a big supporter of homophobic Sen. Rick Santorum. The building was formerly a Baptist Tabernacle, as the wall carvings still proclaim. Later, it was home to the Theater for the New City. Atmi Liquors is also here today.









160: Nicoletta, fancy pizzeria that opened in 2012 to unkind reviews. Replaced Cafe Centosette; the name meant "107" in Italian, not 160--because it used to be located at 107 3rd Avenue (where Kiehl's is).


W <===         EAST 10TH STREET         ===> E

West:

159 (corner): Was Rectangles, Israeli-Yemenite cuisine

157: Cafe Brama, Mediterranean, was Tea & Tea, bubble tea and other freaky Chinese beverages. The Thirsty Scholar by DoctorWho, on Flickr

155: Thirsty Scholar, formerly the Jolly Roger

153: 16 Handles, frozen yogurt, was La Ame Russe, which replaced Barracuda Bistro, and before that Bandito, Mexican-themed bar.

151: Ryan's Irish Pub, once the Oriental Indian Restaurant Telephone Bar by Mirka23, on Flickr

149: Telephone Bar, British-themed bar/restaurant. As Cafe Le Metro, it was an important poetry venue, bridging the scene from Le Deux Megots to the St. Marks Poetry Project. Poetry Project historian Bob Holman wrote of Le Metro: "The Fugs were born there.... Ferlinghetti, Brion Gysin, Lou Reed, all there. Warhol. Stockhausen...." The club won an important 1st Amendment case declaring that poetry readings were not entertainment. Holy Basil, snazzy Thai, upstairs.

Corner (214 E 9th): This was the Orchidia, an Italian/Ukrainian restaurant that was a community hub until it closed in 1984. It was replaced by a Steve's Ice Cream franchise, which was boycotted as a symbol of gentrification. Later was La Paella, pricey tapas joint. Now it houses the ultimate symbol of cultural degradation.

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Second Avenue Deli

Second Avenue Deli by In Praise of Sardines, on Flickr

156 (corner): Opened 1954, closed in late 2005--subsequently reopened on 33rd Street. Comic Jackie Mason was a big fan; has-been pornographer Al Goldstein worked here as a greeter. Deli founder Abe Lebewohl was murdered in a still-unsolved 1996 shooting. Note stars of Yiddish theater still immortalized on sidewalk--e.g., Sholom Secunda, who wrote "Bei Mir Bist Du Schein."

152-154: Sigmund Schwartz Gramercy Park Chapel, a funeral home, was built in 1938 by Schwartz, who moved his business here from East 5th Street (even farther from Gramercy Park, which is on 20th Street). The funeral business closed up shop in 2007, but the family still owns the building. Services for the Rosenbergs were held here following their execution in 1953, and poet Delmore Schwartz had his funeral here in 1966. The funeral home replaced a brownstone that had been the headquarters of the Daily World, the Communist Party paper.

148: Steve Martin and Goldie Hawn's daughter lives here in The Out-of-Towners.










Corner: Village Farm, deli with many British items, good Indian music


W <===         EAST 9TH STREET         ===> E

West:

Corner: The symbol of cultural degradation was originally here, before moving to a bigger space across the street. Then there was a short-lived Japanese restaurant.

141: Was Burritoville, not-bad local chain that closed up shop unexpectedly in 2008.

139: East Village Meat Market--J. Baczynsky, proprietor--has the best ham in the city, says the Village Voice.

Stuyvesant Polyclinic

NYC - East Village: Stuyvesant Polyclinic by wallyg, on Flickr

137: Launched as the German Dispensary in 1857 to provide medical care to what was then a largely German-speaking neighborhood; this building was built in 1884 as a gift from Oswald and Anna Ottendorfer, who owned the Staats-Zeitung newspaper.

Ottendorfer Library

New York Public Library, Ottendorfer Branch by noricum, on Flickr

135: On the land left over from the clinic building, the Ottendorfers built the first free public library in NYC-- with both English and German books. Now part of the NYPL. See images. Fabulous children's librarian Miss Thea gives Thursday readings here.

133 (corner): Was St. Marks Cinema, which had previously been the St. Marks Playhouse and the Negro Ensemble Company. It was later a Gap outlet, which served as the prime symbol of the East Village's yuppification until it went out of business. Now NYC Pizza Palace; also JAS Mart, a Japanese food court/grocery/video store. Kim's Video used to be upstairs; now St. Marx Cafe.

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Veselka

IMG 0049 by newyork808, on Flickr

144 (corner): Popular Ukrainian diner-- spiffed up in recent years. In 1937 it was the Boulevard Restaurant, aka The Dutchman's, a cafe and gambling joint that was the site of a bungled hold-up that resulted in the death of a plainclothes detective and the execution of four of the "East Side Boys" (as the press dubbed them).

142: Lys Mykyta, Ukrainian bar; translated as "Sly Fox," but more accurately "Mykyta the Fox," a character from Ukrainian literature.

Site of the German Branch of the YMCA, organized in 1881. NYC - East Village: Ukrainian National Home by wallyg, on Flickr

140: Ukrainian National Home, with Ukrainian East Village Restaurant. Was Stuyvesant Casino, early 20th Century criminal hangout, where in 1911 Big Jack Zelig shot to death Julie Morrello of the Sirocco gang, making Zelig "the most feared man in New York," according to detective Abe Shoenfeld. The band New Order played their first major New York show here in 1981.

136: Was House of the Holy Family, a Catholic charity incorporated by the Association for Befriending Children and Young Girls.


Dallas BBQ by mag3737, on Flickr

Corner: Dallas BBQ, local chain -- it's not bad, and pretty cheap. On May 10, 1997, a Danish woman was arrested here for leaving her baby outside in a stroller while she and the baby's American father ate inside.


W <===         ST. MARKS PLACE         ===> E

West:

Gem Spa Magazines

NYC - East Village: Gem Spa by wallyg, on Flickr

131 (corner): The newsstand was formerly the final location of Auster's, the candy store that is said to have invented the egg cream, so you could say Gem Spa has a claim to being the original. The newsstand was a hippie and later a punk hangout; the first New York Dolls album cover featured a photo taken here. Paul's Palace, at the same address, makes really great burgers.

129: Cinderella Falafel, formerly known as Food Hive; Shangrila, Tibetan B&H Dairy Restaurant, New York by Michael Dashkin, on Flickr

127: B&H Dairy, kosher vegetarian; the restaurant that time forgot. Recommended, though I haven't been back much since the framed "choking victim" poster fell down and hit me on the head in this very narrow space.

125: Alpine apartment building housed Wowsville used records, specializing in garage rock. My First HDR by mattlehrer, on Flickr

123: Pommes Frites, Belgian-style french fries

121: Sushi Park; Toy Tokyo, a remarkable selection of plastic figurines

Site of Love Saves the Day

119 (corner): Love Saves The Day by I like, on Flickr Was a great store for vintage clothing and kitsch collectibles, founded 1966, closed 2009. Famous for window displays, including a tableau of Peewee Herman memorabilia that was coincidentally already in place when he was arrested for public indecency. Rosanna Arquette buys Madonna's jacket here in Desperately Seeking Susan.

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130 (corner): Washington Mutual bank, was Dime Bank-- this used to be the only ATM for blocks around.

128: Florence apartment building housed Tigers, Tutus and Toes, kids' dancewear; Stage Restaurant, a long-running Polish restaurant (not kosher, as I had thought).

Orpheum Theater

Stomp by M.V. Jantzen, on Flickr

126: Was a Yiddish playhouse when 2nd Avenue was the "Jewish Rialto"--originally called the Players Theatre. Little Shop of Horrors debuted here in 1982. Stomp has been playing here since c. 1994. In 1868, Elizabeth Blackwell established the Women's Medical College of the New York Infirmary at this address--at the time the only institution in the city that would train women to be doctors.

124: San Loco, local taco mini-chain

122: Ukrainian Sports Club. La Mama Experimental Theater Company was here until 1969.






























118 (corner): Virage cafe


W <===         EAST 7TH STREET         ===> E

West:

117 (corner): Song 7.2, hopping Korean, was Kiev, beloved East Village all-night Ukrainian diner, not-so-beloved after redecoration, abortive name change. Earlier this was Auster's, a spacious candy store. "His egg creams were so popular that he sold his 'secret' syrup by the gallon," notes a longtime resident. Moishe's Bake Shop by 12th St David, on Flickr

115: Moishe's Bake Shop, tasty Jewish cookies and pastries since the 1960s. This shop was also part of Ratner's--see below.

Tisch School of the Arts

111: Met Foods is in the Saul Birns Building, which houses NYU's art school. Was Ratner's, all-night deli that was an Andy Warhol hangout (possibly related to but not the same as the Ratner's on Delancey). (An R for Ratner's can still be seen in the tile on the floor of the supermarket.)

Fillmore East Site

by YellowArrow, on Flickr

105: In 1926 the Commodore Theater was built here, a cinema and Yiddish theater that was later part of the Loew's chain. It became the Village Theater, where Lenny Bruce performed. In March 1968 it turned into the Fillmore East, a classic rock venue that featured the Doors, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, John Lennon, Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin etc. The Who premiered Tommy here. Later the site of the legendary gay disco The Saint (1980-89). Most of the building was torn down in 1996, but the facade of the entrance remains, serving as the lobby of an Emigrant Bank.

103 (corner): Mighty Quinn's, well-regarded barbecue joint that started out as a food stand in Williamsburg, presumably named for the Dylan song. Was the Scandinavian Vandaag, the sports bar Bounce II and Smoked, another barbecue joint; before that it was Ike, a nouveau-retro restaurant with great food and a wonderful welcoming vibe where I celebrated my 40th birthday. Earlier was Jerry's 103, Circa. In the 1980s it was known as 103 2nd Avenue, a "24-hour New Wave diner" credited by some with instigating the neighborhood's gentrification.

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116 (corner): East Mountain Natural Foods, health food store

Middle Collegiate Church

NYC - East Village: Middle Collegiate Church by wallyg, on Flickr

112-114: Descendant of the old Dutch Reformed Church brought to Manhattan by Peter Minuit. This building erected in 1891.

110: Isaac Hopper Home. This 1839 Greek Revival townhouse is a halfway house for female prisoners. Founded 1845, the home commemorates an anti-slavery Quaker.

108: Self Reliance Federal Credit Union, a Ukrainian savings bank

106: Baluchi's, local Indian chain, harbinger of the many South Asian restaurants on 6th Street.
































104 (corner): Spice was Bamboo House, Chinese/Japanese


W <===         EAST 6TH STREET         ===> E

West:

Block Drugs by Nick Sherman, on Flickr

101 (corner): Block Drugs, with a cool old sign that says it was established in 1885; Jewel Bako Makimono, a less-formal spin-off of the hard-to-get-into sushi place. Was Blue Goose Cafe, named for Count Basie's tour bus; before that Cassie, Molly and Peter's Cafe of Fun and Love.

99: Was Sea Salt, which was Med' Cafe which was Global 33 which was Hattie's.

95: Thailand Cafe

93: Lit Lounge, arty bar, has hosted parties for Gang of Four, Devo, Nick Cave and HR Giger, among others. Was Rapoport's, notable Kosher dairy restaurant.

91: Composer George Gershwin lived as a child at the address where Universal Mart is now.









87 (corner): Cooper Craft Ales, Irish-y bar/restaurant; has same owners as Dempsey. Was Mosto, Italian; when this space was the Cooper Square Diner, writer Quentin Crisp used to eat here nearly every day. Earlier it was BiniBon, the restaurant where in 1981 waiter Richard Adan was knifed to death by Jack Henry Abbott, a literary ex-convict whom Norman Mailer had helped to get out of jail.

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102 (corner): Sunny's Florist

100: Haveli, Indian, slightly fancier than most on Sixth Street.

98: Self-Reliance Association of Ukrainian Americans The Mermaid Inn by Rafael Chamorro, on Flickr

96: Mermaid Inn, a "beatnik funky clam shack" with free desserts; replaced Lhasa, long-standing Tibetan.

92: Candela Candela, Cuban and Italian (with two chefs and separate menus), was East Post, Old-World Italian; before that Siam Square. In the 1920s, a cafe here owned by Abe ''The Rabbi'' Rabbell was a hangout for gangsters like Kid Rags, Cock-Eye Weiss, Crazy Itch and Jewback, ''perhaps the best single-handed pinochle player in the country.'' Idiotarod: Kabin by LarimdaME, on Flickr

90: Kabin, ski lodge-y bar, was Black Star Bar, and before that Nightbirds.


2nd Ave by Nick Sherman, on Flickr

88 (corner): Frank, popular (and affordable) Italian. Cooper Diner used to be across the street, when this corner was the Sports Page sports bar.


W <===         EAST 5TH STREET         ===> E

West:

85 (corner): Bareburger, local organic burger chain. Used to be Sin Sin, bar whose name meant "that's that" in Irish. The Leopard Lounge was upstairs.

83: Indian fabric shop was The Fragrance Shop, custom-made perfumes.

79: Madras Cafe. This address has been misidentified by the Songlines and other sources as the former site of Bini-Bon. (See No. 87 above.)




















73: Atlas bakery and cafe Fire truck with 2nd Avenue by Sean O'Sullivan, on Flickr

69 (corner): East Village Farm Grocery

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86 (corner): Mary Ann's, slightly fancy Mexican

84: This Nellie Bly lived when she began feigning insanity for her 1887 expose Ten Days in a Madhouse. In 1974, the proprietor of a tailor shop at this address, Helen Sopolsky, was bludgeoned to death here; the second-floor shop was left intact for the next three and a half decades, creating an eerie tableau featuring a dinner jacket on a tailor's dummy and a broken neon sign reading "Dress Suits for Hire"--which became the title of a play by Holly Hughes.

82: Mission Cafe, cozy coffehouse. In 1922, Joe "The Boss" Masseria, head of the Italian mob, survived an assassination attempt by Umberto Valenti's gang by ducking into a millinery shop here.

80: Cacio e Vino ("Cheese and Wine"), Sicilian pizzeria and wine bar, was A Salt & Battery, fish & chips mini-chain; formerly Bink and Bink, gourmet take-out. In the 1920s this was the home of mob leader Joe "The Boss" Masseria. In 1931, Masseria was met here by his lieutenant Charles "Lucky" Luciano, who took him to his favorite restaurant, the Nuova Villa Tammaro at Coney Island--where Luciano had Masseria killed.

78: Nomad, Moroccan; Eat at Joe's Pizzeria; Curry Mahal

76: Iglesia Alianza Cristiana y Misionera was built on the site of Segal's, an early 20th Century restaurant that "catered to the neighborhood's hungry pickpockets, con men, gamblers and pimps"--like Candy Kid Phil, Sam Boston and Jenny "the Factory" Morris. Industrial National Bank Building by edenpictures, on Flickr

72 (corner): Art Deco building was built c. 1926 as the Industrial National Bank Building. Still a bank.


W <===         EAST 4TH STREET         ===> E

West:

Lower 2nd avenue by Sean O'Sullivan, on Flickr

67 (corner): Belcourt, Parisian bistro, was for many years Frutti di Mare (''Fruit of the Sea''), fish-oriented Italian.

65: winebar was Ovo, Italian.

63: Cremcaffe, romantic Italian Still Life With Beer by Vidiot, on Flickr

61: Dempsey's Pub, Irish sports bar
















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86 E 4th St by Damek, on Flickr

68: Queen Vic, British pub, previously the bar Two by Four (referring to the cross streets), earlier was The Bar, gay dive with a biker vibe. In the 1970s it was a hangout for artists and writers, including Edward Albee, Robert Mapplethorpe and John Lurie. Also here is Crembebe, kids' clothes.

66: The location of the Anderson Theatre, a 5,000-seat Yiddish playhouse that opened in the late 1800s/early 1900s. It continued as a Yiddish theater until the 1960s, when it became a rock venue that rivaled the more famous Fillmore East. Acts like The Who, Janis Joplin and The Yardbirds played here. The entrance, all that's left of the structure, is now Total Health Care, a drug store.

60-62: The Manhattan apartment building houses Bona Fides, pleasant Italian. The Bacchus Room is a jazz club attached to the restaurant.

58: Cafe Monte

56: Universal Church/Iglesia de Cristo

54 (corner): Was Rescued Estates, now itself in need of rescue.


W <===         EAST 3RD STREET         ===> E

West:

Corner (38 E 3rd): The Minthorne Marble House bears the puzzling claim: "Established 1831 Constructed 1842." Minimalist composer Philip Glass has lived here.

47: New York Adorned, for the serious body-piercer or tattoo canvas.

45: Timbuktu

43: A. Provenzano Lanza Funeral Home; in the film Prince of the City, Treat Williams is barred from attending a funeral here for ratting on fellow cops.

New York Marble Cemetery

New York Marble Cemetery by edenpictures, on Flickr

41 1/2: This is the entrance to the graveyard that occupies the middle of this block--not to be confused with the New York City Marble Cemetary a block away. Incorporated in 1831, this was the first public, non-sectarian burial place in New York City. The dead are buried in unmarked underground marble crypts; plaques on the walls tell you who's where.

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50: Enzo's Pizza

48: Church of the Nativity, built in 1970, replacing an 1832 Greek Revival church.


La Salle Academy

anthology film archive by shoister, on Flickr

40 (corner): Named for St. John Baptist de La Salle, founder of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, the order that established this Catholic boys school at the request of Bishop John Hughes in 1848. Two future cardinals, Patrick Hayes and George Mundelein, graduated from La Salle in 1886 and 1887, respectively.

This corner building was formerly Moscowitz and Lupowitz, a Rumanian restaurant featuring "dancing and continental entertainment" (WPA Guide) that was a hangout for novelist John Dos Passos. It was purchased by the school in 1966 to serve as an annex.


W <===         EAST 2ND STREET         ===> E

West:

35-37 (corner): The site of the Second Avenue Theatre, later the Molly Picon, a Yiddish-language playhouse built in 1911. Walter Matthau got his start playing bit parts here. Torn down in 1959.

33: Urge Lounge, where Chelsea style meets East Village grunge

31: DTox was Patio Dining, Greenmarket-based restaurant

29: The famously raunchy gay bar The Cock relocated here from Avenue A. Earlier was Hole, a gay dive called "the seediest place in New York" by the Voice. Before that Fat Cock 29, Capital, Beer Hall.

27: Cheung Kee Food Corp, the northern edge of the restaurant supply district

23-27: The New Law Theater, a cinema, was here from 1912-30. Now Second on Second.

19 (corner): There used to be a restaurant here run by John "Johnny Spanish" Wheiler, a ruthless gangster who dealt cocaine here. He was killed on July 29, 1919, probably by Nathan "Kid Dropper" Kaplan, another gangster who was on the opposite side in a labor dispute.

Corner: Was XOXO, a performance space/gallery run by artist Julius Klein in the 1990s. Now a vacant lot, the building having been demolished by the city c. 1997.

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Anthology Film Archives

anthology film archive by shoister, on Flickr

32-34 (corner): A great place to see obscure films. Founded in 1970 by Jonas Mekas at the Public Theater, it moved here in 1979 to the former Second Avenue Courthouse. The exterior served as Dr. Otto Octavius' lab in Spider-Man 2.

28: Manhattan Mini-Storage towers over the neighborhood with nine stories.

26: Hare Krishna Temple










Corner: Gulf gas station is on the site of the Second Avenue Bath House


W <===         EAST 1ST STREET         ===> E

West:

The Mars Bar NYC by marcus_jb1973, on Flickr

Corner (25 E. 1st): Mars Bar, cool punky dive. Formerly at this corner was the Majestic Theatre, a cinema opened by Louis Minsky (father of the Minsky brothers) in 1914. It lasted at least until 1928.






7 1/2: Described by City Limits as possibly "the most middle-class squat," it got legal possession in 2002. 2nd Avenue by Squid Ink, on Flickr

2ND AVENUE STATION:
F trains to Broadway/ Lafayette
F train to Delancey Street

In the 1980s, as many as 200 people were living in the subway tunnels between this and the Broadway/Lafayette station.

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18: A & W Supply: Plumbing Heating Kitchen Bath










Statues in the East Village by forklift, on Flickr

Corner: Vacant lot was the building of Irreplaceable Artifacts, an architectural salvage company whose building collapsed during illegal renovations on July 13, 2000. The fire department punitively demolished what was left. The company seems to be carrying on, with a stock of outdoor sculpture on display here.


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The southern boundary of the East Village

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In 1897, there were 20 bars in the three block stretch of Chrystie between Houston and Delancey.

Avalon Chrystie Place

Manhattan Whole Foods by M.V. Jantzen, on Flickr A luxury residential development in a long-vacant lot. It provides space for the Chinatown YMCA and a University Settlement community office--not to mention a Whole Foods.

221-223: In 1950, Dorothy Day's Catholic Worker bought a building here for $30,000; they were forced out in 1958 and the building demolished for the 2nd Avenue subway that maybe someday will get built.


W <===         STANTON ST

205 (corner): 205, trendy nightclub Lehman Maupin (Chrystie St.) by j-No, on Flickr

201: Lehmann Maupin gallery is in a space that used to be East Side Glass, where the street art collective Faile had a show in 2007.

195: David Byrne, Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz of Talking Heads lived in a loft here in 1974-75. They played their first show here, for friends. The building now houses the Bottom Feeders Studio Gallery.

187: Used for the exterior of Peter Parker's apartment in Spider-Man 2--though the fictional apartment seemed to be located in the neighborhood of Columbia University. rivington & chrystie by emily geoff, on Flickr

179 (corner): Mikco Building Material Inc.


W <===         RIVINGTON ST

Sammy's Roumanian

Sammy's Roumanian by roboppy, on Flickr

157: Old-school Jewish restaurant known for an abundance of schmaltz--the real thing, chicken fat, which is poured over the enormous portions of meat. Lots of vodka, too. It's featured in Andrei Codrescu's documentary Road Scholar; it's also where Elliott Gould takes his family in Over the Brooklyn Bridge.

Corner: Here was the mansion of James DeLancey, a colonial landowner whose estate took in most of the land between the Bowery, Houston Street, East Broadway and the East River. One of the wealthiest men in New York, he was a staunch supporter of the crown during the Revolutionary War, and consequently had his land confiscated and distributed to more patriotic rich people.

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Houston and Chrystie by AP..., on Flickr














Sara D. Roosevelt Park

Named for FDR's mother, a formidable woman who took credit for her son's political success, and who was something of a terror to her daughter-in-law Eleanor. The park is the result of massive slum clearance in 1929; it was supposed to be replaced with public housing, but corrupt city land deals made the price prohibitive. Sara D. Roosevelt Park in the a.m. by Ara Alexis, on Flickr



















Second African Burial Ground

The playground between Stanton and Rivington streets is on the site of where African-Americans were interred after the closing of the more famous downtown cemetery in 1794. At the time, this was unwanted part of the ruined Delancey estate. In 1853, as the city grew uptown, this burial ground was closed, and the bodies (supposedly) relocated to a churchyard uptown.

































The cemetery is commemorated by the M'Finda Kalunga Community Garden, in this park between Rivington and Delancey, whose name means "Garden at the Edge of the Other Side of the World" in the Kicongo language.


W <===     DELANCEY STREET     ===> E

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131: Envoy Gallery chrystie street by neonarcade, on Flickr

121: Bulbs World

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Wah Mei Bird Garden

In this community garden, established by the Forsyth Street Garden Club, Chinese men gather early every morning to give their songbirds a daily dose of fresh air.








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119: The New York Dolls lived in a loft here in 1973, where they threw $2-a-head rent parties.


Ocean Star Seafood Market by edenpictures, on Flickr

Corner (250 Grand): Ocean Star Seafood Market

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Sara D Roosevelt Park by hi-lo, on Flickr

Part of this section of Sara D. Roosevelt Park was leased to commercial vendors in 1994 in an effort to get them off of Grand Street. The project, known as Dragon's Gate, did not thrive, and the vendors were kicked out after the city accused some of erecting permanent structures. The space is now used for basketball.




W <===     GRAND STREET     ===> E



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grand street - chinatown by nicolas.boullosa, on Flickr

Corner (249-253 Grand): The Hai Sein, Tan My My Market


W <===         HESTER ST

69 (corner): Lucky Star Bus Line, ultra-cheap tickets to Boston--plus bootleg movies en route. 59 chrystie street by clobby, on Flickr

59: The Beastie Boys practiced in a loft here in the early 1980s when they were getting started, as commemorated by a song on Paul's Boutique.

55: Canada, an art gallery

Chrystie Ave Chinatown by Eddie~S, on Flickr

Corner (125 Canal): Grand Sichuan Chinese Restaurant

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titian sleuth: color blocks by romanlily, on Flickr











by hi-lo, on Flickr




56: This was the site of the first synagogue owned by Congregation Emanu-El. The influential Reform congregation, founded in 1845 by German immigrants, moved into a fomrer Methodist church here in October 1847, hiring architect Leopold Eidlitz to redesign it. Radical innovations in Judaism were introduced at this site, including the replacement of Hebrew with a vernacular language (German) in 1848 and the installation of an organ in 1849 to add music to services.

Emanu-El moved to 12th Street in 1854, and today is found at Fifth Avenue and East 65th Street. The building here later became home to the Congregation Beth Israel Bikur Cholim.





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Manhattan Bridge Arch and Colonade

Manhattan Bridge Arch by kamaru, on Flickr

Designed by Carrere & Hastings (best known for the New York Public Library), this horseshoe-shaped arcade was built in 1910-15 to provide an impressive entrance to Manhattan. It served as the exterior of Two-Face's lair in the movie Batman Forever.







What am I missing on 2nd Avenue and Chrystie? Write to Jim Naureckas and tell him about it.

New York Songlines Home.

Chrystie Street: A Journey Through Chinatown.

Sources for the Songlines.

NYSonglines' Facebook Fan Page.

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