Two major streets named Greenwich pass through the lower west side neighborhood they are named for, Greenwich Village. One, Greenwich Street, begins at the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel and Edgar Street (Manhattan’s shortest through street) and runs north to Gansevoort and 9th Avenue in the Meatpacking, interrupted by the World Trade Center site between Liberty and Barclay. Greenwich Street’s two “halves” are scheduled to be connected by a new section to be built within the next few years, as this is written in 2012.
The other, which FNY is concentrating on today, is much shorter–Greenwich Avenue runs for only a few blocks from 6th Avenue and West 8th northwest to 8th Avenue and West 13th at Jackson Square.
The term “Greenwich Village” is actually redundant: in old English, wych, wich or wyck all mean “village” and have origins in the Latin vicus. So, when you say “Greenwich Village” you’re saying “Green Village Village.” According to Henry Moscow in The Street Book, the term first appears in city records in 1713, long before any of the streets were laid out. However: in Greenwich Village and How It Got That Way, Terry Miller gives an earlier date: in 1696 a Dutch settler named Yellis, or Giles, Mandeville named a pasture near his settlement at today’s Gansevoort Street after a town near where he had lived — in Breukelen — called Greenwich, or Dutch Grenwyck.
Before the days of Yellis Mandeville, the region was occupied by the Lenape Indians, who bestowed it the name Sappokanican, and then the Dutch, who called it Bossen Bouwerie, or “farm in the woods.”
In the summer of 2011, I walked the whole of Greenwich Avenue, all 12 blocks. I’ll have more on its history a little later but if you look at the map, you notice it’s the dividing line between two competing street grids: the Greenwich Village grid, roughly oriented northeast and southwest, and the 1811 Commissioners Plan grid, surveyed by John Randel Jr. and his team, that laid out the island in a rough (as in not exact) east-west-north-south orientation from North (Houston) Street north to 155th.
#1 Greenwich Street, just west of 6th, is Casey’s Flower Studio. This is the original site of Balducci’s, where two immigrant brothers from Italy, Luigi and Mario, sold bananas–the store later became a Village gourmet food institution before it abandoned its two remaining Manhattan shops in 2009. Balducci’s still has an online presence and stores in Connecticut (in, er, Greenwich), as well as Scarsdale, Bethesda, MD and two locations in Virginia.
In 1838, when Martin Van Buren was President, a small apothecary opened on Sixth Avenue just north of Clinton Place (now West 8th Street), and after it had changed hands a couple of times and moved two doors uptown, Clarence Otis Bigelow had established his “chemist’s”. The present building dates to 1902; the pharmacy still occasionally displays a 1905 ledger containing regular customer Mark Twain‘s name. Note the gas jets on the electric chandeliers: they still work, and in the 1965 and 1977 blackouts, they were turned on; Bigelow’s remained open.
Directly to the left, the corner building on 6th Avenue and West 9th was home to Trude Heller’s from about 1960-1982. For awhile, the house band was Barry and the Remains, a Boston group who never had any real hits but appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show and opened for the Beatles on a 1965 USA tour. In its long history Heller’s also hosted Goldie (Genya Ravan) and the Gingerbreads and the young Beastie Boys.
NW corner, Greenwich Avenue and Christopher Street. 1930s 14-story Tudor-esque high rise with casement windows that look out upon…
…The Jefferson Market Garden, in the rear of the wildly Gothic Jefferson Market Library, an 1877 tower formerly a courthouse/prison, now home to a library. In mid-2011 the tower was enshrouded in scaffolding as the exterior was being touched up. The Garden stands on the site of a women’s prison that stood alongside the courthouse and men’s prison.
The Women’s House of Detention closed in 1973 and the following year, the Garden replaced it:
The Board of Estimate transferred the site to Parks in 1974, and the Jefferson Market Garden Committee, Inc., composed of Village neighborhood associations and homeowners, was entrusted with its care. Landscape architect Pamela Berdan originally designed the garden in the spirit of Frederick Law Olmsted, who co-designed Central and Prospect Parks with Calvert Vaux. The garden was planted with 10 Star and Saucer Magnolia trees, 7 Yoshino Cherry trees, 2 American Yellowwoods, 7 Thornless Honeylocusts, 10 Crabapple trees, 70 fairy hedge roses around the lawn, 60 pycarantha, and 56 holly bushes in clusters. Volunteers have since planted tulips, daffodils, and crocuses in the garden. NYC Parks
Saint Germain Apartments, NW corner Greenwich Avenue and West 10th Street, another high rise, this one built in 1962. This building always reminds me of Lou Reed’s song from 1972’s Transformer, “I’m So Free,” which contains the lines:
“Oh please, Saint Germaine
I have come this way
Do you remember the shape I was in
I had horns and fins”
What was Reed referring to? A couple of sources say it was the Count of Saint-Germaine (1712-1784) a prominent composer, mystic, occultist and what would, by the 1960s, be referred to as a counterculturist. Perhaps, St-Germain liqueur. Maybe the actual Saint Germaine, a 5th-Century Gallic bishop. Or, perhaps, Reed was referring to this building, since he was a NYC resident beginning in 1964 after graduating from Syracuse.
A look east on W. 10th toward the Jefferson Market Courthouse, which was enshrouded in construction netting.
FDNY Squad Company 18 (Originally Engine 18) at 132 West 10th near Greenwich Avenue was founded in 1865, with this 3-story firehouse built in 1891. The building to the immediate left, at #130, in 1941-42 was known as the Almanac House, where Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger held hootenannies when they were in the Almanac Singers, a pro-labor, anti-fascist folk group. The Almanacs were so called because Lee Hays (who later had pop success with Seeger in The Weavers) said that back home in Arkansas they had two books in the house, the Bible for the next life and an almanac for this one.
A restaurant will occupy the former space of Village Paper; until it was burned out it had been at the NE corner of Greenwich Avenue and West 10th since the mid-1970s.
Old-fashioned signs mark Joseph Hanna Leather Goods at #33 Greenwich Avenue.
44-46 Greenwich Avenue. 44 is home to one of NYC’s dwindling indie bookstores, Partners & Crime, which specializes in mystery, founded in 1994 but seems like it has been there longer than that.
NW corner of Greenwich Avenue and Perry Street. Just after I got out of school I frequented a tavern on the ground floor here called McGowan’s. We will see more roughly rhomboid buildings like this, as Greenwich Avenue makes sharp angles with its intersecting streets.
There must be a reason behind the scalloped roofline on #54-58. Judging by the window designs, #58 was once separate from #54-56. Greenwich Avenue, with exceptions here and there, must look much the same as it did in 1910, with not a whole lot of building teardowns and replacements.
#60-66 Greenwich, which, aside from some paint jobs over the years and changing storefronts, have remained largely unchanged for decades right down to the corbel, lintel and window treatments.
Mulry Square: Tiles for Smiles
Mulry Square, one of the Village’s busiest intersections, was created in the early 1910s when 7th Avenue was plunged south from its original source at Greenwich Avenue and West 11th south to connect with Varick Street. This was done when a cut and cover trench for a southern extension of the IRT Subway was being built. 7th Avenue South was gouged through the Village in Moses-ian fashion, creating several new spiderwebs of intersections.
Since shortly after the massacre of 9/11/01 Mulry Square, the southwest corner of 7th Avenue South and Greenwich Avenues, a lot bounded by a chain link fence has been the site for hundreds of colorful painted tiles offering remembrance and hope.
The empty hulk of St. Vincent’s Catholic Hospital stands at the northeast corner of 7th Avenue and Greenwich Avenue. The hospital, which was more than $1 billion in debt, closed on April 30, 2010. The medical center had been founded by the order of the Sisters of Charity in 1849 and named for its founder, Saint Vincent de Paul. The now-empty facility replaced the old Elizabeth Bayley Seton Building in 1987. It was one of the first medical facilities in the city with a treatment center specifically for HIV and AIDS patients, as well as a Chinese -speaking inpatient unit to serve nearby Chinatown.
It has treated victims of calamities: the cholera epidemic of 1849, the sinking of the Titanic in 1912, the 9/11 attack and, just last year, the Hudson River landing of US Airways Flight 1549. The poet Edna St. Vincent Millay got her middle name from the hospital, where her uncle’s life was saved in 1892 after he was accidentally locked in the hold of a ship for several days without food or water. —The Decline of St. Vincent’s Hospital [New York Times]
FNY normally doesn’t do endorsements but I have always enjoyed Two Boots’ spin on the pizza experience: add Cajun spices and other elements unthought-of in Italy. Two Boots’ sit-down restaurants on Avenue A in the East Village and in Park Slope are usually full of happy, squealing kids. But I have never minded, which is something for me. NW corner of West 11th and Greenwich.
At Bank Street, Artepasta (whose remaining neon sign looks like ARTERASTA) has apparently closed permanently, though it had been there for over 30 years.
A look east on West 12th at the utterly unique Edward and Theresa O’Toole Medical Services Building (formerly National Maritime Union of America AFL-CIO Building) constructed in 1964. The early 1960s was an era of whiz-bang architecture, with some wildly divergent forms ushered in by Frank Lloyd Wright’s Guggenheim Museum on 5th Avenue and East 89th in 1959 and continuing through the World’s Fair era of 1965. In NYC, new buildings have been fairly tame and bland ever since.
It was turned its present shade of white in 1977. Before it closed, St. Vincent’s had permission to raze it and build a hospital annex.
West 12th joins a number of streets in Greenwich Village that have been permitted to retain their Belgian block pavement, at least for now. Looking toward another of Greenwich Avenue’s distinctive apartment buildings.
At W. 12th Street: Equinox Fitness, which isn’t bad as far as 21st Century building design goes, replaced the Art Greenwich Twin, which had been there from a few years east or west of 1940 through 2000. It was a theater I had been in exactly once, on a date in 1982, though I forget what we saw there.
Formerly the Day-O Tavern (with a big blue and white neon awning sign seen here on my West 12th Street ForgottenSlice page) the new restaurant Monument Lane pays tribute to a very old name for Greenwich Avenue…
Turning back the clock to the 1760s…
Greenwich Avenue happens to be one of the oldest existing roads on Manhattan Island. Originally it was part of an Indian trail in the village of Sappokanican that ran southeast and east to about where Cooper Square is today. Another piece of that trail still existing today is Astor Place that runs between Broadway and 3rd Avenue.
Under Dutch rule the road was called Strand Road but by the colonial era the British had made it a military pathway as it ran through the estate of Admiral Peter Warren, the commander of British naval forces during the Revolution. He had acquired several hundred acres of property in the Village in the 1740s.
After 1762, the road was known as Monument Lane or Road to the Obelisk. In 1762, at the spot where Greenwich Avenue meets 8th Avenue today, the British erected a monument to British Major General James Wolfe (1727-1759) who had died in the Battle of Quebec in the Seven Years’ War, but by 1773, before American independence was declared, the monument had disappeared from local maps.
The theory had been advanced that the English soldiers took away with them this memorial of their gallant countrymen — fearing that harm may come to it in a rebellious land. But an obelisk is not a handy thing for an army to carry around with it …[t]herefore, I think that if it had really been put aboard ship, somebody here would have chronicled the queer fact: and that had it been landed in another country, news as to its whereabouts would have come to New York in the century and more that has passed since it disappeared. Thomas A. Janvier, In Old New York, 1894
1778 map showing the Warren property and what had been Monument Lane (circled). After the Revolutionary War ended and American independence secured, Monument Lane became Greenwich Lane.
In the first decades of the 19th Century, Greenwich Village’s layout took shape. Greenwich Lane determined the angle of the north-south streets that roughly paralleled it, with the Village’s east-west streets meeting it at a rough right angle. With a few name changes here and there this is still the Greenwich Village street layout, with 7th Avenue South joining the party in 1912.
This Dripps plate from 1867 shows Greenwich Avenue in its final form. Note that present-day landmarks like Jackson Square and St. Vincent’s Hospital are in place on the map.
More of Greenwich Avenue’s surprisingly well-preserved brick houses, #96-100.
Some nifty casement windows at the slight angle of Greenwich Avenue and Jane Street. There are a number of streets in Manhattan named for women (Catherine Street, Ann Street) but Jane Street is not one of them. A Mr. Jaynes owned property in the area around 1800–after that, the parcel was sold to William Bayard, a friend of Alexander Hamilton. In 1804 Hamilton was taken there after his fatal duel with Aaron Burr in Weehawken, where he passed.
Although Greenwich Village and Greenwich Avenue’s name is not British in origin, it sounds like it, and it has attracted a number of businesses with British-sounding names, such as Elephant and castle (a square in London) Tea and Sympathy (British play and film) carry On Tea and Sympathy (the Carry On series was a long-running British comedy film series) and the fish and chips shop A Salt & Battery.
Sharp-angled building where East 13th turns east at Greenwich Avenue. I always wanted one of those narrow rooms with one window.
North of 13th Street: Substation for 8th Avenue Subway, built 1932-1933 at the height of the Art Moderne era that de-emphasized ornamentation in favor of a bolder, more straightforward approach. There was decoration, but not a whole lot. The brickwork, using just a few contrasting hues, is attractive and the lettering here is exactly the same lettering used in IND station name plates and directional signs. Wish I knew the font name.
A substation is a part of an electrical generation, transmission, and distribution system. Substations transform voltage from high to low, or the reverse, or perform any of several other important functions. Electric power may flow through several substations between generating plant and consumer, and its voltage may change in several steps. wikipedia
Located on the triangle between 8th and Greenwich Avenues and Horatio Street, Jackson Square has officially been a public park since 1872, though it appears as a “square” on maps prior to that. It’s widely thought that the square is named for its most obvious honoree, President Andrew Jackson ( 1767-1845) since “Old Hickory” had been a hero in Tammany Hall circles. However, Mozart Hall, a faction that had split off from Tammany, met in a building called Jackson Hall at #2 Horatio across the street from the park. Mozart Hall founder Fernando Wood was elected mayor of NYC in 1859 after winning from Tammany in 1854. The fountain looks older, in design, than 1990 when it was installed.
One Jackson Square, SE corner 8th Avenue and Greenwich Avenue. “Undulations bound to produce joyous ululations from many a strolling architecture critic” says the 2010 AIA Guide to New York. If you want to rent the penthouse it’s $30,000 a month, or if you want to buy, it’s a steal at $17M.
Why was the AIA Guide gushing so much? They gave it an award!
Two magnificent bank buildings from a former age face off across West 14th from each other at 8th Avenue. The first is the New York County National Bank (1906-1907 DeLemos & Cordes, arch.)
The second is the green-domed New York Savings Bank (the bank founded by Alexander Hamilton; 1897, R.H. Robertson, arch).
One bank is a men’s health club and gym, while the other one, recently a Balducci’s, is now another CVS drusgtore. But at least they’re still there.
Johnny’s Bar on Greenwich (next to Tea & Sympathy) is one of my favorite places to have a beer and listen to good rock music. I also recall there was a tiny French restaurant (actually more like a diner) up nearer to 6th Ave called Brigitte’s that made fantastic home-made food. It’s been gone a while now.
Yes, I remember Brigitte’s from my childhood in the late 70s, early 80s growing up on Bank Street. I had simpler tastes then and used to just eat the chicken cutlet hero
As I recall, there were maybe only six or eight stool seats at the counter and they didn’t have a lavatory. Correct me if I’m wrong about that. Last time I was there was 1998-ish.
Wow – looks like it made another 10 years after your last visit! http://lostnewyorkcity.blogspot.com/2008/06/chez-brigitte-to-close.html
Johnny’s S&P FTW!
Sitting in Johnny’s on a hot summer evening, drinking beers and chaining reds, rockin’ out to a great jukebox, eating slices from Edmundo’s (RIP) across the street and just watching the world go by. Life couldn’t get any better!
two chairs, IIRC.
Does anyone remember the name of the store on Greenwich that sold Southeastern furniture (mainly teak), tapestries, baskets, etc? It was owned by a Dutch fellow. This goes back to the 80’s – 90’s. I have been trying to remember the name, and I wondered how long ago it went out of business. Thanks.
Village Paper could not have opened in 1972 because Sutter’s bakery was at that location until May of 1976. I know– used to go there all the time and I still miss it. I love your web site– please keep it up!
I was a member of the national maritime union in the early 80s.There is a similar looking building on the Hong Kong waterfront with round windows too that I suppose are meant to mimic a ship’s portholes(portlights)The chinese call the building The House of a Thousand A….holes.which,come to think of it would have been an apt name for the 12th st. building,though not in reference to its windows if ya get my drift.The NMU also had a bldg. on w. 17th st. with the same design.My h.school graduation was held there
The Times reported Sutter’s closed on May 23, 1976, after exactly 50 years in busines, the result of “a sharp increase in rent…from $40,000 to $60,000 a year.” In addition, the landlord was asking for a $50,000 fee for a new lease. The owners, twin sisters Helen Mulcahey and Marie Kammenzind, daughters of Sutter, could not swing it.
@roger: Chez Brigitte’s was on Greenwich just west of 7th, a couple of doors down from what is now Bone Lick Park. It was a tiny place, there for decades before being forced out due to high rents. A Tasti-d-Lite or something similar came in, but that closed down fairly quickly. I can’t remember what if anything is in that space now.
What a loss. Wish I had eaten there more often.
It seems like any place with independence and character in this city has a bulls-eye on its back for developers and landlords.
It sits empty right now.
We do know that the poet Edna St. Vincent
Millay was so named because she was born in that hospital.
If that tradition held for all New York births, my middle name would have been St. Elizabeth, a long closed hospital in Washington Heights/Inwood.
Thank God my parents were unaware of any such tradition when I was born in Flushing Hospital! It could have been worse than having been a boy named Sue.
Speaking of pizza places, near the former Jefferson Market Courthouse was the original location for Original Ray’s Pizza. Just recently, they had to close after a dispute with a realtor back in August. It’s very unfortunate, that NYC lost a known pizza place. BTW, don’t confuse this with Famous Ray’s, which is different. Still, it felt like a major loss at least to me, because I would eat at one whenever I saw one in the area.
Before Monument Lane and Day-O was a great neighborhood Italian place, Il Marrionetta. One day I went by to get ny traditional friday night pizza, and there was a sign on the door. As best as I can remember it said “After 30 years we are closing. Gone fishing-Mario”
Don’t be sad Original Ray’s is coming back with the same owner. They are at the NW corner of 6th Ave & 11th St.
Next to the substation (the red building) is the former Church of the Exquisite Panic–not really a church but headquarters for performance artist Robert Delford Brown. It was designed by Robert Morris Hunt, renovated by Paul Rudolph and is now owned by TV Producer Tom Fontana. The second floor has an amazing atrium-style library. http://www.nytimes.com/1995/06/11/nyregion/fyi-811695.html
Gents: (and Ladies):
My dad was a mailman for the city starting in the late 1940’s. One of his first routes included 1 Christopher Street, pictured above in your article. One resident he used to speak of as having lived there at the time was none other than the original Dracula, Bela Lugosi.
My Aunt Katherine lived at #1 Christopher Street as well and one of the neighbors I remember was James Earl Jones, back when he was just starting his acting career.
Another neighbor who lived for a short time at 207 West 11th St (next door to Two boots Pizzaria) was the French Singer/Cabaret artist, Robert Clary…also known as Lebeau from Hogans Heroes. Mitchell Ryan lived on West 11th near West 4th and Jane Curtin lived over on West 10th between 5th and 6th Avenues.
I worked for Tucker’s fresh flowers and Louie Balducci’s Vegetables store 1959-1961. approx. 1960 they were shooting the movie Butterfield 8 . I will never forget the scene where Liz Taylor comes out of 1 Christopher St. jumps into a little red sports car and drives west towards 7th Ave.
When I was a kid growing up on West 11th St and Waverly Place, a wonderful toy store named One Two Kangaroo occupied the space that is now Two Boots. It was the kind of place where the owners actually LET kids play with the toys they wanted to buy.
Also missing is a nice little French restaurant, Le Chez Brigette, which was next to Heller Wines on the South side of Greenwich just West of 7th Avenue. There was a FDNY Maximum Occupancy sign inside the Chez Brigette that said “The Chez Brigette seats 330 people -11 at a time”. You see the place was only 30 feet wide and had 2 tables and 3 counter seats! But they had the BEST French Onion soup I ever had…
Across the street was the Lowes Theatre and the Greenwich Theatre was at the corner of West 12th St and Greenwich. St. Vincents bought and razed the Lowes theatre and left a giant vacant lot for years as they tried to get permission to build a huge wing with a bridge over 7th Avenue.
The Greenwich lasted until the late 80’s I think.
The Greenwich Twin lasted until at least the late 90s.
Tal, I believe the original Ray’s is the one on Prince Street that closed last year.
hey jamie i lived on west 12 bet waverly and west 4th from ‘63
(when i was ten) to ‘76 off and on…
in the ‘60’s Chuck the Carpenter and on. west 4th Nicola Market and a great little deli shanvilla and the old apothecary that became The Front Porch and Miles Davis’ little house snd a big beautiful brownstone brothel across from his place and next to 1-2-Kangaroo was the Britannia Mews Pub where my older brother hung out with St. Vincent’s nurses when he came back from Nam in ‘69 and so many memories… early 70’s er loved Sandolino’s all night breakfast on barrow street a couple of doors down from One if by Land ( still there) and my favorite places as a kid Keneret on 7th and “McGowan’s off broadway” and PamPams. (OMG BEST BURGERS..!)
and Bickford’s Coffee Shoppe on 14 and 7 and Sutter’s and la Crepe both across from the WOMEN’S HOD and the vanguard and Your Father’s Mustache and the Ninth Circle and the Lion’s Head Mexican Garden’s and Waverly Place and Beatrice Inn and the Corner Bistro and Joe’s Pizza and Balduccis and Bigelow’s lunch Counter and Nathan’s and Orange Julius snd Shakespeare’s
west 11th not 12th 242 west 11th in one of rose schaines
3 brownstones.. The Loving Spoonful lived next door and we lived above rose… years after my dad left Richard Gere moved in and when we were there… Edith Vonnegut and Geraldo Rivera
CVS pharmacy occupying that magnificent bank building seems almost tragic.
Thanks for a terrific post.
Before Two Boots moved in (early ’90s?), that location was home to an optical shop. The glassed-over short corner of the space was a display case and there was a painted sign above it, of–what else?–a pair of glasses. Two Boots kept the glasses sign (you can see this in the pic), but added funky colors and painted pizza slices shooting out of the lenses.
Under your second photo of Casey’s Flower Studio you say their address is #1 Greenwich Street, that should read Avenue. Thank you for the photos and background, one of my favorite streets in NYC.
Great post but you refer to both Greenwich Street and Greenwich Avenue as Avenue in the opening two paragraphs.
Fixed, I think I got e’m all
Great article, Kevin. Another interesting story is that Mulry Square was reputed to be the location of Edward Hopper’s famous “Nighthawks” diner painting, and I’d always believed that until just now (!) when in looking it up again I discovered Jeremiah Moss’s article in the NYT: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/05/opinion/05moss.html?_r=1&hp
MARVIN’S SHOE’S was a family shoe store located at 19 Greenwich Avenue from 1958-1971. It was owned and operated by Marvin Gewolb and Ellis Fleg. It was located near the corner of 10th Street across the street from the NYC Woman’s House of Detention and diagonally across the street from Sutters Bakery. Marvin Gewolb travelled to France and Italy frequently and designed Woman’s sandals and winter boots in an era when they were only available in certain shops in Greenwich Village. The business was extremely successful until the day it closed in 1971, when Ellis moved with his family to California. I know this quite well, because my father was Marvin Gewolb, and I spent many a summer and holidays working in his store. Today I am a Psychiatrist practicing in Bayonne , New Jersey.
Eric Gewolb M.D.
You left out one of the most famous locations of all: The triangular corner flower shop at Greenwich Ave and 11th street was the diner locale used for Edward Hopper’s most famous painting, NIGHTHAWKS. http://www.artchive.com/artchive/h/hopper/nighthwk.jpg.html
Not that corner. It was the corner just SW of that where all the 9/11 tiles were. I lived on the corner opposite just above Two Boots Pizza. There’s a lot left out but it would be impossible to cover everything. Below my apartment on the Greenwich Avenue side of mhh the building was a restaurant called City Limits where they filmed a scene in a Bogdonavich film called They All Laughed starring Audrey Hepburn and the late Dorothy Stratten. I watched them filming outside my window. I also witnessed a mother crossing the crosswalk with her 3 children while the light was flashing and the semi truck didn’t see them below and stepped on the gas smashing two of the kids. I thought they were filming a movie again. It was horrendous.
Does anyone remember the Italian restaurant that was at 75 Greenwich Ave from 1952 – 1968? It was called Carmine’s.
Looking for photos if you have any at all too!
that bit between the book store and the natural place (the red bit with the clover shaped window) is neat. shame abot the paper place, but glad it will make a new life still.
roger_the_shrubber – it’s a shame that finding places that play good rock and roll is getting harder to find 🙁
I lived as a little kid @ 75 Bank Street, and my Dad owned a pharmacy (St. Vincent’s Chemists) at corner of Bank and Greenwich, the space later to become Artepasta. This was in late 1940s -early 1950s. I went to school first at Little Red Schoolhouse, then at PS 41, which then was on Greenwich Avenue (where the playground for the current PS 41 is now located.
I remember Sutter’s clearly. Before it went to Greenwich Avenue it had a location near my home on Bank Street, possibly on Perry St. I yearn for their cookies. You entered that shop to be met by the most incredible smell of butter and baked goods. A fellow named Mario always gave me a free sample. Whenever I return to NY, for whatever reason, the village is my first stop
Sutters was on Bleeker near 11th. Remember their coffee rings and of course my annual birthday cake. Had friends that lived above the Chemist: Billy, Pat, Donald and Robert. They went to St. Josephs. Also friends in 2 Bank. I always walked down Bank St. on my way to 41. Was said when the Lowes was torn down.
I loved Sutter’s bakery in the Village while I lived on Sixth Avenue and 13th street in the early 60’s and later
In college I also had a part time job at Sutter’s in Brooklyn.
Over the years I tried to find a bakery that used the same recipes but no success.
Lately I found a web site post on forums.egullet.com from 2006, by one of Sutter’s grandsons who intended to open a new Sutter’s in the Village and had all the old recipes.
I have not heard anything since and I hope that if he does not open the bakery he would publish a book with the receipes. I am sure it would be well received.
[…] Walking Greenwich Avenue. [FNY] […]
I’m sure some other commenters caught this, but ‘Tea and Sympathy’ was not a British movie or play but an American one, by the author of ‘I Never Sang for My Father.’ It is a prep school story (Exeter) , something like ‘A Separate Peace,’ but with the homosexual panic more explicit.
As I recollect, Sutter’s (bakery and café) first closed in 1972 when a car drove through the front picture-window. It reopened after some months but then closed again (1973). Their Vienna bread and almond horns were exquisite, as were their loaf-breads.
Before it was the rate pasta, it was a lovely place called the Starthrower Cafe. Maybe from around 1977 to 1980. Does anyone remember it?
Yes. I loved the starthrower cafe. Ate their when I first moved to the village in 1977
Oh the Starthrower cafe, where a lemon chicken breast under its blue lit glass table tops made a date an endless evening…
It seems like any place with independence and character in this city has a bulls-eye on its back for developers and landlords – are you serious here. It still is a damn lovely place my friend
View from 7th avenue looking east. You can see that the curved roof on 54 greenwich wasn’t like that in 1937. Also, check out those 5c hamburgers!
Does anyone remember a pizza place on the corner of 12th and Greenwich named La Marionetta, I think? Was there when I lived there in the early 70’s.
I have been researching my ancestor, Giles Jansz de Mandeville who originally farmed part of the land that is now Greenwich Village, and for whom Abingdon Square was the family burial ground. If anyone has more information I would appreciate it.
“Riker family genealogy” & “The Van Ness Heritage & Allied Genealogies” state that Yellis de Mandeville received a grant of 30 acres at Greenwich, N.Y., laid out 5 Dec., 1679; patented 30 Dec. 1680. No lands granted or sold to Yellis de Mandeville are recorded in the Flatbush Records, but many Dutch Patents and Indian Deeds were destroyed or sent to England after 1664. No New Amsterdam Records mention him, but we find Gilles Janszen Mandiviel and his wife Elsje Hendricx as members of The New York Dutch Church, 31 May, 1677, and Jillis, Elsje and Grietie Mandeviel living above the ancient pond “Kalch hock” in 1686.”
The Mandeville estate extended from below 14th street to 21st street, though not parallel to either, and from the Hudson River to Warren Road. This part of manhattan Island was known as Greenwich, Sappokaniken, Shappanaconk, or New Nordwyck. Yellis sold to David Mandeville, doubtless his son, on 14 May, 1700, 53 morgens of land (126 acres) , including the Greenwich bowery then occupied by the said David Mandeville, and apparently meadows on the west side of the Hudson River. The land was particularly described in a grant from Governor Nicholls, and in a deed of Johannes Vanbroughen and Jacob Veranger to Jacob Vandegrift: the latter sold the same to Yellis Mandeville, 2 June, 1679.
“Giles Jansen de Mandeville and Descendants of Charity Mandeville who Married Reynier Speer” states that Peter Stuyvesant gave Giles the grant of land on the Hudson River extending from Gansevoort St upwards and including the present Abingdon Square, which was the family burying ground; Part of this land was located in the present Greenwich Village area.
I, too, am a direct descendant of this Yellis. My grandfather was named for him, it becoming Giles. My great great grandmother was born Rachel deMandeville. Bernard Mandeville, physician, and English essayist. was the brother of Yellis’ father who was a medical doctor also, and a rev. They were actually French, and went to the Netherlands. Some of the French ones went to England with the Conqueror, where they became the keepers of the original Tower. Thus, Queen Elizabeth I descends from them. They were the early Earls of Essex and signers of the Magna Carta. I descend thru Yellis’ son David.
[…] New York virtual tour (Greenwich […]
Does anyone remember the name of an Italian coffee house that was on Greenwich Ave, just above 10th St and next to Village Paper? It had been in Little Italy first and moved to Greenwich Ave in the late 70’s. Please help because it is driving us nuts!
I think it was the Peacock.
Thank you. I spent many happy hours there.
Me too. Hundreds.
Does anyone know what is located at 30 Greenwich Ave. now. It used to be a brownstone apt.
building that my Mom’s first cousins Dorothy Janoff, Dorothy’s sister Syd, and her husband,
Frank Shapiro, lived in (and their children, much earlier).The last time I spoke to anyone was when
I spoke to Syd right after Dorothy passed away in 1984, soon after my Mom passed.
I lost contact with that part of the family after that. I had moved
out to the L.A. area in 1966, and would see “Cousin Dot” when she would come out for a
visit. When my family lived in the Bronx, and Dot would visit, she would always bring some-
thing delicious from Sutter’s. I remember those scrumptious butter cookies (made with real
butter) not just called “butter” cookies, and those heavenly petit fours with marzipan. You
can’t get that tasty stuff anymore! Anyway, I would love to know if the building they resided
in is still there,and if any of my relatives still live there…
Correction to above-the last name of Syd and Frank is Schwartz, not Shapiro.
I”ve been in NYC/JC since 1979. Great photo-tour of Greenwich Ave. and related (“Spine of the Villlage”) enhanced by calm & sturdy exposition. I’m trying to recall the name of a restaurant at about 39 Greenwich Avenue in the early 1980s. It had a raised name sign perpendicular to the face of the building that read “Jean’s [something]” or “Gene’s [something].” Anybody? P.S. I do miss “Sazerac House” on Charles & Hudson Streets.
I’ve been looking for a photo of the former Emilio’s Restaurant, that used to be on 6th Avenue at about 8th Street (though on the west side of 6th). It was very close to the Waverly Theater and Waverly Deli. It burned down in 1980. I don’t know why, but I can’t find any reference to it online, and it was there for decades before it burned.
Emilio’s was our drinking place for years. Big restaurant with Mama always sitting at the back and a back yard. No picture except in my ,mind.
The wavy topped building at 54-58 Greenwich Ave housed Dan Stampler’s Steak House into the late 70’s or early 80’s. It was here when I got here (to Jane Street) in 1959.
The Civil War era buildings just to the north-east may have served as models for Edward Hoppers Early Sunday Morning. The facades in the painting are only 2 stories but the cornice and the lintels are right.
Nick’s Jazz Club was at 10th & 7th. Eddie Condon held forth here until he moved to the South Village in the 60’s. The place became Your Father’s Mustache – Dixieland Jazz.
The O Toole – Maritime Building on 12th St & 7th was designed by students of Frank Lloyd Wright and the facades were a dripping mess for years. The brick row houses torn down for the Maritime Building were where key scenes of “The Bachelor Party” by Paddy Chayefsky had been shot. The teardown was one of the key instances bringing about landmarking.
Jack Barry’s noted as one of the best dive bars of all time is where Johnny’s is now at 90
Greenwich Ave. Supposedly Robert Duvall, Jason Robards and Jessica Lange were frequent drop ins.
The butcher shop on the south side of Greenwich & Jane was where a decade of Pete the Butcher commercials were shot for Shake and Bake. (It now houses Benny’s Burritos). This shop was chosen because of the classic white enamel paneling. This had been a family butcher shop for decades with the daughter taking over for the father in the 70’s. Wish I could recall the name. The Villager did a write up years ago.
On the north side of Jane there was a family-owned drug store with a marble soda fountain. The husband and wife owners were always present, she addressing him as Doc. I tried, but I always found it difficult to bring them business, they seemed always to be sad and dejected. I had heard that their only son had been killed in WW II.
Do you remember where Manhattan chili company was in the 1980,s?
How could you forget Elephant and Castle and their famous Bella (as in Abzug) burgers?
My mistake! Before it was Elephant and Castle, it was the Belly Button with their Belly Burgers and Bella Burgers
Does anyone remember an Italian restaurant named Mary’s or St Mary’s? I believe it was in the Village. It was 2 or 3 floors and dining tables were set up in separate rooms. Each room was different and some of the rooms had fireplaces. It was rather pricey. I was there in the 1980s; the decor was unusual and quaint.
i used to love that place; great food and zambione dessert
It was one of my favorite restaurants. Amazingly I still have one of their menus. It is bound in a red cardboard folder excellent Zambians with fresh strawberries. Port and cheese on the side.
Yes that place was my grandmother sisters place she sold it in the 70’s yes it was three floor My aunt Mary and uncle Patsy lived on the third floor. There were private dinning rooms with French doors. Those were the days
Mary’s was on Bedford street
Does anyone remember a small West Village restaurant in the 1990s called The Roseway Cafe or Rosewood or some such name?
Does anyone remember the PAM PAM restaurant I think it was in the the Sharp-angled building where East 13th turns east at Greenwich Avenue. The last time I was there was in the late 60’s
Does anyone remember the PAM PAM restaurant I think it was in the the Sharp-angled building where East 13th turns east at Greenwich Avenue. The last time I was there was in the late 60’s
I’m a historian looking to talk to folks about the Pam Pam – I’d love to talk to you if you have memories about it. Feel free to check out my website and get in touch if you wouldn’t mind speaking with me. http://www.hughryan.org
pampams was on Greenwich Ave bet perry and charles across the street from McGowans are there every week at least once in 65 and 66
Please disregard my query – in the next sentence l wrote that here is the NYC AIDS memorial, which l did find on the net!
does any one remember a head shop called “out of our drawers” at perhaps 200 west 11th please?
does anyone remember chicken and burger world on 6th avenue? there was also arthur teacher’s fish and chips, 4 and 20 pies. 8th street had some great stores too; joseph’s shoes, the black and white store, village book shop, 2 great men’s stores, village squire and something else.
1. I saw the cat who lived at Chicken and Burger World engage in a raging fight with a rat twice its size long after the shop went dark and charred remains on the front grill had turned to soot. I went back the next day and hung around until the cat popped out of a tiny square door from the basement: Cat = 1 Rat = 0.
2. I knew a guy who ran a service in the late 70’s called “Pie Kill International.” He used stock from “Four and Twenty Pies” on the corner of 6th/West 10th exclusively; Coconut Cream and Blueberry we big favorites. For $25 you could hire a “professional” to “hit” somebody with the pie of your choice.
Who remembers Fred Braun’s shoes on West 4th St.? Wasn’t there a great hippie dress store on the east side of Greenwich Ave. off West 10th St. named Fred Somebody’s? And there used to be a La Crepe on the west side of Greenwich Ave., in the late 60’s/early 70’s which was later replaced by a Mexican restaurant, Bandito. There was a Rexall Drugs on the northwest corner of 6th Ave. that had a lunch counter, too, and there was a Zum Zum on 8th St. off University; I still have a Zum Zum coffee cup to prove it…a bit further down on the 8th St., on the south side, off Mercer, was Patricia Field before she was officially Patricia Field, “The Pants Pub”, which morphed into “Patricia Field’s” in the late 70’s (great white toy poodle and 60’s Yellow/Black trim Rambler Rogue parked outside every so often…).
@Geri Mary’s was on Bedford St., closer to Leroy than Carmine.
Does anyone remember the Middle Eastern place which was on the southwest corner of Seventh Ave. and Bleecker St.: Keneret?
Bob Dylan would! He met a New Yorker journalist at Keneret in 1964 as it was one of his favourite restaurants. https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/1964/10/24/the-crackin-shakin-breakin-sounds
my favorite restaurant as a kid.. sold out and Mitali East moved in. Shrimp Saganake at Keneret’s. heaven..!!!
I’ve got fond memories of the Starthrower Cafe. Back in the late 60s I had two dates there with a woman whose name I can’t remember in the mists of time, but I remember she lived nearby with her family and reccomend it. Do I wish I could remember her name!
Does anyone remember a restaurant called Sandolino’s–mid/late 70’s? It had a ton of tables and a lot of food–not expensive. I used to eat there a lot, but for the life of me can’t remember the street it was on.
I remember it. I think I ate there with friends quite a bit.
Barrow st. I used to work there.
It used to be on Barrow Street (between W4St and 8th Ave). When I first came to NYC in 1977 and walked around the village on my initial night in the city, I wound up there (a friend had mentioned the diner and somehow I remembered the name and managed to find the street). For someone then new to the city, it was everything I had hoped a New York diner/coffee house to be: brick walls, people sauntering in and out at all hours, an endless menu with real American diner food, and waitresses who were cool with you lounging and reading (and tipping well, of course). Big yellow sign outside with an old sailing ship and the name. For a then teenager fresh from Europe, it was an education in all things New York (including the vernacular) by just listening to the guys hanging out at, what I assume was, the staff/owners table in the back. I loved the place and came there for years, until it moved. As I was told, after the lease ran out. If I remember correctly, it continued for a while at a location a couple of blocks down, but it never felt quite the same again. It was part of me becoming a New Yorker. In my mind it is still there, just as real as over 40 years ago on my first night ever in the city.
I ate at 103 greenwhich Avenue last night and believe Manhattan Chili Company used to be there. Anyone remember?
the film “Daisy Kenyon” c. 1947, has a process scene, filmed in a studio, as if it was the interior of a resturant at 12th&Greenwich Ave. the Greenwich Theater is visible through the windows as background.
The Village Den resturant occupied the space when I arrived to NYC in 1978.
Pat, it was Carmine’s. You had to go down a few steps. My uncle George was the manager there when I was young
Also the Village bakeshop was on Christopher St. and Greenwich Ave. Would go there on Sunday morning after church for black& whites and marigold cupcakes.
Emilio’s on 6th and Bleeker, Manhattan Chili Company, La Marionnetta, Cedar Tavern, Cookery on 8th and University, Fortune Cookie, Riviera on 6th, there are so many lost treasures…O.Henry’s restaurant , McBell’s on 6th and 4th ,Azuma’s[not restaurant but cool place], Zum Zum on 8th and University, Knickerbocker’s , Bradley’s, Luchow’s on 14th and 3 avenue, original Acme[Cajun] restaurant on Bond Street, just some off the top of my head
Ah, Emilio’s, just a few dorrs down 6th from the current IFC Movie Theater. Used to go in all the time for the BEST Baked Ziti! $5, with bread. Yum!
I lived on Leroy Street. Went to Emilios and Gills, the English Pub, Shakespeare’s (great cheeseburgers) near NYU, Panchitos, worked in the Olive Tree with Zuel and Sylvia, Jimmy Young at Arturos. Charlie Zito always snuck me a bread and I loved Trattoria da Alfredo!! I have the cookbook! La Groceria on 6th where the
Gap is and there was an Italian grocery store on 6th where Banana Republic went. I miss those days so much!!
Now that area has been “yuppified by spawn
of yuppies” Sorry but everything is big names and bigger prices.
What was on the NE corner of 8th and greenwich in the 70’s -early 80’s? Was it a White Castle or White Tower? Maybe empty for a long time? Maybe an empty lot for a long time?
Does anyone remember the name of a women’s clothing shop in one of the two-windowed shops, with the door set back in the middle, on the east side of Greenwich Ave.? They sold their own clothes — dresses with a kind of 40’s cut, 40’s prints, sweetheart neckline, calf length or a little shorter; wide leg, high waist wool tweed pants with a lot of flair/flare. It’s been driving me crazy. This must have been around 1968-1970 or ’71.
During the late Seventies and early Eighties, there was a penny-candy shop just west of the site of Uncle Charlie’s Downtown (aka the previous location of Dan Stampler’s). It was a tiny place furnished wall-to-wall with glassed-in cabinets and drawers and doors; it might have been an apothecary at some earlier time. By any chance does anyone recall the name?
I’ve really enjoyed everyone’s walk down memory lane about Greenwich Ave., but let me frame my memories by saying that my Grandfather had his Blacksmith Shop on Charles St. My father was born on Charles St. and I was born on Greenwich Ave. Clearly I’m going back a bit and in the ’50’s I lived on the block with Sutters. The few blocks along and around the Avenue had/have some of the most iconic and beautiful examples of what makes Greenwich Village, “the Village”. When I was a young boy it really was a small ‘village’ in the middle on NYC. We were much more aware of being ‘Villagers’ than we were of being New Yorker’s. It was a generational place where families lived in the same houses for generations; where you went to school with the children of the children your father went to school with and in the same classroom! But let me concentrate on places and in particular a corner; Greenwich Ave. and 10th.. it was our corner. It was where we kids hung out. Sutter’s had the N/E corner, the House of Detention the S/E, a Veterinarian Office the S/W and the N/W corner where that monstrosity apartment building now is, existed a row of three story 1800’s residences and shops up the avenue, and along 10th a few of the most beautiful mews residences in the Village. I lived in one of those houses on the avenue. At my age, the memory can get a bit misty but let me share some of my most treasured ones. We all went to the parochial schools in the Village. If Mark Twain had placed Huck in a city it would have been us surrounded by a world of Damon Runyon characters. To this day Bing Crosby’s “Going MY Way” is a documentary for me. Add fifty pounds to Barry Fitzgerald and you’ve got Monsignor McCaffery at St. Josephs on 6th Ave. and all of us saying “Gd ‘even fodder” to him.
Lets start with Sutter’s. Everyone had their favorite item. My was the custard danish. Over seven decades I have literally searched the world for it’s equal. It ain’t out there. The truth is that it was all fabulous stuff, and yes, Mario did see to it that whenever we entered we got our favorite immediately regardless of the crowd. The aroma was not a smell as much as a physical presence. On entering you walked into it like a wall that removed any outside distractions. I could write pages about the place. The Woman’s House of Detention was a festering wound on the architecture of the Village and made more so by being next to the Jefferson Market Courthouse. When the Paddy Wagons pulled onto the sidewalk opposite Patchin Place, we’d all run over to watch the new arrivals being taken through the gate into the jail. BTW sometime check out the watering troughs built into the corner of the Jefferson tower at 10th & 6th Ave. The upper one was for the horses the street level one was for the dogs. The Vet’s office on the corner mentioned above was ordinary, but the cellar has a story. There was a side door on 10th that led down to the cellar. It was Tony’s storage location. He ran a ice, coal, and firewood business when those things were still necessary in the Village. When he got busy we kids would be recruited to help @ $.25 an hour. He was an Italian immigrant who had been in the Italian Army in WW1 who had been gassed. He had the gravely voice to prove it. He had a broken down old truck he’d load with huge ice blocks, burlap coal bags and piles of split wood. It had a small wall mounted ice grinder and coopered wooden buckets on hooks inside. He’d ice pick chunks out of the blocks, I’d feed them into the grinder and crushed ice would drop into one of the buckets. One day I was carrying ice with him into the Village Vanguard when that night’s novice act was alone rehearsing. Tony thought they were good for such young guys. They called themselves The Kingston Trio. Next up 10th was the brownstone faced building that was “Murray’s Space Shoes”. They hand made custom shoes for orthopedic patients. We kids sat on their stoop all the time and watched the customers sitting in the workshop chairs with their feet in pans of wet plaster from which came the foot molds the shoes were built around. Next came Engine 18 that was and still is one of the core treasures of the Village. That story will need a separate visit to the blog, suffice to say that whenever they took me on a call with them I was sure it was my clanging that bell for all my might that was moving those Packards, DeSotos, and cabs out of the way.
I called the apartment building across the street a monstrosity. That’s partly because it tore down my home but also because of the mews buildings directly opposite Engine 18. There was a small two story very old brick house there that had it’s front door right at street level. The east end of it had an arched single story alcove that was probably eight feet deep. A heavy wooden door with a small glass centered window opened into a garden with a few small interior two and three story houses around the garden. At least one had a wrought iron circular stair running up the front wall. It was a mews straight out of the back streets of Paris. Many of the scenes from the 1950’s movie “The Bachelor Party” were taken in the immediate area and along that block. Towards the end of the movie the stars go to a party in that house on 10th. As they enter, the front door open behind them looks directly into the firehouse across the street. Check it out. Along Greenwich Ave. each of the buildings had some sort of shop at street level. I don’t remember them all but two doors up was the watchmaker. Not watch repair (although I’m sure the owner Albert(?) did that too). He made watches working at the marble top bench against the front window. He sat there all day with a loop stuck in his eye building a timepiece. We’d gather at the window to watch but he had trained us to stand in a way that wouldn’t block his daylight. Further up the block at 33 was Fred J. Lammer and Sons Tailor shop, est. 1888. The son, also Fred still ran the shop. It was a men’s tailor. Into the ’50’s he was still making bespoke clothing for men entirely by hand. The window displayed various bolts of wool cloth and inside the shop was unchanged since it opened with walk in glass display cases running the depth of the shop and a huge oak cutting table down the middle. When the building was torn down Lammer retired and sold off the furniture. My father bought some of it and Fred’s original book-matched roll top walnut office desk now sits in my house. At 35 was the “Treasure House”, a woman owned fabulous antique shop filled with European furniture, lamps, etc.
Well, I could go on forever about each block of Greenwich Ave. and all the streets that ran into it…the shops, the people, the incidents. From the Flower Shop at 6th Ave to Balducci’s, Reddingtons Bar, all the firemen from 18 that were killed on 23rd St., stick ball games, johnny-on-the pony, Angelo’s meatball heros, PS 41, McCullough’s Produce store, Pop’s newspaper stand, the milkshakes across from St. Vincent’s, Tony’s Barber shop by Bank St., the Library at 13th, the White Castle at 8th Ave. and on and on but this blog is already more than I had started to say, but I guess that’s what a Sutter’s Custard Danish fires up. If anyone is interested maybe I’ll return, but for now lets get it straight…..just like Houston St is pronounced ‘House-tun’, Lowes Theater on Greenwich Avenue – including the matrons with the flashlights patrolling the kids section, was ‘Low-wees’!
Does anyone remember the name of the store on Greenwich that sold Southeastern furniture (mainly teak), tapestries, baskets, etc? It was owned by a Dutch fellow. This goes back to the 80’s – 90’s. I have been trying to remember the name, and I wondered how long ago it went out of business. Thanks.
Great stroll down memory lane. I used to do the shopping for Lady Astors on Lafayette (fathers place the east village) and used to go to Jefferson Market , Murrays, and Balduccs. I knew a Patrica Decker who helped my dad out sometimes , I believe she was principle in Elephant and Castle. Anyone remember?