Saturday, August 30, 2008
Thursday, August 28, 2008
The country that can still produce a speaker as powerful and inspiring as Barack Obama is also the country that built this incredible bridge which spans the east river between Manhattan and Brooklyn. Heck, Barack and the Brooklyn Bridge make me proud to be an American!
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Monday, August 25, 2008
Saturday, August 23, 2008
I know some people hate graffiti, but in New York street artists typically turn abandoned walls into works of art -- it's more than graffiti. It's the voice of the people! This weird computer stencil over a New York City subway map used to be on the abandoned tenement at 43 MacDougal Street. I like the 1s and 0s, and the very clever computer and joystick design.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Sal runs Manganaro's on 8th near 40th, one of the oldest Italian delis in New York. This joint just oozes character, from the room temperature cheese and yummy cookies Sal sells, to the hearty and enormous servings of pasta, prosciutto, meatballs and sauce that serve as Manganaro's staples.
Next door to Sals is another Manganaro where they make a famous six foot long hero sandwich. For years the two families didn't speak --- over rights to that famous triple decker -- but they've recently buried the hatchet and patched up the family. Good eats! See Brooks Lost City for more on those fabulous, feudin' Manganaros.
Monday, August 18, 2008
The City opened Park Avenue from Astor Place all the way to 50th street this weekend, which allowed full access to the area around the top of Grand Central Station. Typically, you can only get this view from a speeding cab, but this weekend everyone biked, walked or sat around Grand Central Station. And had a great time. This shot shows the Met Life building, Grand Central and the spire of the Chrysler Building (thanks Enitharmon!).
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Friday, August 15, 2008
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Monday, August 11, 2008
The building was continuously lauded for its unique and splendid architecture and was often touted as one of the most beautiful buildings in the country at the turn of the century. The courthouse was the site of a number of famous trials, including the murder trial of Harry Thaw, who was accused of killing architect Stanford White. The famous trial, which also involved chorus girl Evelyn Nesbit, became the subject for E.L. Doctorow’s novel Ragtime, which was eventually turned into an award-winning Broadway musical.
After decades of hosting a number of other sensational cases, the Jefferson Market Library became
After several years of deterioration, a plan was hatched to demolish this breathtaking building, which by this time lacked its original splendor. Concerned
Saturday, August 9, 2008
Friday, August 8, 2008
Thursday, August 7, 2008
That history has been painstakingly uncovered by artist and
Originally called 391 Bowery, #35 was owned in the early 1800s by Nicholas William Stuyvesant, great-grandson of Peter Stuyvesant. When he died in 1833, the building passed through several hands, including an undertaker, a teacher, a hotelier, and a saloon owner.
In the 20th century, it became a home for artists. Painter and photographer J. Forrest Vey lived there after WWII. He rented the upstairs dormer rooms for $5 apiece to people like Joel Grey, star of Cabaret, and Claude Brown, author of Manchild in the Promised Land.
Mr. Vey once broke into the attic, which had been sealed ever since a man hanged himself there. He found Civil War newspapers, a stove-pipe hat, a sign that said "5-cent Hot Whiskey."
Beat poet Diane DiPrima moved into #35 in 1962. There she wrote many poems, and her memories of the place can be found in her memoir, Recollections of My Life as a Woman. She writes to Sally, "We were visited there by probably hundreds of artists and art patrons, including William Burroughs, Cecil Taylor, Frank O’Hara," John Weiners, Herbert Huncke, and Warhol Superstar Billy Name, who lived with DiPrima for a time.
Billy Name recalled in an email to Sally, "wooden broad plank floors and a very comfortable homey feeling from all the wood and open space and kitchen. and, as opposed to all the tenement buildings in its surrounds it actually looked like a 'house' from earlier
Finally, the building made it into the news in 2004 (The Villager and the Times) when owner Cooper Union opted to paint over a 9/11 memorial mural and make room for advertising, against protests from the locals.
The memorial has been erased and there won't be any bronze plaques. There probably won't even be a building to hang it on. #35 is one of a few lots on the block bought last year by a group of Cooper Square Hotel investors. One investor told The Observer, 'These lots were to become, possibly, a restaurant-lounge and/or expansion to the Cooper hotel so we (Cooper investors) would be able to leverage the brand, amenities and staff of the
In her memoir, DiPrima wrote, 'From the moment when I first laid eyes on 35 Cooper Square, I knew it was the fulfillment of all those fantasies of art and the artist's life, la vie de boheme, harking all the way back to my high school years or before.'
What will happen to such fantasies--and their dreamers--when all the 35 Cooper Squares of our city have been demolished and