Christmas shoppers on 6th Avenue (1910) via Library of Congress
Black Friday marks the start of frantic holiday shopping, the day when retailers offer their best deals of the season to lure in eager shoppers. While some gift-givers now choose to digitally add items to shopping carts from the comfort of bed instead, many still line up outside of stores at the crack of dawn in search of major discounts. This is not a modern phenomenon, as these photographs from the Library of Congress of 20th century New York City reveal. Like today, New Yorkers of the early 1900s were drawn to the magical window shops and displays. Ahead, explore vintage photos of shoppers browsing New York City stores looking for the perfect presents, postcards and more.
See the photos here
Previous listing photo of 340A West 11th Street, a backhouse in Greenwich Village. Via CORE Real Estate
New York City is full of hidden surprises that even the most dyed-in-the-wool New Yorker may not know about. One such example is the elusive “backhouse” or rear house. There are literally scores of these hidden structures throughout the older neighborhoods of Lower Manhattan like Greenwich Village and the East Village. But because they are generally invisible from the street, they’re typically virtually unknown to anyone other than their residents and immediate neighbors. But these oft-romanticized structures have a complicated and surprising history, one which belies their almost mythical place in the psyche of New Yorkers.
Get the scoop
“Manhattan Island in the Sixteenth Century,” from the Memorial History of New York, 1892, via NYPL
This weekend, Lenape people hosted a Pow Wow on Park Avenue. The event, held at the Park Avenue Armory, was the first Lenape Pow Wow in New York since the 1700s. The gathering represented a homecoming for the Lenape people, who are the original inhabitants of the places we call New Jersey, Delaware, southern New York, eastern Pennsylvania, and western Connecticut. Brent Stonefish, a Lenape man who lives in Ontario told WNYC, “It’s home, and today it felt like we were welcomed home.”
Currently, most Lenape belong to the Delaware Nation, and live in New Jersey, Oklahoma and Ontario, but the word Lenape means “Original People,” and the Lenape are the Original New Yorkers. In fact, the name Manhattan comes from the Lenape “Manahatta,” meaning “hilly island.” Although the Lenape stove to “walk so gently on the earth,” without leaving an impact on the land, they influenced the city’s physical geography in ways we can see and feel today. From the Bowling Green to Broadway, Cherry Street to Minetta Lane, here are 10 sites in Manhattan that reflect the legacy of the Lenape.
Learn more about the first
No matter how hard we try to resist the urge to do last-minute shopping, that unexpected invitation, secret Santa or gift that needs reciprocation sends us scrambling for the perfect present. Fortunately, there’s no shortage of holiday markets and pop-up shops offering a bounty of just-right goodies and crafty gifts. The big NYC markets at Union Square, Bryant Park, Grand Central Station, and Columbus Circle are the front-runners for sheer volume, but some of the best finds are waiting to be discovered at smaller, cooler neighborhood affairs.
In addition to locally-made jewelry, crafts, vintage items, artfully curated fashions, home items, gourmet goodies and other things we didn’t know we needed, these hip retail outposts sparkle with drinks, food, workshops, tarot readings, nail art, music, and family fun to keep shoppers’ spirits bright.
Find out where to get the goods
Hardhats aren’t your typical church-going attire, but they were necessary at Trinity Church when Vicar Rev. Philip Jackson led a behind-the-scenes tour of Trinity’s ongoing $112,000,000, two-year restoration. The project, officially known as a “rejuvenation” of the facilities, began on May 7, 2018, and is slated to be finished in the spring of 2020. Now six months underway, the meticulous work, headed by architect Jeff Murphy of Murphy Burnham and Buttrick, will preserve Trinity’s landmarked church building while “enhancing the overall worship experience,” by making the church more accessible and welcoming.
Weaving our way between scaffolding and rubble in one of New York’s most iconic naves, we saw the very foundation of Trinity Church’s past and got a glimpse of its future. From the finer points of organ-voicing to some of the first examples of American stained-glass, check out 10 of the most exciting behind-the-scenes secrets of the Trinity Church Restoration.
Check out the Church!
6sqft’s series “My sqft” checks out the homes of New Yorkers across all the boroughs. Our latest interior adventure brings us to Stephanie Berman’s family home in Ditmas Park, which got a full renovation from Fauzia Khanani, founder of design firm Studio Fōr. Want to see your home featured here? Get in touch!
Advertising professional Stephanie Berman went into a design consultation with designer Fauzia Khanani, of Studio Fōr, simply seeking advice on decor for her Ditmas Park home. “I figured that Fauzia might help me choose a few new throw pillows and maybe a rug or two,” Stephanie told us, “but once we sat down to talk, I realized that soft furnishings were not going to do it.” After the free two-hour session, won through a silent auction at work, Stephanie and her husband Drummond concluded they actually wanted a full renovation of their century-old home, where their family has lived for over a decade.
Through an in-depth collaboration with Fauzia, the Bermans’ home was refreshed with brightly painted walls, Mid-century modern touches, eclectic elements, and, of course, new throw pillows. For this project, the first in the neighborhood for Studio Fōr, Fauzia told us: “We wanted to add some modernity to the house but also be respectful of the original design and context.”
See inside Stephanie’s cozy home
Ask a group of New Yorkers where to find the best cannolis or cheesecake, and without a doubt, you’ll hear Veniero Pasticceria and Caffé. An East Village institution, Veniero’s is a family-owned and operated Italian pastry shop that was established by Italian immigrant Antonio Veniero in 1894. Veniero, who lived with his family next door, started the business as a candy shop. He then started serving Italian espresso and biscotti and by the 1920s, he had brought in master bakers from Sicily to run the kitchen.
A century later, Veniero’s is still family-owned and is celebrating is 125th anniversary next year. We had the chance to tour the caffé and bakery with Robert Zerilli, the fourth-generation current owner and great-nephew of founder Antonio Veniero. Today, Veniero’s serves more than 150 desserts, from traditional Italian butter cookies and cannolis to some more modern offerings such as red velvet cake and oreo cheesecake. Ahead, go behind the scenes to see how all these tasty treats are made, tour the historic interiors, and learn all about Veniero’s history from Robert.
Hear Robert tell Veniero’s story
Plans for a never-built “Italian Fountain” at the Bronx Zoo, disapproved by the Commission Feb. 10, 1903; DC French’s “Brooklyn” and a Guide to Prospect Park via PDC
On the third floor of City Hall, in what was once an apartment for the building’s caretaker, a small agency known as the Public Design Commission reviews works of public art, architecture, and design proposed on or over city-owned property. Projects as varied as West End Avenue’s Straus Memorial, Central Park’s Bethesda Fountain, Greenpoint’s now-defunct Huron Street Baths, and all of the City’s spectacular WPA murals, have come before the Commission for approval and safeguarding.
Since the Commission was established under the New York City Charter in 1898 and approved its first project, the Maine Monument in Central Park, designed and carved in the Bronx by the great Attillio Piccirilli, the commission has conferred or withheld its blessing on more than 7,000 projects. Thankfully, what those projects are and where you can find them is all a matter of public record. Since 1902, the Commission has maintained a meticulous archive documenting all the projects it has reviewed. The Archive includes original drawings, photographs, and architectural plans of more than a century of the City’s public works.
Set your designs on this Story!
Image via New York Cares
While giving thanks and exchanging gifts this holiday season, share the wealth and give a little extra to fellow New Yorkers in need. From coats and turkeys to MetroCards and toys, the list below is a good place to start. Yes, financial donations are always welcome–but there are plenty of much-needed, much-appreciated items you can give that don’t require spending an extra penny.
Sometimes it really is better to give
Photo © Daxiao Productions – Fotolio
6sqft’s ongoing series Apartment Living 101 is aimed at helping New Yorkers navigate the challenges of creating a happy home in the big city. This week, we’ve put together the top five reasons it makes sense to move in the winter.
Until the end of WWII, moving day in New York City was May 1. Today, many people continue to move on this date and in the four months following, but if you’re a renter looking for great value, more options, and lower stress, the very best move dates fall in the winter months. In this article, we outline why a winter move makes sense and how to prepare for one.
The top five reasons you should move in the winter