Sunday, June 29, 2008
Chez Jacqueline is a long time MacDougal Street business, offering the best in provincial French cuisine. Only I wonder one thing. Why is there a sawed off pick-up truck cab on top the restaurant? Are they serving some illegal foie gras up there? Does the clientele get half-off on taters, barbeque and Bud on weekends? What gives Chez Jacqueline?
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Note the beautiful, veritably inlaid detail work on the majestic cast iron column to the left of the frame, and the graceful storefront window, both constructed no doubt later than the 1930s. Then consider the anorexic Alexis Bittar model, her tautly stretched skin aiding her rather Nazi like, comfortingly blank stare. Welcome to the new Bleecker Street. Bolshy Yarblockos it ain't pretty....sorry!
Friday, June 27, 2008
Located at 137 East Houston Street in the newly gentrified East Village, Yonah Schimmel is a saving grace amid the onslaught of development occuring in an area that only a few (3?) years ago still savored its industrial past. A walk down neighboring Ludlow Street is to experience Yunnies in all their glory. Anyway, Yonah Schimmel still makes old fashioned kugel and knishes as he has since the turn of the century -- the last one! While celebrating a friend's Father's Day we stepped into Yonah's and gorged ourselves on blueberry kugel. YUM! Schimmel's knish is even better, available in mushroom, sweet potato, cabbage, kasha, onion, broccoli, vegetable and spinach flavors. This place is an oasis of charm, and good eats! Let's pray that he can hold off the money men, developers, bankers, and bedheads. See http://knishery.com
Thursday, June 26, 2008
I have this thing about old neon and chrome Diners. I've driven all over New Jersey to photograph and gawk at them, eat their home cooked meals and marvel at their history. Like New York's vanishing urban architecture, diner "googie" is becoming just as rare. A drive down NJ state highway 22 will bring you face to face with numerous hulks of the 50s diners age, but this Diner beauty resides in Yonkers, across from the raceway. This week's "gotta get out of town" pic.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
From Jeremiah's Vanishing New York: "New York has been changing since its inception. That's obvious. Blocks and buildings rise and fall. Seventy years ago, half of Houston Street vanished from the city--and the city survived. But today the rate of change has become excessive. Block after block after block, New York is devoured. We don't get one Avalon building, we get three. We don't get one Marc Jacobs store, we get half a dozen. Such is the inevitable march of progress today.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Monday, June 23, 2008
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Washington Suare Park attracts jazz musicians, giant singing troupes, Turrets Syndrome soloists, and one guy who sings to his upright bass like he's about to have a heart attack. Here, three revelers strut and croon in the old, pre-renovation park.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Friday, June 20, 2008
Less then one month after the shuttering of the landmark Minetta Tavern, Cafe Figaro closed this week. Located on the eight block long stretch of MacDougal Street, these two restaurants were practically the last of a dying breed (Cafe Reggio and Montes are all that remain of the old 40/50s/60s guard on MacDougal). And what's replacing Figaro? A BANK. Not a bad thing, actually! Here's more info on this formerly great corner of Bleecker and MacDougal, from the NY Songlines website:
Figaro -- Closed: 98: Resurrected as a cafe after spending a time in purgatory as a Blimpie's. At some point it was The Hep Bagel. Al Pacino hangs with Penelope Ann Miller here in Carlito's Way. (Was also an important folk music site in the 60s).
93 (corner): Most notable as the former site of the San Remo, famous bohemian hangout of William Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, Miles Davis, Jackson Pollock, W.H. Auden, Dylan Thomas, James Baldwin, William Styron, James Agee, Frank O'Hara, photographer Weegee, etc. Appears as The Masque in Kerouac's The Subterraneans. Dawn Powell in The Golden Spur cited it as one of the four bars that defined the boundaries of New York.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Saturday, June 14, 2008
Located at the corner of 6th Avenue and 8th Street, Bigelow Pharmacy is the place to go for French toothpaste and soap, exotic ($$$) cosmetics, and specialty hair brushes. Drugs too. Just don't take a photo inside the store or they will bite your head off! Dig their crazy neon sign!
Friday, June 13, 2008
Are we in Rome? Ancient Greece? No, it's Lower Broadway and the Beautiful Boys of the insurance company. I forget the exact address, but across from NYU and just down from Astor Place, these strapping Greco-Roman looking youths keep a close watch on Broadway from their 10th floor perch. The street level address is an insurance company, but something tells me this grand architecture was created by an early railroad or banking tycoon intent on leaving his firm stamp on the Village. Well done!
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Near West 14th streeet, just around the corner from Stella McCartney and the Bodum store, meat hangs on hooks like literal lambs from the slaughter. This is the meatpacking district, former home to hardheaded pimps, street workers, and men of the meat (butchers). And they (the butchers) are still there in the mornings, working in the shadows of all the new construction, holding on to their turf and refrigerated trucks. But their domain is shrinking as rents soar. That's progress. Meantime, just look at that glorious slab of marbled nirvana!
Monday, June 9, 2008
Welcome to world famous (Where Harry Met Sally) Katz's Delicatessen! ("I'll have what she's having.") Sure, this is down the road (Houston) a piece from Greenwich Village proper, but seeing how it fits in with this blog's general theme of sadly disappearing Manhattan, it fits my bill.
This was taken inside Katz's one spring day. This waiter seems to be saying, "You want salami? You gotta go through me first." Easier to move down the line and get a nice egg cream, or one of Katz's famous pickles.
Word has it that Katz's has sold their building, fitting in nicely with the gentrification of the lower east side. Head back to the Village. We'll be there tomorrow, bright and early!
Saturday, June 7, 2008
Our beloved Washington Sq Park is undergoing major renovations. Locals complained that the overhaul was unnecessary, but one day the entire park was fenced off and that was that. The main goal is to align the Arch with the fountain. Why? No one knows. Back in the day, buses actually went through the arch, rounded the fountain, and rotated back up Fifth Avenue. Now when the locals really need the park, there is no way in. But signs of life are encouraging, new sidewalks have been laid, the trees are protected, and scheduled reopen is set for 2010. 2010! Check out the park as it was...
Friday, June 6, 2008
Spotted this crazy door somewhere, some night, walking from the East Village to my place in the West Village. Looks like the owners spent some serious cash on that swirling, monkey wrench pattern. If you look closely thru the overlay, you can see a child's firetruck in the window case, and some gnarly graffitti up top. Could this be a map of some sort? Secret code for a secret society? :)
If you were to walk along with me, we would pass the old hull of CBGBs, through tidy glass buildings that show the modern mindmeld of today's Manhattan.
Thursday, June 5, 2008
Here we have a beautiful old Hudson river pier with modern hotel construction looming in the background: a perfect example of the harbor's transition from dusty 1940s era port to modern conceptions built of glass and steel.
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
My little corner of Manhattan is a war zone. Donald Trump battles the Landmark Preservation Committee, renters battle landlords, parking lots/gas stations turn into high rises, so on, so forth.
I took the bulk of my GW pics during the past five years, accordingly, some buildings, like the one that housed "Codys," are no longer there. Some may find this old architecture one step above eye sore status. But I hope you enjoy the view.
Lenny Cecere runs a small
A typical day at Something Special finds Lenny holding court and serving coffee as fellow seniors -- like 'Philly' DeCicco and his brother Jimmy, who in the '70s were on a first name basis with Sullivan Street mobster Vinnie 'The Chin' Gigante and Frank Sinatra -- shoot the breeze, argue about the Mets and Yankees or pass a summer day watching the endless people parade that courses down Houston Street. Get Lenny talking and eventually he'll tell you about the huge cache of NOS tubes down in his basement. I have heard about this tube stash for years with no physical proof to back up the story. You see, after completing his army tour of duty in '45 and marrying Lucy Iannattone, Lenny trained at RCA's school for radio electronics at West 4th and
Dogs. They are everywhere in Greenwich Village. But generally speaking, the dogs have more going on than the people. The dogs aren't fazed by poop on the street. The bad odors only make them happy. The Village is their oyster, so to speak. This dog looked at me like I owed him something. I owe you nothing, pal/pooch, except a pic on my blog!
The streets of Greenwich Village are full of strange people doing even stranger things. This young woman is practicing. What I do not know? Tango, perhaps? She's practicing a few steps down from Babbo, a very expensive restaurant owned by Mario Battalia. He operates a few restaurants in our lil hood. Anyway, this gal can shake that thing.
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
Welcome to the first installment of a photo blog I am very excited to bring to you, Greenwich Village Daily Photo. I hope to show you the history and unique beauty of this well travelled corner of New York City, and make you aware of its changing nature. Basically, the joint is dissapearing! Trump monstrosities, new yogurt joints, high priced condo palaces, bars, bars and more bars, yep, like Lenny Bruce once said, "Just sold America!"
But if you look closely and not at all too hard, you can still find remnants of the old Village as well as excellent represenatations of the wonderful curiosities that abound on practically every curb.
First up, one of a dying NYC breed, a real 50s styled Mahoney diner. The Cheyenne Diner, currently closed but awaiting transport down the river to nearby Red Hook. All say thank God! Located across from the back end of the Post Office on west 34th, the Cheyenne was a wonderful place to grab pancakes, turkey clubs, and burgers. But its owner plans to replace the joint with a high rise. But lucky NYers can still hike down to up and coming Red Hook to enjoy its new found hipster status. What a glorious chrome affair!
All the best, Ken Mac