Monday, October 22, 2012

1980s Treasure Trove

Every so often, someone scans a bunch of old photos of the lost city and puts them up on Flickr--and that is a glorious day. When Yvonne B. got in touch with me and shared the photos she took of the Meatpacking District in the 1980s, I got excited. And she had more. Now they're all on Flickr.

The photos mostly span the East Village, Greenwich Village, and the High Line (with whole lost chunks of 14th Street). Some of my favorites from the more than 100 images include:


A burned-out car on Crosby Street, and the crapped-out corner of 2nd Ave. and 5th St.


A lost theater on 2nd Ave. and 4th--does anyone know the name of it?



A mural on 8th St. at 1st Ave., along the side of what was once the St. Mark's Bar & Grill.


Rescued Estates, before the "Crazy Landlord" rented the place to The Bean coffee shop. And "Mambo Mouth" in the days before STOMP took over the Orpheum Theater on 2nd and 7th.


Here's a spindly, stand-alone piece of the High Line that has since vanished, never to be greened and surrounded by glass.


And a lovely, shadowy luncheonette beneath the old High Line--can anyone place this location?


There are so many more--coffee shops, gay bars, famous clubs, crumbled warehouses, scorched tenements, places familiar and forgotten. Yvonne can't name them all--visit her Flickr page and help identify some of the locations.

44 comments:

Eve-Carla said...

Total Magnificence! Thank you both so much.

Ellen Fagan said...

Total decadent magnificence! Thank you both so much.

Anonymous said...

Filmore East? And 18th and 10th?

Shawn Chittle said...

More 80's. Less Bloomberg.

Paul said...

The last photo depicts the South-East corner of 17th Street and 10th Ave.

Anonymous said...

Sorry--it was The Anderson Theater.

John Ronan said...

I believe the theater on 2nd avenue and east 4th was the Anderson Theater, where I saw The Yardbirds with Jimmy Page.

Little Earthquake said...

As far as I can tell that theater on 62 2nd Ave was called The Emerging Collector and was later a gallery. Anyone want to corroborate?

Anonymous said...

Great group of photos. I'm amazed at how empty the streets are in each one.

Jacob said...

That’s a photo of the old Andersen Theater. It was a Yiddish playhouse back when 2nd Ave was the Yiddish Broadway. For a few years in the late 1960s and early 1970s, it was a rock-and roll venue. Janis Joplin, The Yardbirds, and The Doors played there (so I’m told).
Then for a very brief period it opened again and was the CBGB Theater (open maybe less than one year before it shut down). In 1977. I remember sneaking into a show with friends to see The Dictators (possibly New Year’s eve (1977?), I was a teen-ager from the neighborhood (I grew up on Ave A) and I remember us being enraged but also intrigued by these punk suburban usurpers who we felt were thoroughly lacking in street cred…little did we know. Pretty humorous in retrospect.

Marty Wombacher said...

Great photos! Thanks for posting them and to Yvonne B. for sharing them.

Grand St. said...

Fantastic stuff.

That was the Anderson Theater on 2nd, converted to apartments many moons ago.

marjorie said...

Wonderful! Love these. Thank you, Yvonne and Jeremiah.

Mambo Mouth was 1991 -- I had an absolutely paralyzing crush on John Leguizamo.

I'm pretty sure the pictured theater marquee was the Anderson Theater, part of the Yiddish theater district that blanketed Second Avenue back in the day. It later became a short-lived 2nd Ave outpost of CBGB. Good pic of it here -- you can see that the fabulous window details on the buiding next door are the same. http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/31581

Anonymous said...

The old theater on Second Avenue near Fourth Street was very likely the remains of the Anderson Theater, formerly known as the Public Theater (when built in 1926), once one of the finest of the many Yiddish theaters that lined lower Second Avenue from Houston Street to 14th Street. The Anderson continued as a Yiddish theater until 1960 or so. The building was demolished in the 1990s and replaced with an apartment building. Only the entrance of the old theater was preserved.

Nemo said...

I'm pretty sure the Anderson Theatre was where the West Coast Cockettes performed when they were here way back when.

Stacy Walsh Rosenstock said...

Yes the "lost theater on 2nd Ave. and 4th" is the Anderson Theatre at 66 Second Avenue. We lived in a studio on the third floor in the early 70s. It was vacant during most of those years except for the brief run of The Cockettes.

The building still stands, though it's been renovated, the marquis removed and a couple of stories have been added.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Thanks for this.
As for the Anderson, there's this:
http://streetsyoucrossed.blogspot.com/2005/07/still-hangin-out-on-second-avenue.html

Anonymous said...

It's getting to the point that outside of blogs like this the only way to see old NY before gentrification is on early season Law and Order Original Flavor.

Thanks for the pics and the links.

JAZ said...

God, those photos are so great.

Yvonne, img240 that you identified as somewhere near Canal St. is indeed just 2 blocks south of Canal at 6th Ave. It is taken in front of the AT&T Building, facing Lispenard. You can see the Post Office truck parked there, which they still do to this day for the big PO on Canal. Used to be a number of canvas places in the area too, but Matera Canvas held on way longer than the others - into the 90s on Lispenard.

Thank you so much for sharing these amazing photos.

Yvonne B said...

To Anyon 12:12 The streets are empty cause I took most of my pics round 5-6 in the morning and it was even better if it was a Sunday morning and even better if it was 10 degrees out in the winter. Thanks all for your kind comments. I might have more pics but since I move around a lot, I might have lost some. Thanks Jeremiah.

laura said...

when was the photo taken of corner 2nd ave & 5th st? is that the n.e. corner? that was my building #88, & there was a deli downstairs. i dont remember a theatre on 2nd & east 4th, but what year was it there? which side of the street?

Yvonne B said...

To Laura, the picture was probably taken about 1988 or there abouts. The deli is on the south-west corner. The theater near 4th is on the east side of second ave, maybe a block or two down from Nightbirds rest. it's on the same side of second ave as Nightbirds. I never saw the theater in operation.

Anonymous said...

Incredible trip back to the lost city- It is hard to believe any of this existed since we got hit with the Bloomberg virus. The pictures have a lovely Sunday morning dreamlike quality. Thanks to Yvonne B!

onemorefoldedsunset said...

These are really great. Thanks Yvonne, & Jeremiah. I'm really taken back to older days.

Joe Jusko said...

These are great! The deli on 2nd Ave & 5th St. used to be a sleazy joint called Little Peter's Topless Bar.

Uncle Waltie said...

Nemo, you're correct. The Anderson was where the Cockettes played. The deli on 2nd and 5th for a very short time was a Russian Restaurant. Prior to that, on the 2nd floor, there was a store selling those very colorful Afghan sheep coats. I owned a dark-yellow one. Later on it was the home of Sin Sin and the Leopard Lounge. Now it's a place called bareburger. Across the street on the NW corner of 5th and 2nd was the notorious Binibon Restaurant, where Jack Henry Abbott killed a waiter.

John M said...

This was my New York. Breaks my heart to have it all flooding back looking at these photos. Such a wonderful place. Thanks to you both for posting these.

SunnyD said...

The "shadowy luncheonette" is at the corner of 17th. St. & 10th Avenue... right across the street from the "Highline Flats" that you featured the other day.

SunnyD said...

The "shadowy luncheonette" is at the corner of 17th. St. & 10th Avenue... right across the street from the "Highline Flats" that you featured the other day.

Jeremiah Moss said...

17th and 10th--yes, i see it! thank you. and thanks everyone for helping to identify the theater and more.

esquared™ said...

Splendid pics. Thanks for sharing.

17th St. and 10th Ave., that piece of elevated rail is where the Highliners gaze through the glass windows in, [ahem], 10th Avenue Square.

#saudade

Tom LaNasa said...

When the theater didn't work out for CBGB's they ran it as a flea market for a short period of time. The place was in pretty bad shape at that point though you could see it was quite a beautiful space at some point in its existence.

Anonymous said...

Saw Captain Beefheart with the original Magic Band:
Zoot Horn Rollo...anyone?
as well as a triple bill in the un heated CBGB theatre it became feating Talking Heads The Shirts and Blondie!

bob cecilia said...

I love your blog and the pictures are margnificent!

laura said...

yvonne, i find it interesting that there was a deli on both corners of e.5th & 2nd. as i said, i lived on the n.e. corner (#88), from aug 1968 to june 1970. hebrew national deli was downstairs. the buiding was all polish working class people. the rent was $60. per month. i have no memory of the anderson theatre, i dont think it was in use @ that time. there were several stores that sold russian sherling coats & they were espensive, good quality. more of a bargain if you bought from a afghan store.

Caleo said...

Thanks for this. The Flickr pix are wonderful, a real time machine. Looking through all of them while listening to some music from the 80's brings back many good memories.
These photos remind you that at one time, this city was the greatest place on Earth, bar none.

NYCDreamin said...

Phenomenal images - keep 'em coming - thanks Yvonne B!

Debbie Ullman said...

The murals on the side of the St. Marks Bar and Grill were done by Geoff Rawling in 1986. They were called 'Inside Out.' We both lived in a loft at 327 Bowery where he painted the walls in an Alice in Wonderland theme. For a brief time, some after hours parties were run out of there.

Debbie

Jeremiah Moss said...

Debbie, thank you for filling us in on that one!

The All-Seeing Eye, Jr. said...

The deli on the SE corner of Second and 5th was Deli Stop, popularly known as Ptomaine Stop. Binibon didn't have a public toilet, and customers were told to go to Deli Stop instead. Allegedly Jack Abbott stabbed the waiter after being told to go do his business across the street, thinking he was being dissed.

Jahn Xavier said...

The deli shown on E 5th St is the SW corner. The one that was on the NE corner was called "The Deli Stop" - it was outside of there that Dead Boys drummer Johnny Blitz got stabbed in spring 1978.

Sean said...

I saw not only Pearls Before Swine at the Anderson Theater, but also Chuck Berry, who came out afterwards on 4th St to sign autographs.
He signed his on my draft card.

Jerry's Brokendown Palaces said...

Hi,
I'm writing The Encyclopedia Of Jerry Garcia Music Venues. I'm interested in using the photo of the Anderson Theater. I'd need it at least 1mb or larger. Please email me at slipnut01@gmail.com.

Thank you
Harry Angus

Anonymous said...

Wow! The wife is after me to step up the sale of my pics from 1980 to present.

200,000 pics with 50,000 being on film, I'm pretty sure if you like this you'll love mine.

But sadly they are for sale, not for Flicker albums as I basically outdid the staff of all 3 papers while never getting paid for more than 30 years.

And I was born here in the fifties, so I'm the real thing. Never left except for a few years in California.

A real cynical point of view I am. Published a book in Japan in 1990 of my NY pics, had a LaForet (Minato-Ku) exhibition that drew more than any other at any time.

One of the shots is a guy sleeping in Tompkins by the 4 columns with a standup ashtray.

Got that gas station too. I think it was across from "Save the Robots"

Hope to get them out soon under the "Barking Dog" ID