Posts Tagged ‘East Village’

Mandel Tobacco Co.

April 21, 2008

A fine sign in the East Village, off Avenue A. The number is CA 8-2740. But what does CA stand for?


Chow mein on Second Avenue

April 21, 2008

This noir-ish sign, between 12th and 13th Streets, is all that remains of Jade Mountain, the Cantonese restaurant that closed last year. 


Random signage

April 17, 2008

Dairy and meat food—I like a sign that’s straight and to the point. I’m a little wigged out by the gargoyle who looks like he’s trying to warn eaters away from this old school diner in the East Village. 

“The New Bohemia”

April 17, 2008

I found this gem at a rummage sale in New Jersey two decades ago. Written in 1966 by John Gruen, a former art and music critic for the New York Herald Tribune, it’s a fascinating snapshot of the creative scene and the energy it fed on in the newly coined East Village. From the intro:

“Walking on St. Marks Place on a weekend night, you become aware of a rhythm. It has an imperceptible underground beat and you feel it increasing as the night wears on. The rhythm of the Combine Generation is taking over. It can take you to a bottle-party in a $15 a month loft (records by Bob Dylan only), to an underground poetry reading, to a wild ‘happening,’ to a way-out theatrical production. It can lead you to encounters with dope addicts, free-love cultists, Swedenborgians, or white chicks looking for noble savages.”

Yep, it’s all for real—not a trace of sarcasm or a thinly veiled putdown from cover to cover. It’s refreshing.

One of the best things about the book is the map marking circa-1966 venues that are for the most part long gone. Stanley’s Bar on Avenue B and East 12th? Nope. Ratner’s on Second Avenue and East Sixth? Finito. (Click to enlarge):

The deli of life

April 17, 2008

So begins a new ongoing feature on Ephemeral New York, Bizarre Deli Names. I was actually looking for the Dodi and Diana Deli, the best bodega name ever, but I guess it folded.