Several storefronts in Carroll Gardens, also nicknamed Little France. Photo Credit: Konrad Fiedler for the New York Sun.
In the aftermath of the tragic events that transpired in Paris, many neighborhoods across the five boroughs participated in memorials and partook in solemn acts of solidarity. Candles were lit, flowers were laid and skyscrapers across Manhattan were lit in the colors of the French flag. It’s relatively easy to find pieces of French influence throughout the city (though an 18th century Little France in Soho is gone) and hear the language spoken by residents and visitors. In recent years, the borough of Brooklyn has seen a rapid influx of French immigrants, specifically in the neighborhood of Carroll Gardens. Once a community with a thriving Italian stronghold, its burgeoning French population has earned it the nickname “Little France” by locals and numerous media outlets.
Sutton Clocks: Photo Credit: Jordan Simon for Untapped Cities
Stepping across the threshold into Sutton Clocks is akin to walking into a clock maker’s private oasis. Customers who find its small enclosure off-putting will find solace in the array of clocks, both old and new, that line its walls. They’ll probably find Sebastian Laws, the shop’s owner, sitting behind a counter, repairing a vintage clock to its original luster. It’s a testament to his talents as a horologist, a trait he most likely inherited from his father, Knud Christiansen, a Danish immigrant who founded Sutton Clocks as a small pawn shop in the late 1940s.
Prior to his arrival to New York City, Christiansen was a world class athlete, competing in the 1936 Olympics as a member of the Danish rowing team. However, in a little known tale of heroism that bears similarities to Oskar Schindler and Nicholas Winton, he also spearheaded the rescue of more than 7,000 Danish Jews from the Nazis on Rosh Hashanah in 1943.
Belmont, a neighborhood in The Bronx, is home to a number of Italian-owned family business including a number of bakeries located on East 187th Street.
If you’re in The Bronx, take a trip to the neighborhood of Belmont. Known to many residents as “The Little Italy of The Bronx,”the neighborhood is teeming with thriving Italian family owned businesses that date back to the early years of the 20th century. Some of the businesses located in Little Italy include delis, butchers, pizzerias, restaurants, and a retail market.
If you take a walk down East 187th Street, you will find a myriad of bakeries detailed in our guide below. In some regards, East 187th Street could be considered as the neighborhood’s “Baker’s Row.”
Jonas Salk lived with his family in an apartment complex located on 853 Elsmere Place in the borough of the Bronx
Last Thursday, the Historic Landmarks Preservation Center held a cultural medallion ceremony at the childhood home of world renowned scientist and humanitarian Jonas Salk, the man who developed the world’s first polio vaccine. Born on October 28, 1914, Jonas Salk lived with his parents and two younger siblings in an apartment complex located at 853 Elsmere Place in the Bronx. Jonas Salk’s cultural medallion plaque states that, “In 1955, he developed the first polio vaccine with his research team at the University of Pittsburgh, at a time when polio crippled tens of thousands in the U.S. annually.”
Economy Candy, NYC’s Oldest Candy Store
From its blue colored sign to its trademark image of a kid surrounded by morsels of sugary sweets, one might think Economy Candy store was erected from the remnants of a Willy Wonka movie. In truth, its origins are much older. At 78 years old, Economy Candy is actually the oldest candy store in New York City. The Lower East Side shop was founded by Morris “Moishe” Cohen, who passed away in February at the age if 97, in 1937 during the later years of the Great Depression. Despite its name, Economy Candy was originally a shoe store that sold candy to its patrons. As the economic downturn persisted, with families scrimping on uneccessary fashion purchases, Cohen found that candy continued to be that little guilty purchase. Today, staying true to its diversified roots, Economy Candy offers more than just candy, selling childhood mementos and memorabilia.
Earlier this month, Blueprint NYC (produced by the Office of NYCMedia), took viewers into the five Loew’s Wonder Theatres of New York and New Jersey. Their second episode details the fascinating history of the Manhattan Municipal Building, one of New York City’s early skyscrapers built in 1914. A fun fact: the striking building was designed from a rejected sketch of Grand Central Terminal.