Back to the Bowery, where I seem to be inadvertently collecting suicide tales. First, there was a hanging in the attic of 35 Cooper Square, aka 391 Bowery. Then there was Karl Hutter, inventor of the Lightning bottle-stopper and proprietor of 185 Bowery.
Now comes a Bowery suicide tale from #169. This time, it's a lovelorn Italian musician with a pistol back in 1886. He was "so poor that life had no longer any charm for him":
new york times
The address at which the musician died was on a Bowery filled with theaters, including many Italian and vaudeville theaters. He had played at Miner's Bowery Theater, which opened in this location, 165-169 Bowery, in 1878. It was known for its "questionable burlesque productions" and amateur nights (Eddie Cantor won many here), where bad performers were hauled offstage by a hook. Some claim this is where the expression "Get the hook!" was born.
In 1922, Miner's nearly burned down and later became a Chinese opera house.
miner's posters on bowery, new york wanderer
More recently, 169 was the home of Weiss Hardware, with the most excellent signage and can-do spirit--"If You Can't Find it. We have it"-- along with questionable punctuation and capitalization.
photo: Michael Dashkin
photo: my flickr
Last week, on my walk down the vanishing Bowery, I took a couple pictures of this creamy, pistachio-colored sign, afraid it might soon disappear. Last night, photographer and fellow sidewalk pounder RK Chin informed me it was gone.
Here's what might be coming, should the real-estate agents' dream come true. Unless, of course, they just tear it down and put up another glass box. Somebody, get the hook!