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an annotated walk down the bowery in lower manhattan (long) - part 2

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part two of a guided stroll down the bowery, america's original skid row.


this is from delancey street down to confucious square plaza in chinatown.


if you missed it, here is a link to part one --

it's the northern section of the bowery from cooper square to delancey street:






a look east on delancey street, manhattan bridge in the distance



crossing delancey -- that is the southeast corner



174 (sw corner): this is the address of moe, the stool pigeon in Pickup on South Street.




along delancey street st, near the corner of the bowery





across the street - eastside


169: Was the address of Miner's Bowery Theater. "The entertainments given are of a reputable sort, but boisterous," said a guidebook of the time.



167: New York Store Fixture Co. was the Crystal Hotel.





helloooo dayton! 159 is an old NCR shop  :clap:









an historic break: the 504-506 broome street corner – note the bowery el on the right:



148 (sw corner): A former flophouse that is New York's longest continuously operated hotel-- operating since at least 1805 under a variety of names, including the Westchester, New Bull's Head, Occidental, Commercial and, more recently, Pioneer. As the Military and Civic Hotel in 1835, it was the headquarters of the Democratic Party's Anti-Monopoly faction. Now houses bowery interiors.



140: A surviving Federal-style townhouse, houses Classic Lighting.


136: Light Visions II is in another Federal townhouse.


134: new york lighting is also in a Federal townhouse.





130: This 1894 landmark was designed by Stanford White as the Bowery Savings Bank; it's thought to have started the fashion for banks that look like Roman temples. It replaced the original Bowery Savings Bank, built here in 1834. Now houses Capitale, an event space with 75-foot ceilings.


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historic pic of the elevated railway that once went along the bowery near here (circa 1910’s):





124 (nw corner): This corner Citibank branch was built in 1902 as the Bowery Bank.

it currently has a wedding shop & a corner pharmacy, but who knows what is on the upper floors?



more lighting shops and a look west across broome st into soho



143: Grand Hotel, flophouse. Formerly known as Delevan House.

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240 grand (ne corner): the wonderful old school styled kong kee diner



'kong kee building' along northeastern grand street



and from cater-corner



125 (se corner): Providence Hotel, a flophouse that dates back to 1895.







114 (sw corner): was the address of Steve Brodie's saloon, an old Bowery character who dubiously claimed to have jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge on a bet on July 23, 1883. Irving Berlin supposedly worked here.





108: The site of Al's Bar, the last dive on the Bowery, which closed in 1994.



104: Site of the Roumania Opera-House



105: The address of Owney Geoghegan's, a late 19th Century dive known as "a rendezvous for professional mendicants." "Raw whisky was sold at ten cents the drink, and pickpockets and lush workers were always there, ready to rob the guest who passed into torpor." The "gorilla-like waiters" would fight each other in the house ring for five-dollar prizes.



One of my very favorite historic bowery photos fits in here:





101: World Hotel is at the address of Worth's Museum, a 19th Century exhibition of curiosities--including the remains of a rare giant squid.

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nice old pharmacy here on the ne corner





Some olde news here at hester street intersection:


• "In 1844, an old man was brutally gored by a steer on Hester Street just off the Bowery."  :-o


91-93 (corner): Was the Music Palace, the last Chinese-language movie theater in Chinatown; went dark in 2000 -- now a construction zone.





a nice old cornice & note the bowery lodge hidden up in there

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75-79: Der Morgen Zhornal, a Yiddish daily, started publishing at this corner address in 1901.





looking back across canal street at a no-name street where you come off the manhattan bridge



west side:




104: Site of the Roumania Opera-House



96: Was Victoria House, 1890 lodging house


94: J&S Kitchen Equipment and Supplies; in 1890, was Palma House

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Crossing hester st -- Southwest side:


88 (corner): Diamond Corner is the beginning of a strip of diamond stores here.

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72: Was Uncas House, 1890 lodging house, long gone





Manhattan Bridge Arch and Colonade


Designed by Carrere & Hastings (best known for the New York Public Library), this horseshoe-shaped arcade was built in 1910-15 to provide an impressive entrance to Manhattan.



Confucius Plaza Apartments


This arcing, 44-story subsided housing cooperative highrise was built in 1976 to provide Chinatown with much needed housing. It has 760 apts. Discrimination in construction hiring here sparked the formation of Asian Americans for Equality.


The complex also includes P.S. 124, Yung Wing Public School, named for the first Chinese graduate of an American university (Yale, class of 1854) and the organizer of the Chinese Educational Mission to bring students from China to study in the U.S.



A glance north back up the bowery



58 (corner): HSBC (Hong Kong Shanghai Bank Company), most recently Republic National Bank, was built in 1924 as the Citizen's Savings Bank. The huge bronze dome is a Chinatown landmark.



the canal street facing side of this bank



western view of canal street intersection



looking south of canal street down the bowery



lots of long lost bowery history inside the huge confucious plaza apt block



49: Was the Cafe Logeling, where in 1877 the Manhattan Chess Club was founded. The nation's longest-lasting chess club, its membership included three world champions: Wilhelm Steinitz, Raul Capablanca and Bobby Fischer. It was dissolved in January 2002.


41: Was Windsor House, 1890 lodging house


37-39: Site of the Zoological Institute, a menagerie that was perhaps the U.S.'s first permanent zoo when it opened in 1821. Animal trainer Isaac Van Amburgh, said to be the first person to put his head in a lion's mouth, got his start here.


In 1835, it became the Bowery Amphitheater, where the Virginia Minstrels, who popularized blackface minstrel shows, debuted on January 31, 1843. In 1844 it was The Knickerbocker, by 1857 The Stadt Theatre.


25: Address of the Morgue Saloon, another joint where a teenaged Irving Berlin is said to have sung.



15: Was the Bowery Hotel.


9: Berlin said to have sung here, too.





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the westside, below canal st & the iconic HSBC bank building, is somewhat more intact


50: The Atlantic Garden opened here in 1858, and by 1908 it had expanded to Nos. 52-54 as well. Herbert Asbury called it "the most famous of the early Bowery beer halls.... Upstairs and down it provided seats for more than a thousand, and two four-horse drays, working ten hours a day, were scarely able to keep the customers supplied with fresh beer from the brewery." By 1927, it was a movie palace.





Site of Bulls Head Tavern


46-48: Here George Washington partied with General George Clinton after the pair liberated New York from the British on November 25, 1783.


Later, in 1826, the Bowery Theater opened on this site, the first gaslit theater. The first ballet performance in the U.S. took place here on February 7, 1827; H.M.S. Pinafore had its U.S. debut here on June 16, 1879. A mob ransacked the theater on July 9, 1834, in search of British actor George Percy Farren, who had supposedly made anti-American remarks. The theater burned down and was rebuilt several times.


fyi Chinatown explorers -- there is a dingy arcade passage to Elizabeth street here that is worth exploring -- also, it has two great Malaysian restaurants so get your roti canai here.




Bowery Boys HQ


40-42: A saloon at this address was the headquarters of the Bowery Boys (or B'hoys), a gang associated with the anti-immigrant Know Nothing Party. When the Dead Rabbits, a mainly Irish gang, attacked here on July 4, 1857, it sparked two days of bloody rioting. The Bowery Boys inspired the film Gangs of New York--as well as a series of slapstick films of the 1940s and '50s.





"an engraving of some bowery boys lolling on the corner, up to no good"  :laugh:



38: The site of the New England Hotel, a disreputable place where the composer Stephen Foster, in the throes of alcoholism, had a fatal accident on January 10, 1864. The composer of "Oh! Susanna," "Old Folks at Home" and "Beautiful Dreamer" died with 38 cents in his pocket.


36: The address of the Branch Hotel, the home of Tom Hyer, considered the heavyweight champion of bare-knuckled boxing from 1841-51, even though he only fought two bouts-- both of which he won. His 1849 fight against Yankee Sullivan was perhaps the most famous match of the 19th Century. Afterwards, he ran the bar here.


Corner: Here was the North American Hotel, which often hosted political events.





28 (sw corner): At this corner was the Worden House, famed for its carved black walnut ceiling.

Now Great New York Noodle Town (one of my fav restaurants in Chinatown).







20 (nw corner): Here was McKeon's Saloon, where Irving Berlin supposedly worked as a 14-year-old singing waiter. Now a buddhist temple.

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another angle -- a look east across pell st from mott st w/ confucious apt towers in the distance



Edward Mooney House


18 (sw corner at pell st): The oldest surviving row townhouse in Manhattan, it was built by butcher mooney sometime between 1785 and 1789--in Georgian mixed with foreshadowing of Federal style. In the 1830s and '40s it housed a brothel.





16: This address was the headquarters of the Hip Sing ("Prosperous Union") Tong, one of the two main criminal organizations in Chinatown, whose territory was Pell and Doyers streets. Founded by Mock Duck, a ruthless, ever-smiling killer noted for his technique of squatting in the street and shooting in all directions with his eyes closed. The term ''hatchet man'' comes from the tongs' assassins habit of carrying hatchets in their sleeves. At the headquarters the gang's main hitman, Sing Dock aka "The Scientific Killer," was fatally shot by former protogee Yee Toy on March 12, 1911.



12: At this address, on December 30, 1909, comedian Dop Doy Hong, aka Ah Hoon, was assassinated by members of the Four Brothers crime family, which apparently didn't like his act. The legend about his killers slipping past armed guards is apparently not true.





winding doyers street -- the sight of old chinese tong war history.



and here is the same look at the bowery & doyers st from under the old bowery el



doyers is also home of the scruffy old nam wah tea parlor (1920), oldest dim sum restaurant in america.



winding up the bowery tour -- around CONFUCIOUS SQUARE PLAZA (1976) ->


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doyers st /  division st / confucious square plaza = the final southern end of the bowery.


• below here was once the older and even more notorious five points neighborhood.


*** i hope you enjoyed your history walk down the ever changing, never changing bowery ***


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Great little tour!

"You don't just walk into a bar and mix it up by calling a girl fat" - buildingcincinnati speaking about new forumers

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here's another shot of the bowery el (1878-1955).


i place it as looking north from grand street:




btw i am sure mts meant to say they got rid of all the elevated trains in downtown & midtown manhattan, there are still many el subways all around nyc outside of the central city.

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Yeah i assumed thats what he meant (I rode one in queens lol)


I can't imagine what it was like living in the city back then.  So polluted and I bet the trains were really loud.

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btw i am sure mts meant to say they got rid of all the elevated trains in downtown & midtown manhattan, there are still many el subways all around nyc outside of the central city.

Yes.  Yep that's what I meant. I stand corrected.


When I first moved here, I live a couple blocks away from the Transit Museum and was there for presentations on why the ELs in manhattan, Brooklyn (notably the M train) and the No. 8 train in the BX were eliminated.


Fascinating stuff.  (God, I'm a dork)  :|

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Wonderful tour! There's so much of the nation's cultural history rooted there.


For a few years in the 1930s my mom was a public health nurse in New York City, and her work often involved checking on the welfare of expectant mothers and newborn children. It took her into some of the worst and most squalid places. From her stories that I can remember, I think she loathed the Bowery then. She wouldn't believe it if she saw what's happening there now.

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