Thursday, May 10, 2012

St. Mark's & 2nd

EV Grieve took a look at the corner of St. Mark's Place and Second Avenue a little while ago, highlighting the St. Mark's Cinema circa 1984, so it seemed like a good time to put up these 1934 and 1935 shots of the spot from the New York Public Library.


NYPL

Fifty years before Sixteen Candles and Mask, there were 10-cent double features of Bottoms Up and Palooka, then Werewolf of London and Laddie.


NYPL

And next to the theater, in the spot that would later become an infamous Gap store, stood a frankfurters and root-beer stand extraordinaire.


NYPL

From the Municipal Archives, here's the same corner in 1929, when St. Mark's was paved in cobblestones and streaked by trolley tracks.


NYC Archives

And across Second Avenue, where BBQ is today, a simple drugstore and second-floor dentist:


NYC Archives

26 comments:

EV Grieve said...

Fantastic.

Ms. said...

OMG how I love the Sepia of the past, but I wouldn't have loved the plumbing. The municipal Archives are such a treasure trove.

esquared said...

Those frankfurters better not have been artisanal.

I can only wish that these are today's pics, Sutro and Inkwell filtered.

And I've put this quote before...Nostalgia is denial - denial of the painful present...a flaw in the romantic imagination of those people who find it difficult to cope with the present., i.e am guilty of it. #saudade

Brendan said...

The frankfurters almost certainly WERE artisanal, by modern standards. This fact was not noteworthy at the time.

Allison@BoweryBoogie said...

Nicely done!

Pete "Music" Sayek said...

You just know those were the BEST hot dogs and root beer, too.

Marty Wombacher said...

Great photos and a wonderful post today!

Anonymous said...

those are real fun photos. now i can add another layer of history when i walk down st. marks.

Anonymous said...

Is that the 3rd Avenue El crossing St. Mark's in the background?

BirdOnAWire said...

Hi Jeremiah,

Back when they closed the St. Marks theater, we local teenagers were told that a "Mini Mall" was to replace it. Although I had only the faintest idea what a mall was, being a New York City native, my boyfriend at the time and I knew a protest was needed. One night in the middle of the night we draped the whole corner with numerous tied-together bedsheets on which we had spray-painted in bloody-red: "Mini Death, Mini Murder, Mini Robots, Mini Brainwash," etc. Then we sat on a stoop across the street till daybreak to see if people would notice it (no one seemed to--this was a more colorful era). That was my first activist act against gentrification.

marc kehoe said...

hey, these are great,
Even the movie theater building looks kinda nice.

Jeremiah Moss said...

BirdOnAWire, how I would LOVE to have pictures of that one!

yes, i think so--3rd Ave El

Saudade, indeed.

Anonymous said...

This is great. I miss the trolleys and trolley tracks and cobblestone streets.

There is a movement to bring modern light rail ( trolleys/streetcars) to 8th Street and St Mark's:

Village Crosstown Trolley Coalition
http://www.villagetrolley.org/

Regards,
- East Villager

Anonymous said...

If No. 3 is the corner where BBQ is and looking uptown from Saint Marks, where is the theater across the street?

esquared said...

OF COURSE, much like the pickles, anchovies...of yesteryears, the frankfurters were artisanal by today's standards. The fact that it is now noteworthy gives the hipsters and foodies a reason to charge exorbitant amount to whatever artisanal product they are peddling. At least that stand were not selling $5.00 frankfurters and wrapped it up in gorgeous, thick paper printed with repeating anchors, Florentine swirls, antique bicycles, and told the history of the frankfurter of its origin from some remote jungle in Asia or South America, and did not serve it with ramps.

And unlike the hipsters of today, it's noteworthy to mention that there's hardly any irony back then; what you see is what you get. Ironically, however, I really liked this post before the artisan foodie hipsters, or an artisan foodie hipster, discovered it. Lovely post, still...

tenho saudades velho Nova Iorque

Jeremiah Moss said...

and there's this: http://nymag.com/restaurants/features/foodies-2012-4/

Anonymous said...

SOOOOO COOOOOL!!

Brendan said...

esquared, that was my point. I hope you did not mistake my comment for a pro-foodie comment.

everettsville said...

Some friends of mine lived in this building several years ago before the latest renovation. Upon entering the building (at about the place where the marque is in the old pics) there was an abnormally WIDE staircase leading up to the 2nd (or was it the 3rd?) floor.

I assumed this must have been a feature from the theatre days.

Jill said...

Wait is that where Gem Spa is now where it says Gem Razors? (I apolgoize if someone else said that already and I missed it.)

Anonymous said...

@esquared

Dance around all you want. You're just another fucking hypocrite.

esquared said...

Yes!I've made it in the internetz.

I'd like to add a subset of group under yunnies, called the hafs -- hipster artisanal foodies -- or the haffies. And much like the parent group, to paraphrase:

Artisanal food promise consistency and gratification to the haffies -- thus they know what to expect and are rarely disappointed. But when separated from their soothing over-expensive kombucha and kale products, holds up a mirror to them, and forced to stand in line with nothing to do but think, they become extremely anxious. This anxiety, an irrational fear of annihilation, sends them into a primitive, infantile rage. Yunnies and Haffies are the perfect neighborhood destruction machines due to their lack of empathy, sense of entitlement, and contempt for those "beneath" them. They feel empty and express their aggression through oral rage, consuming artisanal food aggressively. ...

So, shall we, anon. 6:36p? Tango ? Waltz? Salsa? Or related with the topic of this post, the Charleston? Frankly, I've been meaning to try Whit Stillman's new international dance craze, the Sambola.

Sarcasm and Keepin' It Real by esquared™ from esquared™.

Peace

marc kehoe said...

The drugstore (I can't read the sign in the picture_ became Etroff's, a staple of that corner for many years-
it morphed into the recently closed whatevertheycalled it drogstore in the middle of the block. I dig hat shot looking west, with the Third Ave el clearly visible.

Anonymous said...

ESTROFF's. not Etroff's.

Anonymous said...

Pedestrian access on St. Marks Place between 3rd and 2nd avenues is becoming impossible. All those new Japanese restaurants are bringing people who like to hang out on the sidewalks. They are a noisy bunch of hipsters, mostly Japanese that instead of eating and going home prefer to stay in front of the restaurant chatting with friends while pedestrians have to go on the street. They have no idea of how annoying they are becoming.

Anonymous said...

OMG St. Marks move theater is where I learned to speak English. We came from Poland in 1961 and lived at 34 1/2 St. Marks Place right around the corner. Parents worked day and night and would give us a quarter to go to the movie. It became our babysitter, for a quarter we would spend the whole day there seeing the same movies over and over and learning the dialogue even when we did not know what they were saying most of the time. Loved the photo and loved the memory it brought back.