History in the Making: Arches and Awards Edition

Cleaner days: Far East Village, namely 10th Street and Avenue D, in a 1937 photograph by the always reliable Berenice Abbott [link: NYPL] Some neighborhoods change slowly but consistently throughout the decades. In the East Village, however, whole areas are entirely revamped while others seem frozen in time. Check some of those changes out here,… Read More

Alphabet City gets the Hollywood treatment

But the rent was cheap: ravaged East Village avenues in the 1970s (Pic courtesy here) Spike Lee and Robert Deniro are making a new show for Showtime called Alphabet City, set in the raggedy 1980s culture of the East Village. Expect some graffiti, a little crime, rapping and breakdancing, and lots of performance artists. Note… Read More

City of Cities: Nine neighborhoods with ambitious names

ABOVE Co-op City: the housing development most likely to be seen from space NAME THAT NEIGHBORHOOD Some New York neighborhoods are simply named for their location on a map (East Village, Midtown). Others are given prefabricated designations (SoHo, DUMBO). But a few retain names that link them intimately with their pasts. Other entries in this… Read More

Execution Corner: 13th Street and 2nd Avenue

Public hangings were a rare but grisly part of 19th Century New York life. The one illustrated above is from 1862. Another would famously haunt the area near an East Village intersection. I pass through the intersection of 13th Street and 2nd Avenue fairly frequently on my way home from work. The plain intersection is… Read More

Club 57 and the sweet, sweet smell of St. Mark’s Place

Those crazy kids! The revelers of Club 57 (featuring, among others, Keith Haring), circa 1980 FRIDAY NIGHT FEVER To get you in the mood for the weekend, every other Friday we’ll be featuring an old New York nightlife haunt, from the dance halls of 19th Century Bowery, to the massive warehouse clubs of the mid-1990s.… Read More


PODCAST: Webster Hall

Webster Hall, as beautifully worn and rough-hewn as it was during its heyday in the 1910s and 20s, disguises a very surprising past, a significant venue in the history of the labor movement, Greenwich Village bohemia, gay and lesbian life, and pop and rock music. Its ballroom has hosted the likes of Emma Goldman, Marcel… Read More

‘Rent’ hikes, taking the old East Village with it

A stubborn group of good-looking, well-meaning squatters were finally evicted last night as the hit Broadway musical ‘Rent’ closed after 5,124 performances. The show had become the most peculiar historical time capture on Broadway, freezing forever a musical variation of late 80s/early 90s, pre-Guiliani East Village underground, recalling a time when Avenue B had far… Read More


PODCAST: McSorley’s Old Ale House

Grab yourself a couple mugs of dark ale and learn about the history of one of New York City’s oldest bars, serving everyone from Abraham Lincoln to John Lennon — and eventually even women! Listen to it for free on iTunes or other podcasting services. Or you can download or listen to it HERE McSorley’s… Read More

The Eiffel Tower of the East Village: R.I.P.

The East Village is loaded with great buildings, famous homes and pieces of New York’s history that reflect its ethnic diversity. But my favorite landmark has always been the Toy of Towers. The corner of Avenue B and Sixth Street has looked almost the same as it did when I moved to Manhattan in the… Read More

FRIDAY NIGHT FEVER: Coyote Ugly Saloon

Above: From the official website — the girls of Coyote Ugly To get you in the mood for the weekend, every Friday we’ll be celebrating ‘FRIDAY NIGHT FEVER’, featuring an old New York nightlife haunt, from the dance halls of 19th Century Bowery, to the massive warehouse spaces of the mid-90s. Past entries can be… Read More


PODCAST: Peter Stuyvesant

Back when New York was New Amsterdam, it was the domain of the bullheaded, pear-growing, peglegged Peter Stuyvesant, who cleaned up the city and gave us our most important street. Find out why he still matters and why he’s the king of the East Village. Listen to it for free on iTunes or other podcasting… Read More