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super-local history

From huck magazine:

The photographer who defined old-school cool

Street symphony

Posted
Text by Alex King
Photography © Jamal Shabazz

Jamel Shabazz has spent his life documenting the city that never sleeps. But while his shots of urban street style have become iconic, the bigger picture – a world of police and prostitutes, drifters and dancers – reveals something much deeper: a commitment to community.

It’s early morning in Rikers Island jail and a young corrections officer named Jamel Shabazz has just begun his first inspection. The residential wing is so hot that the stench of stale cigarettes and dead rodents hangs heavily.

There is a line of 30 units on both sides of the corridor, each one of them holding a juvenile inmate who may have trashed his cell, retreated to a corner or hung himself with a bed sheet.

“To make a physical count, you have to make sure a body is in each cell,” Jamel explains. And there is an abundance of bodies.

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It’s the mid-1980s and a crack epidemic is sweeping through New York City, generating a wave of violence that’s carrying thousands of young black men into the city’s prisons and morgues.

“It felt like being in a lifeboat watching a sinking ship and you can only help so many people,” says Jamel, thinking back to that time.

“But it didn’t stop me from going to work every single day looking for someone to connect with and provide direction to.”

Working in prison made Jamel’s mission clear to him: he became determined to steer young men away from ruining their lives, feeding a vicious cycle of regret. And it didn’t take long for him to realise how he’d do that.

Jamel_Shabazz_Little_Big_Man
Think of old-school hip hop and, chances are, you will conjure up one of Jamel Shabazz’s unforgettable portraits. Jamel came of age during the birth of rap in mid-70s New York. He remembers block parties in Coffey Park, Brooklyn, where a group of DJs and MCs would “hot-wire” the electricity supply of a lamppost to keep the party going long into the night.

His photobook Back in the Days immortalises the b-boys, boomboxes and big hair of 1980s New York City in one cornerstone document. But the purpose behind these images has often gone overlooked.

“I don’t get caught up on the fashion,” he says. “My photographs have always been about the personal connections I make in my attempt to communicate what’s going on in the streets.”

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Jamel’s new book, Sights in the City, aims to redress that balance by showcasing his street photography in one place for the first time. It spans the duration of his career and illuminates the complex city that has defined his life.

Growing up in the Red Hook area of Brooklyn, Jamel discovered photography through his father, a naval combat photographer who taught him to carry a loaded camera at all times.

Initially borrowing his mother’s cheap Kodak, the 15-year-old began directing groups of his friends into poses and developing a signature style.

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From Thought Gallery NYC:
New Yorkers can get out to Queens this fall for walks exploring Steinway Village (November 18) or Richmond Hill North (November 11), a Victorian village that was one of the first suburban communities. The Municipal Art Society will also offer a tour of the South Bronx and its history and recent revival on November 19.…

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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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From Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York blog:

Monday, July 31, 2017

Before We Got Starfucked

Jen Fisher runs a well-loved book table on the sidewalk at St. Mark’s and Avenue A. Tomorrow, the table will become a memorial exhibit called “Before we got Starfucked: A Memorial for the Lower East Side before it became the East Village.”

Jen and the resident artist Ana Marton describe it as:

“A personal archive of a LES resident from the late 80s to early 90s of photographs, newspaper cuts, flyers and B&W Xerox books will be displayed on Tuesday, August 1st, 2017 from 530-8PM outside, on the corner of Ave A and St. Mark’s Place, where the bookstall usually is.

The archive is based on 80s and 90s events such as The Tent City in Tompkins Square Park, the annual Stations of the Cross, Father George Kuhn, and the fight against gentrification as it was recorded and put together by a resident of the Lower East Side. Seen in the light of today’s ongoing destruction of our neighborhood, we believe that this archive has acquired historical relevance as a record of the Lower East Side and the life it once contained.”

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Officially releasing on July 15th, the book Secret Brooklyn: An Unusual Guide is written and photographed by Untapped Cities founder Michelle Young and co-founder Augustin Pasquet. To celebrate, we’ll be hosting a launch party for the book on Thursday, July 13th at the Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co., one of the 100+ amazing places in this book.

The party is produced in partnership with the website Brokelyn and will feature a presentation by Michelle and Augustin about their favorite spots and the process of making this book. Refreshments will be served and there will be opportunity to purchase books, get them autographed and meet the authors.

Entry is free, but RSVP is required:

Book Now

Can’t make the event? Purchase the book on Amazon here: http://amzn.to/2tVS4r9

Here’s a little preview of what’s inside:

Discover secret museums, go on an urban safari for wild parrots, locate a landmarked tree, enter the oldest building in New York City, watch a performance of robots in a church, stand tall next to hobbit doors on an otherwise normal residential street, learn how to breathe fire, swallow swords, hammer a nail into your skull and charm a snake, touch the oldest subway tunnel in the world and the world’s smallest Torah, forage for food in Prospect Park, taste wine atop the world’s first commercial rooftop vineyard, step inside a grocery store frozen in 1939, take in a basketball game inside a historic movie theater.

Brooklyn offers countless opportunities to step off the beaten path and is home to any number of well-hidden treasures that are revealed only to residents and travelers who are ready to explore. Secret Brooklyn An Unusual Guide is an indispensable guide for those who think they already know Brooklyn or would like to discover its hidden places, taking you far from the crowds and the usual clichés.

 Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co., Secret Brooklyn: An Unusual Guid

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Tuesday, July 11, 2017 6:30-8:00 pm

Anthony W. Robins Book Talk

New York Art Deco
A Guide to Gotham’s Jazz Age Architecture

SUNY Press, 2017

Lively and informative, New York Art Deco leads readers step-by-step past the monuments of the 1920s and ’30s that recast New York as the world’s modern metropolis. Anthony W. Robins new walking tour guidebook traces itineraries in Manhattan and across the boroughs. Maps by John Tauranac and color plates by Art Deco photographer Randy Juster enrich the mix. Join Tony for a talk that distills his thirty years experience hunting the urban Art Deco.

A native New Yorker, Anthony W. Robins is the author of books on Grand Central Terminal, the World Trade Center, and the art and architecture of the New York subway system. A popular leader of walking tours all over the city, he specializes in Art Deco, having organized series for many organizations, including the Art Deco Society of New York and the Municipal Art Society. He is the recipient of the 2017 Guiding Spirit Award from the Guides Association of New York City.

The Skyscraper Museum offers 1.5 LUs for AIA Members for this program.

Reservations are required, and priority is given to Members and Corporate Member firms and their employees.
All guests MUST RSVP to programs@skyscraper.org to assure admittance to the event. Not a member? Become a Museum member today!

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New York Now Scavenger Hunt
Saturday, June 17, 2017
Check-in: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Hunt: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Closing Reception: 5:30 – 7:30 PM

Open House New York challenges you to show how much you know about New York’s recent past!

A lot has changed in New York City since the first Open House New York Weekend took place on October 11 and 12, 2003. From the High Line and Hudson Yards to Citibike and the Second Avenue Subway, the city and our experience of it has changed dramatically over the past fifteen years. 40,000 new buildings were built, 450 miles of new bike lanes were laid, and more than a third of New York’s neighborhoods were rezoned.

Through it all, Open House New York was there, opening doors and giving New Yorkers access to the changing city. Now Open House New York invites you to test your knowledge about this vibrant and volatile period in New York’s history! To celebrate the 15th anniversary of OHNY Weekend, Open House New York has organized a citywide scavenger hunt of recent architecture, planning, and development. Travel the five boroughs while answering clues that send you to New York’s most breathtaking new buildings. Relive some of the city’s most heated preservation battles and uncover the policies and politics that shaped contemporary New York. Join us in celebrating a city that remains the greatest metropolis in the world!

To learn more about how the hunt works, click here.

Closing Reception Hosted by

Registration
$35 per person. Advance registration is required, and early registration is encouraged as the number of participating teams is limited.

REGISTER TODAY

 

 

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In the history of the hot dog and its Coney Island connection, Feltman’s preceded Nathan’s, and in a surprise turn of events, modern-day entrepreneurs have revived the brand after 63 years of dormancy, brought back a restaurant location to Surf Avenue (not sure if it is on or just near the original location), and have recreated a type of hot dog similar to what was served by Feltman’s back in the day.

From The Coney Island Blog:

…Feltman’s of Coney Island officially returns to it’s original location after 63 years by giving away 150 free hot dogs!  150 represents the years since German immigrant Charles Feltman invented the hot dog at Coney Island, NY.

A press conference will be taking place outside Luna Park at 11:45am. At 12pm the first 150 people on line will receive one free original hot dog courtesy of Feltman’s of Coney Island. By Memorial Day the Surf Ave location will be adorned with new signage inside and out. The new Surf Ave. location will be operating during the same hours as Luna Park. Valerio Ferrari President of C.A.I. and Luna Park says” we are thrilled to bring a part of Coney Island history to Luna Park as it’s the perfect fit.”

In 1867 Charles Feltman invented the hot dog at Coney Island. By the 1870’s Feltman’s Oceanside Pavilion was the largest restaurant in the world! In 1915 Nathan Handwerker was a bun slicer at Feltman’s Restaurant before opening his own hot dog spot down the block selling a tasty but smaller knockoff of Feltman’s original at half the price. Now you have the opportunity to enjoy the mother of all hot dogs! The original! Feltman’s of Coney Island hot dogs are all natural with an “Old World” German spice blend and no nitrates added in lamb casing. They have an incredible snap!

 

 

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Hot Dog inventor Charles Feltman

Feltman’s has a location at 80 St. Mark’s Place in the East Village. Feltman’s hot dogs are sold in Brooklyn at Brenman’s Meat Market and the Beach Deli both on Gerritsen Ave. In Queens at Deirdre Maeve’s Market in Breezy Point. Feltman’s hot dogs may be shipped across the country via the online store FeltmansofConeyIsland.com.

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@NY Post

Just last week Feltman’s hot dogs were added to the menu at Mc Sorley’s Old Ale House in Manhattan. The first time the historic tavern has altered the menu in over 50 years! Mikey’s Burgers on Ludlow St. on the Lower East Side also carries the iconic franks.

Feltman’s biggest fan is most likely eating Champ Kobayashi who can occasionally be found at Feltman’s Kitchen (East Village) at 80 St. Mark’s Place in the East Village scarfing down a Feltman’s original or an Al Capone Hot Dog named after the famous mobster who would frequently fill his belly at Feltman’s. Kobayashi said eating Feltman’s hot dogs is “as good as eating steak!”

So come celebrate Feltman’s long awaited return with a free hot dog as well as the 90th anniversary of the Cyclone Rollercoaster on Memorial Day.

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In 1885 the YMCA built their first branch at 222 Bowery to keep “not yet hardened” young men aged 17-35 from getting sucked into sin. In this fascinating article, Ephemeral New York‘ founder Esther Crain explores the history of the building, including its later life as a home to a veritable who’s who of artists and writers like Fernand Leger, Mark Rothko,and William Burroughs.

Learn more about the “bunker” and the history of NYC’s most infamous thoroughfare on Esther Crain’s “The Historic Bowery” walking tour which meets at Eldridge Street this Sunday.

Buy tickets online and RSVP: http://www.eldridgestreet.org/…/the-historic-bowery-a-walk…/

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From The New York Times:
Love and Black Lives, in Pictures Found on a Brooklyn Street
A discarded photo album reveals a rich history of black lives, from the
segregated South to Harlem dance halls to a pretty block in Crown Heights.
By ANNIE CORREAL
JAN. 27, 2017

One night six years ago, on a quiet side street in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, I came across a photo album that had been put out with the trash. I lived around the corner, and I was walking home when I saw it sitting beneath a streetlamp on Lincoln Place.
It looked handmade, with a wooden cover bound with a shoelace. But it had been tied up with twine, like a bunch of old newspapers, and left atop a pile of recycling.
After hesitating a moment, I picked it up and took it home.
The pages were fragile, and they cracked when I turned them, as if the album hadn’t been opened in a long time, but the photos were perfectly preserved. They seemed to chronicle the life of a black couple at midcentury: a beautiful woman with a big smile and a man who looked serious, or was maybe just camera-shy, and had served in World War II.
As I turned the pages, the scenery changed from country picnics to city streets and crowded dance halls in what appeared to be Harlem, and the couple went from youth to middle age. Looking at the album, I was struck by how joyful the photos were — and by the fact that as fabled as this era was, I had never seen a black family’s own account of that time.
I wondered who these neighbors were, and who had thrown the album out.
For decades, this part of Crown Heights had been mostly black. When I arrived in the neighborhood, several years before, I was one of the few nonblack residents on the block. The neighborhood was changing, though; newcomers were arriving and longtime residents were moving out.
I went back to Lincoln Place, hoping to find the album’s owner; it had surely been thrown out by mistake. Lincoln Place was the very image of old Brooklyn promoted by real estate agents. On other blocks, the houses were carved up or crumbling. Or they had been torn down and replaced by big buildings with spotlights and no-loitering signs. But on Lincoln Place, the stately rowhouses were still intact and well loved. The block was preserved in amber.
I knocked on doors and left my number, but I never heard from anyone. So I put the album on my bookshelf. A few years later, my landlords got an offer they couldn’t refuse, and my short time in Crown Heights was up. I stumbled upon the album while packing and pulled it off the shelf. Now I really had to reckon with it.
Gentrification was transforming the neighborhood — soon there might be no one left who recognized the world in these pictures. And the album was literally falling apart in my hands.…

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