The 103-year-old United Presbyterian Church of Ridgewood is for sale.
30 April 2010
The 103-year-old United Presbyterian Church of Ridgewood is for sale.
Who Goes There? La Rivista
The son of the owner of La Rivista—for 25 years the first stop on the right as you walk west on Restaurant Row—opens bottle after bottle of Peroni at the bar. All the beers will go to the big table of middle-aged officemates making noise in the center of the restaurant. They've been here before. They call the graying, dignified, tuxedo-clad maitre d' "The boss," and testify that every dish—the mussels, the melon and prosciutto—are as great as ever. Twenty generous plates of appetizers and antipasti are devoured before the table is given menus. Now it's time to decide what to eat.
Posted by Brooks of Sheffield at 11:02 AM
Folks are fighting make private Gramercy Park public. [Curbed]
Say goodbye to SoHo landmark 74 Grand Street. [Curbed]
Also gone: 283-87 Grand Street, which suffered a fire a while back. Bad week for Grand Street. [Bowery Boogie]
147 First Avenue is for the drop as well. Jesus, can we tear down the old buildings any faster? [EV Grieve] Correction: building only getting interior renovations. [Curbed]
Hated Carroll Gardens development 360 Smith Street endangering lives of citizens. [Curbed]
A look at landmarkable Coney Island. [Scouting New York]
Some West Side Eyesores. Do developers build anything else these days? Why can't these be torn down? [Restless]
The Met needs $10 million worth of new fountains. Because it does. [WSJ]
Last Call at Freddy's Bar. [City Room]
Posted by Brooks of Sheffield at 8:52 AM
It is, of course, the Anthora, the cardboard cup of Grecian design that has held New Yorkers’ coffee securely for nearly half a century. Introduced in the 1960s, the Anthora was long made by the hundreds of millions annually, nearly every cup destined for the New York area.
Posted by Brooks of Sheffield at 6:34 AM
No. 12 Gay Street needs a little work. The beautiful old Federal-style house has wood over some of its broken windows and, according to red sign on the door, no interior floors!
29 April 2010
Last week, we preservation geeks all gasped in horror when B&H Dairy in the East Village took down their classic old sign. Would it return? EV Grieve has been following the story closely, and Tuesday posted pictures of the new sign, which is exactly the same in font and style, except that it's, um, green. Kelly green. EV took a reader survey, and the result was 9 to 3: they don't hate.
I also don't hate it. But, what I want to know is: Is it the exact same sign, only spruced up and painted green? Or is it an amazin facsimile? The old sign is below.
I've pretty much been ignoring Trump SoHo, because I always ignore that tackless vulgarian and his horrendous, taste-free, ego-trip construction projects. But I was walking across Sixth Avenue, look south and saw this. Kind of insists itself upon you, doesn't it? How did a building that tall ever get approved in such a low-lying neighborhood?
Here's the big old Staples on Sixth Avenue in the Village, where the Emigrant Savings Bank used to be. It was always a plenty ugly building, but one of the great things about it was the lighted sign on the south side that told the world the time and temperature. Very helpful. Very civic-minded.
Here's what Staples has done with that sign:
28 April 2010
I had a feeling, looking at it, that Crater Candy Store on 30th Avenue and 31st Street in Astoria, Queens, was pretty old, despite the bright-blue Lotto awning and the typical bodega patina. It may have been the name, which reminded me of the notorious Judge Crater. People named Crater don't found delis anymore, or at least don't name delis after themselves. It's such a 19th-century-sounding name.
27 April 2010
In Astoria. One of the hugest neon liquor signs I've ever seen. Never encountered that font before, either. Liquor neon usually goes for boxy, block letters. Jolson's is about as old as a liquor store can be in America. It was founded in 1935, one year after Repeal.
Willets Point landowners are out to prove that Bloomberg lied about traffic projections in its push to ram through a redevelopment plan for the Queens battleground. [NY Times]
No wonder I feel so poor. A new reports that, while New Yorkers have a median family income of $56,000, our high cost of living renders that a real income of $41,000. We're the poorest people in American, relatively speaking. Think Bloomberg sympathizes? [Daily News]
A brief profile of Bloomberg's comrade in denuding New York of all character and diversity, Amanda Burden, in a magazine I'm sure she subscribes to. [Vanity Fair]
Bloomberg, who puts salt on everything he eats, harasses food companies into slashing the salt in their products, because we do what he says, not as he does. [Gothamist]
26 April 2010
There's nothing new about the Gowanus business Four and Twenty Blackbirds. The pie company has been open only a few weeks. But I love the Olde English look they've given the industrial building they work out of. Reminds me of many a whitewashed shop I've encountered in quiet English villages. Modest and handsome.
"I can’t wait until that wall is demolished," said genius Councilwoman Letitia James. "It creates psychological barriers for the entire neighborhood." Ugly big box stores create their own headaches, too, Letitia.
James said the new ShopRite would be a "destination supermarket like the [Pathmark] at Atlantic Terminal Mall" in Fort Greene—which is another visual beauty, as we all know. And it will finally give the neighborhood a convenient place to shop, she said. Because convenience always trump historical heritage.
The project, which is expected to break ground by early 2012 and be finished by 2013, will provide 500 (lousy, low-paying) permanent jobs and 500 (here-today, gone-tomorrow) construction jobs. Those happy construction workers will have the privilege of demolishing nine historic buildings. One single former military residence and timber shed at Admirals Row will be restored and incorporated into the development.
And here's the icing on the cake: The project will also provide more than 300 parking spaces for the new businesses.
Ran into these two triple-decker signs, advertising businesses right next door to each other, on Fifth Avenue in Sunset Park. I love these sorts of signs. The sign shapes are uniform and classic, but the raised lettering and images are usually very specific.
O'Hanlon's, an Irish bar in Astoria, is about 60 year old. Old enough to have a wooden phone booth. O'Hanlon's phone is unique, in that it's not a stand-alone booth but is built into the wall, a permanent part of the bar. I've seen this sort of thing at Fedora and Bill's Gay Nineties. It doesn't have a folding door, like most do, but a simple one-panel, open-and-close portal. The phone inside works. The bar has to pay the phone company for that service, and is thinking of disconnecting the line. There is no fan inside. But there is a phone number for a taxi service.
Previous Wooden Phone Booth Sightings.
25 April 2010
One of the loveliest businesses in Astoria is the La Guli Pastry Shop on Ditmars Boulevard. Family-owned, this store has been dispensing handmade sweets, pastries and gelato since 1937, always at the same location. The family is hands on, the old owner there when I visited, busy straightening chairs and making sure everything was running smoothly.
Cobble Hill Scofflaw Gets Sued By City; The Weirdest-Looking Development Site in the City; Strangest Building in East Village Gets a Little Work Done; The History of Helen's Candy Store; A Visit to Joe's Pork Store in Astoria; A Wooden Phone Booth Sighting; B&H Dairy Sign Comes Done.
Posted by Brooks of Sheffield at 7:47 AM
23 April 2010
The Kingston Lounge Looks at The Hotel Columbia. (First post on this great site in eight months!)
Relishing New York's lost telephone exchanges. [Forgotten New York]
A tight fit in Midtown. [Scouting NY]
Norah Jones is making a lot of noise installing her swimming pool in back of her Cobble Hill townhouse. (Hey, I didn't post this one, guys. I'm just linking to it.) [Brownstoner]
Look, and gape in wonder, at the the amazing Tunnel Boring Machine that is making the Second Avenue subway tunnel for you. [Curbed]
Posted by Brooks of Sheffield at 8:20 AM
The Landmarks Commission is doing right by Cobble Hill landowner John Quadrozzi.
According to the Daily News, Quadrozzi claims "unwieldy city bureaucracy has delayed his renovation efforts for years." "It took me over a year and buckets of money to convince them [a wall] might collapse," said Quadrozzi, who bought the buildings in 2000. No doubt, the red tape surrounding landmarks is a pain, but 10 years and you couldn't figure it out? Doubtful. I've talked to Quadrozzi's neighbors over the years, and they always told me similar stories of a neglectful and absent landlord.
22 April 2010
It's a brand new world for The Strangest Building in the East Village.
After years of rusting, being boarded up, being painted an awful shade of tan, and just being plain weird-looking, old No. 62 E. 4th Street is getting a new lease on life. The ugly paint has been scraped off and the brickface is being repointed.
Where would you want to live, the tower or the old house?
This shot, taken in Astoria, makes me think of "Up," where the old man stubbornly stays in his house as skyscrapers rise all around. There's a car in the driveway, so someone still lives in the house. Someone who can no longer see the sunset.
Posted by Brooks of Sheffield at 12:00 PM
This little leftover item just to the left of the newsstand awning gave me an inkling as to the address' former life. Yes, it could belong to the newsstand era; the shop sells all the things listed. But the style seems to old. I think the red oval was there before the present owners arrived. (New York Lotto was founded in 1966.)
21 April 2010
Joe's Pork Store is in Astoria, on Ditmars Boulevard near 37th Street. It's been there since 1957, and is worth a visit. It's hard to find a place more authentic than this.
Joe's son Paulie, who currently runs the place, and makes all the delectable sausage, is a third-generation butcher. His grandfather had a shop in Harlem. The old cash register and butcher block from the Harlem shop can been seen inside. So can a meat chopping machine that Joe bought in 1957. It looks like new and has never been repaired.
It's a delight to visit this store. There's sawdust on the floor. The owner is happy to talk and seems to very much like what he does. He's not grumpy, as some butchers I've met can be. He'll give you tips on how to best to keep the flavor of the meat as your cook it. And the prices are very good.
20 April 2010
The Red Hook Ballfields vendors executive director Cesar Fuentes is opening a Red Hook Mercado, a Red Hook version of the popular Brooklyn Flea. Also, the Ballfields foodfest will open for the season on May 1. [NYC Food Guy]
Posted by Brooks of Sheffield at 3:25 PM
This is rather off-topic, but I thought the subject so quirkily New Yorky that it was worth blogging about.
I have a friend who like to grill meat. So much so that he goes in with a dozen or so friends and acquaintances to buy a bespoke cow from a farmer upstate. This ensures them quality product, as well as the peace of mind of knowing where your meat is coming from. When the animal is butchered, the meat is driven down to Brooklyn where the investing parties gather in my friend's backyard and divvy up the shares.
I always thought this would be an interesting ritual to observe, so I asked my friend to let me know the next time his cow came to town.
Posted by Brooks of Sheffield at 10:22 AM
Redden's, on 14th Street, is one of the oldest funeral homes in the City. It was founded in 1919. You'd think their reputation and experience would be enough to keep them going. But I guess even funeral parlors need a glitzy makeover in Bloomberg's Luxury City. Redden's recently traded in their old sign for the gilded version seen above. It's Trump classy.
Posted by Brooks of Sheffield at 9:58 AM
Previous Wooden Phone Booth Sightings