New York Songlines: 2nd Street

including Bond Street

Broadway | Lafayette | Bowery | 2nd Ave | 1st Ave | Avenue A | Avenue B | Avenue C | Avenue D

Bond Street was named by David Jones, of Great Jones Street fame, for reasons unclear--perhaps because the first mansion on the street was owned by a banker.

You see references to a brothel at 142 Bond Street--an address that does not exist--in connection with the origin of the phrase ''Big Apple.'' This appears to be a hoax.








S <===               BROADWAY               ===> N

Between Broadway and Bowery on Bond, you'll find some of Manhattan's few remaining cobblestones.

South:

Corner (666 Broadway): Current home to Harper's Magazine and the Center for Constitutional Rights; first offices of the media watch group FAIR.

Robbins & Appleton Building

1-5: A Second Empire classic from 1880. Robbins made watch cases and Appleton was a prominent publisher. The building now houses the Art Store.

No. 5 was the site of Albert Gallatin's home; Gallatin was Jefferson and Madison's treasury secretary and the founder of NYU.













7: Bond 07, a stylish boutique.

9: Creed, a very expensive perfumerie that people rave about. Founded in 1760, the company's customers have included Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly and Natalie Wood.

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North:

1874 Brooks Brothers Building by Alan Cordova, on Flickr

Corner (670 Broadway): Leica Galleries, Wet Seal clothing are in former Brooks Brothers store (1873-1884, their third location); built on the site of the Samuel Ward Mansion, art patron (his private gallery here was said to be the first in the U.S.) and father of Julie Ward Howe, who composed "The Battle Hymn of the Republic."

The corner lot used to be the home of David S. Jones, for whom Great Jones Street is named.

2: Paul & Joe, spendy French boutique named for designer Sophie Albou's sons. In the 1970s, jazz singer Joe Lee Wilson operated a 100-seat club called Ladies' Fort in the basement here, sparking a movement of musician-run performance spaces called "jazz lofts."

6: Bond Street, spendy sushi bar

8: The New York Theological Seminary, which later became Union Theological Seminary, opened here in 1836.


S <===               LAFAYETTE STREET               ===> N

South:

21: Daryl K, trendsetting downtown designer 25 Bond Street by jebb, on Flickr

25: A private condo built in 2007 for Goldman Sachs executives with an irregular grid facade of Jerusalem limestone and bronzed steel. The architect was George Schieferdecker of BKSK; the builder was Shinbone Alley Associates, referring to the famous alley which this building backs onto.

31: This was the address of Dr. Harvey Burdell, a dentist who was stabbed to death on January 30, 1857. Police accused Emma Cunningham, who came forward to declare herself Burdell's "secret wife," but she was acquited for lack of evidence. She was later caught trying to buy a newborn baby to pass off as Burdell's.

35: Katayone Adeli makes "perfect pants," according to Eve Claxton.




47: Il Buco, antique-filled restaurant whose wine cellar supposedly inspired neighborhood writer Edgar Allen Poe to write "A Cask of Amontillado."

49: Was a branch of the Free Circulating Library.




















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North:

24: Gene Frankel Theater and Film Workshop. Also the address of The Eulenspiegal Society, an S/M educational society. In 1969, Jazz saxophonist Sam Rivers and his wife Bea set up a performance space here called Studio Rivbea. On the fourth floor was the apartment and studio of photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. The landlady was artist Virginia Admiral, who was also Robert De Niro's mother.

26: A large Federal-style house

28: Ghost, ethereal clothing "by women for women," claims Madonna, Liv Tyler, Chloe Sevigny as customers.

32: This was the original address of the Astor Library, which ended up as part of the core of the New York Public Library

36: Was the address of Samuel B. Ruggles, the developer of Gramercy Park.

38: The Kampo Cultural Center promotes calligraphy and other Japanese arts.

40 Bond

Ian Schrager's 40 Bond Street , New York City - Herzog & de Meuron by Phillip Ritz, on Flickr

40: A set of townhouses developed in 2006 by hotelier (and Studio 54 founder) Ian Schrager--the first built in Manhattan in ages, he says. The aluminum gate is supposed to be grafitti-inspired, but it reminds me more of H.P. Lovecraft. Designed by star architects Herzog & de Meuron.

44: Feminist Susan B. Anthony lived at this address in 1868-69. 48 Bond Street, NoHo, NYC, Deborah Berke by Phillip Ritz, on Flickr

48: A 2007 condo by Deborah Berke, with a minimalist glass-and-granite facade.

Bouwerie Lane Theatre

Bouwerie Lane Theatre on Bond Street, NYC by Phillip Ritz, on Flickr

Corner (330 Bowery): The landmark 1874 cast-iron building, by Henry Engelbert, was originally the Atlantic Savings Bank; later the Bond Street Savings Bank and the German Exchange Bank. It became a theater in 1963, and was from 1974 until 2007 the home of the Jean Cocteau Repertory, a leading Off-Broadway company that specialized in classic dramas. Now an upscale clothing store.


S <===               THE BOWERY               ===> N

Separates Bond and East 2nd. Joey Ramone Place by marcus_jb1973, on Flickr

The block between Bowery and 2nd Avenue has the honorary name Joey Ramone Place.

South:














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North:

2 (corner): Kelly and Ping was Daily Chow, Mongolian barbecue. This space was The Tin Palace, a noted jazz club from 1970 until c. 1975, when it became a go-go joint. It reopened for a time as a jazz club in 1978, with critic Stanley Crouch doing the booking. The club's co-owner, Paul Pines, wrote a mystery set there called The Tin Angel. John Derian decoupage tray!! by Theremina, on Flickr

6: John Derian, vintage furniture and classy housewares-- does some amazing decoupage. This was the "Ramone's Loft," where Joey and Dee Dee Ramone lived for a time in a space owned by Arturo Vega--the "Arty" of the song "Chinese Rock," which was set here.

16-18: Albert's Garden was established in 1971.

34: Anyway Cafe, tiny below-ground hideaway


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

This and 1st and 1st are the only Manhattan intersections where an avenue crosses a street with the same number.

The block of 2nd Street between 1st and 2nd avenues has been proposed as a historical district.

South:

Anthology Film Archives

anthology film archive by shoister, on Flickr

Corner (32-34 2nd Ave): 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.

Protection of the Holy Virgin Russian Orthodox Cathedral

59: The seat of the Orthodox diocese of New York and New Jersey. It was obtained in 1943 to replace a cathedral on 97th Street that was taken over by the Soviet Union in a legal battle. Previously it was Mt. Olivet Memorial Church, built in 1867 by architect Josiah Cady, who designed the Museum of Natural History and the Old Metropolitan Opera House.

65: Apartments were formerly the rectory of Mt. Olivet. Note fancy fire escapes on this Italianate 1860 building.

67: In 1969 this was the hideout of Sam Melville, who bombed a series of targets "in support of the NLF, legalized marijuana, love, Cuba, legalized abortion, and all the American revolutionaries and GIs who are winning the war against the Pentagon. Nixon, surrender now!" He hit the U.S. Induction Center on Whitehall Street, the Marine Midland Bank on Broadway and the Criminal Courts Building at 100 Centre Street, as well as several targets in the Midwest--all without killing anyone. On November 11, 1969, he had bombs go off simultaneously on upper floors of the RCA Building, the General Motors Building and the Chase Manhattan Bank, causing panic throughout the city. He tried to bomb the National Guard Armory on Lexington, but one of his accomplices was an FBI informant and turned him in. He was sentenced to 18 years and was killed in the 1971 Attica prison massacre.

Corner (29 1st Ave): Gringer & Sons, respected appliance store since 1918.

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North:

LaSalle Academy

anthology film archive by shoister, on Flickr

44 (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.

New York City Marble Cemetery

Marble Cemetery by Sean O'Sullivan, on Flickr

52-74: Opened in 1830. Not to be confused with the New York Marble Cemetery, which is in the center of the next block to the west and has an entrance on 2nd Avenue. President James Monroe was buried here from 1831 to 1858, at which point he was exhumed and reburied in his native Virginia. John Ericsson, who built the U.S.S. Monitor, was also temporarily buried here in 1889 before being reinterred in Sweden. Members of noted New York families remain buried here, including Roosevelts, Kips, New York Public Library benefactor James Lenox and noted merchant Preserved Fish. According to tradition, the bones of the first Europeans to be buried on Manhattan were later reinterred here in the Ministers' Vault.






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

South:

89: L'Atelier, made-to-order jewelry

101: Wally's Waikiki Hut, Polynesian-themed restaurant, was La Nouvelle Justine, S/M-themed restaurant. Earlier was Circus Maximus, where homicidal club kid Michael Alig threw parties.

107: Was the site of Claes Oldenburg's The Store, a 1961 art installation featuring painted plaster products.

135: Gothic Revival apartments were built in 1904 (though the AIA Guide says 1867) by the Herter Brothers firm, which was better known for its furniture. It was originally the rectory of the St. Nicholas Roman Catholic Church, which was demolished in 1959; the outline of the church can still be seen on the west wall.

Cardinal Spellman Center

137: According to the gay tour book Stepping Out, Francis Cardinal Spellman, NYC's bishop in the 1940s and '50s, had a special fondness for chorus boys.

Corner (25 Ave A): The bar with no sign is known, appropriately enough, as 2A.

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150: Autumn, skateboards and skate fashion

Corner (29 Ave A): Pretty Decorating


S <===               AVENUE A               ===> N
Western boundary of Alphabet City

South:

Corner (20 Ave A): Was Schneider's Juvenile Furniture, for all your East Village baby needs. Since 1950.

155: Gaelyn & Cianfarani, rubber and latex fashions






171: In front of this address on February 2, 1966, police discovered Robert Friede, an heir to the Annenberg media fortune, strung out on heroin in a parked car, with his girlfriend's body, dead of an overdose, in the trunk.







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North:

Corner (24 Ave A): Graceland, part of a chain of disturbingly upscale food emporia.

156: Supper, lively Northern Italian, owned by Frank Prisinzano of Frank.

The Croton

170: Poet Allen Ginsberg lived here from 1958-61, where he wrote "Kaddish" and edited Naked Lunch. Where Ginsberg and Timothy Leary began planning the psychedelic revolution.

190: Il Posto Accanto, wine bar

192: Il Bagatto, Italian restaurant that shares an owner with the wine bar; used to be the notorious heroin den Lucky Seven.

Corner: This was the site of Gas Station, a filling station turned into a club with mounds of junkyard art strewn about. Self-destuctive rocker G.G. Allin had his last show there.


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The city's heroin trade was centered here until a 1984 police crackdown.

South:

















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North:

214-216: Hennington Hall, built c. 1900.


254: Site of The World, which hosted the first U.S. performances by The Sugarcubes and Sinead O'Connor; it was also the first Downtown venue for Public Enemy and other rap stars. The Talking Heads video "Burning Down the House" was shot in the club's Crystal Room. Ricki Lake emceed an AIDS benefit here in 1988, the first held in a major club.

Corner (15 Ave C): The Stone, a nonprofit performance space for experimental and avant-garde jazz. No refreshments, no merchandise--just music. The $10 cover goes directly to the musicians. John Zorn is the artistic director.


S <===               AVENUE C               ===> N

South:

Gustav Hartman Square

A sliver of green on a space left over from the widening of Houston.







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W <===               EAST HOUSTON ST/AVENUE D               ===> N


S <===               COLUMBIA ST/EAST HOUSTON ST               ===> E







Is your favorite 2nd Street spot missing? Write to Jim Naureckas and tell him about it.

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