Bath Night, circa 1945. (Weegee/International Center of Photography)

Bath Night, circa 1945. (Weegee/International Center of Photography)

A man named Alex beat me with a bundle of oak leaves at 268 East 10th Street.

That’s where the Russian and Turkish Baths Health Club is housed, in a renovated tenement building midway between First Avenue and Avenue A. Established in 1892, it’s New York City’s oldest – and for a while in the early ’90s, it was its only – bathhouse. And it feels it: the baths have the aura of an era lost to our world of flipped switches and pushed buttons.
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