Red Hook, Brooklyn
Whether you loved him or hated him, nobody who lived in NYC in the 70′s could ever imagine a New York without Mayor Koch. That’s because Ed Koch WAS New York.
Born in The Bronx to Jewish Eastern European immigrant parents, his story was much the same as my parents, your parents or any other New Yorker you might find riding the subway. But that’s not why he was NYC. Ed Koch was New York personified because he took on the characteristics of the city at that time. The guy had chutzpah that you don’t find these days.
A few words to sum up Koch/NYC.
RIP, Mayor Koch. I may not have always agreed with you, but your years running this joint will always be my favorite ones.
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I didn’t come up with the name “Reclaimed Home” for nothing. I love salvaging old materials and restoring neglected homes that were once full of life. Yesterday I was reminded why I torture myself with endless renovations.
You may look at the photo above and say “Meh, it’s a rotten old sign.” Indeed, you would be correct, but this find had me jumping up and down. I discovered it as I took up the rotten bathroom floor. (We’ll chat more about that later.) The previous owners or someone before them used it as subflooring. The writing was not facing up so I didn’t know it was there until I actually started taking up the floor.
Unfortunately, the sign is in bad shape as the bathtub and toilet were leaking for years causing rot all the way through to the joists. Yes, the hole in the second photo was what the bathroom fixtures were sitting on. At any given time, someone could have ended up in the kitchen below while bathing or taking a dump. BTW, this is NOT the first old house I found such rot. Live in an old home? Pray they did the right thing when “renovating” as they often just cover things up. Enjoy your bath.
Anyway, back to the cool find. It seems to be more than one sign because I see “Library” and I also see “Club”. Actually, I’m guessing that perhaps they were the destination signs on the boardwalk? Anyone have a clue?
Whatever the case, even though they crumble in my hands, they will most definitely stay with the house as part of the reclaiming process. Right now, I’m thinking of embedding the edges in a plaster or concrete wall.
But it was nice to see that folks were reusing salvaged material even back then!
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January. Gabby Giffords resigns from congress a year after she was shot in Arizona. Six people died in the attack.
February. California overturns ban on gay marriage as Washington becomes the seventh state to legalize it.
March. US soldier goes on a shooting rampage in Afghanistan and kills 16 civilians.
April. Secret service agents get caught with their pants down in Columbia.
May. For the first time in modern American history, white births are no longer the majority.
June. The Supreme Court upholds Obamacare. Justice Roberts becomes a hero to liberals for the first time in his life.
July. Gunman opens fire in a Batman screening in Aurora, CO. 12 people die, 70 wounded by bullets.
August. Russian punk band Pussy Riot sentenced to 2 years in prison for hooliganism.
September. Four are killed in an attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.
October. Hurricane Sandy hits just days before Halloween.
November. President Obama is re-elected.
December. 28 dead in CT school shooting. This finally starts the ball rolling on gun control conversation.
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W. 21st, Meatpacking District
Dirty Old 1970′s New York City is making the rounds on Facebook among friends I grew up with. It always brings a smile to my face to see images of the city of my youth that no longer exists. Their tag line? “For those who loved New York City before the 80′s took its balls away.”
Enjoy the pics.
Union Square. I remember shopping at this Mays up until the mid 80′s.
Times Square, of course.
Canal and Broadway. They knew from egg creams.
Under Brooklyn Bridge ramp, Dover Street
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New York has lost a bunch of history over the past 20 years but the sad news about Life Cafe is a particularly tough one.
Just nine months after losing their East Village location due to greedy landlords, now the owners must close their doors in Bushwick for the same reason. Kathy and her husband
I frequented Life Cafe on 10th and B in the 80′s and the only reason I ever find myself in Bushwick is if I’m craving Life’s scrambled tofu for brunch. Always preferred the less cramped 10th Street space.
It should be noted that both locations opened in those neighborhoods pre-gentrification. Kathy was a pioneer on the business scene when others wouldn’t take risks in those areas.
The risk paid off both times. Unfortunately, nothing lasts forever. Thank you for bringing us Life, Kathy. You will be missed.
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RIP Eugene Ferkauf, founder of Korvettes Department Stores. Ferkauf was 91 and died in his Manhattan home. Korvettes was huge during the 50′s and 60′s but the chain went out of business by 1980.
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* First, a fun fact. Donna Summer’s daughter’s name is Brooklyn.
The passing of Donna Summer has stirred up some fond childhood memories. I was in junior high when Donna reigned as the Queen of Disco. Too young to go to “discotheques” like Studio 54 but old enough to appreciate a talent when I heard it.
It wasn’t until my adult life when I first heard that the whole disco backlash was possibly racially motivated. My husband who grew up in Ireland was the one who mentioned it. Since then I’ve also read that it may have also been anti-gay. I don’t know how the “Rock vs. Disco” war played out in other parts of the world but here in Tony Manero land, it was pretty much in your face. Racial maybe, only here in Brooklyn it wasn’t a push against the black artists creating the music. Sorry, but in my 12 year old mind, it was anti-Italian. I won’t use the G word, but let’s just say that Jersey Shore had nothing on Brooklyn back in 1977. Can I use the C word? Cugine?
Cugines and disco went hand in hand. The hair. The gold chains. The pointy white sneakers and leather jackets. Viceroy and Jordache jeans! Oh, I wore them too. They got a bad rap for the way they dressed and talked but most of them were sweet when it came down to it.
Brooklyn and Disco were synonymous back in the 70′s. From “Last Dance” at every barmitzvah to our pride in Donna Summer’s relationship with “that Brooklyn Dreams guy”. Do I even have to mention “Saturday Night Fever”? It took me about five years after the release of that movie to finally watch it because it hit too close to home and I didn’t even hang out with “those types”.
By the early 80′s when disco was dying off, I finally got to dance on that Saturday Night Fever 2001 Space Odyssey dance floor. It was the size of a postage stamp.
But disco will never die, not even with Donna. Don’t believe me? Go put on some disco music and just try not to shake your groove thang.
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I hope they don’t find anything in that basement. I know it would bring closure to the family of Etan Patz but if they are anything like I am, they believe he’s living a wonderful life somewhere and he just doesn’t realize who he is. He’ll be back someday it will be such a heartwarming miracle!
I was 14 when Patz disappeared from his Soho neighborhood. As dangerous as New York was at the time, kids did have more freedom than they do now. That didn’t end with Etan but it was somewhat of a wake up call. His face was plastered all over the city, a reminder to us kids to be careful.
Growing up 1970′s NYC left a few lasting impressions that are hard to let go. There were incidents that made us fearful, like Son of Sam, but there were stories that we wished would have happy endings.
I wanted Etan Patz to break the odds. Unfortunately, this 46 year old woman will probably be let down by the end of the day.
Etan, you’ll always be alive to me. God speed, Little Man!
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How have I spent the past 46 years (minus a few) in Brooklyn and never noticed the sign on this building? It was actually my husband who noticed while driving down Bedford near Flatbush. Upon further investigation on The Internets, it turns out that Fading Ad Blog spotted it about 3 months ago. Actually, there was another sign covering Lindsay all this time, so I’m not so unobservant after all.
John Lindsay served 8 years as Mayor of New York City back when I was too young to take interest. I did find some interesting facts about the his term and the political environment 40 something years ago that are still pertinent to today.
Lindsay inherited serious fiscal problems from outgoing Mayor Robert Wagner (not the actor). With manufacturing jobs disappearing, white flight to the suburbs and new unions taking shape, it was tough to get the city back on it’s feet.
On his first day in office, there was a transit strike. During his term there was also a teacher’s strike, a sanitation strike and sewage and drawbridge worker’s strike.
In 1969, NYC was hit with 15 inches of snow. Fourteen people died and 68 were injured.Within a day, the mayor was criticized for giving special treatment to Manhattan while the other boroughs were left hanging. Sound familiar?
1970 brought the Hard Hat Riot. Two hundred construction workers attacked students protesting the Kent State shootings and Vietnam War. Here’s where it gets interesting. Who tried to protect those students? Wall street bankers and attorneys. The cops stood by and did nothing. When the Mayor criticized the NYPD, he was called “the red mayor, a “traitor,” “Commy rat” and “bum.”
By 1971, Lindsay switched parties from Republican to Democrat. “…This step recognizes the failure of 20 years in progressive Republican politics…” He actually ran for President but as we know, he didn’t get very far.
Later in his life, after Parkinson’s Disease, heart attacks and stroke depleted Lindsay’s finances, he found himself without health insurance. In 1996 Mayor Giuliani appointed Lindsay to two largely ceremonial posts to make him eligible for municipal health insurance coverage.
All facts came from Wikipedia, so don’t blame me if they’re wrong. Thankfully, I’m too young to remember.
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I found this video on my new favorite site that I just discovered called “I Loved New York“. If you’re nostalgic for the city before it became generic, check out that blog. You’ll love it!
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Even though The Catskills were severely damaged by Hurricane Irene last year, some parts will bounce back. Areas like Woodstock and Phoenicia are year round vibrant communities that have always remained popular destinations for tourists. But exploring Sullivan County this week was rather shocking.
The Borscht Belt towns have seen more financial devastation and decay than any hurricane could have caused. This isn’t news. I’ve blogged numerous times on photographers capturing images of the old resorts and bungalows, but I had to see it with my own eyes to consider the scope of it.
Main Streets died out with the advent of the malls and the resorts and colonies started losing popularity with the arrival of air travel. The Catskills as my generation knew it still existed well into the 1980′s, but it’s a shell of it’s former self these days.
There may be hope of a revitalization. Post baby boomers like myself have been very excited about the opening of Kutsher’s Restaurant in Tribeca and the preview of the Kutsher’s documentary film was sold out almost instantly. The newish Upstater blog is waxing nostalgic about the area and they’ve proven to be quite popular.
Does this mean The Catskills are coming back? Not quite. It just means there is hope. I’m not the only one whom has had the idea to bring back a modern day bungalow colony for this generation.
Kutsher’s still exists, although it was closed the day we were there. I heard rumors that it’s for sale, but cannot find any news on the current status.
I’ll be posting some colonies that are on the market in the upcoming weeks. They are in bad disrepair, but prices are negotiable. Come on. Let’s do it. Let’s bring back The Catskills!
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The Leonard Lopate Show wants to know what 10 object you would choose to tell the story of New York. All objects must be able to fit inside a museum. Include a brief description of why you think the object helps define New York City.
The deadline for submissions is today at 5 pm. Then, you’ll be able to vote on your favorite objects.
Here’s my list. What’s yours?
1. Subway token. Watch me date myself now. I remember when a subway token went from 35 cents to 50. I remember the big ones with the Y cut-out.
2. Bagel. Few places make real bagels anymore.
3. Slice of pizza. The ultimate NYC fast food. Hmm, maybe I should add a hot dog cart, but I don’t eat hot dogs.
4. Handball. Everybody always talks about stickball. Well, I never played stickball. For my generation it was always Chinese handball. Chinese can be played against any wall, no court needed.
5. Broadway playbill. Preferably “The Odd Couple”, a New York favorite.
6. Egg Cream. Nice and foamy.
7. Knish. Yeah, it’s all about the food. S’ppose we can do a knish/hot dog cart if you insist.
8. Diner menu. Diners. Another dying breed.
9. Spray paint can. To be displayed with a remnant of an old subway car, please.
10. Shortline bus ticket. Every summer weekend during my childhood, we would catch the Shortline bus up to The Catskills. Borscht Belt bungalow colonies and resorts were as New York as the city itself. But as a child, I was always mesmerized by the walk through Times Square and the Port Authority bus terminal. Trannies, hookers, Black Panthers and Jews for Jesus all one big happy NYC family. It was like something out of Taxi Driver.
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