Saturday, November 29, 2008
Friday, November 28, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Mori was a popular Italian restaurant at the corner of Bleecker and Laguardia. The facade retained its classic looks until a couple years ago when Duane Reade took over. Even then, the window frames, columns, lintels, circular railings and top windows are the same. Duane Reade destroyed the set back off the street and the large ground floor windows, which were still intact pre '06. Lenny of Something Special was married here. The top pic was taken by Bernice Abbott, 1935.
144 Bleecker Street, Originally two Federalist era townhouses, the facade of the building was redesigned for Mori's Italian restaurant by Raymond Hood in 1920. The restaurant went out of business in 1938. The building hosted a variety of tenants until 1962. In that year the Bleecker Street Cinema, an indie art house, beloved in its era, opened in the building. After the cinema closed, a series of music venues occupied the building including the Elbow Room (06) and Nocturne, as well as Kim's Underground Video (RIP). Most all of these businesses departed the location due to rising rents. It's an eternal New York story.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Museum of the City of New York: CHARLES LANE (between West and Washington Streets, Perry and Charles Street) SEPTEMBER 20, 1938. Bernice Abbott claimed that Charles Lane was the only back alley she ever found in New York City. The lane was one block long, sandwiched between the New York Central Railroad freight viaduct--seen at a distance in Abbott's photograph--and the elevated West Side Highway. Abbot focused on the Lane’s south side, which in 1938 was still lined with stables and tradesmen shops, as it had been in the nineteenth century.
First paved with cobblestones in 1893, Charles Lane is still cobblestoned, but its buildings, both old and new, are now residential. Although the elevated highway and freight viaduct have been demolished, the narrow alley has retained its scale and quaint character, after a successful battle in the late 1960s against a proposal for a high-rise housing project.
Abbott was no doubt struck by this tiny lane lodged between two recently completed transport behemoths, the viaduct and the highway. She may have enhanced the alley's picturesque appearance by arranging an old bucket in the foreground.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
This glass and steel condostrosity (below) on Charles Lane near the Hudson replaced this beautiful structure which looks like it was part of a church rectory. Though its yellow facade is dirty and crumbling, note the details: the lead paned glass, the wooden window frame, the roughly carved cross above the door. This is progress?
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
Three Lives & Co., in the heart of the West Village (across from the landmark Northern Dispensary) is what all local bookstores should be. Crickety and well worn, its cozy shelves are filled with unusual volumes, as well a swell NY only section. Titles by Joseph Mitchell, Philip Lopate and New Yorker regulars stand next to children's books and cookbooks. And the workers maintain a chilled attitude.
Do you have a favorite local bookstore?