Saturday, February 5, 2011

A Stroll Through Greenwich Village

Whenever I stroll through the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan I often see historical markers on many of the buildings or interesting architectural details that make me stop to take a photograph. Later I'll do research to see if I can find something interesting about the building. I took many of the following photos in November, but haven't had a chance to blog about them until now. Here are few fascinating buildings I saw during this walk:


This building is C.O. Biglow, located at 414 6th Ave.  Founded in 1838, it is the oldest apothecary-pharmacy in the U.S.  It has earned an iconic status for its unparalleled selection of hard-to-find cosmetics and homeopathic remedies, including Bigelow's own brand of affordable, smartly-packaged soaps, toners, and essential oils—many made from historic recipes. They also have an online catalog. (All photos will enlarge when clicked on once, and then again when they open on a new page.)


Next, we see The Cherry Lane Theatre, located at 38 Commerce Street. As you can read on the historical plaque on the top of this photo collage, this threatre has an illustrious history as New York's oldest, continuously running Off-Broadway theatre. Playhouse productions featured an equally illustrious group of actors and directors, including John Malkovich, Barbra Streisand, Geraldine Fitzgerald, James Earl Jones, Tony Curtis, Ruby Dee, Gene Hackman, Bea Arthur (making her stage debut), Burl Ives, Bob Dylan, Kevin Bacon, Kim Stanley, Frank Langella, Tyne Daly, John Epperson, Nancy Marchand, Robert Loggia, Dennis Quaid, Joan Cusack, among others. I saw the play Nunsense here, years ago with friends, and the 25 anniversary revival of this hilarious production is scheduled for this summer.


Gay Street extends from Christopher Street one block south to Waverly Place, between and roughly parallel to Sixth and Seventh Aves. It was named after an early landowner from the late 1700's. This charming, slightly bent street began as a street lined with horse stables for the wealthy. It then became low class housing for their servants. By the turn of the 20th century it developed into a mini-haven for artists and writers.  Gay Street was the setting for Ruth McKenney's novel "My Sister Eileen," and the film "Carlito's Way."  The address 12 Gay Street, the building with the blue shutters seen in the bottom middle of the photo collage above, was originally built in 1827 and was formerly a speakeasy called Pirate's Den.  The property was later converted into a three-story residence for former New York City Mayor, Jimmy Walker. Later, it was home to puppeteer Frank Paris, designer of the original Howdy Doody marionette.  It is also reportedly haunted.



The plaque above describes the Greek Revival homes in the adjacent photo. Many examples of  preserved "old New York" can be found in Greenwich Village.


This beautiful edifice on 95 Bedford Street, marks the former home of J. Goebal & Co., a factory that produced crucibles--containers for holding molten glass--founded in 1865. Notice the three glasses in the edifice design.



Built in 1831, the Northern Dispensary is the only building in New York City with one side on two streets, Christopher and Grove Steets, and two sides on one street, Waverly Place.  The property was used as a clinic to provide medical care to the “worthy poor.” Poet Edgar Allen Poe was treated here for an illness in 1837. Sadly, this remarkable building has been unoccupied for about 15 years when real estate investor William Gottlieb purchased it. He passed away in 1999 and his heirs have declined to do anything with the building. You can read more about this building on this link.


Ye Waverly Inn located at 16 Bank Street at Waverly Place, has been a landmark in New York’s Greenwich Village since the 1920’s. In 2006, Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter bought and refurbished the restaurant, and made it into one of the most sought after places to dine in New York City, although the food critic at New York Magazine does not give it high ratings in his review. Of course it helps that the restaurant has its own blog on the Vanity Fair Magazine web site to keep the hype going, and although reservations are currently handled only via a private number, it is reportedly full every night. According to the New York Times: "On any given evening the restaurant plays host to some combination of billionaires, movie stars, intellectuals and fashion designers, with a rock icon or sports legend thrown in."


I couldn't resist taking a photo of this interesting graffiti on a red door!
 
Greenwich Village is a fascinating place to visit, always full of new discoveries. Be sure to take the time to do your own stroll around if you ever visit New York. If you'd like to see more I have quite a few more posts about this area of Manhattan in my blog's Greenwich Village labels and also my East Village labels.

Linking to Mosaic Monday on Mary's blog My Little Red House and My World Tuesday hosted by Klaus, and the My World team. Thanks to all for hosting such nice events for us to join every week!


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87 comments:

Sarah said...

Pat, I really appreciate your blog. I learn more and more about NYC with each visit. Your mosaics are a beautiful way to present these buildings and their markers. Thank you for sharing with us.
Hope you have a nice Sunday! ~ sarah

Carol said...

Love this tour of the Village! Such fantastic history! And like so many New Yorkers, I've missed out on so much, I love what you point out, you really are a fantastic tour guide, Pat!

Sheila said...

These buildings are fascinating and seem in remarkably good shape for their age. I would like to visit New York sometime but until then I enjoy your personalized tours. Thanks Pat! Glad you enjoyed that TED talk I'm too tired tonight but will watch it tomorrow.

Margaret said...

Hi Pat, Thank-you so much for an excellent tour in Greenwich Village! I have thoroughly enjoyed your wonderful pics and reading the fascinating history of these buildings. I have been to Greenwich Village once and can hardly wait to explore again! Your tours are going to help make my visit much more meaningful and fun!
Margaret from B.C.

Pondside said...

Nothing says "NYC" like the name Greenwich Village. It was, in my youth, the place to which everyone would run if running away from home.
Thanks for the great tour!

Tales From My Empty Nest said...

Pat, I always love your "tours" of NYC. You are such a talented photographer and writer. Your blog would make a wonderful book on NYC!!! Great pictures of some beautiful sites in Greenwich Village! Love & blessings from NC!

Laura @ the shorehouse. said...

Last week when it snowed (again!! :-) I decided to take the subway from my office to Union Square, then walk to the Christopher St. PATH station. I hadn't done that in eons, and the West Village in a coat of snow (with a Belgian hot chocolate in my hand!) seemed 100% the right place to be! There is sooo much NYC history in that neighborhood. If I could afford to live anywhere in NY, I think it would be there.

The Gottlieb story is an AMAZING one! I could think of a dozen worthy causes to hang their hats there. Maybe I need to start writing letters...

Ginny said...

I love the graffiti in the last picture! What great old buildings! And I have watched "My sister eileen", and used to watch Howdy Doody!

diane b said...

I agree your blog would make a great book on NYC. Those buildings have such a wealth of hhistory.

the nyanzi report said...

Impressive collection of photos. I love the way you have curated this post.

Infatuated with Homes and Gardens said...

Thanks Pat you just keep feeding my appetite for New york ,I love the buildings and the history is fun too!

Old Kitty said...

I want to be a Villager!!!! It's got such an amazing history that all Greenwich people should be proud of!! Yay for revolutionary historic and vibrant Greenwich!!!

I will forever and a day remember Kim Hunter as Dr Zira in the Planet of the Apes and golly amazing she was too in all the Apes films!!!

That critic's review of Ye Waverly didn't really dwell on the most important aspect of a restaurant - which is the food!! Was it really that bad?? But it looks like you go there to bask in its glorious patronage past and present!!

Thanks for such a fab look into this most amazing Village! Take care
x

Mister Meatball said...

I remember hanging at the old counter at Bigelow's, drinking coffee during a blackout. They had a generator!

Sciarada said...

Ciao Pat, it is amazing how some buildings, are impregnated by the stories of the lives of people who have hosted and transmit them over time!

My Carolina Kitchen said...

Pat,
I feel like I've been on a swanky private tour, the kind that is very expensive and exclusive.

The Village is such a fascinating place. I would imagine every time you go you see something new or different than the time before. The Greek Revival home with the red door is my favorite. I have a "thing" for red doors. Hope you have a wonderful weekend.
Sam

podso said...

You have such a vast knowledge of the city! I loved this post and the beautiful buildings. Some actually look familiar from when we'd go there in college. Thanks!

Vee said...

Those plaques are certainly helpful for the curious such as yourself. Thank you for sharing so much of what might be "lost" history without YOU and those plaques. That Edna! Born in Maine and starting theaters in NYC...

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

Thanks for the tour, Pat!! I love historical neighborhoods and people reinvesting in their use and preservation. It is sad about the Dispensary building. Hopefully, someone will come along to convince the children into doing something with it.

Donnie said...

I haven't been to the Village since the late 50's. I guess I never saw it through the same eyes as you have. It was busy, intimidating and I was evidently being told to "hurry up" so I appreciate the slower trip through Greenwich Village. You need to do a New York City Travel Book

Kat said...

I love your tours Pat, showing us a side of New York that we don't often get to see. I told my husband that the next time we go, I'm printing out your entire blog as our itinerary :) Kat

La Petite Gallery said...

As always this was so fasinating. You make my day. I was there in the
80's at a comidy club, also saw an artist gallery I will never forget.

yvonne Loved this post

Jojo said...

Would love to be strolling through the village BUT I think I'm going to wait until spring!! Hope you are keeping warm and thawing out a bit this weekend.

Cherry Chick said...

Pat...Ditto what Sarah wrote ;-)
´*•.¸(´*•.¸♥¸.•*´)¸.•*´
♥•.*.*.*.Cherry*.*.*.•♥
♥•.*.*.*.Chick.*.*.*.•♥
¸.•*´(¸.•*´♥´*•.¸)´*•.¸

Kristen said...

This was so fascinating. I can see now that if I manage to ever get back to NYC, I am going to have a lot of great places to visit besides bakeries :-)

Claudia said...

The Cherry Lane theatre is on one of my favorite blocks in the Village and also love Bedford. I always feel as if I am transported to another time. Just as I felt this morning taking a stroll with you.

Farmchick said...

I love seeing NYC through your blog. I have heard much about C.O. Biglow and would love to visit the store. Also loved that grafitti.

Theanne... said...

I love it...Don and I never strolled much around NYC (he had a gimpy leg) but I'm delighted you've taken me on this tour! The old buildings and the personages who have lived and worked in them...so interesting! So sad about the building that has been unoccupied and idle for 15 years! Such a building deserves to be put to use. Grazie!

Ciao!

Buttercup said...

As ever, your pictures are great. This is one of my favorite parts of the Village and especially like the neighborhood around the Cherry Lane. I was at a play here in the spring -- unmemorable -- and loved looking at the buildings and little stores. Have a sunny Sunday!

H said...

If I ever visit New York, I will definitely have this high on my list of locations to visit. It looks a fascinating place.

Alice said...

I’m already following your blog! Really loved it! Very gorgeous!!
So, could you please follow me, and the blog's twitter? @blogspm
Well, my blog is in Portuguese but you can comment in English, I’ll understand…
Thanks a lot!
Kisses

http://coisassoparameninasfofis.blogspot.com

mrs. c said...

Everytime I look at your blog it's like a visit to NYC, which is my favorite city! You are the best travel guide I know, you take exactly the same kind of photos that I would take if I was there! I love how you find out all the information about each building. Thank you, thank you for taking the time to share your wonderful city with all of us! YOu are a treasure!

steviewren said...

Charming....that's what I would call the area. At least that's how it comes across in your account of it.

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Pat dear,

You've opened my eyes to so many fabulous hidden NYC treasures. For some reason I REALLY LOVE the J. Goebel shot.

Sending love across the miles,

Sharon Lovejoy Writes from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island

Yvette said...

Love, love, LOVE these photos, Pat.
LOVE Greenwich Village. Used to hang out there many years ago. What a place! My boss at Cosmo, Nancy Benson used to have the best apartment on one of the best streets in the West Village. She had French doors leading to a garden. (!) I used to love visiting. If I remember correctly, we once did a photo shoot at her place.

The Village used to have (may still, for all I know) the best clubs too. And there's no place better for just walking around and gawking, and antiquing and grabbing a bite and... Gosh, so many good memories.

Thank you again, Pat for reviving them for me. Beautiful photos, wonderful post!

Lily Hydrangea said...

I just did a post about the 'Bicycling for Peace' downtown by the Cherry Lane theatre when it was covered in snow! Here's the link if you want to check it out,
http://longislanddailyphoto.blogspot.com/2011/01/bicycling-for-peace.html
I love the village & it's so interesting to find out all of these interesting facts. Thanks Pat.

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

What a great post, Pat! I love coming along on your tours.

Is that supposed to be John Lennon on the red door at the end? Looks like his glasses ;)

La said...

Thank you for another fascinating and beautiful tour of your wonderful city.

I hope you have a wonderful week! La

**CREATIVE CARMELINA** said...

What a great guided tour! All without leaving my big, cumfy, couch!

Thanks girl,nyou are the best!

Ciao Bella!

Creative Carmelina

Ebie said...

I have enjoyed the tour. Never miss the Village when you are in NYC.

I love artistic graffiti too.

A Garden of Threads said...

I have never been to New York, your tours are always great. Thank you. Love the shot with the flowers and bicycle.

Snap said...

Love this post, Pat .. but then I always enjoy my strolls through NY with you. ... but ... an online catalog!!! How could you do that to us?!!! :D :D :D and all the links to visit ... too much fun!!!!

Cynthia said...

Pat, I absolutely LOVE your blog! I'm an Eastcoaster myself (from DC) but I live in Arizona now and miss so much about the East coast. I look forward to reading it and am never disappointed. Keep it up and thanks for sharing a bit of your life and city with us all!

Cyn....

From the Kitchen said...

What a treat! Thank you for such a beautiful and informative stroll through Greenwich Village. I've learned more from you than from actually being there. Alas, when one has only a few days at a time, it's difficult to take the time to learn the history. What a great idea of photographing places and then checking them out. It's a good idea for any travel!!

Best,
Bonnie

Sue said...

Hi Pat....always love your private tours of the city...I have not been to Greenwich Village since 1968!!...looks pretty much the same..back then I wasn't interested in it's history just all the wacky shops they had...nice to see all the historic buildings...

Life with Kaishon said...

What a fascinating tour of New York City. My favorite thing of all was the Love is the Answer graffiti! Love is the answer, isn't it? I just love that. Very thankful for that truth!

Oliag said...

Love the walk the Village! It is always fun virtually walking with you:) Love that grafitti!

Houseelf said...

Thanks for the fun tour Pat. I liked the ironwork on the steps near the Waverly Inn. It is good that the history of the houses is remembered. Shame about such an unusual building being derelict for 15 years.

eileeninmd said...

What a great tour. You sure do know where all the great places are. Loved the photos and mosaics. Your post has me wanting to visit NY.

GrandmaK said...

You have taken me on yet another tour and I have so enjoyed it. What a wonderful history! Lovely post, Pat! Have grand week! Cathy

Tracy said...

Oh, this was fun.... I just love the architecture around the Village! Gosh, it's been soooo long since I wandered around there. I just love mix and mish-mash it is. And must say that red door graffiti at the end of our tour here is fantastic! Love is always the answer. ;o) Thanks so much for the fun, Pat! Happy Week ((HUGS))

Gardening in a Sandbox said...

I enjoy your historical posts about these lovely buildings.

Ciao Chow Linda said...

pat, You wrote a well-researched piece about my favorite neighborhood in the city. I love the village - especially the far west village, where the tourists are fewer and the streets more residential and leafier. I've been to the Cherry Lane, and to the Waverly Inn before it changed to practically a 'celebs' only spot. all those fireplaces in there made it the perfect spot for a winter's respite from the cold. You could devote your posts for a whole year to the village, and never be finished!

KarenHarveyCox said...

These photo collages are wonderful. They really capture the enchanting atmosphere of Greenwich Village. I haven't been back for years, and your photos are making me want to plan a trip in Spring. When I lived in New York, my friend Cathy lived in the village and she had the cutest little apartment with a tiny working fireplace.

Karen

Gracie said...

You know, it happens so very often to me too. I walk around my hometown or a new place for the first time, and I take photos of almost everything, and then I spend hours searching online news about what I saw. It' like coming back to the same spot again....

Beverly said...

Pat, there is no one that can make you feel as if you were there as well as you. I learn so much from every one of your outings.

Just wonderful!

Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes said...

Your descriptions make me want to come back and visit NYC again! I walked around Greenwich Village once, years ago and it was so much fun! Thanks for taking me on your tour, your photos and information about the sites are great!

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

Greenwich Village...a name I have read and heard about. Now I have a picture of what it really looks like! Thanks for taking us along on tour again, Pat. You always find such interesting things to point out along the route!

pam said...

Oh Pat...this post was an especially fun one. I'm going to check out that pharmacy online.

Blooming Rose Musings said...

I love this tour of the Village. Years ago I studied acting at a studio on Bank Street. I love the village and your tour has brought back wonderful memories. And, as always your photos are superb.

Lovella ♥ said...

Pat. ..someday when I come visit New York I will just take your blog along and use it as my tour guide. I wondered once if you could ever run out of fascinating spots to see but I imagine not.
Oh it would be fun to poke around the shops. The oldest pharmacy in the US? How very fun.

Riet said...

What a beautiful tour through the village. I learn so much about NY from your blog.And I admire you for all the work you put into it to make everything so clear for us. thank you very much Pat.

Sylvia K said...

What a fantastic post for the day, Pat! Love your photo tour and the history and information you have included! I love NYC, but wasn't able to visit Greenwich Village. I want to even more now, but your photo tour is the next best thing! Thanks! Hope you have a great week!

Sylvia

Anu@My Dream Canvas said...

This is a lovely mosaic! I am hosting a Giveaway on my blog. I would love for you to stop by.hugs Anu

Gary said...

Your Village tour brought back great memories. Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River,Canada.

Mary said...

Oh Pat, how I love coming here! You always post such richly researched and beautifully photographed history lessons! Thank you so much for sharing your talents at MM!

Carver said...

This was a great post about one of my favorite parts of Manhattan. Very descriptive both with your narrative and photography.

The Quintessential Magpie said...

p, i loved this post. loved it. every word. every picture. super job. i would love to tour greenwich vill-ge.

sorry re the wonky post. my keys stick. more on that on my blog. i'll be gone for some time, but will come see you the minute i return. will miss you...

xoxoxoxox,

s.

Ann said...

I like the bicycle with the flowers.

Al said...

Thanks for the mini-tour. I used to enjoy Greenwich Village back when I lived on Long Island. One of my memories (from way back in the '80s) was all the interesting record stored, which carried some very unusual (i.e. bootleg) albums.

Kathleen said...

Howdy Doody's house is haunted? Cowabonga!!!
Love the glowers in the bike. Would love to see flowers! :)

Gattina said...

Very interesting post ! I have been once in NY for 3 days which of course is not enough, but haven't seen this part. Of course we did the usual tourist round.

Susan said...

I always enjoy reading about YOUR NY, and would so love to come visit and have you be my tour guide! so fascinating and beautiful pictures.

Hi Pat, this post is cool!(as usual) I wanted to personally invite you to come check out my blogoversary post and giveaways.
Feel free to share with folks that you think will like me and my blog.
Susan

PS...it is one post below the OWOH post.

Sea Witch said...

So so enjoyed this post. I haven't been to the village in ages and must put it back on my must visit list when I'm in NY again. Always loved Bigelows as a child, forgot about it until you brought it up. Gonna hang out at their website to see what home goods I can acquire. Hope all is well with you and hubby. Always enjoy your posts. Sea Witch

CatHerder said...

love love love the architecture....i am SO IN LOVE with the brownstone they portrayed in MOONSTRUCK...the kitchen with the subway tile and diningroom are to DIE FOR..love it..great post as usual pat

CatHerder said...

hi again pat..thanks for your post and here is a link for the recipe you wanted..enjoy http://adashofsass.com/2010/01/30/pretzel-dogs/

retriever said...

Interesting articles on your blog, greeting from Belgium
Louisette passion golden retriever, blue cat

Just a little something from Judy said...

I now only come to visit your blog when I have a chunk of time, because I know that I will want to take my time and slowly read every interesting thing you share and take time looking at all your beautiful pictures. Your blog is so fascinating! Like always, I have thoroughly enjoyed my visit through all of your latest posts. I use some of the products of Co. Biglow and liked seeing the store. Thank you for sharing the online site. Your snow and sky pictures were outstanding. For all of it and for documenting so many of the places you visit...thank you! Your header picture is perfect for your blog.

Lisa@GrandmasBriefs said...

Great stuff, Pat! And so different from the only reference I have for Greenwich Village -- the movie, "The Pope of Greenwich Village". :o) Loved Mickey Rourke and Eric Roberts in it, but your photos and story are far different ... and much more lovely!

Hope you're staying warm! I returned from the desert and it's -15 below outside my door tonight! Brrr...!

Ⓙ @ $ € € ₦$ ₣®0₥... said...

Beautiful, beautiful shots once again. I am such a fan of vintage architecture!!!

nanny said...

Hoowdy Doody...I spent many hours in front of the TV loving him.
I've been so busy and am trying to catch up with everyone.
The snow is just beginning "again" so maybe today will be a slow one/ha
Great pictures! I love the graffiti one...it looks so real.

(Queenmothermamaw) Peggy said...

Hi Pat, haven't been over for a while so I decided to pop over. What a beautiful photo essay. You are the best in that area. Loved the San Fran post too. Newly dx'd with Diabetes and trying to learn to cope. Been a shock.
QMM

annie said...

I enjoyed this tour. I have always loved the Village.
wonderful photos as usual.

Sniff said...

The way you're describing that restaurant actually makes me want to go there. Not because of the food, but just to see what the hype is all about.

Jo said...

Pat, I love strollin' down the streets and sidewalks with you, I appreciate you and your blog, I have missed so many wonderful things, thanks for these visit to one of my favorite place's "NYC".
~Jo
Lazy on Loblolly

merrilymarylee said...

Ahhhh... it is a treasure and so are you!

Jo said...

Hope you don't mind, I sent you an award
~Jo
LazyonLoblolly

From Beyond My Kitchen Window said...

I love the pride you have for your city. I can't wait to visit in June.