Posts Tagged ‘Village Voice’

An old phone exchange hiding in the Village

December 12, 2012

I’ve walked by entrance to Gene’s restaurant on 11th Street and Sixth Avenue many, many times and just recently noticed the painted window sign sporting the pre-1960s OR phone exchange.

OR was for Orchard, later Oregon, according to this old phone exchange chart.


Gene’s is serious old-timey Village French-Italian, open since 1919. Their website includes a link to a 1958 Village Voice review featuring fantastic vintage ads for other restaurants and cafes of the era, such as El Charro and Chumley’s.

The mystery readers on a Cooper Square facade

August 12, 2011

Boutique-ization is running wild in Cooper Square these days. Luckily some wisps of a much older Cooper Square haven’t been bulldozed and turned into shiny hotels.

The lovely bas relief below graces the entrances at numbers 34-36.

It depicts a Goddess-like woman lying back beside an oil lamp, an open book balanced on her knees.

So why the visual reference to knowledge and literature? A little digging into the building’s history doesn’t turn up any answers.

The Renaissance Revival structure apparently had nothing to do with Cooper Union up the street; it was built in 1894 as a warehouse, according to this 1999 NoHo Historic District report. Today, it’s the home of the Village Voice.

An alternate address, 394-396 Bowery, matches that of the Boston Excelsior Store, reveals several early 1900s archived New York Times articles.

But what connection that store may have to books or learning remains unknown.

Wanted: struggling female for mistress position

March 18, 2009

Once upon a time, before there was Craigslist, a “financially independent” male looking for a slender mistress had to resort to placing a personal ad in alternative newspapers like the Village Voice or the East Village Eye

Any woman interested in the offer would actually write a letter to a PO Box and wait for a phone call. Very archaic.


 This ad ran in the August 1984 edition of the Eye. Hmm, how many responses do you think he got, and did he find the mistress he was searching for?

The East Village’s hometown newspaper

June 6, 2008

If you lived in the East Village in the late 1960s, you probably deemed the Village Voice too establishment and picked up The East Village Other, a counterculture paper published from 1965 to 1972.

Layouts were colorful and trippy, and articles included “The Con Ed Con,” “Generation of Draft Dodgers,” and “148 Avenue C: No Heat and a Child With Pneumonia.” Pretty standard alternative fare, plus a comic strip called “Captain High” and a monthly “Slum Goddess” column.

Cover at left by R. Crumb, February 1970. At right, May 1967:

The paper’s first editorial rails against what’s become of the West Village. Hmm, sounds suspiciously familiar to what they say today:

“During the past five years the West Village has grown into a side show of gnawing mediocrity and urban renewal producing an exodus of its authentic population (young artists, poets, and writers) who have been thrown off by creeping tourism and rising rents, leaving the West Village to professional bohemians, beatniks, and Mad Ave types.”

How to find a Manhattan apartment, circa 1965

April 23, 2008

Think it’s hard landing not-too-expensive living quarters in the Village now? It was the same story 40 years ago, according to The New Inside Guide to Greenwich Village. Their advice, published in 1965: Knock on doors hoping to speak to the super, and rush out for an early copy of the Village Voice for the classifieds. 

One thing that has changed: rent. In 1965, it was $125 a month. Today, a studio averages $2,200.