Elizabeth Street (Little Italy) – delightful garden

Updated from 2015

There is a small park – Elizabeth Street Gardens – on Elizabeth Street , between Prince & Spring streets (Little Italy) that is very unusual. While not open all the time it is a great place to have lunch (bring your own) or picnic or sit in the shade. You will be surrounded by statuary of all kinds. Oh by the way, it is free. Check here for when open.

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The Elizabeth Street Gallery, open to the public in a park like setting, contains a variety of ornamental stonework, some of it depicting mythological figures

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I walked the length of Elizabeth Street and found most of the people enjoying the day. The restaurants were busy and  those stores that were open had customers.

Most of the buildings in the area are multifamily, or apartment buildings dating from the first decade or two of the 20th Century

Some people think that the boundary between Chinatown and SOHOis mid-block between Kenmare and Spring,  The area to the south is mostly Chinese.

Before  the virus arrived the northern area was home to upscale galleries and shops north of Kenmare.

As of this date,  many shops have closed due to the pandemic. The street is filled mostly with outside dining. and there is a lot of construction going on. However, visiting the garden is still very enjoyable and all along the street people were animated and enjoying their visit. Most wearing masks and other than restaurants and bars, keeping some separation between each other

I am confident that after we solve the health situation  These  two blocks just South of Houston will, again, become quite alive and quite trendy.

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Carved, painted and lettered shingle signs that hang over the sidewalk are becoming popular in the neighborhoods where the hip people go,
 Photos taken on November 8, 2020

Trivia

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Elizabeth and Hester may be the only intersection in Manhattan where both streets are women’s first names, though Hester isn’t used much anymore. Elizabeth Street is one of the few major streets in Manhattan that begins and ends at a T-shaped intersection.

NYC – Barber Shops, Chairs and Memories

NYC – Barber Shops, Chairs and Memories

While the City has always had its share of classic, old-time, businesses I have always enjoyed going by old barber shops.  It is like looking into the past when people had more time, less work pressure.

In most old barber shops, the barber chairs stand out – front and center, Are they original? You often can tell by looking at the worn metal foot rests.

Well, what got me to write this blog? This past weekend, on west 56th Street, I came across a store display of Barber Chairs.

As you can see in the photo above, it is easy to walk past and not know what is inside. Also, these are newer models but they got me thinking:

Since my youngest recollections of going to the barber, the chair(s) seemed like they were always there. I am sure that many of you who went to beauty parlors may have a similar experience. When things like this happen, I wonder why this is a first time experience for me to even think about where one would get a chair,  Of course, new barber shops and beauty salons open frequently. Like me, did you just think that the chairs were there already?.

For me, finding this store, had me thinking about  events from the past. Memories you thought they were long forgotten.

 

It got me thinking of my first haircut and sitting in those big barber-chairs. [I remember when the barber would put the “child’s seat’ on the arms of the chair]. The one above is certainly more fancy than the one I sat on!

Hoping that this blog brings with it memories for you, too!

I have put together a few photos of NYC barber shops that I took from the internet and one that I have passed on my walks.

 

In an earlier blog I wrote about a Barbershop Museum. here

What and where is the only street with a fractioned number in New York City,

A while back, I put up some photos of an outside arcade (walk-through) on west 52nd Street.

At the time, I was engrossed on getting to an event and didn’t notice a sign post – 6 ½ Avenue w 52nd Street. Later, as I edited the photos I noticed the 6 ½ Avenue sign, though  I didn’t recall seeing a roadway in the middle of the block. My first thought was that someone was just having a little fun. With a little of exploring, let me tell you the story.

 

Yes, there are sign posts showing a 6 ½ Avenue. Hey are located on west 51st street to west 57th Street. While 6 ½ Street  is not an Avenue or a Street it is a series of Privately Owned Public Spaces (POPS)  that provides a way to get from w57th Street to w51st Street mid-block. Currently the only street with a fraction number in New York City,

 

These arcades of Midtown connect one street to another through building(s). 6 ½  Avenue is a public walkway through the buildings for the convenience of pedestrians. It is a fun secret of NYC. For the most part, I found most of the passageways boring, but I also found one that was worth a visit.

I have elected to start from W 57th Street and go south but you could start at W 51st and work north.

 

 

West 57th street: There are three points of entry

 

Le Parker Méridien at 118 West 57th street, which is perhaps the most interesting. The elegant lobby, which is technically an arcade but looks just like a hotel lobby. The hotel is required to provide a certain number of tables and chairs for the public. If I had to begin and end my tour it would be here.

Le Parker Méridien has battled with the City over its elegant lobby, which is technically an arcade. The hotel is required to provide a certain number of tables and chairs for the public,. But the thing you notice upon entering at 57th street is that half the lobby has been appropriated by the hotel’s Gothic style cafe and bar. This entrance is quite cozy and may intimidate you from entering but be assured, it is a public space! I noticed one person who was eating her bag lunch on one of the sofas..

 

This space opens up to an impressive lobby that has large columns and mirrors. Here is a glimpse of the inside.

Here are two BONUS items for you:

  • Burger Joint at Parker New York – right next door. Noted for the best hamburger in NYC. Also, highly recommended by my daughter.
  • 130 57th – a small lobby with very interesting old photos of celebrities. The building used to an arts building. There is a doorman but just ask to see the photos on the wall. (I put some samples  at the end of this blog)

The other two entrances are not as nice as above.

Since I love the challenge of finding new things, I continued my quest to learn more about 6 ½ Avenue and headed south. Most of these arcades are simply walk throughs. Some have seats and benches. Originally, I thought I would show you some examples but I just found a video that walks through the arcades and I think does it better.

Please Note:

  • The video starts from w55th Street and heads south.
  • The entrance on 56th Street is easy to spot. Note that construction on w54th  but go down a bit and you can  cross through the Hertz parking lot.
(Sorry about the ad but didnt know how to remove it)

 

 

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30 west 57th street – Lobby photos