Posts Tagged ‘1920s in New York City’

Do you recognize this 1920s corner speakeasy?

July 7, 2017

Few artists depict New York’s lights and shadows like Martin Lewis. In the 1920s and 1930s, he created haunting, enchanting drypoint prints showcasing day-to-day street life—from factory workers to gangs of young boys to lone men and women exiting subways and hanging around bars.

This drypoint above, from 1929, is titled “Relics (Speakeasy Corner).” Considering that New York during Prohibition hosted an estimate 20,000 to 100,ooo speakeasies, it’s hard to know where this is.

The Old Print Shop on Lexington Avenue (which has priced this drypoint at $70,000!) solves the mystery.

“The location is Charles Street and West Fourth Street in Greenwich Village which was near Lewis’ house at the time on Bedford Street,” a page on their website tells us.

Google street view shows that this corner is almost exactly the same as it was 89 years ago, except the speakeasy has been replaced by Sevilla, one of the Village’s old-school Spanish restaurants.

More Martin Lewis prints can be found here. [Print: Metropolitan Museum of Art]

The tragedy of the “loveliest woman in America”

July 8, 2013

© Copyright 2013 CorbisCorporationIn 1923, Rosamond Pinchot was a 19-year-old with lots of opportunities in life.

Tall and golden-haired, she lived in a townhouse on East 81st Street and attended exclusive Miss Chapin’s School.

Then, on a ship, she had a fateful encounter. She was returning to New York from a trip to Europe with her mother when theater bigwig Max Reinhardt spotted her.

Reinhardt wanted her as the lead in a play he would be directing on Broadway, The Miracle, about a nun who leaves her convent.

With no dramatic experience, she accepted the offer, skipping her official debut into society in favor of the stage.

Later that year, the play opened at the Century Theater on Central Park West. Rosamond blew everyone away.

Dubbed the “loveliest woman in America,” Rosamond became an It Girl of the 1920s and the toast of Hollywood.

Rosamondpinchot2She played the part for three years and took roles in other productions, until 1926, when she quit acting to do “serious” work.

She tried her hand at a variety of things: She studied history in college, sold real estate, then returned to the stage several times and made her only film appearance in 1935’s The Three Musketeers.

She also got married in 1928 to the grandson of a former Massachusetts governor and had two sons.

The marriage didn’t last—and her separation from her husband in 1936 “deeply affected” her.

Rosamond made her last theatrical appearance in 1937. The next year, at age 33, she committed suicide by poisoning herself with carbon monoxide in her garage on her estate in Long Island.

A note was left behind, but the contents were never divulged.