New York Songlines: 8th Avenue

and Central Park West

W 77th (Natural History) | W 76th | W 75th (San Remo) | W 74th | W 73rd | W 72nd (The Dakota) | W 71st | W 70th | W 69th | W 68th | W 67th | W 66th | W 65th | W 64th | W 63rd | W 62nd | W 61st | Columbus Circle | W 48th | W 47th | W 46th | W 45th | W 44th | W 43rd | W 42nd (Port Authority) | W 41st | W 40th | W 39th | W 38th | W 37th | W 36th | W 35th | W 34th | W 33rd (Madison Square Garden) | W 31st | W 30th | W 29th | W 28th | W 27th | W 26th | W. 25th | W 24th | W 23rd | W 22nd | W 21st | W 20th | W 19th | W 18th | W 17th | W 16th | W 15th | W 14th | Greenwich Ave | W 13th | Horatio St | Jane St | W 4th | W 12th (Abingdon Square) | Bleecker St | Hudson St



West:

American Museum of Natural History

American Museum of Natural History

Founded in 1869 with the backing of Theodore Roosevelt Sr., JP Morgan and other Gilded Age titans. The cornerstone for this building was laid in 1874 by President Grant; the museum was opened here in 1877 by President Hayes. The original Victorian Gothic building by Calvert Vaux and Jacob Mould has been absorbed by subsequent additions, American Museum of Natural History--South Entrance including the neo-Romanesque castellations of J. Cleaveland Cady on the 77th Street side, and John Russell Pope's Beaux Arts entrance on Central Park West, which also serves as an embarrasing memorial to Teddy Roosevelt as Great White Hunter. Tyrannosaurus Rex

The museum boasts the largest collection of fossil mammals and dinosaurs in the world, collected by legendary paleontologists like Barnum Brown, Henry Fairfield Osborn (later AMNH president) and and Roy Chapman Andrews—said to be the inspiration for Indian Jones. Black Rhinos The museum is also famed for its beautiful taxidermy dioramas, many collected and mounted by Carl Akeley. Anthropo- logical giants Frank Boas and Margaret Mead made the AMNH their home base.

The museum displays the largest meteorite Star of India found in any museum in the world—a 34-ton chunk of a much larger meteorite that hit Greenland 10,000 years ago. Another meteorite here, the Willamette, was the subject of a lawsuit—later settled—by the Clackamas people of Oregon, who view it as a sacred object. Also on view is the Star of India, the largest known star sapphire, which was stolen and recovered in 1964.

The Hall of Ocean Life features a 94-foot model of a blue whale suspended from the ceiling, NYC - AMNH: Milstein Hall of Ocean Life as well as the diorama that provided the title for the film The Squaid and the Whale. The AMNH is the setting for the film Night at the Museum, and also features in Bringing Up Baby, Malcolm X, The Devil Wears Prada and Wonderstruck. Ross works here in the sitcom Friends.

In 1897 the museum put on display an Inuit child, Minik, brought back from Greenland by Robert Peary. Curators tricked him into thinking they had buried his father, who died of tuberculosis shortly after arrival in New York, when they had actually put his skeleton on exhibit. The remains were finally returned to Greenland for burial in 1993. The museum also displayed Ota Benga, a member of the Mbuti people from the Congo, in 1906.

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Central Park

Central Park, New York by  Mathew Knott, on Flickr

An 853-acre expanse of green in the middle of Manhattan—larger than Monaco!— it's the most-visited public park in the world, with 42 million visitors annually.

Responding to calls from civic leaders like William Cullen Bryant, the city acquired the land in 1853 and held a design contest in 1857, choosing the Greensward Plan of Frederick Law Olmstead and Calvert Vaux (rhymes with "Walks"). After the moving of 3 million tons of earth and the planting of 270,000 trees and shrubs, the park—almost entirely landscaped, despite its naturalistic appearance—opened to visitors in 1859 (though not officially completed until 1873).


Naturalists Walk

A footpath here leads past outcroppings of Manhattan schist (that shiny rock) and plantings of native vegetation.




Balcony Bridge

balcony bridge

This bridge over a spur of The Lake features some of the most scenic views of skyscrapers rising over the park, as well as bays for seating that give the bridge its name.


Bust of Humboldt

Alexander von Humboldt Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859) was a Prussian naturalist who explored the Amazon, the Andes and Siberia. He was one of the first scientists to recognize that South America and Africa were once joined. This statue, by German sculptor Gustaf Blaeser, was placed at the 5th Avenue/59th Street entrance in 1869, on the centennial of Humboldts's birth. It was moved here in 1981, to be across from the

Naturalists' Gate

This name suits the entrance close to the AMNH well, but the name predates the museum. Perhaps it was suggested because this entrance leads to The Ramble, which still provides some of the best birdwatching in the park? Central Park-Eaglevale Arch, 08.17.14

The Eaglevale Arch, which connects West 77th Street to Central Park's West Drive, is the park's only double arch, bridging over both the pedestrian walk that used to be Ladies Pond and the bridle path.


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New-York Historical Society

New York Historical Society

170 (block): New York's first museum, it was founded in 1804 because, in its founders' words, “Without the aid of original records and authentic documents,” they declared, “history will be nothing more than a well-combined series of ingenious conjectures and amusing fables.” Gouverneur Morris, DeWitt Clinton, Albert Gallatin and Hamilton Fish were among its early presidents. Tiffany Glass collection: Dragonfly

Its current building, a Beaux Arts landmark, was opened in 1908, designed by York & Sawyer (who did the Federal Reserve building) and enlarged by Walker & Gillette in 1938. It houses a collection that includes Audubon's watercolors for Birds of America, one of the largest assemblages of Tiffany lamps, Washington's Valley Forge camp bed and the desk where Clement Clarke Moore probably didn't write "A Visit From Saint Nicholas."


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Fourth Universalist Society

Fourth Universalist Society, New York City

160 (corner): Founded in 1838 as the fourth of seven Unitarian societies in New York City, and the only one to survive to the present day. Past congregants have included PT Barnum, Horace Greeley and Lou Gehrig. Their current home was built in 1898, designed by William Appleton Potter, the architect of much of Princeton. The church features an altar by Louis Comfort Tiffany, a bronze relief sculpture by Augustus Saint-Gaudens, an RH Robertson mosaic and Clayton & Bell stained glass. The Kenilworth

151 (corner): The Kenilworth, a 13-floor co-op built in 1908. The elegant building has been home to notables like George M. Cohan, Basil Rathbone, Michael Douglas and Bill Moyers.


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The San Remo

The San Remo

145-146 (block): Opened in 1930, the prestigious apartment building was designed by Emery Roth with an 18-story based surmounted by two nine-floor towers; the twin tower look was imitated by other CPW residences: The Majestic, The Century and The Eldorado. Jack Dempsey lived here in retirement for 30 years starting in 1928; Tony Randall was a resident from the 1950s into the 1980s. Songwriter Harold Arlen moved in in 1961 and died here on April 23, 1986. Rita Hayworth also lived here from 1981 until her death on May 14, 1987. San Remo Tower

Steve Jobs bought and renovated a tower apartment that he never lived in, instead selling it to Bono. Bono later took another resident, less-famous rock star Billy Squier, to court over his smoky fireplace.

Among the many other famous residents have been Diane Keaton, Dustin Hoffman, Barry Manilow, Stephen Sondheim, Steven Spielberg, Donna Karan, Glenn Close, Don Hewitt, Aaron Spelling, Mary Tyler Moore, Hedy Lamarr, Glenn Close, Steve Martin (with Victoria Tennant), Tiger Woods, Demi Moore and Bruce Willis, Elaine May, and Mick Jones.

The San Remo is named for a town on the Italian Riviera.


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At this intersection on September 13, 1899, 68-year-old real estate broker Henry H. Bliss was run down by an electric cab driven by Arthur Smith—the nation's first auto accident death.

The Langham

The Langham

135 (block): A 1907 residence with 13 floors, designed by Clinton & Russell; the owners of the next-door Dakota tried unsuccessfully to prevent it from being taller than their building. Acting teacher Lee Strasberg lived here from 1955 to 1982; Marilyn Monroe was a frequent visitor. Others at this address have included Carly Simon and Mia Farrow, whose apartment was featured in the 1986 film Hannah and Her Sisters; the apartment earlier belonged to Farrow's mother, Maureen O'Sullivan.


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The Dakota

Dakota Apartments I

121 (block): This 1884 building, designed by Henry J. Hardenbergh in an eclectic German Renaissance style, has been called "the city's most legendary apartment building." At the time the neighborhood was still quite rural, leading to speculation that the name referred to how far north and west the address was.

The building has boasted numerous notable residents, most famously John Lennon, who moved here in 1973 and was murdered here on December 8, 1980; his widow, Yoko Ono, still lives there. Leonard Bernstein lived here from 1974 until his death on October 14, 1990. Dakota Turret

Other residents were Lauren Bacall (with her second husband Jason Robards), Judy Garland, Rosemary Clooney (with Jose Ferrer), Boris Karloff, Judy Holliday, Carson McCullers, Roberta Flack, Gilda Radner, Joe Namath, Jack Palance, Lillian Gish, Rex Reed, Rudolph Nureyev, Rosie O'Donnell, John Madden and Connie Chung (with Maury Povich). William Inge wrote Picnic, Bus Stop and Splendor in the Grass here.

The list of would-be buyers rejected by the Dakota's board Dakota building is likewise star-studded: Madonna, Cher, Billy Joel, Carly Simon, Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas, Alex Rodriguez, Judd Apatow and Tea Leoni.

The building's exterior famously appears in Rosemary's Baby, which calls the building "The Bramford." The main character of Vanilla Sky also lives here, as does Veronica Lodge before she moves to Riverdale. It features in the novel Time and Again, as well as in Lee Child's The Hard Way and The Babysitters' Club series.

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There used to be a good-sized body of water here called the Ladies Pond, intended to provide an opportunity for women to skate without being bothered by rakes and ruffians (though a depiction by Winslow Homer that appeared in Harper's in 1860 suggests that co-ed skating was the norm there early on).

The pond followed the course of Saw Kill, Manhattan's longest pre-colonial watercourse, named for the sawmill near the creek's mouth near 75th Street on the East River. The Saw Kill's valley also provided the outline for The Lake, the one where people rent rowboats.

The Ladies Pond was drained in 1930, and in its place is now an artifical brook—fed by hidden pipes—that follows the Saw Kill's course to empty into The Lake.









Azalea Walk

Central Park, 05.18.14

This footpath leads past masses of azaleas and rhodo- dendrons that bloom in spring.

























































































































































Strawberry Fields

Imagine A two-and-a-half acre section of the park that was relandscaped and dedicated as a memorial to John Lennon on October 9, 1985—which would have been the singer's 45th birthday. Its centerpiece is a mosaic, a gift from Naples, Italy, that bears the word "Imagine."

Women's Gate

Riftstone Arch

When the entrances to Central Park were named in 1862, this one was called the Women's Gate—perhaps because of its proximity to the Ladies Pond? It leads to Riftstone Arch, a rustic bridge made from slabs of Manhattan schist quarried from the park itself.

On this corner on November 27, 1997, the Cat in the Hat balloon in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade blew into a lamppost, injuring Kathleen Caronna and putting her into a coma for nearly a month.


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The Majestic

Majestic Tower

115 (block): A twin-towered, 29-story Art Deco apartment building completed in 1931, designed by developer Irwin Chanin with Jacques Delamarre. Lindbergh baby kidnapper Bruno Richard Hauptmann was one of the carpenters who worked on the building; legend has it that some of the ransom money is hidden here, though the crime happened a year after the building was finished.

The Majestic was home to numerous mobsters, including Majestic apartments from Central Park Lucky Luciano, Meyer Lansky and Louis Buchalter, head of Murder Inc. and the only mob boss to be formally executed for his crimes. Frank Costello, another resident mobster, was shot in the lobby here by Vincent "The Chin" Gigante on May 2, 1957. Costello recovered to die here of natural causes in 1973.

Other residents included Walter Winchell (from 1933-1938), Elia Kazan (who lived here in the early 1960s), Milton Berle, Zero Mostel and Conan O'Brien.

The apartments are named for the Hotel Majestic, which stood on the site from 1893-1929. Isadora Duncan lived there in 1915, George S Kaufman in 1917, and siblings Fred and Adele Astaire in 1919. Gustav Mahler and Edna Ferber are also said to have called the hotel home.


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101 Central Park West

101 (block): The Barnard, a 1929 red-brick apartment building with 17 floors, designed by Schwartz & Gross and built by Abraham Bricken. The building has been home to Harrison Ford.


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Congregation Shearith Israel

Congregation Shearith Israel

99 (corner): Also known as the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue, the US's oldest Jewish congreg- ation was established in 1654, serving Jewish refugees from Iberia oppressed by forced conversion and antisemitic laws. It was the city's only Jewish congregation until 1825.

The synagogue's first cemetery near Chatham Square, dating to 1683, is the oldest surviving human-built structure on the island. This neo-classical building, designed by Brunner & Tyron, dates to 1897. The windows and interior design were done by Louis Comfort Tiffany.

Prominent members have included naval reformer Uriah P. Levy, poet Emma Lazarus and Justice Benjamin Cardozo.

A parsonage house attached to the synagogue was built in 1902.
91 Central Park West

91 (corner): A 16-story neo-Renaissance building by Schwartz & Gross, completed 1929. Charles Van Doren lived here in his quiz show days; dancer Gwen Verdon moved here with her husband Bob Fosse in 1960.


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Brentmore Apartments

88 (corner): The Brentmore is a 12-story building from 1910 designed by Schwartz & Gross. Residents here have included actors John Garfield, Celeste Holm and Robert DeNiro; musicians Paul Simon, Sting, Billy Joel and Sean Lennon; producers Lorne Michaels, Clive Davis and the disgraced Harvey Weinstein; and cartoonist Rube Goldberg. 80 Central Park West

80 (corner): A 24-story, kind of ugly apartment building built in 1967, notable for its many balconies facing Central Park. Actress Gloria DeHaven lived here.


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Second Church of Christ, Scientist

2nd Church of Christ, Scientist

77 (corner): Completed 1901 to a neo-classical Frederick Comstock design, it actually predates the First Church of Christ, Scientist, up the street. In any case, the First Church was sold in 2004 and the congregations merged, so the Second Church, which was actually first, is now referred to as the First Church. 75 Central Park West

75 (corner): Chatham Court A 15-story Rosario Candela building from 1929. Residents have included Carroll O'Connor, Jimmy Breslin and Don Imus.

It replaced the seven-story Town House Hotel, built in 1917 by the Artists’ Syndicate responsible for the adjacent Hotel Des Artistes.


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70 Central Park West

70 (corner): This 14-story studio building, also known as 2 West 67th, was constructed in 1919 by the Artist's Syndicate; the architect was Penrhyn Stanlaws, "pretty woman" painter and silent film director, who also built the Cafe des Artistes.

Residents included the husband-and-wife novelists Kathleen Norris and Charles Gilman Norris. Traveler Burton Holmes, who invented the word "travelogue," lived here in a duplex that he called Nirvana, modeled on Japan's Horyuji Temple, that he later sold to Robert Ripley—believe it or not. 65 Central Park West

65 (corner): A 16-story apartment building that went up in 1926 to an Emery Roth design. Polly Adler was arrested at her apartment here in 1936 for being an "alleged disorderly housekeeper." Later Madonna lived here with her husband Sean Penn. Photographer Ruth Orkin published two books—A World Through My Window and More Pictures From My Window—based on photos she took from her apartment here.

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7th Regiment Memorial

IMG_3408

This statue of a resting Civil War soldier is by John Quincy Adams Ward, who also sculpted William Shakespeare and Indian Hunter in Central Park, and George Washington at Federal Hall downtown; he designed the New York Stock Exchange's pediment. The pose and location of the statue were both recommended by Frederick Law Olmstead.

The figure commemorates the 7th New York Militia, known as the Silk Stocking Regiment from the upper class connections of its troops. 7th Regiment Memorial Organized in 1806, the outfit staffed harbor forts during the War of 1812, and served to suppress riots and uprisings, including the Flour Riots of 1837, the Astor Place Riots of 1849, the Police Riot of 1857 and the Dead Rabbits Riot, also of 1857. The memorial is specifically for the Regiment's service during the Civil War, which involved (among other things) the occupation of Arlington, Virginia, and the quelling of the New York City Draft Riots.

The Regiment has another memorial on the other side of Central Park, at Fifth Avenue and 67th--as tje 107th Regiment, the name under which it fought in World War I. The 7th Regiment Armory still stands at Park and 67th, though the unit was disbanded in 1993. Steele MacKaye

Ward's model for the soldier was was Steele MacKaye, an actor and dramatist who was a veteran of the Regiment. He is the inventor of the fireproof curtain and the folding theater chair.























GuiseppeMazzini_CentralPark_NYC(4)

Near the West Drive is a bust of Italian patriot Giussepe Mazzini, dedicated in 1878. The pedestal bears two of Mazzini's motos, Dio e il Populo (“God and the People”) and Pensiero ed Azione (“thought and action”). The sculptor was Giovanni Turini, who also did the sculpture in Washington Square of Garibaldi, another hero of Italian reunification.

Adventure Playground

#centralpark This playground was created by powerbroker Robert Moses during his 1934 renovation of Central Park—then almost eliminated by him in 1956 when he tried to expand the parking lot for Tavern on the Green. In what was then a unique example of Moses not getting his way, Upper West Side moms faced him down, first blockading bulldozers with their bodies (and babies), then taking him to court, in what came to be known as the Battle of Central Park. Faced with opposition that had both money and connections, Moses backed down, deciding that what he really wanted to do was renovate the playground. Central Park Adventure Playground

It got another makeover in 1969 as an adventure-style playground, using sand, tunnels and treehouses to encourage free play. It's been reworked several times since then, most recently in a 2015 revamp that attempted to restore adventure features without the safety issues that had gotten them removed over the years.




Fred Lebow Statue

The finish line of the New York City Marathon is on the West Drive near 67th Street. Each year they move a statue of Fred Lebow, who founded the marathon in 1970, from its usual place on the East Drive near 90th Street to a spot where it can greet finishers of the race.

Tavern on the Green

Tavern on the Green

This building was originally designed by Calvert Vaux in 1870 to house the 700 sheep that originally grazed on the Sheep Meadow. It was turned into a restaurant in 1934 by Robert Moses as part of his renovation of the park. It was long a hangout for celebrities, including Mayor Fiorello La Guardia, Grace Kelly and Fay Wray. John Lennon used to celebrate his birthdays here. tavern tree

The restaurant went through several managers, reaching its peak under restaurateur Walter LeRoy, who took over in 1974. Under his management the Tavern became the second-highest grossing restaurant in the country, after a Las Vegas casino eatery. The New Tavern on the Green Since LeRoy's 2001 death, the restaurant has had some up and downs; it was closed from 2010 to 2014, and between 2014 and 2016 it went through four head chefs.

Tavern on the Green features in many New York-centric films, including Ghostbusters, Wall Street, Crimes and Misdemeanors, Hitch and New York Stories.


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'Ghostbusters Building'

55 Central Park West

55 (corner): This 20-story Art Deco apartment building, designed by Schwartz & Gross, opened in 1930. Noted for its "rakish" finials and its subtly tinted brick, designed "to create the illusion that the sun was always shining on the building." Its residents have included Claudette Colbert, Ginger Rogers and Ring Lardner Jr. Temple of Gozer The penthouse duplex has been owned by composer Jerry Herman, Calvin Klein and David Geffen, among others.

It appears in the film Ghostbusters as 550 Central Park West—aka "Spook Central"—built by cultists in the 1920s to summon Gozer the Gozerian.

Holy Trinity Lutheran Church

Holy Trinity Church

51 (corner): A Gothic Revival church built 1904 (Schickel & Ditmars, architects), for a congregation founded 1868. Noted for its Bach Vespers series, started in 1968. Holy Trinity Steeple

In The Out-of-Towners, Jack Lemmon and Sandy Dennis come in here to pray, but are kicked out by a crew taping a service for TV. In Ghostbusters, the Stay-Puft Man destroys this church, prompting Bill Murray to say, "Nobody steps on a church in my town!"

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If anything has happened in this part of the park, I haven't heard about it.


















































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The Prasada

The Prasada

46 (corner): A 12-story apartment building completed in 1907, designed by Charles Romeyn. A 1919 renovation blanded out much of its original character, including removing its mansard roof, but it left the four-pillared front door that gives it "one of the grandest residential entrances in the city." Novelist Edna Ferber lived here, where she wrote Show Boat. Prasada Entrance Later Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas were residents. The Prasada is the setting for the film Three Men and a Baby.

"Prasada" is a Sanskrit word meaning "temple."

The First Church of Christ, Scientist, bought this corner of the block in 1898 in an unsuccessful attempt to deter the rival Second Church from building on 68th Street.

41 (corner): Harperley Hall was built in 1911 in the Arts & Crafts style. Harperly Hall The name refers to an estate in Northumberland where the ancestors of the architect, Henry W. Wilkinson, supposedly hail from. Madonna was sued by a neighbor here in 2011 for playing music too loud. Other residents have included Melanie Griffith, Don Johnson, Ed Asner, Carol Kane and Gwen Verdon.


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New York Society for Ethical Culture

Ethical Culture Society

Corner (2 W 64th): The meeting hall for the first of a series of Ethical Culture Societies, launched by philosopher and social activist Felix Adler in 1877, an effort to create a religion based on morality independent of theology. Robert D. Kohn designed the austere limestone structure, dedicated in 1910, noted for its 1,200-seat auditorium.

Ethical Culture School

Ethical Culture School

33 (block): Founded in 1880 as the Working- man's School, it was reorganized as the Ethical Culture Schools in 1895. This brick and limestone building, designed by Carrère & Hastings (with Robert D. Kohn as associate architect), opened in 1904. Ethical Culture School  Entrance

Its startling list of alumni includes Jill Abramson, Diane Arbus, Roy Cohn, Sofia Coppola, David Denby, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Walter Koenig, Sean Ono Lennon, Robert Moses, J. Robert Oppenheimer, Muriel Rukeyser, Gil Scott-Heron, Stephen Sondheim and Barbara Walters.


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Century Apartments

25 (block): Century Apartments, a 1931 Art Deco building that has been home to Alexis Smith, Ethel Merman, Algonquin Roundtable playwright Marc Connelly, the Gershwins' mother and Isabella Rossellini, as well as David Dunlap, the NYT's "Building Blocks" columnist.


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15 Central Park West

15 Central Park West I

15 (block): A 2008 building designed by Robert Stern to look pre-war, it immediately became one of the most prestigious addresses in New York City and a template for high-end development. Residents include Robert De Niro, Sting, Norman Lear, Denzel Washington, Bob Costas and Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein.

Formerly on the site was the Mayflower Hotel, which opened in 1926, designed by Emory Roth. Baseball legend Joe DiMaggio lived here on and off during his first four seasons with the Yankees (1936-39), during which the team won the World Series four times. He kept a suite here after the death of his ex-wife, Marilyn Monroe.

The Mayflower was also home to Felix the Cat creator Pat Sullivan and flea circus impressario Max Schaffer. The Bolshoi Ballet was staying here in August 1979 when its star dancer, Alexander Godunov, defected to the United States. Jack Nicholson lived there in the movie Wolf

On this spot on September 27, 1898, Vincent Youmans was born, who wrote the music for "I Want to Be Happy" and "Tea for Two."


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Trump International Hotel

Trump International Hotel & Tower, NYC by faungg, on Flickr Built in 1968–71 as the Gulf + Western Building, headquarters of the conglomerate that owned (among many other things) Paramount Pictures, Stax Records, Sega and Miss Universe, and later Simon & Schuster and Madison Square Garden. Purchased by the Trump Organization, it was stripped down to its skeleton and given an entirely new facade designed by Philip Johnson and Costas Kondylis. The makeover, completed in 1997, increased the number of floors from 44 to 52, due to decreased ceiling heights. Trump Globe by edenpictures, on Flickr

The building was the setting of the movie Tower Heist.

Directly south of the building is a 40-foot chrome-plated globe, seemingly inspired by Queens' Unisphere. Trump tried without success to convince the city that putting a giant "TRUMP" on the globe would be an artistic statement and not an illegal sign. Below the globe is the entrance to the Columbus Circle subway station.

59th Street/Columbus Circle Station:

Opened in 1904 as a stop on the IRT's 1 line; in 1932 it was expanded to include the IND's 8th Avenue line, and now serves the A, B, C and D trains as well.

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Dalehead Arch

Dalehead Arch II

A sandstone and brownstone bridge that carries the West Drive over the Bridle Path.








































































Greyshot Arch

Grayshot Arch II

One of the Calvert Vaux's first arch designs, built in 1860. Provides a passageway under the West Drive.

In the movie Cloverfield, the last survivors take shelter here. It's implied that their video camera survives the destruction of Manhattan because it's sheltered by the arch— allowing for the "found footage" to be found.














The entrance to Central Park here is known as the Merchant's Gate-- appropiately enough for the entrance nearest Trump Tower and Time Warner Center.

Maine Monument

Maine Monument There's a memorial here to the 260 sailors—"by fate unwarned, in death unafraid”—who died in the February 15, 1898, explosion of the battleship Maine in Havana harbor, which served the same role in the Spanish-American War that WMDs did in the Iraq War. Funds for the monument were raised by William Randolph Hearst, who was also key in turning the disaster into a rationale for war. Central Park

The architect was H. Van Buren Magonigle, who also designed McKinley's mausoleum. The statues are by Attilio Piccirilli, who carved the statue in DC's Lincoln Memorial. Magonigle and Piccirilli also worked together on Brooklyn's Fireman's Memorial.

The gilded female charioteer atop the monument is Columbia Triumphant. In front is an allegorical group of USS Maine Monument Courage Awaiting the Flight of Peace and Fortitude Supporting the Feeble (the kid with his hands raised is Victory); in back is Justice Receiving Back the Sword Entrusted to War. On either side of the plinth are sculptures representing the Atlantic and Pacific oceans; I believe the old man is the Atlantic, though geologically it is the much younger ocean.


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Columbus Circle

NYC: Columbus Circle from The Shops at Columbus Circle by wallyg, on Flickr Christopher Columbus atop the pillar at Columbus Circle by NYCArthur, on Flickr

A roundabout honoring one of history's greatest monsters. It's not that he should be held responsible for all of Europe's effects on a New World that he didn't even realize he had found; rather, he should be held responsible for what he did personally to the inhabitants of Hispaniola, whom he exploited and exterminated with an efficiency that would have made Eichmann proud. His statue, by Gaetano Russo and dedicated on the 400th anniversary of Columbus' first voyage in 1892, stands on a 70-foot pillar featuring representations of the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria.

Speaking of monsters, Columbus Circle is menaced by the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man in the first Ghostbusters movie.

The circle got a major makeover in 2005 to make it more hospitable and accessible to pedestrians.


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Time Warner Center

Time Warner Center by saitowitz, on Flickr

Block (10 Columbus Circle): This 2003 megastructure, a home for the media giant, was designed by David Childs of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. The first major skyscraper built after September 11, it features twin towers— with 55 stories, half of the World Trade Center's reach. The massive complex includes a hotel, the Mandarin Oriental, and a performance space for Jazz at Lincoln Center. Also some of the most expensive restaurants in New York City, including Masa ($300-a-plate sushi), per se and V Steakhouse. Shops over there by roboppy, on Flickr

Built on the site of the New York Coliseum, Robert Moses' 1954 convention center (Leon and Lionel Levy, 1954), widely viewed as an eyesore--and as a white elephant after the Javits Center opened in 1986. Demolished 2000.

Earlier on the site was the Majestic Theatre, an opulent house built in 1903 that opened with a live musical production of The Wizard of OZ; renamed the Park in 1911, it saw the debut of Pygmalion as well as Minsky's burlesque show. William Randolph Hearst turned it into a cinema, the Cosmopolitan, in 1923; Florenz Ziegfield brought live theater back in 1925. After a few more name changes and switches between film, theater, vaudeville and ballet, it was the International when NBC used it as a TV studio from 1949 to 1954—starting with Sid Caesar's Your Show of Shows. There was a 24-hour branch of the pancake chain Childs here, where "the brand of customer is, to say the least, mixed," according to 1931's New York After Dark.

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2 Columbus Circle

2 Columbus Circle by Vidiot, on Flickr

990 (block): In 1964, a 12-story concave tower designed by Edward Durell Stone was built here to house the Gallery of Modern Art, the collection of A & P heir Huntington Hartford. Known as the Lollipop Building for its distinctive ground-floor columns, it was noted for its almost windowless white marble facade, which attracted both ridicule and affection. After being owned by Fairleigh Dickinson University and Gulf + Western, the building became home to the city's Department of Cultural Affairs and the New York Convention and Visitors Bureau from 1980 until 1998. 2 Columbus Circle by DrewVigal, on Flickr The city transferred the property to the Museum of Arts & Design, which embarked on a highly controversial redesign of the building. Despite vocal calls to preserve the building as a historically important example of Modernism, the Landmark Commission stubbornly refused to even hold hearings on the matter. The new look is set to be unveiled in 2008.

From 1874 until 1960, this was the site of the Pabst Grand Circle Hotel, a seven-story brownstone with a mansard roof. Actors Equity was founded there in 1913.






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

West:

987 (corner): Four Columbus Circle. Why the city allows developers to give their buildings addresses that make no sense is beyond me. This was the site of Reisenweber's Restaurant, noted as the site of Sophie Tucker's "Bohemian Night" in the 400 Room, and as the venue where the Original Dixieland Jass Band was discovered, leading to their recording the first jazz record in 1917. In Taxi Driver, Robert De Niro takes Cybil Shepherd to a place on this corner called Charles' Coffee Shop--presumably a real establishment. He has a black coffee and apple pie with a slice of melted yellow cheese.

977: There was a Horn & Hardart's Automat here where Martha Graham often had lunch with choreographer Louis Horst.

977: Goodburger, local chain

975: 1 Minute Cafe

Corner (301 W 57th): 1 Central Park Place, another nonsensical name (the park is three blocks from here) for a 1988 luxury tower by David, Brody & Associates. Al Pacino and Gene Hackman have lived here.

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Columbus Tower

3 Columbus Circle marked up for surgery by jskrybe, on Flickr

Block (257 W 57th): Also known as the Newsweek Building, for its most prominent tenant (since 1994), the first three stories of this 25-story building went up in 1921 as the Collonade Building, noted for its Ionic columns (William Welles Bosworth, architect). In 1926, Shreve & Lamb added 22 stories to the building, which became General Motors' East Coast headquarters; the building was known as the General Motors Building until 1968, when the company moved to 5th Avenue. The current owner decided to reclad the building in glass in 2008, an aesthetically dubious move. It's also being renamed, inanely, 3 Columbus Circle, despite not being on Columbus Circle.


W <===     WEST 57TH STREET     ===> E
The boundary of the Upper West Side and Hell's Kitchen

West:

Hearst Magazine Building

Hearst Tower, atop the former National Magazine Building by vidiot, on Flickr

Block (300 W 57th): The six-story base of this building, commissioned by William Randolph Hearst to house his magazine empire, was completed in 1928, a "sculptured extravaganza" designed by Joseph Urban. Plans to add a tower were halted by the Great Depression but were finally followed through in 2006, when 40 stories were added in a distinctive triangular grid design by Norman Foster. By preserving the original facade and adding a distinctive new form to the skyline, the building received wide acclaim, including being named the year's best new skyscraper by Emporis. It's now Hearst's world headquarters, housing such publications as Good Housekeeping and Cosmopolitan.

There's a Balducci's grocery store on the ground floor.

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Corner (250 W 57th): The Fisk Building is a 26-story office building from 1921, designed by Carèrre & Hastings and Shreve, Lamb & Blake for the Fisk Tire and Rubber Company. It has its own entrance to the Columbus Circle subway station. Once a hub for auto industry offices, it now specializes in entertainment; David Bowie had his offices here in the 1980s, and it's currently home to RZO, which provides business services to a roster of rock stars like Bowie, the Rolling Stones, U2, Madonna, etc.

The Fisk Building where supervillain Wilson Fisk (aka The Kingpin) works seems to be an entirely different building--though it is somewhere in Midtown.

960: Mariella Pizza















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

West:

947 (corner): Otarian

941: Bread & Honey deli

939: Guantanamera, Cuban

937: Cancun, Mexican

935: The Bread Factory Cafe

933: Rumours, an Irish pub opened in 2003 that's somehow named for a 1977 Fleetwood Mac album.




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944: Abitino's Cafe, Pizza

940: Was Huey's 24/7 Diner, Cajun

936: Luigi's Pizza

934: Meze Grill

932: Matt's Grill. Isn't that confusing?

930 (corner): Chai Thai Kitchen


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

West:

911-929 (block): Westerly, a 19-story apartment building from 1964, designed by Herbert Fleischer Associates. Includes:

927: Hale and Hearty Soups, local chain

923: Barcelona Bar

921: Westerly Liquors

919: The address of Stillman's Gym, where Sugar Ray Robinson did most of his professional training. The gym, originally intended to rehabilitate ex-cons, was in a converted union hall. Closed 1959.

911: Westerly Natural Market.

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903: Da Tommaso, Italian




891: Pick-A-Bagel


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900 (block): Forty-three story building from 2003. Includes Cascade, coffeeshop.










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

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881: Caffe Cielo

877: China Gourmet; Rino Trattoria

875: De Lido




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888 (block): Twenty-story building from 1965. Includes Seasons, A Floral Design Studio; Sansha NYC Dance Store; and Cosmic Diner.










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

West:

Hampton Inn

Hampton Inn by kevin dooley, on Flickr

851 (block): Political activist Angela Davis was arrested here (then a Howard Johnson's) on October 13, 1970, after fleeing charges of murder and kidnapping two months earlier. She was acquitted on all counts in 1972.

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Corner (260 W 52nd): The Ellington seems to be both a hotel and an apartment building.






858: Peking Duck House, Chinese


852: Mi Nidito, Mexican




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

West:

839: The Tivoli theater opened here in 1921, becoming the gay porn house Adonis in the 1970s--torn down in 1990 because it was thought to be discouraging rentals in Worldwide Plaza.

833: Green Farm Grocery

Corner: Longacre House, a 1998 apartment building that recalls Times Square's old name. It was built by developer Harry Macklowe and designed (like the Gershwin across the intersection) by Peter Claman.

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834-840 (corner): Capital Apartments, built 1925. Includes Famous Amadeus Pizza.




832: Sosa Borella Restaurant. Was Silvers Hardware.

830 (corner): Mario Ingrami and William S. Fryer designed this modernist building in 1985.


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

West:

829 (corner): Here were the offices of the New York Morning Herald, where Bat Masterson, once a famed Western gunslinger, worked as a sportswriter. He died at his desk here on October 26, 1921.

World Wide Plaza

IMG_8521 by ultrascott, on Flickr

825 (block): This block-filling project went up in 1989, designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill-- it resembles the RCA Building on steroids. It's home to Thirteen/WNET, New York's PBS station. In the courtyard that the development takes its name from, there's a fountain by Sidney Simon called The Seasons, featuring a globe held up by four female figures--each modeled on artist Molly Ackerman. Underneath the plaza is New World Stages, off-Broadway theaters that were originally a second-run multiplex.

It was built on the site of the third Madison Square Garden, here from 1925 to 1966, designed by Thomas Lamb. The New York Rangers were established here in 1926, and the Knicks in 1946. The first Golden Gloves amateur boxing championship was held here March 28, 1927. A celebration for Adolf Hitler here on February 20, 1939, turned out 28,000 Nazi sympathizers. John F. Kennedy held his 45th birthday party here on May 19, 1962, with Marilyn Monroe singing him a very special ''Happy Birthday.''

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NYC_JULY05_186 by ultrascott, on Flickr

828 (corner): Gershwin Apartments are a 40-story apartment development built in 1998, named for the songwriting brothers.

Includes the Thalia restaurant, filled with theatrical posters and named for the muse of comedy.






















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

West:

813: West End Bar & Grill was Sorrentino Restaurant

811: Fo Ying Chinese

809: Int'l Smoker Shop

809: Olympic Coffee Shop

797: Peter Ottley Institute

795: Social Bar & Grill

793: Blarney Stone Bar

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806: Metro Diner

790: Days Hotel & Parking











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

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789: Supreme Coffee Shop

787: Ray's Famous Pizza

785: Garden Hardware

783: Latitude, multi-level bar/lounge, was Michael's Place Restaurant

781: Gotham City IV, one of Times Square's last live peepshows; opened 2005. Was City Knickerbocker Lighting.

777: Was Hollywood Cinema, X-rated theater

771 (corner): Was B. Smith's, soul-food showcase for the "black Martha Stewart," opened 1987; in 2000, became Jack Rose, bar named for a Westies gangster and a leading venue for swing dancing. Now one of those places for tourists who want to eat someplace they could eat at at home.

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782 (corner): Engine 54/Ladder 4 (FDNY) is housed in a 1974 "muted brown brick cubist exercise'' (AIA Guide). At this address in 1909 was found the body of Elsie Sigel, granddaughter of a Civil War hero, apparently killed by her lover, Chinese immigrant Leon Ling. The murder set off a wave of anti-Chinese hysteria.



776-780: A group of buildings built in 1897, torn down a little more than a hundred years later.

772: Described by Christopher Gray in 1999 as a "fantastically unchanged wooden storefront," this 1899 building was subsequently demolished.

770 (corner): Art Paradise Cards/Posters was in an 1888 brownstone, also since demolished.


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

West:

767 (corner): New Acropolis Coffee is in an 1873 tenement designed by William H. Cauvet --called by Christopher Gray "a nice example of Eastlake-style incised decoration."

765: New York Inn

743: Was Scruffy Duffy's Bar

741: Caravan Afghan Restaurant, opened 1988

739: Le Rendez-Vous Cafe, bar described as a "cheesefest" by TONY. Was Nilupul Video XXX, porn store named for the blue water lily, the national flower of Sri Lanka.

737: Was a massage parlor called French Quarters.

735: The Collins Bar, a respectable dive bar, used to be Little Annie's Full Moon Saloon, described by the Village Voice as "a pimp hangout so unsavory that even the most seasoned slumming debauchee dared not enter it." Before that it was the Show and Tell, a small porn theater where Robert De Niro in Taxi Driver tried to hit up the concession girl--played by De Niro's future wife, Diahnne Abbott.

733 (corner): Pleasure Palace Videos is in an 1881 Victorian building designed for the Astor real estate empire by Thomas Stent.

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760 (corner): La Cocina Mexican Restaurant














Take A Bow... McHale's Bar by MsAnthea, on Flickr

750 (corner): Platinum NYC is a 43-story glass-and-steel condo tower by Costas Kondylis, built in 2007. To build it they tore down McHale's Bar, a classic watering hole that dated back to 1944, when it was the Gaiety Cafe; the stainless steel exterior had been installed in 1941.


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

West:

Corner: Brownstone flats built by the Astors in 1867, designed by Frederick Barus; a mansard roof and tower were added in 1997 by Richard Vitto.




731: Farat Pizza








727: Big Apple Gourmet Deli

725: Century Pawnbrokers


721: MASH Army/Navy

719: Kodama Japanese Restaurant

717: Lord Camelot Coffee is in the Camelot, 1960s apartment building. (The musical opened in December 1960.)

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740: Was Monte Tecla Bar

738: Euro Diner was Capri Adult Cinema, 1969-96. Had a largely gay clientele despite showing straight porn, as described in Samuel Delany's Times Square Red, Times Square Blue. Building from 1920.

732: Playwright Tavern Act II was Eros Theatre, gay pornhouse 1969-96.

730: Was Coqtales Bar

728: Daniela's Gourmet Trattoria was Venus Theater, opened as Eros 2 in 1970 and closed in 1996. The three porn houses on this block were all started by adult impressario Chelly Wilson, producer of such films as Dominatrix Without Mercy and Come Ride the Wild Pink Horse.

726: Smilers Frankie & Johnnie's Steakhouse - 45th Street 4 by ZagatBuzz, on Flickr

Corner (269 W 45th): Frankie & Johnnie's Steakhouse opened here as a speakeasy in 1926; Babe Ruth and Al Jolson are said to have been regulars.


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

West:

715 (corner): Beefsteak Charlie's

713: Joe Franklin's Memory Lane

711: Silver & Sons Hardware

709: Ray's Pizza

703-705: Hotel/Restaurant/Bartenders Union Smith's Bar by MsAnthea, on Flickr

701: Smith's Bar & Restaurant opened in 1954 and hasn't changed much.

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Milford Plaza Hotel

Oh how we wished the O would fail too by Matt Biddulph, on Flickr

700 (block): Opened in 1929 as the Lincoln Hotel. Houses the Celebrity Deli and Garvey's Irish Pub.












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

West:

Shake Shack (Times Square) by ZagatBuzz, on Flickr

691 (corner): The Inter- Continental New York Times Square, a 36-story hotel that opened in 2010. On the ground floor is the Times Square incarnation of the Shake Shack, Danny Meyers' fancy Madison Square burger joint. The Globe Hotel was demolished to make room, along with...

Playpen

Playpen theatre 8th avenue by world of andrew woodyatt, on Flickr

693: A 1916 Beaux Arts building housed the Ideal Theater, which later became the X-rated Cameo (becoming the gay-oriented Adonis after 1990), and then was one of Times Square's last remaining live peep shows--closed in 2007, demolished 2008.

691: Was Adult Fantasy/Peepworld

689: Lace, intimate strip club (formerly Club 44)

687: Gotham City, maintaining the live peepshow tradition; was O'Donnell's Bar.

681 (corner): A 1927 Art Deco Manufacturers Hanover Bank branch designed by sculptor Rene Chambellan (with architects Dennison & Hirons) now houses the Second Stage Theater, in a space designed by Rem Koolhaas and Richard Gluckman.

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694-696 (corner): Robert Emmett's Bar & Restaurant, a pre-theater dining spot. Emmett was an Irish rebel hanged by the British in 1803, famous for his "Let no man write my epitaph" speech.

692: Souper Dog; Wrapsody

690: Was Covenant House, scandal-plagued outreach center for homeless kids; now Harlem Spirituals/New York Visions.

688: Red Ruby Chinese Restaurant

686: Daily Soup

















Come In, We're Open! by Catskills Grrl, on Flickr

Corner (255 W 43rd): The Times Square Hotel, now an SRO; Lee Harvey Oswald and his new wife Marina Oswald stayed here on June 13, 1962, the night after Oswald returned from his stay in Russia.


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

West:




675: Was Big Top Lounge

Show World Center-Theatre

Show World by aturkus, on Flickr

669: Opened in 1977, this three-level peep show emporium is now one of the few remaining adult businesses in the Times Square district.











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Westin New York at Times Square

Westin New York by Joe Shlabotnik, on Flickr

Corner (270 W 43rd): 2001 hotel designed by Arquitectonica is a 45-story prism split by a distinctive glowing arc.

674: Blarney Stone Bar

672: Show Palace Adult Theater


E Walk

Hastily by 24gotham, on Flickr

Corner (259 W 42nd): A strip of glitzy development for the new Times Square. On the corner is Chevy's, an elaborate outlet of the Mexican chain. The first peep shows were installed in a magazine store at this address in 1966.


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

This intersection was as far back as the 1920s a center for male hustlers; Montgomery Clift was arrested for solicitation here shortly after his Oscar nomination for 1948's The Search. Tennessee Williams liked to pick up sailors here as well.

West:

Port Authority Bus Terminal

Untitled by Seth Tisue, on Flickr

The world's largest bus terminal was built in 1950 (expansions in 1963 and 1980) by the same folks who brought us the World Trade towers. There are plans to add a high-rise office tower addition.

Rosanna Arquette leaves her luggage (and her identity) here in Desperately Seeking Susan; the last scene in Bad Lieutenant was set here. It's also the site of George Rhoads' kinetic sculpture 42nd Street Ballroom (a Rube Goldberg-like apparatus involving billiard balls).

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Times Square Plaza

Eleven by roccocell, on Flickr

Block: Also known as 11 Times Square, this 40-story building was completed in 2010. The main tenant here is Proskauer Rose, a law firm founded in 1875 that has represented all four major sports leagues and several giant oil companies--as well as the band The White Stripes. There's talk about putting a giant fish tank in this building with sharks, penguins and the like--I'll believe it when I see it.







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

On August 15, 1910, Arthur Harris fatally stabbed Robert Thorpe at this intersection for accosting his wife. Harris was black and Thorpe, who was white, turned out to be a plain-clothes cop; the incident sparked anti-black riots throughout the Tenderloin district.

West:

Port Authority Bus Terminal

NYC: Port Authority of New York - Ralph Cramden statue by wallyg, on Flickr

The south wing of the bus station. A statue of Jackie Gleason as bus driver Ralph Kramden can be found outside--donated by TVland.














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Corner: Here used to be the > Terminal Bar, a seedy dive that closed in 1982--Travis Bickle hung out there in Taxi Driver. They later made a documentary about it. Next door was the Exchange Bar.

New York Times Building

New York Times Building by edenpictures, on Flickr

620 (block): The paper that gave Times Square its name moved to this new 52-story tower in 2007; it had been at its last home on 43rd Street since 1913. The design by Renzo Piano features a ceramic-tube curtain wall that is supposed to change color with shifting light--"all the colors of the rainbow, from grey to brown," Gawker snarked.


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

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Corner: 300 DVD, located downstairs here, is said to have the best porn bargains in the city.







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557 (corner): This 1903 Art Noveau building was designed by Emery Roth, architect of the San Remo (whose firm later designed the World Trade Center). It was at one point an actor's hotel.

555: Offices of NBM (Nantier Beall Minoustchine), the U.S.'s first publisher of graphic novels, including the political satire of Ted Rall, the science fiction art of Luis Royo and erotica by the likes of Milo Manara, Kevin Taylor and Quinn. New York, New York by  flickr4jazz, on Flickr

543: The Dis- tinguished Wakamba. Undercover police officers accosted Patrick Dorismond in front of this nightclub to ask him for drugs, starting an altercation that resulted in Dorismond's death. (See below.)

Corner: At this corner, Patrick Dorismond was killed by Detective Anthony Vasquez. Mayor Rudolph Giuliani defended the slaying by pointing to a fight Dorismond was in when he was 13 years old.

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The famous Gray's Papaya on 8th Avenue by permanently scatterbrained, on Flickr

535 (corner): Gray's Papaya; you won't find a better bargain in New York than the classic hot dogs here--and you can wash them down with a variety of foamy tropical beverages.

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519 (corner): Amici 36, deli/pizza





505: This was the address of progressive radio station WBAI until it moved to Wall Street in 1998. The radio show CounterSpin got its start here.

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500 (corner): The West Side High School here was profiled in the book On the Outside Looking In-- but it's since moved to 102nd street. Now it's commercial, including a sneaker/streewear store called Mr. Joe.


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

West:

Hotel New Yorker

I love the stacked layers of the New Yorker Hotel by bitchcakesny, on Flickr

481: When built in 1930, this Art Deco hotel was the largest in New York, with 2,500 rooms, 150 launderers, 92 telephone operators, 42 barber chairs, 35 master cooks, 20 manicurists, 10 dining salons, five restaurants and the nation's largest private power plant.

It was the headquarters for Leo Durocher's Brooklyn Dodgers New Yorker Hotel by Michael McDonough, on Flickr during the 1941 World Series, and Joe DiMaggio's home-game home. Big bands led by the likes of Benny Goodman, Woody Herman and the Dorsey Brothers played here. Electrical genius Nikola Tesla died in his room here January 7, 1943.

After decades of decline, it was bought by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church in 1976, and served as World Universal blade sign, New Yorker Hotel (1930), 481 Eighth Avenue, New York, New York by lumierefl, on Flickr Church. In 1994, the Church reopened part of the building as a Ramada Inn franchise, under the old name.

Woody Allen filmed scenes for Radio Days and Bullets Over Broadway in the ballroom here.

At the corner is the hotel's Tick Tock Cafe.

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The boundary of Hell's Kitchen and Chelsea

West:

Printing Crafts Building

Printing Crafts Building (1916), 461 Eighth Avenue, New York, New York by lumierefl, on Flickr

461-479 (block): Now known as 5 Penn Plaza, this 1916 22-story building designed by Edward Larkin used to house the New York bureaus of CNN and CNNfn. There's an Irish pub/restaurant here called Tir na Nog-- "Land of Youth" in Irish--which is the name of the Celtic land of the dead. Also a branch of the theater district's Stage Door Restaurant.

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NYC - Midtown - 1 Penn Plaza by wallyg, on Flickr

Block: All of the several buildings on this entire block to Seventh Avenue have the same "address"--1 Penn Plaza. Who thought up this system, anyway? Though people usually associate that with the 57-story slab halfway down the block. The first building used to include a restaurant called Beema Grill.




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

West:

General Post Office

General Post Office by Obliot, on Flickr

This 1913 building, New York's main post office, was designed by Charles McKim of McKim, Mead and White to complement the classical design of the old Pennsylvania Station, now destroyed. Noted for its collonade of 20 53-foot-high Corinthian columns which support the famous inscription, “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” Neither Snow nor Rain by ktylerconk, on Flickr (This is not the Post Office's official motto, but its placement here-- based on Herodotus' description of Persian couriers--has made it an unofficial standard.) The building--officially renamed the James A. Farley Building, after FDR's postmaster, a New York native-- also bears the names of noted figures in the history of mail; note the inclusion of Franz Von Taxis, who might be considered the villain of The Crying of Lot 49. General Post Office Manhattan (W 33rd St at 8th Ave - New York) by scalleja, on Flickr

The building is scheduled to be transformed into a new rail terminal to replace the warren-like Penn Station under Madison Square Garden. The retrofitted post office building is to be renamed Moynihan Station, commemorating Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who led the push for the change.



























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The Garden's office tower is the location of Disney/ABC radio flagship WABC--this is where Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, among other right-wing broadcasters, do their shows. WPLJ music radio is based here too.

Madison Square Garden

Eight blocks from Madison Square, where the original version was located, this 20,000-seat arena, the home of the New York Knicks, Rangers and Liberty, is the fourth building and the third location to bear the name. Joe Frazier defeated Mohammed Ali here March 8, 1971; Nadia Comaneci scored a perfect 10 here on March 28, 1978.

Jimi Hendrix, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Bruce Springsteen, Madonna and Pope John Paul II KISS 1978 Smokin' in MSG NYC by Whiskeygonebad, on Flickr have all performed here; the Grateful Dead played here 52 times, a record broken by Elton John in 2001. John Lennon's last performance was here, as a surprise guest at an Elton John concert, in 1974. The Democratic conventions of 1976, 1980 and 1992 were held here; the Republicans came here in 2004 to capitalize on September 11. Godzilla made its nest here in the 1998 U.S. version. 2483 Madison square garden by GothEric, on Flickr

Many people think of Madison Square Garden, however, as one of New York City's greatest architectural crimes-- because it was built by tearing down the old Pennsylvania Station, a glorious 1910 structure modeled on the Roman Baths of Caracalla, considered to be architect Charles McKim's greatest masterpiece. (Ironically, McKim partner Stanford White's greatest work was the second Madison Square Garden, demolished in 1925.) Protests by architects and preservationists did not prevent the station's 1963 destruction--though the loss did help spark landmark laws to protect other treasures. Penn Station, New York by radiospike photography, on Flickr

In the base- ment of the Garden is the new Penn Station, one of Manhattan's two major rail terminals--along with a 48-lane bowling alley. No one's going to mistake this Penn Station for an architectural masterpiece. Architect Louis I. Kahn died of a heart attack at the station in 1974--his unidentified body remaining in the morgue for several days.


W <===             WEST 31ST STREET             ===> E

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411: Pizza Suprema; Dinersty Restaurant (Chinese)


407: Tempest Bar, formerly Garden Tavern

405: D'Aiuto's, birthplace of Baby Watson Cheesecake--now selling the homemade stuff as New York New York Cheesecake. Founded 1924.

403 (corner): Manhattan Inn is no beauty contestant, but it's certainly a bargain place to stay in Manhattan.

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Corner: Charley O's Skybox Grill and Bar

412: DVD Explosion

410: Blarney Stone, chain of Irish dives Blizzard Day in NYC by flickr4jazz, on Flickr

408: Golden Krust Patties, Jamaican fastfood chain, is in the Garden Terrace building.




402: Molly Wee Pub, spruced-up Irish joint


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393: Was Deno's Party House USA, aka Bikini Bar. Ultra-sketchy Russian joint. Used to be 8th Avenue Garden.

391: Urban Kitchen (formerly Home on 8th, before that Uncle Chan Restaurant) is a largely vegetarian Walter's Bar by edenpictures, on Flickr Chinese place--the people I work with go here once a week, and it's a fair hike. Displays an extensive collection of Bruce Lee action figures.

389: Walters Bar, an unironic place to get drunk

383 (corner): 8th Avenue Market is in the building once known as Lamartine Hall, headquarters of the Irish Protestant group the Orangemen, and the starting point for a parade that ended up as a massacre on July 12, 1871.

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400 (corner): Human Resources Administration; includes Adult Services Agency, Protective Services for Adults




390: Elevate, dance club, was Vesta; before that CJ's Knockouts Sports Bar & Grill














382 (corner): Uncle Nick's Restaurant, Greek, was Estoril Sol, Italian/Portuguese


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

West:

Penn South Houses

Penn South Houses by edenpictures, on Flickr This huge project was built in 1962 as a middle-income housing co-op for garment workers.













Corner: William "Big Bill" Devery, reputedly "the most corrupt man to ever wear the uniform of the New York City Police Department," was chief of police from 1898-1902. He would stand every night at this corner--known as "The Pump"--to accept payoffs and information from gamblers, brothel owners and other Tenderloin entrepreneurs.

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378 (corner): Italian Deli, "Fancy Food to Go"

376: Salumeria Biellese Charcuterie Francaise, French sausage since 1925

374: AM + AL Gourmet Deli was Alexander the Great Gourmet Deli

372: Kasteli Cafe was Penn Place bar

370: Express Japanese, formerly Express Chinese/Vietnamese Food Upstairs is the Vigilant Hotel; it looks like you'd have to be vigilant.

362-368 (corner): The Onyx Chelsea replaced a building that served as a business office for Onyx Chelsea by edenpictures, on Flickr William "Big Bill" Devery (see opposite corner), and was his campaign headquarters when he ran for mayor in 1903. After he lost, he bought a Baltimore baseball team, moved them to New York and renamed them the New York Yankees.

Businesses that were in the old building included Chelsea 99 Cents or Less (368), Climateight, noted for its guest bartender happy hour (366), Optimo Candy Store (364) and Krour Thai (362).


<===             WEST 28TH STREET             ===>

Ax-wielding prohibitionist Carry Nation was arrested here on September 1, 1901, for obstructing traffic as she denounced the sins of The Tenderloin.

West:

Penn South Houses

This huge project was built in 1962 as a middle-income housing co-op for garment workers.










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Fashion Institute of Technology

Dubinsky Student Center by edenpictures, on Flickr A college designed to serve the academic needs of the Garment District. This end is the David Dubinsky Student Center, built in 1977 and named for the ILGWU leader who helped found the American Labor Party and New York's Liberal Party.


<===             WEST 27TH STREET             ===>

West:



Midtown Tennis

341 (corner): In an inflatable dome above a Gristedes supermarket. Midtown Tennis Club by edenpictures, on Flickr

Underneath the store is the Maverick Theater, home to the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater, a coalition of improv groups that got kicked out of its old home, a former strip club on West 22nd, because it was a firetrap. UCBT is one of the cultural gems of New York City--highly recommended.

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338 (corner): Utopia Diner

336: Unicorn DVD, gay porn shop.

334: Brown Cup, good coffee; Kofoo Korean Rice Bar

330: China Star, takeout








322 (corner): This building--once the Pennsylvania Exchange Bank--houses offices of Amnesty International, Bacon's clipping service, the Chakrasambara Buddhist Center and the Rotary Club of New York.


<===             WEST 26TH STREET             ===>

West:

Penn South Houses

Penn South by edenpictures, on Flickr









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320 (corner): Daniella; Zagat says this Italian has some of the best food in Chelsea.



306: The Medicine Shoppe

304: Luigi's Pizza

302: In 1871, at the time of the Orangemen massacre, was National Baking Company.

300 (corner): Kyung's Fruit & Grocery was Utah House hotel.


<===             WEST 25TH STREET             ===>

On July 12, 1871, in the "Slaughter on Eighth Avenue," as many as 70 people were killed between 25th and 23rd streets when Irish Catholic snipers attacked an Orange Societies Parade guarded by 3,000 police and militia soldiers.

West:

Penn South Houses


















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294 (corner): In 1951, this nail joint was The Balkan, a Yugoslavian restaurant.

292: In 1871, this was Appel's Hotel. Now a dry cleaner.

290: Was the 8th Avenue Mission; later Rome, a gay bar; more recently The Biltmore Room, a restaurant whose marble floor and bronze doors came from the original Biltmore Hotel.

288: Was Hong Kong Noodle. I may owe my job to this Chinese restaurant; after a long search process, I was finally interviewed and taken out to dinner here, where one of the interviewers got a fortune cookie that read, "Stop looking forever, happiness is right beside you."

286: Brooklyn Bagel & Coffee Company


<===             WEST 24TH STREET             ===>

In 1901, the police officer who arrested prohibitionist Carry Nation four blocks to the north released her here after being threatened by an angry mob that was enjoying her denunciations of their lifestyle.

West:

Penn South Houses

Site of Grand Opera House by edenpictures, on Flickr

Corner: Former site of the Grand Opera-House; built in 1868 as Pike's Opera House, bought soon after by financiers Jay Gould and Jim Fisk, partly as a showcase for Fisk's mistress, Josie Mansfield, partly as offices for Gould and Fisk's Erie Railway. During 1869's "Black Friday" panic--caused by Fisk and Gould's attempts to corner gold--Fisk hid out in the Opera-House vaults. Fisk was shot in 1872 by Edward Stokes, a rival for Mansfield's affections; Fisk's funeral was held here. George M. Cohan produced plays here; Fred Astaire practiced dancing. Converted to cinema 1917; demolished 1960.

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270: John Q. Aymar Building





<===             WEST 23RD STREET             ===>

This intersection is the approximate location of "Chelsea" (1750-77), Captain Thomas Clarke's estate that gave its name to the neighborhood. Clarke, Clement Clarke Moore's grandfather, named the house he intended to retire to after London's old soldiers' home.

West:

300 West 23rd Street by edenpictures, on Flickr

Corner (300 W 23rd): This 1928 Art Deco building, by architect Emery Roth, was supposed to be a hotel, but the project went bankrupt. Restored with its original deco fixtures.

253: Fresco Tortilla Grill, a hole-in-the-wall that spawned many imitators

The Onion

245 (corner): This building housed the headquarters of America's Finest News Source, which moved to New York from Madison, Wisconsin in 2001. Subsequently relocated to Chicago.

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Breadstix Cafe by edenpictures, on Flickr

254 (corner): Was SGS Donuts--recom- mended by the New York Times. Now Breadstix Cafe.

240: Royal Siam








<===             WEST 22ND STREET             ===>

West:

Allerton Hotel by edenpictures, on Flickr

Corner (302 W 22nd): The Gem Hotel Chelsea used to be the Allerton Hotel, where Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe lived together.




225: A 14-story condo from 1998.

219 Eighth Avenue by edenpictures, on Flickr




219 (corner): Was Bendix Diner, a Thai-inflected neo-truck stop

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234 (corner)

232: View Bar; the "view" was a mural behind a window. Formerly Break.

228-230: Romanza apartments was home from 1994-2005 to Big Cup, a Chelsea institution where the buff met for java.


224-226: Brunsonia apartments

222: Village Florist


Snowy Cab by CarbonNYC, on Flickr

218 (corner): Was Bright Food Shop; the name went back to 1938, and the space was a restaurant as far back as 1907. But it closed in 2007, after being updated as an Asian/Latin neo-diner.


<===             WEST 21ST STREET             ===>

West:

209: Chelsea Golden Wok




201: The Dish

199: Mr. D





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52.Chelsea.NYC.24June2012 by Elvert Barnes, on Flickr

212 (corner): Project Pie, California-style pizza, was Rawhide, a landmark leather bar that opened in 1979, closed in 2013.



202: Intermezzo

200: Cuba Cafe, formerly Cuba Libra

198 (corner): Rainbows and Triangles, gay kitsch.


<===             WEST 20TH STREET             ===>

West:











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196: Tazza Restaurant and Bar

188: Havana Chelsea Luncheonette; old-time diner is "the cutest cheap restaurant on the Chelsea strip"--Robert Sietsema.

184: La Belle Vie

182: The Rocking Horse (Mexican)

178 (corner): Better Burger, health-oriented fast food.


<===             WEST 19TH STREET             ===>

West:

Joyce Theatre

joyce theater by Susan NYC, on Flickr

175 (corner): Built in 1942 as the Elgin cinema, converted to one of NYC's premier dance spaces. Named not for James Joyce, but for the developer's daughter. The renovation helped spark a return of arts and restaurants to Eighth Avenue.

169: The Hideaway Room at Helen's, 161 Eighth Avenue by edenpictures, on Flickr cabaret/restaurant, formerly Judy's (which moved here from the Theater District).

167: ARCA Antiques Cafe

165: Vox; Cafe Inferno

161 (corner): Brooklyn Industries clothing

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176 (corner): Nisos, Greek

174: El Cid was Galaxy Cafe II















166: Room Service, Thai, was La Chinita Linda Restaurant, unpretentious Chino-Latino










<===             WEST 18TH STREET             ===>

West:

159: Eighteenth and Eighth Restaurant

157: In the early 1990s was The Attic, "a sex club that had no limits"--Chelsea: A Gay History.

155: Amin Indian Cuisine

151: Flight 151, aviation-themed burger joint

149: Was Food Bar, "sleek, perfectly lit" with an "uber-attractive staff"--Shecky's

147: Bang Bang Men of Chelsea, cruisewear. 143 Eighth Avenue by edenpictures, on Flickr This building and its neighbor to the south have dormers; they were both built c. 1828.

145: Chisholm Larsson Gallery, vintage posters

143 (corner): Nooch, Japanese

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160 (corner): The Viceroy

158: Gascogne

152: Mardana for Men, slutwear for guys.

150: Silom Thai was the Blue Moon Mexican Cafe, and earlier the 17th Street Saloon, a gay leather bar. Cola's by edenpictures, on Flickr

148: Cola's, Italian restaurant with a nifty copper facade








142: Details


<===             WEST 17TH STREET             ===>

West:


139: Paradise Cafe & Muffins Co. This is the only building on the block to survive the construction of 131 in 2008.

135: Was Chelsea Grill, which had a year-round garden

133: Was Handmade Cigars 131 Eighth Avenue by edenpictures, on Flickr

131 (corner): A Borgish-looking grey building went up at this address in 2008, wiping out almost all the other buildings and businesses on the block. The building that used to use this address was The Bistro at Candy Bar, and earlier was the Chelsea Transfer, a early 1980s gay bar that was ahead of the neighborhood's transformation.

129: Was Cajun Restaurant

127 (corner): Was Suite 16, which was Re-bar

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Corner (270 W 17th): Grand Chelsea (apartments)




























<===             WEST 16TH STREET             ===>

West:

Port Authority Building

Port Authority Building by edenpictures, on Flickr

111 (block): This block-filling building, originally known as the Union Inland Terminal No. 1, was built by the Port Authority in 1932 to relieve congestion by consolidating and redistributing truck shipments. When built, it may have had more cubic space than any building in the world--later surpassed by the Pentagon. To make the project self-supporting, the upper floors were designed to be rented out to private businesses, which set a legal Seagull With Fasces by edenpictures, on Flickr precedent for public entities engaging in commercial transactions. It also served as the headquarters for the Port Authority until they were moved to the World Trade Center.

There's a Banana Republic on the ground floor. Google's New York office occupies the entire 4th floor; it bought the whole building in 2010. The Deutsch, Inc. ad agency has its headquarters here.

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116 (corner): Mary Ann's, above-par local Mexican chain

114: Pad Thai Noodle Lounge

112: Gerry's, one of the few boutiques in Chelsea aimed at women.








108: Chelsea Ristorante, Tuscan

106: Sumo

104: Rue des Crepes; Cookie's Fine Foods 102 Eighth Avenue by edenpictures, on Flickr

102 (corner): Vnyl, part of a mini-chain of Thai-inflected faux diners; the Skittle-colored decor is the big draw, including bathrooms that are shrines to Cher and Elvis. Used to be Diner 24, before that Doherty's Coffee House.


<===             WEST 15TH STREET             ===>

Near this spot in colonial times was a monument to General Wolfe, who captured Quebec for the British.

West:

































85: The Thomas Eddy NYC - Chelsea: New York Savings Bank Building by wallyg, on Flickr

81 (corner): Bank Building Apartments, built in 1896 as the New York Bank for Savings, later Gold Dome Bank; later Central Carpet.

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98: Mezza Luna Pizza. "Mezzaluna" means "half moon" in Italian; it's also a kind of knife used to cut pizza.

96: La Taza de Oro ("The Cup of Gold"), decades-old Puerto Rican restaurant

92: Muscle Maker Grill, body builders' food

Bankers' Trust Company Building

Bankers Trust Company Building by edenpictures, on Flickr

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

This building is home to the Greenwich Village Chamber of Commerce -- is it a bad sign that it's located outside the Village? Here are also the NYC - Chelsea - 80 8th Avenue by wallyg, on Flickr offices of the International Cinema- tographers Guild. On the top floor is New Directions, a publishing house founded by steel heir and poet James Laughlin in 1936, which brought out volumes by Ezra Pound, HD, William Carlos Williams, F. Scott Fitzgerald, James Joyce, Hermann Hesse, Henry Miller, Muriel Spark and numerous other avant-gardists.


<===             WEST 14TH STREET             ===>
The boundary of Chelsea and Greenwich Village

Near this intersection was the center of Sapohannikan, an Indian community that became the nucleus for Greenwich Village.

West:

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

75-79 (corner): Was New York County National Bank (1907); later Manufacturers Hanover branch; now Spa for Men.

73: Think Coffee was Chicago B.L.U.E.S., and later Go, a bar with all-white decor that salvaged part of the neon sign.

71: The Lumber Store Inc

69: McManus JAS Florist


















65 (corner): Village Pizza


<===         W 13TH ST

51 (corner): This used to be a gas station for the Russian oil company Lukoil. It closed in 2011.




Corner (1 Horatio): Darling, dress shop. Note that 1 Horatio is a block away from 2 Horatio, since there are no addresses on Jackson Square.

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North Village Delicatessen by edenpictures, on Flickr

Corner: North Village Delicatessen. There is a West Village, an East Village and a South Village, but this and a liquor store next door to it are the only evidence I've seen of a North Village.

One Jackson Square

NYC - Greenwich Village: One Jackson Square by wallyg, on Flickr

Corner (122 Greenwich Ave): A wavy, glassy, 11-story condo completed in 2010. Designed by Bill Pederson of Kohn Pedersen Fox. The penthouse sold for almost $17 million.


GREENWICH AVE         ===>

Jackson Square

West Village, NYC: Jackson Square Park by JoeBehrPalmSprings, on Flickr

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

The park was redesigned by Calvert Vaux and Parks superintendent Samuel Parsons in 1887. The central cast-iron fountain was installed in 1990.


            HORATIO STREET             ===>

West:

A traffic island.










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56 (corner): The Van Gogh is a 17-story apartment building constructed in 1960 with a distinctive curved facade. On the ground floor is Typewriters N' Things.

52: Art Bar, drinking and paintings

48: Was Chocolate Bar, which moved down the street.

42 (corner): The Rembrandt, a 17-story apartment building from 1962. Also known as 31 Jane Street.


<===             WEST 4TH STREET             ===>

West:

'sNice by warsze, on Flickr

45 (corner): S'Nice, vegetarian restaurant/ coffeeshop/ tea house

43: Organic Avenue, health food

39: Chatelaine, gifts

31: Tavern on Jane, neighborhood place owned by Horton Foote Jr. (son of the playwright), that was the setting of the feature film The Tavern, made by Walter Foote, the owner's brother.

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This traffic island once had a pink triangle painted on it by unknown parties to commemorate those lost to AIDS. It was eliminated when traffic was reconfigured in the 1990s.













<===             JANE STREET             ===>

West:

Jane Street Garden

The Jane Street Garden by BDC_Lancaster, on Flickr

Corner: The Jane Street Block Association started this garden here in 1973, when it was a burned-out property owned by St. Vincent's Hospital. After many fights internal and external, the land is now owned by the city and the garden with its flowering crabapple trees is maintained by the West Village Committee. A windmill was installed in 1982 in commemoration of the 1782 Treaty of Amity and Commerce between the U.S. and the Netherlands; it later burned down after being occupied by a homeless poet.

The book Christmas on Jane Street, by Billy Romp, tells how the author has sold Christmas trees on this corner every season since 1988.

23: House of Cards & Curiosities

19: Chocolate Bar, serving the food of the gods in both liquid and solid form.

13: Abingdon Guest House

11 (corner): A five-story building from 1901.

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40 (corner): This building, built c. 1900 at the tip of a nearly triangular block, houses Li-Lac Chocolates, an old-school chocalatier that opened in 1923.

38: Dell'anima ("Of the Soul"), highly praised Italian that opened in 2007.























22 (corner): Teich Design, accessories; Casa Magazines has many foreign papers. Ink Pad used to be here before moving to Seventh Avenue.


<===             WEST 12TH STREET             ===>

West:

Abingdon Square

Abingdon Square

Admiral Peter Warren, a wealthy Royal Navy officer who owned most of pre-Revolution- ary Green- wich Village, gave his daughter Charlotte land in the vicinity of this square when she married Willoughby Bertie, the Earl of Abingdon. When New York City was replacing royalist placenames in 1794, Abingdon Square was spared because the Abingdons in England had defended the rights of the Colonials. NYC - West Village: Abingdon Square Park - Abingdon Doughboy by wallyg, on Flickr

The square was made a city park in 1831, and given a redesign by Calvert Vaux in 1892. The statue in the square, a World War I doughboy by Philip Martiny, was dedicated in 1921 by Alfred E. Smith.

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Corner (302 W 12th): A luxury apartment house built in the 1930s by Bing & Bing.

4: Shag; despite serving finger food, this restaurant's walls are covered in white shag carpeting.

2 (corner): A 17-year-old Betty Bacall (soon to be renamed Lauren) moved to this red-brick apartment building, just before she became Miss Greenwich Village 1942. It wasn't long before Diana Vreeland was putting her on the cover of Harper's Bazaar, leading to her Hollywood career.


BLEECKER ST         ===>

Bleecker Playground

NYC - West Village: Bleecker Playground  by wallyg, on Flickr

A popular community play area created in 1966 by tearing down several warehouses. Includes Chaim Gross's statue The Family.


<===             HUDSON STREET             ===>

Block (771 Greenwich St): A seven-story building from 1968.










You would get the impression from the guidebooks that not much ever happened on Eighth Avenue. But that's not true, is it? Write to Jim Naureckas and tell him about the hidden history.

New York Songlines Home.

Sources for the Songlines.

The Songlines' Facebook Fan Page.

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