Sunday, September 30, 2012

Black Squirrel [Tompkins Square Park] (September 23, 2012)

"Weekend Wildcard:  Tompkins Square Park Edition" 
"My nut!"  I found this black squirrel frolicking with many, many rats in Tompkins Square Park one recent East Village evening. Black squirrels are just plain cool. They are common in the Midwest and Northereast United StatesOntarioQuebecBritain, and SwedenOther known black squirrel hangouts in New York City include Stuyvesant Town / Peter Cooper Village, Fordham University, and the Bronx Zoo. And we hear there's a "Cinnamon Squirrel" in Riverside Park?!       CLICK TO ENLARGE

Friday, September 28, 2012

124th & Lenox Ave [SW Corner] (September 3, 2012)

Harlem... According to New York Neon, the sign for Lenox Liquors (formerly Paris Liquor Store) was built by Global Neon Sign Co. in 1959. The Lenox Avenue side of the corner mural depicts a tropical island scene with palm trees, sun, and surf. While the 124th Street side showcases "Great African Americans"... Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, Harriet Tubman, Jesse Jackson, Rosa Parks, and Frederick Douglass.                                     CLICK TO ENLARGE

Thursday, September 27, 2012

51st & Broadway [NE Corner] (August 2, 2012)

Opened in 1987, Ellen's Stardust Diner is a retro 1950s theme restaurant near Times Square. Many of the singing waitstaff have moved on to successful careers on Broadway and on American Idol. The restaurant features a gallery of past "Miss Subways," a title given to select New York City women between 1941 and 1976. Around 200 women held the title during the program's run.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

25th & 1st Ave [SE Corner] (July 15, 2012)

The VA (Veteran's Affairs) New York Harbor Healthcare System -- Manhattan CampusThe United States' veterans benefits system traces its roots back to 1636, when the Pilgrims passed a law stating that disabled soldiers would be supported by the colony. Hopefully, they've gotten their act together since the conditions depicted in Oliver Stone's Born on the Fourth of July. "I just wanna be treated like a human being."                CLICK TO ENLARGE

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Devoe St & Graham Ave [NW Corner] (June 3, 2012)

This quaint city block on the North side of Williamsburg, Brooklyn features mom-n-pop shops, like Polished Nail & Spa, Romance Jewelers, Corby's Cigarettes Chips Sodas, New Daniella's Coffee Shop, Kitty's Cards N Things, and Do-It-Yourself Laundry. Nearby, the Brooklyn outpost of Motorino Pizza recently closed due to "stupidity of our landlord."              CLICK TO ENLARGE

Monday, September 24, 2012

4th & 2nd Ave [SW Corner] (September 23, 2012)

Calliope Bar in Manhattan's East Village serves what it calls "European farmhouse food," like Ricotta and Chard Dumplings and Rabbit Pappardelle. The owners are Eric Korsh, formerly the executive chef at the Waverly Inn, and his wife Ginevra Iverson, recently a cook at Prune. Calliope replaced Belcourt at 84 East Fourth Street in mid 2012.        CLICK TO ENLARGE

Sunday, September 23, 2012

O'Farrell St & Grant Ave [NW Corner] (August 16, 2012)

"Weekend Wildcard:  San Francisco Edition"
San Francisco Savings Union Bank in Downtown San Francisco. Built in 1910, just after the Great Earthquake of 1906, this landmark in Ecole des Beaux Arts style was modeled after the Pantheon in Rome. Today, the building houses clothing retailer Emporio Armani.     CLICK TO ENLARGE

Thursday, September 20, 2012

157th & Gerard Ave [SE Corner] (September 15, 2012)

The Bronx...
The "120 E 157 St Food Corp" is a festively painted bodega in the shadow of Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. This business was most recently called Yankees Fan Deli Grocery.       CLICK TO ENLARGE

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

128th & Lenox Ave [SE Corner] (September 2, 2012)

A girl walks by Humadi Deli in central Harlem, early one morning. Black Star Music & Video, in the background, offers a tagline of, "Bringing you the black experience." One Yelper calls Black Star "Ground zero for anyone who's into Hip-Hop, classic black exploitation flicks, Street/Hood DVDs and documentaries, Street Magazines/books, etc."             CLICK TO ENLARGE

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

55th & 8th Ave [NE Corner] (August 11, 2012)

"No soup for you!" This is the original Hell's Kitchen location of the "Soup Nazi," made famous by a 1995 episode of the TV sitcom, "Seinfeld." The character was inspired by Al Yeganeh, a very stern soup vendor who ran Soup Kitchen International on 55th Street and 8th Avenue. While Mr. Yeganeh was reportedly angry about the unflattering Seinfeld episode, it ended up making him rich and famous. Today, his "The Original Soup Man" chain has over 1,100 locations throughout the U.S. and Canada; and his soups are available in supermarkets and Target stores.         CLICK TO ENLARGE

Monday, September 17, 2012

NYC Corners on Facebook

NYC Corners is now on Facebook... "Like" us.

70th & Columbus Ave [SE Corner] (August 11, 2012)

The old-school signage at Anel French Cleaners on the Upper West Side features quaint red stars, missing letters, and a crude rendering of the Eiffel Tower. Unfortunately, though, there have been some disappointed customers. [Close-up pic of signage provided by bee721.]          CLICK TO ENLARGE

Sunday, September 16, 2012

28th & Lexington [NW Corner] (September 2, 2012)

Chinese Mirch is a restaurant in Manhattan's "Curry Hill" neighborhood that serves Chinese-Indian fusion, "where Indian herbs and spices meet a blend of Cantonese, Hakka and Szechuan style cooking." I haven't tried this place yet, but I'm a sucker for chickpeas, naan, and samosas across the street at Curry in a Hurry.                          CLICK TO ENLARGE

Saturday, September 15, 2012

132nd & 5th Ave [SW Corner] (September 2, 2012)

The Greater Central Baptist Church in Harlem features a beautiful, old-school neon sign. Religions of Harlem says, "The letters and crosses on the sign are reminiscent of those at the Apollo or any other theater putting on a show." The church is a featured destination on several gospel tours.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

3rd & Bowery [SE Corner] (August 12, 2012)

An amalgam of Zagat member reviews for Gemma, the Italian restaurant on the ground floor of the Bowery Hotel in the East Village, reads like this: "'Rustic'-chic Bowery Hotel dining room serving 'solid' Italiana to 'hipsters, wannabe hipsters and tourists.'" And NY Mag says, "There is a copper-covered bar up front, which fills up in the evenings with mobs of jolly, overtanned revelers, grinning their toothy end-of-summer grins."                      CLICK TO ENLARGE

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Bleecker & Carmine [NW Corner] (July 29, 2012)

Bleecker Street and Carmine in Greenwich Village...a great New York City Corner. The famous Bleecker Street Records, a dying breed. Joe's Pizza, serving thin-crust, tangy deliciousness. Greenwich Village Bistro, great for Sunday beer and jazz (seriously, go there!). Grom Gelato, from Italy, with unique flavors like cassata Siciliana (stuffed pound cake); fiordilatte (whole milk); and sorbet and granita made with Sfusato lemon from Amalfi.                  CLICK TO ENLARGE

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Franklin & Church [SE Corner] (September 9, 2012)

A nod to the anniversary of the September 11 attacks, you can see One World Trade Center ("Freedom Tower") in the background as it nears completion. We noticed that the spire has already placed atop the iconic building, reaching its intended 1,776 feet in height. In the foreground, passersby hardly notice the graffiti and rust covering this neglected Tribeca corner.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

114th & Pleasant Ave [NW Corner] (September 2, 2012)

In 1896, Charles Rao bought a small saloon at the corner of 114 Street and Pleasant Avenue in upper Manhattan. The rest is history. Rao's NYC has only 10 tables, all of which are booked nightly -- "owned" like condominiums. Forbes calls Rao's "America's Toughest Reservation," saying "Derek Jeter can get a table at Rao’s but you can’t." We suggest buying Rao's sauce at the supermarket, or trying Rao's Las Vegas outpost (at Caesar's Palace) the next time you're out there.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Thursday, September 6, 2012

33rd & 5th Ave [SE Corner] (August 20, 2012)

Serious Eats "always wondered what tropical fruit drinks have to do with hot dogs. But the strange combination surprisingly works." Papaya Dog, shown across the street from the Empire State Building, is the newer of the Papaya/Hot Dog chain restaurants. More established competitors include Papaya King, Gray's Papaya, and Mike's Papaya. This distinctly New York tradition originated in 1932 with the opening of Hawaiian Tropical Drinks on 86th Street and 3rd Avenue.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

20th & 6th Ave [NE Corner] (September 3, 2012)

Ironically, in 1982, Peter Gatien bought this old church on 20th Street and 6th Avenue (built in 1846 as the Episcopal Church of the Holy Communion) from the Odyssey House, a drug rehabilitation center. Gatien then created The Limelight, one of New York City's most infamous nightclubs. The Limelight was a haven for techno, goth, and industrial music, as well as a free-for-all for recreational drug use. The party started unraveling in 1996, when Club Kid Michael Alig killed and dismembered a drug dealer at the club. (See the Macaulay Culkin movie, Party Monster). Since 2010, the building has been home to the Limelight Marketplace, a lame shopping mall. And, randomly, we found some contestants from Vietnam's Next Top Model.                             CLICK TO ENLARGE

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

11th & Ave A [SW Corner] (August 12, 2012)

Westville East is a popular restaurant near Tompkins Square Park in the East Village. Their daily vegetable market includes fresh local vegetables prepared simply. Recent examples include "Sautéed Kale with shallots" and "Snow Peas with sesame & ginger." The turkey burger is one of the best we've had. Westville also has locations in Greenwich Village and in Chelsea. The concensus on Yelp seems to be "healthy and delicious," "fresh and perfect," and "to die for."                  CLICK TO ENLARGE  (REALLY COMES TO LIFE)