Zoom of the 1852 Dripps map of Manhattan, showing the proximity of downtown cemeteries, via David Rumsey Map Collection
Most New Yorkers spend some time underground every day as part of their daily commute, but some spend eternity beneath our streets, and in a few cases occupy some pretty surprising real estate.
Manhattan cemeteries are tougher to get into than Minetta Tavern without a reservation on a Saturday night because as far back as 1823, New York forbade new burials south of Canal Street. In 1851 that prohibition was extended to new burials south of 86th Street, and the creation of new cemeteries anywhere on the island was banned. But thousands of people were buried in Manhattan before those restrictions went into effect. And while some gravesites remain carefully maintained and hallowed ground, such as the those at St. Mark’s in the Bowery Church on Stuyvesant Street, Trinity Church on Wall Street, and St Paul’s Church at Fulton and Broadway, others have been forgotten and overlaid with some pretty surprising new uses, including playgrounds, swimming pools, luxury condos, and even a hotel named for the current occupant of the White House.
When we point the finger at gentrifying neighborhoods, the East Village often gets a lot of heat thanks to its quickly climbing rents, shift from a more diverse population (today, roughly 40 percent of the ‘hood is between the ages of 20 and 34), and loss of small businesses. And though this final fact is certainly true, especially as it pertains to eateries (just this past year we said goodbye to Angelica Kitchen, The Redhead, and Lanza’s), the East Vill still has a wealth of independent restaurants that pay homage to its rich immigrant history as well as a crop of new establishments that are sensitive to the community and represent the new wave of foodie culture.
This weekend, two events will explore the past and future of the East Village through its food establishments–a walking tour led by 6sqft’s Senior Editor Dana Schulz for GVSHP will take you through the Italian, Ukrainian/Eastern European, and Indian history and A Taste of 7th Street will offer a self-guided chance to taste samplings from 10 local favorites.
more details here
- Jet Blue terminal at JFK wants to replicate a small-scale version of the High Line atop its new extension for international arrivals. More at the New York Times.
- The John’s of 12th Street documentary provides a peek into the historic East Village restaurant that was once a favorite of Lucky Luciano and now is often a set for HBO’s Boardwalk Empire. Bedford + Bowery has more details.
- The Financial Times has a fun infographic that shows how fast the elevators go in some of the world’s tallest buildings, and One World Trade Center, the Empire State Building, and the Chrysler Building are on the list. Turns out, taller doesn’t always equal faster.
- A new exhibit at Williamsburg’s City Reliquary explores the world of the 1910s New York Jewish mobster. Brooklyn Magazine has all the info on “Mazel Tough.”
Images: Rendering of Jet Blue’s “mini High Line” via Jet Blue (L); Fastest elevators in the world via Financial Times (R)