Thursday, June 13, 2013

Morning Walk #29 - East Village

Keeping dry under the bench

68 degrees and a little sprinkly

People seemed to be prepared for cooler weather - more than necessary

Shriveled eggplants at the corner deli

The Expectations & Innovations Beauty Salon

When I saw the sign for Groom-O-Rama I had visions of tuxes and Groomzillas but it turned out to be a dog grooming business

As the rain starts falling more heavily, I find a dry bench under a tree in Washington Square Park but soon I am checking email under my umbrella on that bench

Another sign says Grosvenor Private Boarding Stable.  Although the stable was probably built during the Civil War it was a residence by the 1880's.  More recently it was home to Edward Albee and later Jerry Herman.

The Cooper Union built in 1859 offered free education until this year.  It hosted Abraham Lincoln in 1860 for his speech which ultimately landed him a nomination for the presidential race.

Gritty East Village neighborhoods with lots of old architecture apparently left alone rather than replaced with newer buildings

Sing Sing Karaoke is a good name but reminds me of the prison

The building with stone carved letters proclaiming Deutsch Amerikanische Schuetzen Gesellschaft (1889) was more interesting before I discovered that it means the German American Shooting Society

The notorious 10.5 acre Tompkins Square Park was new to me. A salt meadow in the early years it was eventually filled in and surrounded by an iron fence in 1835. Its first episode of violence occurred in 1857 when a protest of unemployed immigrants was broken up by police. The Draft Riots followed in 1863. The year 1874 marked the Tompkins Square Riots followed by the 1877 conflict when National Guardsmen broke up Communist speeches.  It remained a popular gathering place for labor groups. By the 1980's the park was occupied by the homeless and drug dealers.  Another riot broke out in 1988 when police moved in to clear the park of those living there. The homeless may have wished they had left then and missed the soup served in 1989 by The Butcher of Tompkins Square who made the soup from his victim's body.  But hey...the park is a real nice place now!

The park is on the edge of the Dry Dock neighborhood known for shipbuilding before the Civil War.

I make it all the way to the East River today

A building marked with the carved letters "Free Public Baths of the City of New York" leads to the discovery that in 1896 there was an average of one bathtub to 79 families on the lower East Side.  In 1905 the building opened with 94 rainbaths (showers) - 67 for men - and 7 bathtubs.  The baths closed in the late '50's and the building has been occupied by somewhat less interesting tenants since then.

My first glimpse of the famous Veniero Pasticceria (1894)

The return walk is spent mostly under my umbrella

Steps:  14,220

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