New York Songlines: East Broadway

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One of the more confusing aspects of Manhattan geography is the problem of the three Broadways--the regular Broadway, West Broadway and East Broadway, none of which has any connections whatsoever to the others. The idea seems to be that the real Broadway was crowded and city planners thought that similarly named streets would trick people into using them instead. It's kind of a mean trick; East Broadway in particular would take would-be Broadway users way out of their way.

East Broadway has had that name since 1830, but it's existed since at least 1732, when it was a lane cutting through the lands of brewer Herman Rutgers.









S <===     CHATHAM SQUARE     ===> W

South:

Kimlau Square

NYC - Chinatown: Kimlau Square - Kimlau War Memorial by wallyg, on Flickr

Corner: An island in Chatham Square named for Benjamin Ralph Kimlau, a Chinese-American lieutenant in the Army Air Force who died on a bombing mission near New Guinea in World War II; he's the namesake of Chinatown's American Legion post, the largest in New York City.

The square has a memorial arch for Chinese-Americans who "lost their lives in defense of freedom and democracy," NYC - Chinatown: Kimlau Square - Lin Ze Xu statue by wallyg, on Flickr as well as a statue of Lin Ze Xu, a Chin- ese official who tried to sup- press the opium trade, leading to conflict with Britain's East India Company and the Opium War.

1: Goodys Dim Sum Go Go by roboppy, on Flickr

5: Dim Sum Go Go

7: Trans World Buddhist Association

9: Upstairs is the Cuban Chinese Benevolent Association.

11 (corner): The China Glory Tower, a 15-story glass-and-limestone office building built in 1990. A branch of HSBC, the Hongkong Shanghai Bank Company, is on the ground floor. Formerly the Pagoda movie theater was here.

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Chatham Square by Bte  Bon-Dieu, on Flickr

Corner (17 Chatham Square): A pagoda-like building that is also known as 2 Catherine Street.















2 (corner): A 10-story building that went up c. 1900. Among the businesses here is Food Sing 88 Corp, a well-regarded ramen house.


Luncheonette-Chinatown 1980s by amg2000, on Flickr An old- school sand- wich shop called Club Lunch used to be at this address--at least into the 1980s.


S <===     CATHERINE STREET     ===> N

South:

17 (corner): Number One Long Hing Market

19: Lay On Co, Chinese herbs

23: Munchies Paradise Aji Ichiban

25: M & W Bakery, Chinese

27: United Commercial Bank

29: Oriental Books & Stationery

Chatham Square Branch NYPL

33: A 1903 building designed by McKim Mead and White in a Classical style-- the second New York Public Library branch to be underwritten by Andrew Carnegie. This branch includes a special Chinese Heritage collection.

35: Was The Nice Restaurant, which wasn't very nice; it closed in 2007 because it refused to pay back tips it had taken from its employees.

37: Sun Tung Wui Market

39: Wing Hing Center, a commercial building. Two pre-school children were killed on the sidewalk here by a van from China Chalet that was left in reverse while the driver made a delivery.

45: Cathay Bank. "Cathay" is an old name for China.

47: Yung Sun Seafood

51: East Broadway Wedding Center; Long Hing Market

55: The FDNY's Engine Company No. 9 was organized at this address in 1865; it had previously been a volunteer outfit that traced its history back to 1731, making it the oldest firefighting unit in the city. After a hundred years here, it relocated to Canal Street.

57: Lou Cheng Market Chinatown - Seen from the Manhattan Bridge by AmandaB3, on Flickr

63: West- ern Union; China- town DVD. Painted yellow.

65: Audio Video Center; Fay Chaw Merchants Association nighttime chinatown from manhattan bridge by Zemlinki!, on Flickr

67: So Go, Fuji- anese noo- dles; Waloy Bakery.

71 (corner): NY Tak Shing Hong, market

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18 (corner): On the ground floor is a branch of the Cathay Bank (the Chatham Square branch, as opposed to the New York Chinatown branch across the street). Upstairs is the Golden Unicorn Restaurant, spacious Cantonese opened in 1989. (Old-school D & D players will recognize the restaurant's namesake as the Ki-Rin.)

22: Immigration Law Office is in a three-story building with dormers.

24: Lucky Florist & Gift


30: Global Bank

32: JSM Building

34: Tong Wah herb shop; Fashion Zone

36: Dak Cheong Meat Market

38: Universal Optical

40: Golden Seafood was Hwa Yuan Szechuan Inn, credited with revolutionizing Chinese cooking in the United States by introducing the spicier Szechuan style.

46: Lower East Side Service Center, drug/alcohol rehab, is in the Edward M. Brown Building.

48: Grace Gratitude Buddhist Temple

50: QQ Bakery; Lo Clan's Association

52: Lin's International Group Trading

54: American East Fuzhou Restaurant. Fouzhou is the capital of Fujian province, where many of East Broadway's immigrants come from; it's a city of almost 7 million inhabitants.

56: Wong Hing Wong Market

58: Wing Wah Jewelry




62: Foochow Grand Florist. Also at this address is the methadone clinic of the Lower East Side Service Center.


East Broadway in China(town) by Jeremy, on Flickr

68: Ai Zhen Foo Chow Rest- aurant ; Eastern Driving School

70 (corner): East Corner Wonton


S <===     MARKET STREET     ===> N

South:

Sophie Irene Loeb Playground

Corner: This sliver of block left over by the bridge features a giant toy boat and yin/yang-themed sprinklers. Loeb, the playground's namesake, was a journalist and social worker who founded the Child Welfare Board of New York City.

Manhattan Bridge

Manhattan Bridge by NJScott, on Flickr

This was the last of the three suspension bridges crossing the lower East River, opening to traffic in 1909. The chief engineer was Othniel Foster Nichols, assisted by two of the most famous bridge engineers in U.S. history--Leon Moisseiff and Rudolph Modjeski.


East Broadway by _PaulS_, on Flickr

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Manhattan Bridge

manhattan bridge, nyc chinatown by stevehuang7, on Flickr











88 (block): Under the Manhattan Bridge is the spacious 88 East Broadway Mall, which includes the New White Swan Bakery.
Girl Friday by 24gotham, on Flickr




Girls in China(town) by Jeremy ???, on Flickr


S <===     FORSYTH STREET     ===> N

South:

87 (corner): Manna Two Bakery

89: Pho 89, Vietnamese, is in a five-story building with three-story arches.

91: Hotel 91 East Broadway, Chinatown NYC by 1hr photo, on Flickr

95: Hok Zhou Resta- urant, Do Re Mi Beauty Salon

99: Kim Tin Trading, Yook Ying Association

103: Tan Wong Restaurant

105: East Seafood Restaurant

107: This building had to be vacated in 2009 after a fire next door.

109 (corner): Hong Kong Supermarket by Akibubblet, on Flickr
Was the Hong Kong Super- market, which collapsed after a fire on May 14, 2009.

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90 (corner): bakery! by roboppy, on Flickr
May's Bakery; Forever Love Wed- ding Center

92: Sunrise Restaurant Equipment

94: East Broadway Restaurant

96: Ruby Bakery

98: A seven-story building completed in 2009 with a mostly glass facade.







chinatown east broadway street by stevehuang7, on Flickr

Corner (2 Pike): There's a Mobil station here.


S <===     PIKE STREET     ===> N

The Big Map has a phototour of East Broadway-- Part II goes from here to Chatham Square.

South:

123 (corner): east-broadway-and-allen by dandeluca, on Flickr
First Amer- ican Inter- national Bank

125: Fukien American Association. Fukien is the same as Fujian--a province in southern China where many of the immigrants on East Broadway hail from. chinatown east broadway street bridge by stevehuang7, on Flickr

127: Lucky Store Bakery, Tin Ma Travel

139: Tops Food Co.

Mesivtha Tifereth Jerusalem

141-147: This Jewish religious school, founded in 1907, is one of the oldest yeshivas in the United States; it moved to this location in 1922. Its dean for nearly five decades was Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, said to be the world's leading Talmudic scholar. 141 is a fairly non-descript three-story dormitory for the school.

149: Hong Kong Printing

151: New Golden Vision Center

153: HK Discount Store

Corner (2 Rutgers): The Crossroads, an eight-floor condo development built in 2000

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120 (corner): Wedding Garden Studio

124: Zhong Guo Chang Supermarket

Knickerbocker Station

The terrifying Knickerbocker post office by alq666, on Flickr

130: A U.S. post office opened in 1937, de- signed by William Dewey Foster in the Colonial Revival style.

136: A 13-story condo going up in 2009. East Broadway, Chinatown by rhatchmiller, on Flickr

140- 142: Chinatown Lumber

144: Fu Zhou Ri Wang Restaurant, noodles

144B-146: New Xian Shi Fashion

150: Wei Wei Fashion of NYC

152: Black Rose Fashion



158: Weilgus & Sons, door hardware/locksmith supplies

160: Sun Light Bakery

162 (corner): Golden Carriage Bakery is part of a local chain of Chinese bakeries--in a six-story building from 1900.


S <===     RUTGERS STREET / ESSEX STREET     ===> N

South:

165 (corner): Wing Shoon Seafood Restaurant was the Garden Cafeteria (1911-83), a kosher dairy joint that was an intellectual hub of the neighborhood. The likes of Emma Goldman and Leon Trotsky used to argue politics here; Fidel Castro paid a visit when he was in town. Isaac Bashevis Singer, a regular, featured the place in "The Cabalist of East Broadway."

The current restaurant was the setting for the Flight of the Conchords' song "Sugar Lumps."

167: Hunda Glass Corp. s2e2 - 169 bar - 169 east broadway.png by luzer, on Flickr

169: The 169 Bar has been around since the 1920s as a dive nicknamed The Bloody Bucket and frequented by sailors and Chinese gangsters; it's now more of a hipster joint, as exemplified by the fact that Flight of the Conchords played here on the show.

Forward Building

NYC - LES: Former Jewish Daily Forward Building by wallyg, on Flickr

175: This 10-story terra cotta-clad building went up in 1911 to house The Jewish Daily Forward, a left-wing Yiddish paper founded in 1897 that in the 1920s had a circulation of 250,000. Above the second floor can be seen the carved faces of Marx, Engels and fellow socialist heroes Ferdinand Lasalle and William Liebnicht. The NYC - LES: Former Jewish Daily Forward Building by wallyg, on Flickr paper, which long ago turned to the right, is now published on 33rd Street. This building later housed a Chinese-language church, which concealed the socialist faces behind black Chinese characters reading "Jesus leads the way." Since 1999, it's been a condominium, and the lefties are back on display.

177: Ling Liang Evangelical


185: Was the Jewish Daily News, which in 1903 hired Ruth Pastor, a working-class Jewish immigrant from England, to write about life on the Lower East Side. Pastor later married radical millionaire James Graham Phelps Stokes, and as Ruth Pastor Stokes ran for Congress as a Communist in 1920.

189 (corner): Cafe Petisco opened in 2008.

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Straus Square

NYC - LES: Nathan Straus Square by wallyg, on Flickr

Named for Nathan Straus, a co-owner of Macy's who gave much of his wealth to philanthropic projects, including lodging houses, a tuberculosis sanitarium for children, World War I relief and health centers in Palestine. Straus was a primary proponent of the pasteurization of milk. Formerly Rutgers Square, named for Henry Rutgers, scion of a brewing family that owned land here; Rutgers was a Revolutionary oficer and donated money to revive Queen's College in New Jersey, now named after him. Includes the Supreme Sacrifice memorial, a pillar dedicated to the Lower East Siders who lost their lives in the world wars.


CANAL ST         ===> W

Seward Park

NYC - LES - Seward Park: Mosaic Map by wallyg, on Flickr

This park was estab- lished in 1899 by the Outdoor Recreation League, replacing crumbling tenements that were torn down in 1897. It's named for William Seward (1801-72), an early abolitionist who became NY governor (1838-42) and a U.S. senator (1848-61), he served as secretary of state under Lincoln and Andrew Johnson. He's most remembered for paying Russia $7 million for Alaska in 1867. But it's his pro-immigration policies that made him the namesake of this park serving an immigrant neighborhood.

The northern part of the park was made into a playground in 1903--the first munipal playground in the U.S. A public bath--the first in a New York park-- was built here in 1904 and demolished in 1936, replaced by a recreation building in 1941. NYC - LES - Seward Park: Schiff Fountain by wallyg, on Flickr

The Schiff Fountain, paid for by financier Jacob H. Schiff and designed by Arnold Brunner, was built in 1895 in Rutgers Square and moved here in 1936.

Numerous Tai Chi practitioners can be found in the park every morning.


S <===     JEFFERSON STREET     ===> N

South:

Educational Alliance

197 (corner): NYC - LES: The Educational Alliance by wallyg, on Flickr
This service organi- zation was founded in 1889 as the Downtown Hebrew Institute, with the core mission of bringing Eastern European Jewish immigrants into the American mainstream. David Sarnoff, future founder of NBC, learned English here; the remodeled building now bears his name. Arthur Murray took dance lessons here, Mark Rothko studied painting and Eddie Cantor had his stage debut. Mark Twain gave a reading here.




203: The United Hebrew Community of New York was founded in 1901 as a benevolent society for Polish and Russian immigrants--now a shul. Also here is a synagogue, Congregation Adas Israel, which moved to this address c. 1930.

207-209: Iglesia Cristiana Asambleas de Dios is a Spanish/English Pentacostal church, originally established on Monroe Street in 1953, towards the beginning of the big wave of Puerto Rican immigration to the Lower East Side.









213: Six Happy Kitchen, Chinese









219 (corner): A six-story building from 1910

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Seward Park Branch

192 (corner): NYC - LES - New York Public Library Seward Park Branch by wallyg, on Flickr
This branch of the New York Public Library was founded as the Aguilar Free Library Society, named for Anglo-Jewish writer Grace Aguilar. The Aguilar library moved here in 1890; in 1901 industrialist Andrew Carnegie gave it a gift of $5 million that brought it into the public system. The current neo-Renaissance building was built in 1909, designed by Babb, Cook & Welch; George Babb and Walter Cook also designed Carnegie's 91st Street mansion. This library, which was built with a rooftop reading area, was one of the NYPL's most popular branches; one of its more notable users was Leon Trotsky.

198: In a tenement that used to be at this address was the law office of Morris Hillquit, head of NYC's Socialist Party and unsuccessful mayoral candidate in 1917.

Seward Park Co-Ops

Seward Park by themikebot, on Flickr

Corner: Part of Co-Operative Village, these 12 towers were designed by Herman Jessor and built from 1957-60. The Hatters and Painters unions' pension funds helped pay for the development. The complex features Socialist Realist-style murals by Hugo Gellert depicting Jefferson, Lincoln, FDR and Einstein, painted in 1959. In 1996, seward park by bondidwhat, on Flickr the co-op board tried to have the historic murals removed, but they reversed the decision after appeals from art historians and union leaders.


S <===     CLINTON STREET     ===> N

South:

The Mayflower by amg2000, on Flickr

221-223 (corner): The Mayflower, six-story building dated to c. 1910.








Young Israel Synagogue of Manhattan

NYC - LES: Young Israel Synagogue by wallyg, on Flickr

229: Founded in 1912, the Young Israel movement promotes a modern, American version of Orthodox Judaism. Its New York temple moved here in 1922. Prior to that, this was the home of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, founded 1909, which moved out in 1921 in the former Astor Library, now the Public Theater.

Also in this building is the Algemeiner Journal; founded in 1972 by a veteran of Der Tag after that paper folded, it's the last survivor of the Yiddish newspaper row. UPDATE: This building was torn down in 2010; the paper seems to have moved to Brooklyn.

233: Congregation Beth Hachasidim de Polen; Tzheirei Agudath Israel of Manhattan

235: The United Jewish Council of the East Side, founded in the 1970s, is dedicated to the preservation of community institutions. Also at this address is the synagogue Agudas Harbonim and the Ezras Torah Relief Society.

237: Congregation Shearis Adath Israel; Chassidei Belz; Anshei Libovne-Volin; Chevra Shomrei Shabbos East Broadway by Salim Virji, on Flickr

239: Con- grega- tion Austria Hungary Anshei Sfard; Chevra Yeshias Yacov

241: Chevra Zemach Zedek ("Society of the Righteous Scion"), which takes its name from the nickname of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneersohn (1789-1866), an important Chasidic scholar.

247-249: These row houses, built c. 1837, are survivors of the middle-class neighborhood that was here before the Lower East Side became synonymous with tenements and mass immigration.

255: Another row house survivor from c. 1837.

259 (corner): This was the address of the drug store of Israel Turk, a prosperous pharmacist, who was murdered in his home at 271, an address no longer existing. Turk was reportedly killed by escaped convict Robert Brown, who was robbing the house at the request of a Hoboken woman who had a grudge against Turk's wife.


S <===   MONTGOMERY

A quarter-acre traffic island



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Bialystoker Center and Home for the Aged

228: An old folks' home run by the Bialystok Mutual Aid Society, a self-help group for immigrants from Bialystok, Poland--once the city with the highest concentration of Jews in the world, and the origin of the term "bialy." Their Art Deco home for the elderly was built in 1931, replacing an earlier nursing home on the site. New Zealand Consulate by luzer, on Flickr

232: The East Village Medical Assoc- iation building, a four-story structure built in 1962, has at least Mural on the side of the Bialystoker Home for the Aged by Salim Virji, on Flickr two claims to fame. First, one side of the building features a large mural, painted in 1973, representing the Jewish community of the Lower East Side, and bearing the motto: "Our strength is our heritage. Our heritage is our life."

Two, this building houses the New Zealand Consulate in the TV show Flight of the Conchords, the setting of frequent band meetings. Present!

Seward Park Co-Ops











































S <===     DICKSTEIN PLAZA     ===> N

South:

275: At this address, now the middle of the street, was the home of Meyer London, a Socialist Party leader who was three times elected to the U.S. Congress. He lost in 1922 to Samuel Dickstein, who is best known for initiating the House Un-American Activities Committee, and for whom the roadway that paved over London's house is named.

279 (corner): A two-story building from 1918

281: This NYC landmark, a carefully restored 1829 Federal-style row house, was originally built by surveyor Isaac Ludlum on land purchased from Alexander Hamilton, son of the guy of the same name on the $10 bill. Subsequent owners have been involved in shipbuilding, groceries, shoemaking, trimmings and medicine. It was Betances, a medical clinic for the Latino community, c. 1977-96, and now serves as offices for the Henry Street Settlement.

283: House of Sages is a retreat for retired rabbis, established 1922 and moved to this 1829 row house in 1989.

Henrietta Szold School

1959, East Broadway by CORNERSTONES of NY, on Flickr

293: New York Public School 134 is named for the teacher and scholar who founded Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America. Built 1959.

Mikva of the Lower East Side

NYC - LES: Mikvah of the East Side by wallyg, on Flickr

311-313: This sweet Beaux Arts building was built in 1904 by the Young Men's Benevolent Association as a community center, complete with basement bowling alley. In 1919 it was bought by Arnold Toynbee House, a settlement-house named for the British social reformer who inspired the settlement-house movement; the initials ATH and the year of the group's founding (1916) are still on the building's facade.

After changing its name to Grand Street Settlement, the group moved to Rivington Street, and in 1941 this became a mikva--a ritual bathhouse for Orthodox Jews--run by Agudath Taharath Mishpachah (the Association for Family Purity). The roof collects rain water for the baths, which are mainly used to "purify" women after menstruation. The building is also used by Gouverneur Hospital's Office of Clinical and Health Services Research.

Corner (503 Grand): 99 Cent Plus Discount Store

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Block (465 Grand): This four-story building, which houses an Emigrant Savings Bank branch, went up in 1963.





































































S <===     GRAND STREET     ===> N

The Big Map has a phototour of East Broadway-- Part I covers from here to Pike Street.

Amalgamated Dwellings

Lacuna, Inc. front view 4 by dahveed76, on Flickr

504 Grand: The oldest project in Co-Operative Village, this Art Deco apartment building were built in 1930 by the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America, designed by Springsteen & Goldhammer to give direct sunlight to each of the 236 units.

They were built on the site of the most violent anti-Semitic riot in U.S. history. In 1902, workers at the R. Hoe and Co. printing press here threw bits of iron and wood down on the 50,000 mourners in the funeral procession of Chief Rabbi Jacob Joseph. The Jewish mourners started throwing the debris back; when police arrived, they sided with the largely Irish workers and attacked the Jews, some 300 of whom were injured. An inquiry ordered by Mayor Seth Low criticized police anti-Semitism.

The building served as the exterior of the Lacuna company in the film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.





What's missing from East Broadway? Write to Jim Naureckas and tell him about it.

New York Songlines Home.

Sources for the Songlines.

East Broadway: A Journey Through Chinatown.

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