La última tormenta de invierno
The last winter storm
Ushers in Spring
Crocus heads sticking up
Through a thick white blanket
Forsythia fortunate she didn’t
Show off her early lemon blush
March Equinox in New York, New York, U.S.A. is on
Friday, March 20, 2015 at 6:45 PM EDT…
…and as much as I may wish it to look like the beginning of last Spring…
…it may just wind up looking like this.
Scandinavia gets to see a total solar eclipse, we get to drive home in snow. Happy Spring Solstice.
When I read about DeRobertis closing in Jeremiah’s Vanishing NY in November of last year, I somehow was not surprised. Not because I’m a jinx and I took pics of the interior in May of that year, although – I wouldn’t recommend you letting me take pics of your new home, your wedding or newborn. It’s not because I’ve lived this never-ending Twilight Zone episode of loss in my life that I have seemed to conveniently document through photography – it’s just inevitable.
I frequently pass Richard Yee’s ghost that still lays fallow on Avenue U and think when will this be replaced by at best, a local grocer and at worst, another Rite-Aid. We can use another good Chinese restaurant but that would be wishful thinking.
And in light of the many closings of businesses that seem to be staples and undying institutions, you have to ask yourself- “What is next?”
Many stores we frequent in Queens like Rudy’s Cafe in Ridgewood – and in Brooklyn like Three Guys on 65th Street where we buy our fresh produce – are small businesses whose doors remain open because faithful neighborhood consumers keep them alive. If you like a business in your neighborhood and want them to remain there, shop there. That’s why we buy all of our milk and ice-cream and pastries at Lords Bakery at Flatbush Junction, because I don’t want to see them have to close their doors. With the rising rents and pressure from mega-stores popping up almost everywhere and never-ending changing trends – the fate of the small business almost seems inevitable. Even in places that don’t seem to be in flux.
It is time to take action and to demand action from our city government. Save New York! Join the Save New York Facebook page to start organizing with other New Yorkers today. Use the hashtag #SaveNYC when you tweet.
Vanishing New York
Since I started photographing signs in 1983, I have been impressed that no one ever put graffiti on any of the signs regardless of whether they were on existing buildings, construction sites or demolition areas. The most I had seen was four chalk marks someone had drawn in the ring of a letter “O” to make a face out of it. The graffiti drawn on the Dunlop sign is a very recent exception. The Mobiloil sign is untouched. – John Hunter
You aint gonna see this on CNN or CBS…
Serious protests happening to save de slang in Amsterdam my friend. I wrote the Amsterdam city council as an american on behalf of de slang and I received a reply. The attack on democracy, the arts and progressive expression begins with dismantling centers of ethnic, gay, gender and conscious exchange. We the people stand now to protect de slang as a cultural, historical icon but also as one of the last remaining places of freedom and genuine creativity that is free for All people to share.
“The Unknown” Battle against mediocrity begins…
I will keep you up to date as things unfold Frank.
Read more about this vital artists’ SQUAT – DE SLANG – THE SNAKE @ deslang.nl/en/history
BROOKLYN FIRE DEPARTMENT 1897
The Dutch settled the town of Bushwick in 1660. The original Dutch name for the area was Boswijck meaning “heavy woods”. The town of Bushwick was annexed by the City of Brooklyn in 1854. The German influx to the north added eleven operating breweries between 1850 to 1880. Southern Bushwick remained a farming community until the mid 1880’s. In 1889, the construction of an elevated railway from Manhattan fostered tremendous population growth to Bushwick. As the southern area developed, the need for additional fire companies became evident. Brooklyn organized eighteen new fire companies in 1896 including Engine 52.
On December 20, 1895, the BFD purchased a 25×100 foot plot for Engine 52’s firehouse from Mary L. Mintonge and William Van Voorhees for $2,400. The Parfitt Brothers, a leading Brooklyn architectural firm, was commissioned to design the new firehouse in early 1896. On May 20, 1896, the Brooklyn Eagle newspaper reported fierce competition among contractors bidding the job due to the architectural design. The new firehouse would be three stories, designed in a Flemish Revival style that would feature a prominently scrolled front gable and a roof top garden. The front façade would consist of brick and red sandstone from Lake Superior, detailed with a carved terra-cotta lintel and fluted iron pilasters. The ground floor contained sufficient room for the apparatus – consisting of a steam engine and hose carriage or “tender”. Stalls for four horses were located behind the tender. The second floor contained officer’s quarters to the front and the firemen’s dormitory to the rear. One of the newer designs incorporated into Engine 52’s house was a hose tower that facilitated drying fire hoses. Leonard Brothers was the winning contractor who built the firehouse for $16,947. Today the firehouse remains much the same as it was over 100 years ago.
In March of 1995, FDNY took over the EMS Division of the Health and Hospital Corporation. All firemen were trained as CFR-D technicians. On October 19, 1995, the Landmarks Preservation Commission of the City of New York designated Engine Company 252 a Landmark and the firehouse at 617 Central Avenue as its Landmark Site. The following excerpt was extracted from the official record:
“On the basis of careful consideration of the history, the architecture, and other features of this building, the Landmarks Preservation Commission finds that Engine Company 252 has a special character and a special historical and aesthetic interest and value as part of the development, heritage, and cultural characteristics of New York City.”
“The Commission further finds that, among its important qualities, Engine Company 252 is significant as one of the most distinguished firehouses in New York City; that it is an important building reflecting the expansion of civic architecture in the independent City of Brooklyn in the late nineteenth century; that as a major work by Parfitt Brothers, one of Brooklyn’s finest architectural firms, it is an important architectural monument in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn; that as an example of Flemish Revival style architecture, it illustrates the popularity of this mode of colonial design in the New York City area with its heritage as a Dutch colonial settlement; and that it is a well-maintained civic building that continues to be used for its original purpose.”
Engine 252 is the only landmark firehouse in continuous use since its inception 100 years earlier.
1998 FDNY SQUAD COMPANY 252
On July 1, 1998, Engine 252 was reorganized as Squad 252 and assigned to the Special Operations Command of the FDNY. – FDNY Squad 252 History
Back in December of 2013, Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York did a posting on the “upscale florist shop” Doro’s Annex, which after 33 years in business finally shut its doors on 9th Avenue and West 21st Street. Yesterday, an Instagram buddy of mine, Michael Glicksman posted the image above and at my request sent me the image below to be featured on FAB.
Now, if I were opening the Swedish café Michael believes will be at this location, I would have solved my sign problem immediately and would repurpose this old relic. In places like the Netherlands, it would be the law. Patrimony is a strong national and municipal heritage & preservation movement all across the Netherlands. My great grandmother’s Florist sign apparently will be added to the building she lived and worked from for over fifty years during and after the German occupation. Ironically, a wonderful German woman by the name of Monika Thé occupied this space for the next fifty years after my great grandmother, Gatske de Jong died of tuberculosis and was kind enough to let my mother and myself in three years ago on Easter Sunday where she entertained us all afternoon with delicious tea and cookies.
I stayed home from work today with a cough and low-grade fever. I called my dad and he remembered when he was young his mom would run to the cabinet for Lee’s Save the Baby. So I was intrigued by his story and decided to investigate this brand. From entries in the 1962 The Medical Messiahs: A Social History of Medical Quackery in 20th Century America to medical journals as early as 1918, it is evident how a Federal agency was developed for the protection of the public from cure all brands like Lee’s Save The Baby.
Yet even as late as 1973, nostalgia for a product wins over efficacy.
Lee’s Save The Baby was a regional New York State brand that gained popularity as far a Massachusetts. Looking at the ingredients, how much different is it from let’s say a Tiger Balm or Vicks Vaporub except the substitute for lard with petroleum.