Month :

Dec ,2015

from Untapped Cities:

“Researching our latest article on street photography Harvey Stein, we read New-York Historical Society’ curator Marilyn Kushner’s introduction to Stein’s new book Briefly Seen New York Street LifeKushner traces Stein’s place in the lineage of New York City street photographers, beginning with one of the earliest known photographs of New York City, a 1839-1840 daguerreotype of the Unitarian Church in downtown Manhattan shot by Samuel F.B. Morse and John Draper.

1839, we thought? This is far before the 1848 date for the Upper West Side photograph. And, it was taken by telegraph inventor Samuel Morse, then a professor of painting and sculpture at New York University and John William Draper, an inventory and chemist who founded NYU’s school of medicine. Gizmodo writes that the daguerrotype technology came over from France to New York in 1839, which makes sense given that Morse visited Louis Daguerre in Paris that same year. In fact, most of the early photographs taken by Daguerre were destroyed in a fire at his home and studio while Morse was visiting. Morse also wrote a letter to the New York Observer (his brother was the founder of the publication) describing the invention, causing quite a stir in America.

Furthermore, this Unitarian Church daguerrotype still exists – it’s in the Photographic History Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. The Smithsonian notes that the photograph was taken either in the fall of 1839 or the winter of 1840. Morse’s notebook on his experimentations with the daguerrotype is in the Library of Congress (scanned here) begins in January 1840.

Morse and Draper took many more, but Draper’s known photos from 1839 to 1840 focused on portraits and scientific matters. In 1840, he was the first person to take a photograph of an astronomical item – the moon. Were there more streetscapes? In one entry in January 1840, Morse notes that he took a view of City Hall and in February an exterior view towards Brooklyn, but his experimentations at this time were mostly for naught: “Result: Nothing!” he writes several times. After more failures, on February 12th he writes, “partially succeeded in distance, view towards Brooklyn.” Soon after that, Morse focused his energies on the telegraph.

Where might these early photographs be, if they still exist? We’re still looking but for now, it looks like Morse’s Unitarian Church image may likely beat out the Upper West side one for the title of “oldest known” photograph of New York City.

The author @untappedmich is also the author of the book Broadway, a collection of nearly 200 vintage photographs recounting the history of NYC’s famous street Broadway.“…

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Bye-Bye Bowery: Three of the Oldest Historic Buildings on Bowery Due for Demolition

from Spoiled NYC

In the never ending story of historical buildings in New York City being demolished to pave the way for more of the same crap we already have too much of, three buildings on Bowery were prepared for demolition yesterday, one of which dates back to the 1700s.

It’s not a surprise to people who keep their finger on the pulse of NYC building developments, as the demolition permits were filed last May and sale of the properties has been mentioned here and there.

In the last year, these three properties have been sold twice making the first buyer a cool $2 million profit by flipping them to Emmut Properties for $47 million last month.

With cash like that at play, there’s little anyone can do to breakwater the change of tides.

Emmut Properties’ plans for the space are fundamentally self-defeating. They’re planning a hotel and condo development for the 44,000 square foot replacement.

Said replacement will be divided between 30,825 square feet of commercial hotel space and 13,859 square feet of residential space. Basically, they’ll end up with 64 hotel rooms and 21 apartments.

With more Manhattan apartment vacancies now than in ever in the last decade almost, nobody needs these units.

And any new hotel going up on Bowery is clearly aimed at grabbing money from tourists who want to experience the Lower East Side “vibe.”

This is an ill-conceived plan because one way the “vibe” is being destroyed is by knocking down historical buildings to build hotels for people to stay in… theoretically to look at historical buildings in the neighborhood.

But the catch is people staying in the hotel might not know what’s up. They’re likely to ask someone on the street, “Hey where can I find a historical building or some cool architecture?”

And the New Yorker is likely to respond, “Once upon a time, your hotel was a two hundred year-old butcher shop building, but the owners removed the historic structural characteristics so they could legally demolish the building and put in 64 hotel rooms for people like you to come here and ask me these questions.”…

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A Jane Austen Afternoon

 

  • Celebrate the week of Jane Austen’s 240th birthday with Regency dancing at Manhattan’s oldest home, the historic Morris-Jumel Mansion! Join us for English country dances and cotillions from the 1780s to 1810s with dance historian Susan de Guardiola.  Light refreshments will be served. Period costume of the late 18th or early 19th century is encouraged and admired (but not required).  Admission is $25. Space is limited, so advanced registration is strongly suggested. To RSVP, call 212-923-8008 or email visitorservices@morrisjumel.org.

 …

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Jazz Age Tea Dance

General Admission for One $50 via Gilt City voucher

Includes

  • General admission for one to Jazz Age Tea Dance on Sunday, December 13, 2015 at Webster Hall from 3–7 PM
  • Tea service
  • Cash bar and light fare available for purchase at food cart promenade
  • What we love

    • This annual summer celebration on Governors Island gets a wintry twist for the first time on December 13.
    • The Jazz Age Tea Dance will take over the Grand Ballroom of Webster Hall for an afternoon of tea, Foxtrot and more.
    • Sip a wide spread of both traditional and exotic teas, or pick up tea sandwiches from the food cart promenade. There’s also a full cash bar, if you’re looking for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up.
    • After a dance lesson, you’re sure to spend the rest of the day kicking your heels up to the tune of Michael Aranella and his Dreamland Orchestra.

    What to know

    • Redeem on: Sunday, December 13, 2015
    • This offer is subject to Terms and Conditions
    • Must be 21 or over to attend and consume alcohol; valid government ID required
    • Purchaser names entered at check out will be provided to vendor for fulfillment purposes
    • Offer is final sale, non-transferable and non-refundable
    • Offer cannot be combined with other offers and promotions
    • Gilt City vouchers may not be combined for multiple services
    • If purchasing as a gift and need to change name of attendee, please call Gilt City Customer Service (877) 280-0541 within 72 hours of event to change name on guest list
    • Voucher is redeemable only at the event; after the event date, the voucher expires and has no redeemable value
    • Where:
      125 East 11th Street

      New York, NY 10003

      Selected by The New York Times as one of the most memorable events of 2011 and 2012, the Jazz Age Lawn Party has become a quintessential summer experience in New York City. This December, the party returns a few months early to warm our spirits with the first-ever Jazz Age Tea Dance. Taking place at historic Webster Hall, the event features live music from Michael Arenella and his Dreamland Orchestra, as well as other magical acts. Enjoy a spread of exotic teas, or head to the cash bar for something stronger. There will also be traditional finger sandwiches and other bites on hand. Hit the ballroom floor for a dance lesson, than twirl, Foxtrot and swing the winter afternoon away.

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from Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York:

Rudy’s Under Attack

The Clinton Chronicle reports that beloved Hell’s Kitchen dive bar Rudy’s Bar & Grill is under attack by Community Board 4 for serving alcohol in its backyard late into the night.

Saundra Halbertstam and Eliot Camerara report that members of Community Board 4 have “actively worked to shut down and destroy Rudy’s Bar and Grille, a Hell’s Kitchen landmark, in business since 1933.”

The writers says these members have “prompted complaints against Rudy’s Bar” and “smeared Rudy’s by sending word through the community that they were operating without proper licenses.” So far, Rudy’s owners have spent $24,000 defending the bar.

It’s a lengthy story–to read the whole piece, pick up a copy of the Clinton Chronicle or read the PDF here. Saundra gave me the upshot in an email: “By closing the backyard, they will force Rudy’s to close, since the back represents over 30% of their revenue.”


photo: retro roadmap

News of noise complaints against Rudy’s goes back to this summer. As DNAInfo reported, Rudy’s management said “those complaining were suburban transplants who don’t understand Hell’s Kitchen.”

“To have somebody come in from suburbia and say that we want to change this neighborhood because they paid an exorbitant amount for a co-op is not fair to the people in the community,” the bar’s lawyer, Thomas Purcell, told DNA.

The blog stated, “under Rudy’s liquor license, which dates back to 1992 when the current owner Jack Ertl, 88, bought the bar, the venue is allowed to use the backyard space until the wee hours with no

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from Eater.com: Classic Chelsea Luncheonette La Taza De Oro Is Closed for Good

by
“After nearly nine months in the dark, the owner of classic Chelsea greasy spoon La Taza de Oro has decided not to reopen the restaurant. The luncheonette’s troubles started last spring when Con Ed turned off the gas and the DOB issued a vacate order after a few bricks fell from a neighboring building. The restaurant’s proprietor, Eric Montalvo, also owns the building, but after losing nine months of income, he made the decision to close it for good. As Jeremiah Moss notes, he’s retiring and his kids don’t want to run the business.”

… “Last year, Robert Sietsema put La Taza D’Oro on his list of “irreplaceable dining institutions.”  Eater’s critic noted: “This 1950s Puerto Rican lunch counter, perfectly intact in every detail including formica counter and menu rotating in weekly cycles, is supremely redolent of Chelsea’s Latin past.”

A comment writer on Jeremiah’s Vanishing NY said: “This is, of course, punishingly sad. The neighborhood has lost Sucelt on 14th and 7th, and Cabo Rojo on 10th Avenue and 24th, and now Taza. I took my kids there every week. And what of all the jobs lost? Luis, Lucie, Reve, and so many others. And the impromptu art exhibitions on the walls. I saw Mr. Montalvo there a few weeks ago and, having noticed that he was painting the restored cornice yellow and red (like the rice and beans within!) I asked him when he was reopening and he said he was retiring. It is a miserable state of affairs, and so the last of the rice and beans joints vanishes into the ether. We will all miss La Taza de Oro. ” Another said, “Business by business, New York’s individuality and diversity is being erased. And there doesn’t seem to be anyone in a position of power who seriously wants to or is trying to halt this transformation. Not one. ”

 …

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Tue 12 2015 , by

5th & MAD

5th & MAD

The bi-level Midtown gastropub takes its cues from Mad Men—of four distinct areas of the behemoth bar, one is a dedicated Draper Room upstairs, fitted with suited mannequins and low-backed armchairs. Beyond that Don-worthy room, there’s a Girls’ Lounge decked out with upholstered chartreuse seats, sprawling oriental rugs and curio cabinets filled with hat boxes and gloves to emulate midcentury-era department stores. Another room is sectioned off with lime-green cabinetry and features pool tables and whimsical Penguin Publishing posters. In the ground-floor common area, a 45-foot black-wood bar offers cocktails by barkeep Justin Andrews, including the A.B.C. Always Be Closing (Bulleit bourbon, prosecco, triple sec) and a vodka-based Get MAD with lime juice and ginger beer. Slide into curved banquettes near the bar for snacks from chef Chase Sanders (Ruschmeyer’s, Nobo Wine & Grill), including beer-braised short-rib sliders on truffle brioche.
ADVERTISING

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Tue 12 2015 , by

Le Petit Parisien

Le Petit Parisien

 

Despite translating to “the little Parisian,” the 19th-century newspaper that this French sandwich nook is named after once boasted the world’s largest media circulation. Defunct since 1944, its memory lives on thanks to the the newspaper owner’s great-grandsons—and first-time New York restaurateurs—Jean and Paul Dupuy, who lovingly papered the walls of their twee East Village shop with weathered issues found in a box in their grandmother’s attic. Sandwiches built with Orwasher’s Bakery baguettes and traditional cured meats likewise pay homage to history, with names reading like a who’s who of French icons: a Napoleon comes with saucisson sec (sausage) and butter; the Edith Piaf nestles cornichons and duck rillettes; and a Marie-Antoinette bookends 16-month cured ham with fresh goat cheese, olive oil and honey. Snag one of just six seats at the counter, fitted with reclaimed wood from a Connecticut printing plant, to make your sandwich a meal with Malongo coffee or sparkling lemonades by the Alsace-based Effervé.

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from the NYC MTA: MTA New York City Transit, NY Transit Museum Ring in Holidays with Vintage Buses, Subways

Vintage Train

MTA New York City Transit and the New York Transit Museum are putting extra magic on the tracks with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s annual holiday tradition of rides to the past via its vintage fleet of buses and subway trains – and the chance for transit fans to buy museum merchandise at a special station pop-up shop.

The holiday nostalgia fleet includes subway cars from the 1930s and buses from the late 1940s to the 1980s. The New York Transit Museum typically displays these vehicles during special events at the museum or around the city, but are offering these holiday nostalgia rides to the public for a limited time with the swipe of a MetroCard. Some vintage buses also will be on display at Union Square, Herald Square and at the Circle Line Terminal.

For four consecutive Sundays in December, subway customers can catch the “Shoppers Special,” a train consisting of eight cars from the 1930s that ran along the lettered lines until the late 1970s. The cars, which were ordered for the Independent Subway System (IND), were the first subway cars to be identified by their contract numbers, hence the R1/9 designations. R1/9 cars, known as ““City-Cars,” have rattan seats, ceiling fans, incandescent light bulbs, and roll signs for passenger information. Their design of more doors that were also wider and faster, plus increased standing capacity to accommodate crowds, served as the model of modern subway cars, and their dimensions are identical to the latest R160 cars. They were retired from service in 1977.

“For all intents and purposes, this was the first modern subway car and today’s subway fleets owe a lot to the design,” said Joe Leader, Senior Vice President of Subways. “They were basic, durable and offered the expected levels of customer comfort for decades after they were introduced into service. We continue to build upon this strong foundation with each new car design.”

The “Shoppers Special” will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on December 6, 13, 20, and 27, making local stops on the 6 Av Line from Queens Plaza to 2 Av. The first run of the day departs from 2 Av, where a special museum pop-up shop will be open every Sunday during the holiday nostalgia rides.

MTA NYC Transit is also putting a fleet of vintage buses on the M42 route for weekday daytime service between November 30 and December 18. The buses, which will operate between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., will only be available weather permitting. The vintage fleet will not operate in rainy, snowy or icy conditions.

This year’s holiday nostalgia buses were manufactured by General Motors, Mack and Flexible, three major firms that no longer manufacture buses.

“Seeing these vintage buses in service again is always a nostalgic event for many New Yorkers. My father and I drove some of these buses, which makes this an especially personal event for me,” said Darryl Irick, President of MTA Bus Company and Senior Vice President New York City Transit Department of Buses.

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