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gentrification gone wild

From Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York:

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The Noho Star & Temple Bar

VANISHING

On Lafayette Street since 1985, The Noho Star still has an old-school vibe that attracts low-key neighborhood people along with New York luminaries like Chuck Close, Wallace Shawn, and Lauren Hutton. The restaurant’s sister spot, Temple Bar, opened in 1989.

Now both are about to vanish.

The owners recently filed a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) with the New York State Department of Labor, indicating plans to lay off Noho Star’s staff of 54 workers and close the restaurant on December 31.

Under “Reason for Dislocation,” it says “Economic.” The same listing is given for Temple Bar–all 13 employees laid off and the place closed December 31.

Noho Star and Temple Bar were both opened by George Schwarz, a 1930s German-Jewish emigre who began his New York restaurant empire in 1973 with Elephant and Castle in Greenwich Village, followed by One Fifth (since closed). He then acquired and revived the great Keens Chop House when it closed in 1978. From there, he and his artist wife, Kiki Kogelnik, opened Noho Star and Temple Bar. They also bought the building.

Schwarz died not a year ago, in December 2016. His friend Bonnie Jenkins, long-time manager of Keens, is Vice President of the closing restaurants. (Jenkins prefers not to comment on the closures at this time.)

There are no indications that the shutter is coming for Keens or Elephant and Castle.


Eggs Idaho

Only in the past few years did I finally find my way to Noho Star. In a neighborhood of dwindling options, it’s one of the last comfortable places to get a decent meal, i.e., a place that attracts a mixed-age crowd and doesn’t play loud music (or any music) while you eat. It’s a place where a person can dine alone, reading The Times (on paper) or The London Review of Books (as recently witnessed). It’s a place where you can think.

I will miss it.

from The Comments Section:

 

MKB said…

The Noho Star in turn replaced a dusty and old office supply store (where you could still buy V-Mail stationery as late as the Seventies) and NYC’s worst restaurant. That restaurant was so bad junkies and narcs (back in the day when a narc disguise was a serape and a wig) were the main customers. Why was I there? It was also the cheapest and right around the corner from my place on Mott.
I am so very sad that the Noho Star will be no more. Lots of memories.

October 10, 2017 at 4:30 PM

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Wednesday, July 8, 2015

MANHATTAN – 35 Cooper Square

Gone. 35 Cooper Square.  Was one of the oldest Federal-style houses on the Bowery.

In its day, the house, now known as 35 Cooper Square, was nestled among three similar dormer-roof structures. Today it resembles a pink mushroom, propped up against the towering glass and steel sequoia that is the Cooper Square Hotel.

The New York Times

Link – #35 Cooper Square

I didn’t get lazy.  I just discovered that someone had a better blog entry than the one I was working on.  🙂  In Mr. Moss’ blog, a man is said to have hanged himself in the attic, however I can find only anecdotal information about this “man.”  Could he be the unknown man who died at this address in 1903 with $0.42 to his name?

#35 (AKA #391 Bowery) is no longer standing, but the energy may well be there.

35 Cooper Square is now a 13-story dormitory building.

Known Residents
1815 — Samuel WIGTON
Longworth’s American Almanack, New-York Register, and City Directory, 1815.

1825-1827 — Built by Nicholas William STUYVESANT, great-grandson of Peter Stuyvesant. 

c. 1825 — John and Mary WOOD. 
www.nytimes.com/2011/02/19/nyregion/19metjournal.html?ref=nyregion&_r=0 

1837 — William D. DISBROW, sexton of St. Mark’s Church in the Bowery, 1825-1848.  Undertaker.  Offered horses and coaches to let.  Lived at #386, worked at #391 Bowery.
Longworth’s American Almanac, New-York Register, and City Directory, 1837, p. 206.
Documents of the Board of Aldermen of the City of New York, Volume IV, 1838, p. 478.
Memorial of St. Mark’s Church in the Bowery, Vestry, 1899. 

1839-1847 — James M. SWEENY, prominent teacher in the New York Public School system, professor of Latin and Greek languages; born 1796 in Ireland, died June 23, 1879 at his residence #264 Jay Street, Brooklyn.  At the time of his death, he was the principal of Primary School No. 24 on Elm Street.
Longworth’s American Almanac, New-York Register, and City Directory, 1839, p. 632 
Doggett’s New-York City Directory For 1846 and 1847, p. 379. 
The Evening Post, July 21, 1848, p. 2.
The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, June 26, 1879, p. 4. 

1846-1847 — George S. DREW, plumber.
Doggett’s New-York City Directory For 1846 and 1847, p. 121. 

1850-1867 — Henry MARSHALL, liquors.  “Porterhouse.”  Clerk of Tompkins’ Market.
The New York Mercantile Union Business Directory, 1850-1851, p. 327.  
Manual of the Corporation of the City of New York, 1861, p. 111. 
The New York State Business Directory and Gazetteer, 1867, p. 206. 

1877 — Charles BURGHART, beer. 
Goulding’s New York City Directory, 1877 to 1878, p. 182. 

1889 — Henry KOHLMEYER. 
Phillips’ Business Directory of New York City, Volume 19, p. 936. 

1898 — (Herman) Georg(e) SIEGEL, liquor.
New York State Department of Excise Directory of liquor tax certificate holders, p. 328. 

c. 1940-1957 J. Forest VEY (art student at Cooper Union) and wife Marguerite.  Actor Joel GREY rented from them, and Claude BROWN, author of “Manchild in the Promised Land,” lived there during that time as well.

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https://www.facebook.com/TheLostVillage2017/

I came by this information in a paper insert that was in my program for the opening reception of “Storefronts: Oral History & Photo Exhibition”:
“The Lost Village” is a stunning indictment of the corporate take-over of Greenwich Village…made possible by complicit…politicians…the bohemian, artistic world which gave the area its colorful, distinctive flavor has fled…former mom and pop shops closed. The Village is a microcosm of what is happening across the United States where the disparity of income between rich and poor is now higher than at any time in our history. This extraordinary documentary raises the alarm and…offers a way to counter such take-overs through citizen activism…A must see.” James Cass Rogers
Two upcoming Screenings-in what’s left of the Village:
SEP 7
Thu 7 PM · Jefferson Market Library · New York
SEP 10
Sun 7 PM · Judson Memorial Church – New York City · New York
Film

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Thu 08 2017 , by

Bygone Stables

From The New York Post:

The fascinating history behind NYC’s stables-turned-real estate

Washington Mews, a little alley north of Washington Square Park, is an urban gem. Still paved with Belgian block and lined with quaint cottages, it’s a Greenwich Village street that might as well be in Europe. In fact, cities like London and Paris are filled with these tiny picturesque thoroughfares, whose cute little homes once stabled horses, carriages and sleighs.

Due to quirks in New York’s history and design, these mews are exceedingly rare in the city, making carriage-house living both scarce and coveted. Often disguised behind modest, original facades, many converted carriage homes contain architectural wonders hidden from view.

Modal Trigger
Washington Mews: One of Manhattan’s rare alleys lined with former stables, this stretch was designed to service a row of 1830s homes along Washington Square Park.Annie Wermiel/NY Post

Take investor David Aldea’s home at 23 Cornelia St., which Taylor Swift rented in 2016. The 5,500-square-foot West Village pad was asking $40,000/month then, and is on the market with Corcoran for $24.5 million. Walking down the street, the home’s massive, arched wooden doors hint at its 1912 carriage house origins, but the unprepossessing facade might not stop passersby in their tracks.

Upon entering, however, it’s clear this is no ordinary stable: today, the garden level is graced by a 25-foot swimming pool, while an ornate Murano glass chandelier hangs from double-height ceilings. But, as Aldea notes, despite these modern touches, original details abound, particularly in the living room, where there are “24-inch square windows that would have been for the horses to stick their heads out for ventilation.”

Considering the fact that New York was a horse-and-carriage town for so many centuries, it’s surprising that there aren’t more such conversions. That’s in part because most remnants of the city’s colonial days are long gone. Also, Manhattan’s populated areas used to be far more compact; their borders barely extended north of today’s City Hall until the 1820s. The majority of New Yorkers, it seems, walked almost everywhere nearly two centuries ago.

A new street layout in the first decades of the 19th century helped the city expand, and travel by private carriage became more common — but only for the city’s elite. So few New Yorkers could afford to maintain a horse that when a commission laid out the city’s famous grid in 1811, the plan purposely excluded rear alleys for stables. Even by the Civil War, a mere 3 percent of NYC residents owned their own horses and carriages.

Modal Trigger
Annie Wermiel/NY Post

A few early mews still exist. Take Washington Mews, which was erected behind the stately homes of “The Row,” one of New York’s first planned “terraces” of homes — a clear sign that the 1832-built Washington Square townhouses were only for the well-heeled.

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Capturing the Lower East Side’s Disappearing Mom-and-Pop Storefronts, a photography and oral history exhibition, opens tonight, 6pm, at Theater For The New City Gallery, 155 1st Ave [10th]. It’s curated by James and Karla Murray, the husband-and-wife photography team that have documented so many mom-and pop-storefronts, compiled in their books Store Front: The Disappearing Face of New York and its followup.

The show is intended to raise awareness of the essential NYC character that these businesses embody, threatened by skyrocketing rents. You’ll see the work of 30 photographers who participated in two workshops in April and June with the Murrays focusing on neighborhood stores. Since the workshops took place, two of the stores photographed by participants have closed.

The event is free and there will be complimentary wine and beer, as well as small bites, provided by local indie merchants, of course.…

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From Curbed:

Harlem’s legendary Lenox Lounge is being demolished

The site is rumored to give way to a massive Sephora

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Though this is a nice little tourist attraction and teaching tool for local history, the guy who is doing this reminds me of the story about the definition of chutzpah: a guy who kills his parents then pleads for mercy from the judge on the grounds that he is an orphan….

From Bowery Boogie:

This Fallow East Houston Lot Pays Tribute to Tesla, Teddy, and Twain

Posted on: May 5th, 2017 at 9:43 am by

Steve Stollman spent the last month fine-tuning his open-air museum exhibit at 49 East Houston Street. The wall of fame composed of dated clippings, posters, and portraits is an attempt to foist an appreciation of neighborhood history onto unsuspecting pedestrians.

It’s nicknamed “The Mulberry Street Gang,” a plywood installation peppered with ephemera, and with a passageway behind the boards for additional viewing. Stollman’s goal with the project is to shine a light on the seemingly forgotten history that transpired here in the late 19th century. The display pays tribute to Nikola Tesla, who invented alternating current and remote controls, and worked in a laboratory across the street; his friend Mark Twain (aka Samuel Clemens); onetime police commissioner (and later, 26th president) Teddy Roosevelt cleaned up Police Headquarters just down Lafayette Street; Austrian immigrant Joseph Keppler founded the Puck magazine, operating in its eponymous building one block away (now owned by family of the real estate mogul Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser); and pioneering slum photographer Jacob Riis.

“This exhibit may well be my final act here,” Stollman told us in a recent email. “I wouldn’t mind being able to continue to hold forth from there, but whoever wants this space is not going to relate to me and my interests very easily.”

Stollman previously owned 49 East Houston – also constructed in the 19th century – selling bars and classic automat machines, and offering a haven for bicycle activists Time’s Up and Critical Mass. However, he sold the property to investors Michael Hirtenstein and Sean Largotta in 2008 for $5.5 million. His plan at the time was to return to the ground level once the new construction completed. That never happened, and he sued the duo three years ago for about $9 million, claiming he was financially damaged because nothing was built.

Now, Stollman reportedly received an offer from Hirtenstein that gives him until September 15 to find a new buyer willing to pay at least $15 million for the property. Under this alleged arrangement, reported by the New York Times this week, Stollman would receive half the sale price for anything above $11 million. If not, he gets $1.6 million to walk away.

When we first broke this story back in March, Stollman indicated that he was trying to sell for $20 million, and hoped that this display would draw attention to the property and help raise the value.

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Event date:
03/07/2017 – 7:00pm

Please join us on Tuesday, March 7th for the launch of How to Kill a City: Gentrification, Inequality, and the Fight for the Neighborhoodwith author Peter Moskowitz. Joining him in conversation is Ryan Sartor, host of the Difficult to Name Reading Series.

In cities all across the country, neighborhoods are changing so quickly that nearly everyone is at risk of getting priced out. The term gentrification has become a buzzword, but we’ve failed to realize that it means more than the arrival of trendy shops, much-maligned hipsters, and expensive lattes. The very future of American cities as vibrant, equitable spaces hangs in the balance.

In How to Kill a City, Peter Moskowitz takes readers from the kitchen tables of hurting families who can no longer afford their homes to the corporate boardrooms and political backrooms where destructive housing policies are devised. Along the way, Moskowitz uncovers the massive, systemic forces behind gentrification in New Orleans, Detroit, San Francisco, and New York.

A lively, hard-hitting expose in the tradition of City of Quartz and Once in a Great City, How to Kill a City reveals who holds power in our cities and how we can fight back.


Peter Moskowitz is a freelance journalist who has covered a wide variety of issues, from environmental disasters to the vestiges of racist urban planning. A former staff writer at Al Jazeera America, he has written for the Guardian, the New York Times, The New Republic, Wired, Slate, BuzzFeed, and many others. He is a graduate of Hampshire College and the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.

Ryan Sartor is the host of the Difficult to Name Reading Series, which brings together authors, poets, journalists and others. He is a writer and is currently working on a novel.

Event address:
450 Columbus Ave
New York, NY 10024

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Though such terminology as “fair trade” and “ethical shopping” have become buzzwords in recent years, a business which has engaged in a version of this mindful commerce before it became fashionable is going out of business. By April, NYC will have seen the last of Liberty House. The story, from Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York:

Monday, February 13, 2017

Liberty House

VANISHING

Liberty House, at 112th and Broadway, is vanishing after 49 years in business. And it’s no ordinary local shop.


photo: Jed Egan, New York magazine

It is the last of its kind, a small chain of New York shops first organized in 1965 by Abbie Hoffman and other civil rights workers in Mississippi to sell goods made by poor women of color, with the profits going back to the original communities, and to support the Civil Rights Movement.

I talked to co-owner Martha who told me the shop will shutter at the end of April. They’ll be having a sale until then, from 20% to 50% off.

This time, it’s not the rent. “People aren’t shopping,” Martha said. “They’re going online. It’s convenient. They tell me, ‘I can sit at home and shop in my pajamas.’ But people have to shop local or else there won’t be any stores anymore.”


photo via Liberty House Facebook page

The second-to-last Liberty House shuttered in 2007, also on the Upper West Side. It was a victim of rising rents.

Back then, a customer told the Times, “I don’t know how you stop these people. They’re throwing everyone out right and left, and it’s going to be a neighborhood of Duane Reades and Godiva chocolates. This store should have made it.”

Said one of the shop’s partners, “The diversity of people, both incomes and interests, has lessened and we have more of what we used to call upwardly mobile people, who shop online or drive to malls, or get in cabs and go to Barneys.” …

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