New York Songlines: 3rd Street

including Great Jones Street

6th Ave | Macdougal | Sullivan | Thompson | LaGuardia | Mercer | Broadway
Lafayette | Bowery | 2nd Ave | 1st Ave | Avenue A | Avenue B | Avenue C | Avenue D

Samuel Jones, a Tory lawyer who helped revise New York State's statutes in 1789 and served as the city's first comptroller, gave land to the city to completer Third Street under the condition that the connecting section be named after himself. The problem was that New York already had a Jones Street, named after Dr. Gardiner Jones, Samuel's brother-in-law. Neither Jones was willing to take his name off his street, so Samuel modestly proposed that his be called "Great Jones Street" to differentiate the two.









<===               6TH AVENUE               ===>

South:

There's a little playground here on the corner.

134: 3 Sheets Saloon, part of a chain of creepily named bars that cater to drunken college students. Formerly Town Tavern. Fat Black Pussycat by R Tys Tyk, on Flickr

130: Fat Black Pussycat, a bar formerly on Minetta Street, was Kettle of Fish (formerly on MacDougal, now on Sheridan Square). In its Minetta Street incarnation, the Pussycat was a venue for the likes of Mama Cass, Tiny Tim and Shel Silverstein, and may have been the place where Bob Dylan wrote "Blowin' in the Wind." Downstairs is the Village Underground, music venue opened in 2000. Earlier, this address was Gerdes Folk City, a prominent folk venue where the likes of Bob Dylan and Simon & Garfunkel used to play. Upstairs used to be a Gay Liberation Front community center, which housed the Radicalesbians--who fought sexism in the gay liberation movement and homophobia in the feminist movement.






120: Belgian Waffles. Was Rice 'n' Beans, cheap Brazilian; BB Sandwich Bar, cheese steak.

Bleecker Bob's Records

118: First opened on Bleecker Street in 1967; was Village Oldies when it moved here in 1968. Music critic and musician Lenny Kaye was working as a clerk here when he met Patti Smith, his longtime collaborator. As of late 2012, the store's days at this location were running out.

This space earlier was the Nite Owl Cafe, where Mamas & the Papas, Lovin' Spoonful played.

Corner: Ben's Pizzeria, since 1966

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West 4th Street Courts

Kenny Graham's West 4th Street Cage Tournament by ToastyKen, on Flickr

Corner: AKA The Cage--world-famous for its top-quality street ball. Julius Erving is one of several NBA stars who have played here. Note that the courts are named after the 4th Street subway stop--they're not actually on 4th Street.

135: Was Mona's, a pioneering lesbian bar of the 1940s and '50s. Later known as the Purple Onion.

133: This building was the brothel of Matilda Hermann, the ''French Madam,'' who testified about police corruption to the Lexow Commission in 1894. Blue Note Jazz Club by grisoo, on Flickr

131: The Blue Note, illustrious jazz club. In the 1960s it was the Heatwave Club.








123: J&B Coffee and Tea, tiny but tasty New York Neon by M.V. Jantzen, on Flickr

Corner (125 Macdougal): Groove, "The Home of Rhythm & Blues and Funk"


<===               MACDOUGAL STREET               ===>

South:

NYC - Greenwich Village: D'Agostino Hall by wallyg, on Flickr

110: D'Agostino Hall, residence for NYU Law School (1986). "A fine work," says the AIA Guide.

106: The law school dorm was built on site of Cafe Bizarre, where Andy Warhol first saw the Velvet Underground. It was reputedly haunted by Aaron Burr's ghost.

102: Also on the dorm site was Café Caravan, 1950s poetry coffeehouse where Wavy Gravy read regularly.

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NYC - Greenwich Village: NYU - Arthur T Vanderbilt Hall by wallyg, on Flickr

Block: Back end of NYU Law School's Vanderbilt Hall.











<===               SULLIVAN STREET               ===>

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90 (corner): Was the Paperback Book Gallery, store that sold Beat poetry. Now Shade, a crepes place with a to-go window (with the address 241 Sullivan), and the Indian restaurant Barbuchi.

88: Swish features shabu-shabu, a Japanese dish that you cook at the table.

Il Mulino

86: New York's best Italian restaurant, according to Zagat's. Serving Abruzzese cuisine since 1981. NYC - Greenwich Village: Fire Patrol House 2 by wallyg, on Flickr

84: Fire Patrol No. 2, established in 1855, moved here in 1907. The firehouse is said to be haunted by a firefighter named Schwartz.

82: In the early 1970s, this was Bonnie & Clyde's, a women's bar. Upstairs had been the gay restaurant Tenth of Always, which later became Bonnie's, and more recently the Boston Comedy Club. Now it's the wine bar Vyne. Downstairs is Zinc Bar, a little jazz club--formerly the Baggot Inn, a pub that featured live music.

80: Amity Inn, beer hall bearing Third Street's original name.

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Corner (245 Sullivan): NYU Law's Furman Hall, dedicated 2001.

















85: Efforts to save this house where Edgar Allen Poe lived (1845-46) from NYU's never-ending expansion plans had mixed results: The facade was preserved, but the interior was gutted. Poe wrote his most famous poem, "The Raven," here. Actress Lillian Russell was another famous tenant. From the 1880s until the 1960s, it was Berlotti's restaurant, patronized by the likes of Noel Coward, John Barrymore and Theodore Dreiser; Ma Berlotti is thought to have destroyed unpublished Poe manuscripts while cleaning out the attic. Later there was a gay bar here called The Gold Bug, after the Poe story.


<===               THOMPSON STREET               ===>

South:



76: Half Pint, a beer bar




70: Negril Village, Caribbean restaurant

Corner: Village Stationery

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Corner (238 Thompson): NYU's Thompson Center



Kimmel Center for University Life

nyu_kimmel_cntr by Rob Johnston, on Flickr

Corner (566-576 LaGuardia Place): This glass-roofed NYU student center "borders on the grotesque," according to the AIA Guide. Built in 2001, it replaced the 1959 Loeb Student Center, which served as the command center for the NYU student strike that followed Nixon's 1970 invasion of Cambodia.


<===         LAGUARDIA PLACE         ===>

South:

Washington Square Village

Washington Square Village by Padraic, on Flickr

Block (561 LaGuardia): Massive NYU housing project. Construction of these behemoths in 1956-58 helped inspire the preservation movement.








Henry McCarty, better known as Billy the Kid, was born in New York City in 1859--perhaps at 210 Greene, a defunct address now built over by these apartment buildings.



















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Bobst Library

Bobst Library by scottbowling, on Flickr

Corner: NYU's main library, built in 1972 to a Philip Johnson design; at the time, the plan was to redo all of NYU in this red sandstone look. Named for Nixon supporter, anti-Semite and child molester Elmer Holmes Bobst; a corrupt contribution from Bobst to Nixon is supposedly responsible for the selection of Spito Agnew as Nixon's running mate. bobst library 2 by alicetiara, on Flickr

The southeast corner of the library is the site of Open Door, where jazz legends like Charlie Parker and Miles Davis played.

Schwartz Plaza

NYC - Greenwich Village: Schwartz Plaza - Founders Memorial by wallyg, on Flickr

This open space provides a short-cut to Washington Square. Includes the Founder's Memorial, made from stonework from NYU's old Main Building.

The back end of NYU's Shimkin Hall

The back end of NYU's Kaufman Management Center

The back end of NYU's Tisch Hall

Corner (251 Mercer): NYU's Mercer Street Residence


<===         MERCER STREET         ===>

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Block (667-677 Broadway): NYU dorms built on site of Metropolitan Hall, aka Tripler's Hall, which from 1850 to 1859 featured performers like Jenny Lind and Adelina Patti (only 10 when she sang here in 1852). That same year a memorial service for author James Fenimore Cooper was held here, conducted by Daniel Webster and featuring addresses by Washington Irving and William Cullen Bryant. In 1853, the theater hosted the World's Temperence Convention, featuring Susan B. Anthony, Horace Greeley and P.T. Barnum.

After fire destroyed the hall in 1859, the Winter Garden Theater was built here (originally called the New York Theatre and later Burton's Theater). On November 25, 1864 theatrical brothers Edwin, Junius and John Wilkes Booth performed here together for the only time in their careers, as a benefit to raise money for the statue of Shakespeare in Central Park--in Julius Caesar, a play about an assassination.

The theater was replaced by the Grand Central Hotel (aka the Broadway Central Hotel), on whose staircase on January 6, 1872, Edward Stokes fatally shot financier Jim Fisk, his rival for the affections of singer Josie Mansfield. It was also the home of Arnold Rothstein, a gangster who is said to be the inspiration for The Great Gatsby's Meyer Wolfsheim and Guys & Dolls' Nathan Detroit. Renamed the University Hotel, it collapsed in 1973, killing four tenants and destroying the Mercer Arts Center, which was in the same building on the other side of the block.

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Mercer and West 3rd. by gak, on Flickr

Corner: Gristedes, local supermarket chain



















1: Leela Lounge, Indian




Corner (683 Broadway): Le Basket, cafeteria, was Pamela's Cafe.



<===         BROADWAY         ===>

Note that addresses are upside-down on Great Jones--odd south, even north.

South:

Corner (682 Broadway): General Nutrition Center is on the site of the house of Philip Hone (1837-51), mayor of NYC in 1826-27.





9: Acme Bar & Grill, Southern-style. Downstairs is Ace of Clubs (formerly Under Acme).

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Corner (684 Broadway): An Au Bon Pain; note lions on cornice.

2: Emerald Planet, survivor of the wrap era.

8: Site of the German Dispensary from 1862 to 1868.

Schermerhorn Building

Corner (376-380 Lafayette): Built in 1889 on the site of the Schermerhorn mansion, was designed by Henry Hardenbergh, architect of the Plaza Hotel and the Dakota. On the ground floor is the Time Cafe, which Zagat's disses as "once trendy"; the Moroccan-themed Fez bar downstairs saw early shows by Fiona Apple, Norah Jones and Rufus Wainwright; Jeff Buckley used to play there regularly. Now closed, unfortunately.


<===               LAFAYETTE STREET               ===>

South:

Jones Diner by warsze, on Flickr Corner: This used to be the Jones Diner, a classic eatery that was torn down for an expensive development. Supposedly it will include an expensive faux-retro diner--adding insult to injury.

31: Fire Patrol No. 2 was located here from 1873 until 1907.

35: Don Delillo's novel Great Jones Street is set on this block; the New York Times' Randy Cohen says that only this building has the right kind of apartments.

45: Great Jones Lumber Corp.

57: Below Japanese Premium Beef, a premium butcher shop, is Bohemian, a secret sushi restaurant. The shop used to be Hedeh, fancy Japanese noted for its oysters. The building, a former carriage house once owned by Andy Warhol, was the last home of artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, who died here on August 12, 1988.









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30: An eight-story neo-classical building, demolished 2007. firehouse by niznoz, on Flickr

44: Engine Company No. 33 in an 1899 Beaux Arts firehouse by Ernest Flagg; Rescue Company 1 was based here from its formation in 1915 until 1960.






54: Great Jones Cafe has cajun food and a great jukebox. I will never forget the peanut butter pie I ate here once. Est. 1983. 2008-05-12 03 Dinner at Great Jones Cafe - 01 exterior by bewarenerd, on Flickr






<===               THE BOWERY               ===>

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Bowery Hotel

Bowery hotel by fogindex, on Flickr

Corner (335 Bowery): A 16-story luxury hotel on the Bowery, with decor evoking the (old) Gilded Age. The oddly torqued building itself is remarkable--one of the few new developments in the area that attempts to match rather than mock the architecture of its historic neighborhood--and quite successfully, I would say. Built on the site of a gas station.

30: Denoted the Show Me State House-- dated 1888, though it's part of a strip of rowhouses stretching to 2nd Avenue that would seem to have been constructed together perhaps half a century earlier.

32: The Kite House was home in the 1890s to William Abner Eddy, a New York Herald reporter and kite enthusiast who invented the now-standard diamond-shaped kite.

34: Wilbert Tatum, publisher of the Amsterdam News, has reportedly lived here.

36: Americas Cup House was named by a couple who bought the house with the proceeds of their travel business booking trips to the 1987 Americas Cup in Perth, Australia. This house is said to have been the New York residence of the Grateful Dead.

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

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7: Was Inner Space Inc., 1960s-era purveyors of "happenings." Now Dave's Quality Meat, a vintage sneaker and designer streetwear store that looks like (but isn't) an old butcher shop.

13: Building dated 1872







27: Building dated 1891

29: Opium Den, unmarked bar














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46: Gay eccentric Quentin Crisp lived here from 1978-99.

48: Artist's Studio, poetry and jazz center. This used to be the home of jazz alien Sun Ra and his Arkestra.









60: Jammyland is a reggae record store; in the back is a ladder leading to Hospital Productions, a hidden record shop specializing in underground death metal.

72: The old Hell's Angel's clubhouse--a woman was thrown to her death from the roof here in 1977. Harry Connick Jr. lived in this building when he first came to New York, in Apartment 2C.









In the vacant lot here, a 14-year-old boy was killed in 1990 when a Hell's Angel ignited a drum filled with fireworks.














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47: The landlord here is trying to evict 24 rent-stablized tenants on the grounds that his wife, child and live-in nanny need all five floors for personal use.

55: Catholic Worker's Mary House, where socialist saint Dorothy Day died. This was the home of the Third Street Music School Settlement from 1904 until it moved to 11th Street in 1974; the school also used Nos. 51 and 53.

Hell's Angels New York

by ShellyS, on Flickr

77: The current headquarters of the motorcycle gang. An FBI raid in 1985 resulted in scores of arrests for amphetamine trafficking. Note plaque honoring Big Vinnie, the Angel who threw the woman off the roof.

81: This 2005 building is seven stories taller than it is supposed to be, since the developers claimed it was a "community facility" (i.e., a dorm) even though they did not have the required educational tenant lined up. After the fact, they've gotten New York Law School to agree to house students here. Was The Hub: Pedicabs Of New York home base; before that it was where the Good Humor Ice Cream carts were based, yet another urban tradition shut down by Giuliani.

87: Hilly Kristal, owner of CBGBs, lived here in Apartment 5.

91: Was Dance Tracks, DJ-oriented vinyl shop that closed in 2007 because most DJs don't use vinyl anymore

95: The Edge, bar that's serious about pool

Corner (49 1/2 1st): Kudo Beans, a coffee shop that oddly boasts of its coffee's New Jersey origins. Used to be Bulgin' Waffles; before that was Little Ricky's, kitsch mecca of the Lower East Side.


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First Houses

Public housing in Alphabet City by MaxVT, on Flickr

112-138: The nation's first low-income public housing projects, created by taking existing tenements and demolishing every third one, so each would have an outside wall. Dedicated December 3, 1935, by Eleanor Roosevelt and Fiorello LaGuardia.

Corner (41 Avenue A): Was Des Moines, a place to hang out.

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121: PS 63: William McKinley, K-6 with an emphasis on technology. East Village resident Emma Goldman was blamed for its namesake's assassination.














Corner (43 Avenue A): Mo Mo Falana, faerie-like designer dresses worn by the likes of Uma Thurman


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The western boundary of Alphabet City

South:

150 (corner): East Village Farm deli; Anna, party dresses that "look good with sneakers or stilletos" (Time Out)

156: Tim Quirk of the band Too Much Joy used to live here.




188: Village Martial Arts Institute, established 1996, teaches Tai Chi and Filipino Stick-Fighting. Miracle Garden in Alphabet City by MaxVT, on Flickr -->

194: Miracle Garden, lovely shady space created c. 1985 on the site of a former crackhouse torn down as a public nuisance.



mama's food shop by consumerfriendly, on Flickr

200: Mama's Food Shop, one of the East Village's dining secrets--it's like a really great college food co-op. Not the insanely good deal that it once was, but still pretty affordable.

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Scoping the joint by Chuckumentary, on Flickr

155 (corner): Two Boots Pioneer Theater, part of the Two Boots pizza/cinema complex.





by NCavillones, on Flickr

173: Most Holy Redeemer Church, a Catholic church built in 1852 by German immigrants. When it was consecrated--the first Catholic church in New York to receive this designation-- St. John Neumann, the first American bishop to be canonized, participated in the ceremony. Eighty-five priests and brothers are buried here.

185: Chinese artist and political activist Ai Weiwei lived here during his 10-year stay in New York City, from 1983-93. (Not sure whether this was his only home during that time.)

189: Le Caire Lounge, hookah cafe, was Apocalypse Lounge, quirky bar that featured shadow dancing, live spiders.

191: Jane's Exchange, a secondhand store for kid's stuff-- a great resource for East Village parents.

199: Snack Dragon Taco Shack--"If you haven't tried a taco, you haven't really lived." Used to be on Avenue B.


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234: Was the studio of Paul Tek, a 1960s artist who specialized in "brutality sculpture": "exquisite mountings of your favorite anatomy in boxes...lampshades made from your dear, departed pets...other works of art with a running theme of gore and violence"--New York Unexpurgated.

Nuyorican Poets Cafe

Nuyorican Cafe by ellezua, on Flickr

236: Founded c. 1973 by Michael Alguin to provide a cultural center for the Puerto Rican community; moved to this space in 1980. Noted for its poetry slams.

242: From 1965-72, this was the jazz club Slugs, where the Sun Ra Arkestra performed every Monday. Closed after trumpet player Lee Morgan was murdered here by his wife, February 19, 1972.

244: The Baroness, "the designer of latex and rubber"--Sexy New York. She was a friend of Steven Vincent, writer killed by a "friendly" death squad in Iraq. Also the Postal Service's Tompkins Square Station.

Corner (31 Ave C): Moon Pie Pizzeria

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213: Was the Old Reliable Bar & Grill

215: On the ground floor of this three-story apartment building was a Hungarian butcher shop, which closed c. 1974 after its owner was stabbed to death.

217: Was Plant Bar, hopping foliage-themed dj room. Brisas Del Caribe Garden by rollingrck, on Flickr

237: Brisas del Caribe ("Breezes of the Caribbean"), a community garden





Corner (251 E 3rd): Bracetti Plaza NYCHA


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Corner (34 Ave C): Jennylin Grocery; Bodega de la Familia


292: Bullet Space, a squat inhabited by artists and musicians with a gallery on the ground floor, recently got title to its building.

320: Monastery of St. Mary of Egypt/ Mercy House is a Russian Orthodox institution founded in 1994 and affiliated with St. Nicholas Cathedral on the Upper East Side.

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Corner (36 Ave C): Loisaida Drugs & Surgicals

279: Ryan-NENA Community Health Center offers medical care on a sliding scale. This was the address of Clara Lemlich Shavelson, a garment worker and labor activist who helped organize protests against the Triangle Shirtwaist Company.

289: Monte Hermon Church of Christ






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Lillian Wald Houses

by minusbaby, on Flickr

Public housing project named for Lillian D. Wald (1867-1940), who provided aid to the Lower East Side through the Henry Street Settlement and the Visiting Nurses Society. She fought for women's suffrage and against child labor, and help start the Women's Trade Union League. Margaret Sanger of Planned Parenthood was her protegee.


FDR DRIVE

East River Park

Robert Moses created this underused park when he put through the FDR.

From the 3rd Street Pier--no longer extant--the General Slocum set off carrying on June 15, 1904, carrying mainly German immigrant women and children on their way to a picnic. En route the ship caught fire; 1,021 perished.



EAST RIVER







Is your favorite 3rd Street spot missing? Write to Jim Naureckas and tell him about it.

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