Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Carole Teller’s Changing New York

As part of their online Historic Image Archive, the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation (GVSHP) has just released a new collection called Carole Teller’s Changing New York.

Veselka, by Carole Teller, c. 1980

They write:

"Carole Teller is an artist who has lived in the East Village since the early 1960s. As a photographer, she had a keen and often prescient eye, capturing in her daily travels people and places that struck her, but which were also often on the precipice of change or disappearing. In some cases these were buildings in the process of being demolished, like Penn Station or tenements being cleared for urban renewal. In other cases they were fading painted signs growing fainter by the day. But often these were people, businesses, street scenes, or layers of grit or decay which were integral parts of her New York, but which were frequently on the edge of transformation, revival, or removal."

Astor Place, Carole Teller, early 1980s

For this post, I've selected a few choice shots from around the East Village.

There's the old Veselka before its renovation. And Astor Place before the Green Monster landed, back when the parking lot provided for a "thieves' market" and the public space was a true public space.

Block Drugs and M. Schacht's, Carole Teller, mid-1980s

Block Drugs is still there today, with its glorious neon sign, but M. Schacht's is long gone--along with "APPETIZING." Gem Spa remains, but the St. Marks Cinema has vanished.

There are many more photos to browse, and they are for sale as prints, with funds going to support the preservation work of GVSHP.

Gem Spa and St. Marks Cinema, Carole Teller, c. 1980


Downtowner said...

I love how ratty Veselka was. Now it's so glitzed up compared to then

Brian said...
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Liz said...

I miss the old NY, the green block standing on its corner on Astor. My friend & I tried to rotate it.....the 5 & 10 on 9th st & 2nd, My boyfriend & I used to work @ Block Drug opened by "Mr. Palermo" as I called him. Ha ha he loved to paint & write short stories. I think I still remember one called "Frankie & Johnny*...oh the St.Marks cinema, haha I went to see a movie with a guy I liked when I was just starting HS. I thought it was a musical "Tango in Paris".....good times, good memories....Thanks for capturing them in photos.

Unknown said...
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Unknown said...

There used to be a quality to New York, captured in these photos, which is so lacking now. For lack of a better term, call it "grittiness," but it was a true authenticity of place. When I moved to Manhattan in 1980, each day when I stepped out of the door of my apartment building I knew I was living in a place like no other in the country. Equal parts danger and excitement, New York was hated and feared by those not desperate enough to need to live there. All the designer cupcakes and artisan cocktails in the world do not nearly begin to fill the void I feel when I visit the sites of my now-vanished haunts today.

Rodin said...

I lived on E. 5 between A and B. I used to buy nova and white fish at Schact's. last of the Jewish appetizer stores. Then Koreans bought it. Then there was a fire and that was the end of Schact's. Second Ave was lined with Jewish shops of one kind or another when I was taking music lessons at the 3rd St music school on 4th in the early sixties. There were even a couple of Jewish store holdouts on Ave A such as the kosher butcher between 5th and 4th in the very early 80s. At least I can still get a blintz at Veselka. and yes Veselka use to be a very funky E. Village coffee shop with an E. European component. Thanks for posting the great photos. Love the big black cube. what the heck has happened to the Astor Place area? Not my E. Village.

Jean Standish said...

It is with fond memories I remember Schachts, the St. Marks Cinema and even remember a diner on Astor place before gentrification. These businesses are the life blood of our community and were our neighbors. The saturation of bars and other alcohol outlets have decimated our community, which is residential, not a drinking destination.