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Remembering the ‘Forgotten City,’ Greenpoint Terminal Market

Until we return to our usual schedule Jan. 3, enjoy this daily series of longer pieces in which we unravel the mysteries and the histories of storied addresses.

The Greenpoint Terminal today, during an exhibition there: (Photo: Nathan Kensinger)

The Greenpoint Terminal today, during an exhibition there: (Photo: Nathan Kensinger)

On a recent white-gray Sunday, the Historic Districts Council gave a tour of what remains of the Greenpoint Terminal Market, a complex of old industrial buildings along the East River that was engulfed in 2006 by a mysterious 10-alarm fire.  On the day of the blaze, billowing clouds of gray smoke stretched across the river, and could be seen all the way to Chelsea.

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To Find the Lower East Side’s Last Mikvah, Look For the Sign That Says ‘Ritualarium’

Until we return to our usual schedule Jan. 3, enjoy this daily series of longer pieces in which we unravel the mysteries and the histories of storied addresses. 

The building as it looks today. The top reads 1904 for the year of construction. (Photo: LuciaM)

The building as it looks today. The top reads 1904 for the year of construction. (Photo: LuciaM)

An elderly woman stands at the window of her East Broadway apartment, practicing tai chi. A light snow is falling on the street below, where two young men in flannel shirts and skinny jeans enter a craft beer shop. The yellow lights of Happy Family Chinese restaurant blink gently in the distance.

At the corner of East Broadway and Grand stands an unusual building. White stones fan out around its windows, creating a contrast against the deep red brick. Its distinctive exterior reflects the boldness of its founders, eager to establish themselves in a new country and unafraid to be seen or heard. The letters ATH are carved above the main door, a nod to Arnold Toynbee, the British economic historian whose work inspired the settlement house movement, lovingly engraved by the hardworking New Yorkers who admired him.
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The Clue To This Ukrainian Church’s Past Lies in a 140-Year-Old Safe

The inside cover of the 1869 Annual Trustees Report.

The inside cover of the 1869 Annual Trustees Report.

“We’re here for the youth service,” I insist, leaning close to the intercom and watching my breath escape in ghostly puffs into the frigid air. I scan the building from my perch on the back stoop; its white marble exterior and mansard roof shines in the rain and the soft glow of passing headlights.

Silence.

“The sign out front said 7:30 p.m…” I try again, holding down the “Talk” button with resolute firmness, “For the Ukrainian Evangelical Church service?”

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The Day After Christmas, When Sharpshooters Marched Up the Bowery

Until we return to our usual schedule Jan. 3, enjoy this daily series of longer pieces in which we unravel the mysteries and the histories of storied addresses.

Deutsch-Amerikanische Schützen Gesellschaft at 12 St. Marks Place, circa 1892.  (Kings Handbook)

Deutsch-Amerikanische Schützen Gesellschaft at 12 St. Marks Place, circa 1892. (Kings Handbook)

It’s the day after Christmas, and a group of what could be a thousand uniformed sharpshooters marches up the Bowery. It’s no zombie apocalypse but the German-American Shooting Society marching from its temporary meeting place at the Germania Assembly Rooms at 291-293 Bowery to its new headquarters at 12 St. Marks Place. The year is 1888.

Opening night of the new hall was the celebration of a long process to establish a permanent headquarters for the Society, which at the time was reported to number 1,400 members in 24 different companies. That evening “the entire building was handsomely draped and festooned with the national colors of Germany and America and with fancy banners,” according to the New York Times.

Today the only remnant of that scene is the German-American Shooting Society building itself at 12 St. Marks Place, now a historical landmark and one of the few remaining architectural vestiges of Little Germany.

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The True Story of Mr. and Mrs. Claus, the North Pole and Brooklyn Beer

Until we return from vacation Jan. 3, enjoy this daily series of longer pieces in which we unravel the histories of storied buildings. Presenting: A Lot About a Plot.

(Photo: Alistair Mackay)

(Photo: Alistair Mackay)

If you’ve ever hoisted a bottle of Brooklyn Lager and really looked at its Milton Glaser-designed logo, you may have noticed the words “Pre-Prohibition Style” hovering above the baseball-style “B.” And you may have asked yourself: how exactly can a brewery founded in 1988 claim to make “The Pre-Prohibition Beer”?

The answer lies miles away from Brooklyn Brewery’s Williamsburg headquarters, at 670 Bushwick Avenue. That’s where a three-story home resembling the mansion from Royal Tenenbaums – cast in deep red brick, with a conspicuous rounded tower – lurks behind a chain-link fence and a “No Trespassing” sign.

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The Temple of Capitalism: Jarmulowsky’s Bank

Until we return to the usual Jan. 3, enjoy this daily series of longer pieces in which we unravel the mysteries and the histories of storied addresses. 

Looking south on Orchard Street at Jarmulowsky’s Bank. (Photograph by Edmund V. Gillon. From the Collections of the Museum of the City of New York)

Looking south on Orchard Street at Jarmulowsky’s Bank. (Photograph by Edmund V. Gillon. From the Collections of the Museum of the City of New York)

The first time Travis Bass stepped into the unusual building on Canal Street – the one with twelve ornate stories surrounded by dingy warehouses and Chinese signs – was during a New Year’s Eve party hosted by Frank Müeller, the man behind infamous New York clubs like Fun and The Limelight.

In 1998, the Lower East Side was “the wild, wild west,” Bass recalls. Müeller was “kind of a crazy guy,” and he had rented an entire seventh floor, divided into two lofts, which he shared with several friends. Drifting through the party, Bass noted polished wooden floors outlined like a basketball court, a couch designed with holes to stick your head through, and CDs glued to the walls and creating the shimmering effect of a hologram. The party was “outrageous,” in typical Müeller style. But most impressive was the vista: “It was amazing. They had a view of the whole city.”

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Shots For Tots! Two Bars Bought More Than 700 Toys For Their Needy Neighbors

20131223-195512.jpgA couple of bars on Avenue C raised more than just a ruckus last night – The Wayland and Summit Bar teamed up to buy over 700 toys for residents of the housing projects an avenue over.

Pete Canny, a bartender at The Wayland, said he was working the bar’s sandwich shop, Animals, when a couple of officers from the adjacent station house mentioned that donations for their annual toy drive were a few thousand dollars short this year. So Canny decided to team up with Pete Chelly, of Summit Bar across the street, to donate an evening’s worth of their tips toward the cause.

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This Week: Naughty and Nice Shorts, 15 Oscar-Shortlisted Docs

35mmShortsNaughtyHere’s one way Santa will know who was naughty or nice: by finding out who went to Nitehawk’s Naughty 35MM Shorts vs. who went to their Nice ones.

This Friday and Saturday at noon, catch some retro cartoons and obscure holiday clips with Jack Theakson, 35mm film archivist and historian. Watch children-friendly shorts plus a rare 1948 Technicolor print of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, while you brunch for this nice “Holiday 35MM Fun Show.”

Then return at midnight when Theakson presents naughty clips from his massive 35 mm collection. See “Nude in a White Car” (you can figure out the premise), “Love For Sale” (featuring 1950s burlesque strippers both on and off stage), and “Violated” (clips featuring NYC weirdos and derelicts on the streets and in the clubs of NYC).

Here’s what else we’re Reel psyched about this Christmas week!
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Snag an Andy Warhol Christmas Mug at This New Kitchenware Shop

(Courtesy of)

(Courtesy of Cucina & Tavola)

So, yeah, Grand Street sure has popped off since the B+B Newsroom was there in October — in addition to and Sha-Fa, a new cookware and dinnerware store opened on Williamsburg’s Mason-Dixon line earlier this month, across from the recently opened Brooklyn Running Co. and next to a recently opened outpost of State Farm Insurance.
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Williamsburg’s Newest Boutique Has Roots in Polish Greenpoint

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

How convenient: next to Williamsburg’s new custom-motorcycle café, you can now buy women’s clothing inspired by racing gear. Sha-Fa opened this past weekend, and, among other things, the boutique sells motorcycling-inspired mesh leather tops by the newly launched Canto NYC label.
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