New York Songlines: Elizabeth Street


Bleecker | Houston | Prince | Spring | Kenmare | Broome | Grand | Hester | Canal | Bayard |


Who "Elizabeth" was, history does not record. The street was laid out by 1755, but only extended as far as Bleecker Street in 1816.








W <=== BLEECKER STREET ===> E

This block between Bleecker and Houston was nicknamed "Crackhead Alley" in the 1980s, and supposedly inspired the Public Enemy song "Night of the Living Baseheads."

West:

Corner (18 Bleecker): Loretto Auditorium is part of Our Lady of Loretto Church-- I'm not sure whether it's active or not. Loretto, meaning "Hill of Laurels," is an Italian shrine that contains a house, relocated from Palestine during the Middle Ages, that is held to be the house in Nazareth where the Archangel Gabriel appeared to Mary to tell her she would be the mother of Jesus.












Corner (301 Elizabeth): Soho Court, apartment building that is not in SoHo. Has a strange rock fountain that can be seen from the street, though.

E
L
I
Z
A
B
E
T
H

S
T
R
E
E
T

East:

Elizabeth Street to Bleecker by Mic to Mic, on Flickr

Corner (10 Bleeck- er): This beautiful little building, originally an 1893 factory, was Studio 10, a Yippie music club from 1979-81, featuring bands like Bad Brains, DOA and the dBs (and free pot). 298 Elizabeth Street by Mic to Mic, on Flickr

298: The early home of seminal rap label Def Jam. Now Classickicks, a sneaker boutique.

290: Parisi Bakery, opened in 1903 and now run by the original Parisi's grandson. The bakery's original location on Mott Street is now the family's delicatessen.

288: Tom & Jerry's, longstanding neighborhood bar, sometimes known as the 288 Bar.


W <=== HOUSTON STREET ===> E

West:



265: Elizabeth, sleek American, formerly The Rialto




253: Director Martin Scorsese lived here in the 1950s--in the front apartment on the third floor.








245: Rainbow Sandals

243: Seize sur Vingt, handmade shirts

241: When Scorsese first moved to Little Italy, in 1950 when he was eight, his family lived here with his grandparents for six months.

239: Was Trust Fund Baby, appallingly named children's clothing; was Me & Ro, spendy jewelry

237: Moe's Meat Market

233: Le Labo, handmade perfume DSC05603.JPG by edanastas, on Flickr

229 (corner): Cafe Habana, the neighborhood's trendiest joint. A reader notes: "It used to be a diner we dubbed the 'rat cafe' because -- in its previous incarnation -- the moment it closed at night rats the size of Rottweilers would take the place over, slithering around the counters, licking the donuts under the glass covers. Eventually Japanese tourists caught on and it became a gruesomely fascinating must-see.'' That was Bella's Luncheonette, which closed in 1998.

E
L
I
Z
A
B
E
T
H

S
T
R
E
E
T

East:

Corner (73 E Houston): Cafe Colonial, Brazilian

268: Sample, boutique; United Nude, shoe architects

266: Blue Bag, handbags

264: Jo's, American, used to be M & R Bar, relocated to The Bowery. Before that it was Tasting Room.

260: Area I.D., modern design mogu by Mandroid, on Flickr

258: Token Labels, luggage, was recently Mogu, Japanese pillow maker--which has a cool Flickr picture.

254: Cadeau, maternity boutique

252: Metal Pointu's, designer jewelry; Pull-In Underewear

250: Saja and Kipepeo, boutiques; Haus Interior, interior design.

248: Jirisuda and Ilus, boutiques

242: Mayle, an unlabeled boutique in a one-story building

240: EMc2 is the boutique of Project Runway contestant Emmett McCarthy, and features other designers from the show. This used to be Pasquale Pati's Italian Bank, where on January 23, 1908, the Black Hand gang set off a bomb as part of an extortion plot.

238: Albanese Meats & Poultry; Scorsese used to come in here to study when he was a boy, and later put owner Moe Albanese in an American Express ad. Motto: "I Got Cha Steaks."

236: Was Coco de Mer, designer sex toys and lingerie.

232: BarBossa, Brazilian


W <===         PRINCE STREET         ===> E

West:

211 (corner): New condos with a traditional Little Italy look

Elizabeth Street Gallery

Sculpture Garden, Elizabeth Street by x-eyedblonde, on Flickr

209: Partially open-air collection of statuary and architectural ornament. The office was formerly the G. La Rosa & Son Bread Co., a bakery.





















Lira Apartments

Corner (13 Spring): Built of dark-red brick in 1983 to a Pasanella + Klein design called "severe...sober and satisfying" by the AIA Guide. Includes a midblock garden.

E
L
I
Z
A
B
E
T
H

S
T
R
E
E
T

East:

Corner (14 Prince): Jamin Puech handbags and the Tunisian bakery Le Poeme are in a 1915 building.

210: Public, fusion cuisine

202B: The New York Shaving Company, high-end shaves and shaving supplies

202: Cinema Nolita, eclectic video store

198: Hollywould boutique

196: Lovely Day, affordable Thai

194: Peasant, upscale Italian

192: Craig Van Den Brulle, lamps

190: The Red Threads, designer pillows Candle Building 11 Spring, 01-12 by shoehorn99, on Flickr

Corner (11 Spring): This 1888 carriage house and stable was for 30 years the home of John Simpson, an IBM employee who filled the building with Rube Goldberg-like contraptions and burned candles-- surplus from the 1964 Worlds Fair--in the windows, hence the nickname. Candle Bast by mercurialn, on Flickr Also known by its 11 Spring Street address, the building was perhaps New York's most famous canvas for street art. After plans for junior media mogul Lachlan Murdoch to turn the place into a mansion fell through, it's now spruced up as a condo building.


W <===         SPRING STREET         ===> E

West:

Corner (14 Spring): barmarche, quirky, romantic bistro




173: Lyell boutique

171: Tricia's Place, jewelry/kids' clothing/hair salon; Wine Therapy

167: GirlCat boutique

165: The Paper Boutique, "eco-friendly printing"









E
L
I
Z
A
B
E
T
H

S
T
R
E
E
T

East:

Corner (12 Spring): The Vig Bar, tony cocktail bar established 1997

176: This was the address of Tony Jardino, a bricklayer who accidentally shot a child on June 3, 1922, during the Feast of Saint Nancy.

174: Cafe El Portal is in the basement

170: Barsouv furniture. Seven-year-old Mary Puliesco was shot here in front of her home by Jardino when she went outside to retrieve a jumprope that her brother had thrown out the window. Jardino was apparently shooting at somebody else.

166: Bzoo Gallery, New & Almost New boutique. The Village Voice ran an article about the gentrification of this building.

164: Patrolman Connaughton, stationed here because it had earlier been the site of the bootlegging-related killing of two brothers, chased down and captured Jardino after he shot Mary Puliesco.

Corner (19 Kenmare): Little Charlie's Oyster Bar


W <===         KENMARE STREET         ===> E

West:





151: Xicala Wine Bar, noted for its strawberry sangria





E
L
I
Z
A
B
E
T
H

East:














W <===         BROOME STREET         ===> E


West:
















127: Christopher Henry Gallery, founded 2005; the two-story building was formerly the parish house of the Church of San Salvatore on Broome Street.

123: 123 Aquarium

Corner (218 Grand): Good Taste Villa

E
L
I
Z
A
B
E
T
H

S
T
R
E
E
T

East:



128: Tropical, bar/lounge/billiards

120: The Chapel of San Calogero, a 9th Century hermit who is the patron saint of the Sicilian town of Sciacca.

Bowery Savings Bank

NYC - Chinatown: Capitale (former Bowery Savings Bank) by wallyg, on Flickr

Corner: This 1894 landmark was designed by Stanford White; it's thought to have started the fashion for banks that look like Roman temples. It replaced the original Bowery Savings Bank, built here in 1834. Now houses Capitale, an event space with 75-foot ceilings.


W <===         GRAND STREET         ===> E


West:

Corner (219 Grand): Wing Fat Company Inc. is in a handsome five-story red-brick building. When Grand Brass Lamp Parts Inc. was at this corner, until 2004, it was numbered 221.

95B: Tai Tung Grocery

95A: Malaysia Beef Jerky

93: Li's Herb

91: Was Japan Home Center

87: I Dream of Wedding Studio

83: Xing Long, salt fish and preserved meats

79: Deluxe Food Market

Corner (161 Hester): Four Seasons Flowers/Ho Ho Florist

E
L
I
Z
A
B
E
T
H

East:









96: New Bo Bo Toys

94: Dragon Gate, Chinese

90: Great China Inc.

88: Vigorous Hair Stylist

82: First Pharmaceutical

80 (corner): Royal Elizabeth Condo, in a four-story building from 1929.


W <===         HESTER STREET         ===> E


West:



49-51: Po Wing Hong Food Market

41: Medical office building; the restaurant Penang is on the ground floor.

37: Tropical Jewelry, Ralph Jewelry, New King's World Jewelry

Corner (167 Canal): BCC Jewelry, part of the Canal Street jewelry district

E
L
I
Z
A
B
E
T
H

East:

Corner (148 Hester): XO Kitchen, Chinese


58: Diamond Queen

54: Mee Li Fruits & Vegetables




Corner (165 Canal): Cathay Jewelry


W <===         CANAL STREET         ===> E
The traditional border of Little Italy and Chinatown

West:

Corner (164 Canal): A handsome brick building from 1915; a Citibank branch has been here since 1975.

25: St. Vincent's Hospital Clinic

19-21: NYPD 5th Precinct was built in 1881 as the 6th Precinct by Nathaniel D. Bush in an Italianate style. There were 19 murders in this precinct in 1990, which covers Chinatown and Little Italy, but only two in 2008.

New York Chinese School

11: Founded in 1909; with 3,000 students in grades K-12, it's the largest Chinese school in the U.S. (I believe this is the back entrance.)

9: Unet, anime- and manga-related figures and models

5: Trust in God Baptist Church

E
L
I
Z
A
B
E
T
H

S
T

East:

Corner (162 Canal): Foo Sing Jewelry




28: J&L Game Trading

26: Diamond Forever

20: Jing Fong Restaurant

14-18: Chinatown Arcade, Lin's Sister, Shanghai Garden, New Malaysia Restaurant

10-12: Four Season Flower NY

8: Dashop Corp, gifts

Corner (50 Bayard): Bridgeview House, built 1964, converted to condos 1987.


W <===         BAYARD STREET         ===> E












What am I missing on Elizabeth Street? Write to Jim Naureckas and tell him about it.

New York Songlines Home.

Sources for the Songlines.

New York’s NoLIta Elizabeth Street, a guide to shops and restaurants

Elizabeth Street posts on the Manhattan Street Project, a photoblog

Share