When people talk about jazz history in New York City, they usually talk about Harlem and Greenwich Village. Indeed, Harlem was full of jazz clubs in the 1920s, like the Apollo and the Cotton Club. But if you were going to trace jazz back to its true home, you’d have to go to Queens, where many of the musicians who performed in Manhattan’s clubs lived. The Queens Jazz Trail Map by Ephemera Press was commissioned by Flushing Town Hall to show the homes of jazz legends and places of interest for jazz fans. (more…)
The last thing you might expect to find near the Brooklyn Navy Yard along the BQE is a full-service spa and wet lounge. But the area is changing fast and Body by Brooklyn has been in the middle of it. Its 10,000 square foot facility has been in operation for over seven years, bearing witness to the revitalization of the Navy Yard, the arrival of CitiBike, and even an organic grocery store just next door.
Body by Brooklyn is probably most well-known for its night spa which will be back mid-January 2014 with a more polished feel. But these parties only partly capture what Body by Brooklyn is about. Located next to a CitiBike station in close proximity to Park Slope, Williamsburg and Brooklyn Heights, the spa is structured as an all-day escape accessible to urbanites at all budgets. With its unique combination of amenities and services, Body by Brooklyn aims to encourage a holistic lifestyle of health and beauty for its guests. Its remedies are rooted in both ancient and modern know-how of water therapies for preventive care and health maintenance.
For three intense years from 1971 to 1973, New York’s SoHo neighborhood had a restaurant at the corner of Wooster and Prince Street that was founded on the principles of communal work and artistic living. The restaurant was called FOOD and it was run by a group of artists who conceived it as a place to mingle, work, and cherish the concept of SoHo as an artists’ quarter. Ironically of course the artists who moved into SoHo changed the neighborhood in a way that later lured the more affluent in and eventually displaced the artists.
The idea for FOOD came at a dinner party hosted by artist Carol Goodden (the eventual sponsor and manager of FOOD) when it was suggested to her by fellow artist Gordon Matta-Clark. A short time after, she took over the lease for a little eatery at 127 Prince Street. Gooden, Matta-Clark, and three more founding members set to fix up the space.
Angry bank depositors gather outside of the Bank o the United States on Delancey Street in the rain, 1930. Image via Wikimedia Commons.
On this day in history, December 11th, 1930, the Bank of the United States failed. At the time, it was the twenty-eighth largest commercial bank in the US but played a major role in the “narrative of the economic downswing of 1929-1933,” according to the Journal of Money, Credit and Banking. Although the bank, located at on 77 Delancey Street, had an official sounding name, the bank held no ties with the US government. Under the assumption that this was a national bank, many immigrants who lived nearby in the Lower East Side deposited their meager earnings in this bank. This bank didn’t have the safest of transactions, and the bankers weren’t very honest.
A rendering of the installed art piece at the abandoned Myrtle Ave subway station. Source:MTA
Closed in 1956, Myrtle Ave subway station used to run on the Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit line between Manhattan Bridge and DeKalb Avenue. The DeKalb Ave section ran into a lot of problems as it was the chokepoint for the entire BMT Broadway subway operation, “with a lot of merges and some routings crossing others at grade in the switches on both sides of the station,” writes Joseph Brennan. The entire area was rebuilt in 1956, and this caused Myrtle Ave to lose its southbound platform. The northbound platform still exists, but has been closed ever since. An artwork called Masstransiscope by Bill Brand is located in the abandoned Myrtle Ave station. Installed in 1980, the piece works like a giant zoetrope.