Archive for February 2008

Union Square After the Snowfall

February 24, 2008

Friday’s snowfall affected Union Square on Saturday, at least to some extent.  On weekends, even in the dead of winter, there’s always something going on there.  But when I walked through there on Saturday, I got the definite feeling that very little was happening.


Just wet and slushy.  There was just the tiniest hint of current snow in the air, so I expected that the artists wouldn’t be out peddling their wares.  And for the most part, that was correct.  The guys below were just about the only ones there.


But the dogs were there (as you would expect).


And the farmers market was going strong.


The prettiest part of the walk through was the actual park.  There was still plenty of snow on the ground.


But the interesting part was right smack in the middle of the square itself.  Just a plaintive little display showing that hope for a better tomorrow lurks just beneath the surface.


It’s an ad for lifeguards for this summer.  It’s looking for “whistle worthy” East Coast versions of David Hasslehoff and Pamela Lee.


2008’s First Snowfall in NYC

February 23, 2008

Yesterday I awoke to a winterwonderland…or a slushy street scene (take your pick).  As for me, I love it when it snows and decided to catch a couple of pics to commemorate the first real snow this year.

Of course, I had to go to work but no big deal.  Here’s a scene in Tudor City looking down 41st Street.


And looking back up into Tudor City:


You can see by the footprints that I wasn’t the first to walk the sidewalk, even though it was only 7am.

Here’s a view of 2nd Avenue.


Just a very simple post to celebrate a bit o’ snow.  Later in the day it snowed the really wonderful thick flakes, but then it rained.  Blech.


Union Square Dog Run

February 22, 2008

I recently posted on the Tompkins Square Park dog run and how it was considered one of the top dog runs around.  I made the comment that I’ve never seen a dog run with any grass in it and decided I’d go ahead and post on the one dog run that I see on a regular basis:  in Union Square.

Actually, it’s in the park connected to the square.


Generally, the place is jammed, but the one time I decided to take some pictures, there were just a couple of dogs in the whole place.


The place is small…and not a blade of grass.



The Second Avenue Deli

February 21, 2008

When I think of “delis” in NYC, two images come to mind.  The first is the little places you see everywhere in this city.  In essence, they’re a variation of a Seven-Eleven store with some groceries and drinks and some food-to-go sorts of stuff.  They differ from a 7-11 in the sense that they often have a salad bar and a hot food bar that are extremely popular places to pick up lunch and dinner.  Famous Ankles frequents such places all too often.  In keeping with the “deli” idea, they will also have a place that will make sandwiches to order or grill burgers or toast bagels and the like.  Some of the delis will reduce the size of the groceries/salad bar areas and have more and more of what is normally considered a delicatessen sort of food made to order (and generally to go).

All in all, they’re a relatively cheap source of food and, when you find a good one, you tend to go often rather than cook (it’s NYC, cooking isn’t one of those things people generally do).

A second level of deli is a big step up in formality and quality.  These are the traditional Jewish delis and they are often kosher (but certainly not always) and they tend to be more restaurant-like in their operations.  Some of the famous ones like that are the Carnagie Deli and the Stage Deli.

Another one, not quite as famous, is the 2nd Avenue Deli.  (It’s the same place, but new location of the site of yesterday’s post on the Yiddish Theater Walk of Fame.)


It has several points of distinction.  First, for a place with that name…you’d think you’d have an idea of its location.  Hint:  it ain’t on 2nd Avenue.  It’s actually located on 33rd Street between 3rd Avenue and Lexington.  The original location had been on 2nd Avenue and it had been a place of some small measure of fame in the Lower East Side as one of the best places to get food.  But, in 2006 they closed that location and moved to the new one.  The owner wanted to keep the name, probably for both the history and the memory of its founder:  Abe Lebewohl.


Abe’s story appears pretty impressive.  He was a survivor of the Holocaust and opened a thriving business in the Lower East Side when it was still a heavily Jewish area and stayed as the area went into a downward spiral and then started coming back.  He appears to have been a patron of the Jewish Theater and created a Yiddish Theater Walk of Fame that still exists at the old location (as noted, posted yesterday).

In 1996, he was murdered while at work.  The murder has never been solved.


As you can see, the window of the restaurant still has the wanted poster in the window.

Someday soon, I’ll eat there and post on my experience.


Yiddish Theater Walk of Fame on 2nd Avenue

February 20, 2008

The Lower East Side was heavily Jewish and German for a long time in the 1800s-1900s.  The people there created their own theater where they spoke and performed in Yiddish.  I don’t know how many theaters there were, but apparently enough to sustain a number of performers throughout their professional lives.

I was on a tour of the LES when, just walking along a part of 2nd Avenue I’ve been on a dozen or more times and the guide pointed out that we were at the Yiddish Theater Walk of Fame.  It’s on the corner of 10th Street right at the Chase Bank.  Apparently it was the site of the famed 2nd Avenue Deli.  Notice the plaques on the ground.


I did some searching on names and couldn’t find a listing of the “famed”.  So, I’ve decided to put them here for a little bit of posterity.  There’s only one performer that I’ve remember having heard of, but all are of importance in NYC theater history.  I’ve done my best to find appropriate links for the names.  When I wasn’t sure, I made a note of it, but I think they’re pretty solid.  Whether the links will change/vanish over time is a different question.

First, Fyvush Finkel is the only one of a few who has a “solo” star.  His is also one of the most readable.


Next is the way the rest of them are:  two names sharing a star.  Here’s Jennie Goldstein and Ida Kaminska (she was nominated for a Best Actress Oscar).  I’m going to do these as thumbnails because of the volume.  Click on the picture to see the actual star.


Then Lillian Lux and Pesack Burstein (a wife and husband team, respectively).


The next star is for Joseph Buloff and Luba Kadison.


The next star is for Abraham Goldfaden and Michal Michalesko:


The next star is for Miriam Kressyn and Seymour Rexite (alternative spelling of Seymour Rechzeit):


Abraham Goldfaden gets a second star, this time for being the founder of the Yiddish Theater in 1876.


The next star is for “Alt Raymond” and Barry Sisters.  I’m not sure about the spelling of the first name.


The next star is for Jack Rechtzeit and Mike Burstyn (I couldn’t find anything on Rechtzeit, but Burstyn has his own website).  Of course, it’s possible that “Jack Rechtzeit” and “Seymour Rechtzeit” (cited above) are the same person:


The next star is for Max Bozyk and Rose Bozyk:


The next star is for Boris Thomashevsky and Bessie Thomashevsky:


The next is for Ed Fuchs and Rebecca Richman (I can’t find anything I’m certain is a link for either of them but I suspect this is Rebecca and I wonder about a link I can find for Leo Fuchs and Rebecca Richman and who might “Ed” be if not “Leo”):


The next star is for Shulon Seckoa (possibly Sholum Secunda) and Peretz Sandler:


This next one was completely unreadable by me:


The next is for Molly Picon and Jacob Kalich (Jacob was Molly’s husband, but that’s all I know):


The next star is for Leon Liebgold and Lilly Lilyana (Leon was a Holocaust survivor):


The next star is for Mary Sureanu (thanks to reader Elise, the spelling is now corrected) Mary Soreanu and Lucy Levine:


The next star is for Irving Jacobson and an “unknown” Jacobson:


The next star is for Ben Bonas/Ben Donus and Mina Bern (it looks like Ben Bonas was Mina’s husband, but that’s a guess as I can find a “Bonas” link to Mina, but it looks like “Donus” on the star but there was a “Ben Bonus” that is also linked to Bern – this was a man of how many names?!):


The next star is for Ludwig Satz and Moishe Oysher:


The next star is for David Kessler and Zvi Scooler (also spelled Zvee Scooler, at least so it seems):


The next star is for Herman Yablokoff and Bella Meisel:


I’m sad to say that I cannot read the next star:


The next star is for Alexander Olshanetsky and Abe Ellstein:


The next star is for Mischa Gehrman and Lucy Gehrman:


The next star is for Joseph Rumshinsky and Arnold Perlmutter:


The next star is for Jacob Jacobs and Betty Jacobs:


The next star is for Maurice Schwartz and an unreadable person’s name:


The next star is for Henrietta Jacobson and Julius Adler  (wife and husband, respectively.  Their son is Bruce Adler who was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Actor two years in a row):


The next star was unreadable:


And the one after that was unreadable:


The final star on the Yiddish Theater Walk of Fame is another single-person-on-a-star, Daniel Libeskind, the architect, with the interesting suffix “Friend of Folksbiene” which was the/a theater: