Posts Tagged ‘The New Yorker’

A Brooklyn company’s Art Deco ad

June 11, 2009

From a 1930s New Yorker comes this advertisement for liverwurst hors d’oeuvres. Mmm, sounds like a tasty Depression-era finger food. The ad is pretty snazzy though.


Stahl-Meyer was Brooklyn’s biggest manufacturer of ready-to-eat meat products, according to a 1965 New York Times article. Even cooler:  Their hot dogs were sold at Ebbets Field.

The great Pierre Hotel robbery of 1972

June 6, 2009

The Pierre, on Fifth Avenue and 61st Street, has always been at the top of the New York city luxury hotel heap. And after a major two-year makeover, it just reopened this week.

Hotelpierre Built in 1930 at a cost of $15 million (no small change in the Depression), it has some pretty enchanting touches—such as the castle-like uppermost floors modeled after the Chapel of Versailles. 

 But The Pierre has its infamous side; it was the location of a major heist in the early morning hours of January 2, 1972. While ultra-rich guests were sleeping off New Years’ partying from the night before, tuxedo-clad mob associates held up the hotel.

Gaining access by pulling up in a limo and pretending to be friends of a guest, some of the robbers took 19 staffers and security guards hostage while the others jacked open safe deposit boxes, making off with guests’ jewels and other valuables. 

The heist went smoothly, and the robbers netted $11 million in goods. Of course, in the end, crime didn’t pay—at least for some of the crooks. The masterminds were eventually caught and sent to Attica. 

The above ad appeared in a 1935 issue of The New Yorker

If you’re thinking of living on Park Avenue

March 25, 2009

And it was the height of the Great Depression, you’d probably end up checking out these attractive rentals, advertised in August 17, 1935 issue of The New Yorker.

At just three or four rooms, these at 929 Park seem awfully cozy:


More than 40 blocks south, in exclusive Murray Hill, you can have seven rooms and a wood-burning fireplace:


Must-have fashion of Spring 1966

February 17, 2009

It’s the middle of Fashion Week 2009, where designers show off what they hope will be the hot clothes for Fall 2009. Here’s what city department stores and boutiques were pushing on New York women in ads from the April 9, 1966 issue of The New Yorker.

Bonwit’s describes the frock on the left as a “sliver of silk, available in sapphire blue, lawn green or rose.” For the long-haired, artsy kind of woman, there’s this dress on the right, “graceful as a native sarong.”  villagestoread



Luxury apartment hunting in 1936

October 22, 2008

Perhaps we’re headed for a repeat of the 1930s, when ritzy uptown apartment buildings put up in the 1920s for wealthy New Yorkers didn’t attract quite enough renters, thanks to a little thing called the Great Depression. Hence the need for ads like these offering amenities and stabilized rents, which appeared in The New Yorker in July 1936.

What were the “unusual transportation facilities” available at the Majestic, as promised in this ad? And 277 Park Avenue sounds like an appeal to the pleasures of suburbia:


The Beaux-Arts Apartments don’t come off as very luxe, considering the free bus service and pension plan. Pension plan?

Rooftop dining and dancing under the stars

July 18, 2008

It’s July. It’s hot, really hot. Where did sophisticated New Yorkers go to relax, cool down, and take in a big band orchestra or tango? Perhaps one of these rooftop restaurants, as featured in the July 4, 1936 New Yorker.

Luncheon for 75 cents? Sweet!


Wayne King must have been a big name at the time. They include his handsome mug in the ad too.

The Rainbow Room had a regular 3 a.m. show? The city really knew how to party. I wonder what “kaleidoscope dance moods” and “character delineations” meant.

“Come for a cocktail and stay for dinner”

July 4, 2008

Something about this ad, from the July 4, 1936 New Yorker, is really appealing right now on a hot, muggy night. The many Schrafft’s restaurants that dotted the city from 1917 to the 1970s were famous lunch and ice cream spots. Here they were chasing a grown-up, urbane customer.

Schrafft’s is immortalized in J.D. Salinger’s Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters. “There’s a Schrafft’s on 79th Street!” says a tired, thirsty female character stuck in traffic after an abruptly cancelled wedding. “Let’s go have a soda and I can phone from there! At least it’ll be air-conditioned!”

Today, 222 West 57th Street is Lee’s Art Shop. Vanishing New York has more Schrafft’s history, including the fate of an unusual Schrafft’s building on 13th Street and Fifth Avenue, here.

Swanky apartment ads from the 1930s

June 27, 2008

It may have been the middle of the Depression, but Park Avenue developers had lots of recently constructed apartments to push, as these ads in the July 4, 1936 edition of The New Yorker demonstrate.

This one below, for a Murray Hill building, features an “interesting” floor plan. The dropped living room feels like a 1930s design innovation:

This ad on the left targets “the family with a debutante daughter or several children” and includes the kind of lifestyle illustration developers love using in ads today. On the right, no fancy copy; just some “smart”and roomy uptown apartments. I wonder how “reasonable” $3000 a year for six rooms really was.