Tuesday, December 4, 2007

One Step Ahead

The Sigmund Schwartz Gramercy Park Chapel on Second Ave, next to the former site of the Second Ave Deli (now Chase Bank), is moving away from the neighborhood where it has been since 1938. According to New York Songlines, this funeral parlor held services for Ethel and Julius Rosenberg after their execution in 1953. Maybe now it will become something really meaningful, like another Duane Reade.

McKenna's Pub on 8th and 14th has also moved--for the second time. First it was kicked out of its original 1935 location at Hudson and Jane, and now it's again been forced to move--this time, just across the street to a spot underneath an engraver's shop. I'm amazed it has managed to keep a hold in the neighborhood, but the new place has none of the dive-bar aesthetics of the old. Still, it looks like the same, rough-and-tumble crowd has managed to stagger their way across 14th.

Tequila's Mexican restaurant, next door to McKenna's, has also moved--to 23rd St. I don't know how long they were here, but they had a great, junky-looking place with mariachi bands and waiters who mixed and mashed guacamole right before your eyes.

How long will places like these be able to stay a step ahead of the bulldozers, leapfrogging their way around Manhattan? McKenna's and Tequila's have moved for one reason: The building that housed them is slated for demolition. Looks like Chelsea will be blessed with another condo and another bank. When all of our buildings have been turned to dust, what will remain?


Anonymous said...

Right across 14th Street from McKenna's, just west of the club the Plumm (nee Nell's), there is a basement porn shop. What's interesting is that it opened just a few years back, well after the vestiges of Rudy's red-light redlining had seemingly put an end to erotic expansion.

Normally, I'd call that a plus. Only problem: it displaced the great, funky movie memorabilia shop, Jerry Ohlinger's, where you could get b&w 8x10s from almost every film ever made. It was not until I got back online earlier this year that I found the cheroot-chewing Mr. Ohlinger had relocated to the garment district, at 253 W. 35th. I have yet to check out their new digs, but will have to do so soon.

L'Emmerdeur said...

When every storefront is a bank, we will have to learn to eat paper currency (we already know how to wipe our asses with it, Bernanke has an instructional video detailing this).

Anonymous said...

Fuck! Tequilas is going? They made THE BEST guacamole right at your table. Authentic stuff. Great atmosphere. I am profoundly bummed.

Shmuley said...

I respectfully advise that the old I.J. Morris Funeral Directors at 9701 Church Avenue over in Brooklyn handled all the arrangements for the Rosenbergs Z'L. Funeral services were held in their Chapel on 21st June, 1953. Just 'sayin.