A former French bakery on Green Street. Image via Scribner’s.
New York City is currently home to several ethnic enclaves, but did you know that there also used to be a “Little France” in Soho? According to a recent post by Ephemeral New York, from the 1870s until the 1890s, Soho, specifically in the area between Washington Square South and Grand Street, and West Broadway and Greene Street was home to somewhere between 20,000 and 24,000 French immigrants.
These are grim times for New York political bosses. Former Speaker Sheldon Silver’s corruption trial ends on Monday. Former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos’ corruption trial has just begun. Former Kings County Democratic Chairman Vito Lopez is dead.
Today is an anniversary celebrating a rare win for New York reformers: on November 19, 1871, William “Boss” Magear Tweed was arrested. Here are some fun and surprising stories you may not have known about the infamously corrupt Boss Tweed:
Chris “Daze Ellis: The City is My Muse opens today at the Museum of the City of New York, an exhibit that takes you on a visual journey as Daze moves from painting trains to painting the New York City of his youth on canvas. Readers may remember Mr. Ellis from his group exhibit last year – “City as Canvas: Graffiti Art from the Martin Wong Collection” also curated by Sean Corcoran, the Museum’s Curator of Prints and Photographs. Here you will find a familiar and colorful display of paintings, photographs, etchings and ephemera, both recent and earlier work
This is a Fun Maps and a fascinating photo series on New York City, as seen on Vanishing NY and Curbed NY: one man photographed 3,200 Manhattan doors in 1976 in his conceptual art piece Doors, NYC. Roy Colmer died in February 2014, but the New York Public Library mapped out his body of work with images of the doors attached to each pin on the map.
Here’s some background on Colmer and the project itself, along with some of his most intriguing photos from the New York Public Library Digital Collection.
Whenever I see a person reading a book out in public, I always feel compelled to find out what it is. This compulsion does not usually extend to opening my mouth and politely asking the person what it is they’re reading. “Hey, is that any good?” from a stranger while I’m engrossed in a book gets my attention, albeit warily—I like to recommend things and yammer away about whatever book/media I’ve been consuming, but I also think it’s a bit rude to distract a person who is clearly busy and probably not looking for a conversation. Even worse, it might just be a disguised pickup line.
So instead of risking the ire of fellow bookish strangers by speaking to them, I covertly stare at the covers of books in hands and on laps until they’re raised enough for me to make out the titles. Come to think of it, maybe this is actually worse. Oh well.
On Halloween Saturday, at 10 minutes to two, nineteen New Yorkers — mostly 40-something film buffs — met under the Washington Square Arch and a cerulean sky. We maneuvered around the miniature “Elsas,” “Minions” and assorted ghouls, waiting in anticipation for our walking tour of Greenwich Village with Timothy “Speed” Levitch, the former Gray Line guide who achieved cult status after appearing in the documentary, The Cruise.