The Velvet Underground Make Some White Light and White Heat

On January 30, 1968, the Velvet Underground released their second studio album, White Light/White Heat.  Following the band’s first album, The Velvet Underground & Nico, released in 1967, the band parted ways with manager Andy Warhol and vocalist Nico. White Light/White Heat came out several months later to mixed reviews and barely cracked the Billboard 200, hitting 199 for only two weeks before dropping off completely. It only began to pick up wide acclaim a decade or more after its release, and is now considered one of the seminal rock and roll records of all time, an early forerunner of punk, industrial, noise, and alternative, listed at number 293 on Rolling Stone500 greatest albums of all time list.

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The Women’s House of Detention

To walk by the verdant, lush garden behind the graceful Jefferson Market Library today, one can scarcely imagine that it was once the site of an eleven-story prison, the notorious Women’s House of Detention. The latest addition to the GVSHP Civil Rights and Social Justice map, this former imposing edifice served as a prison from 1932-1971 (demolished in 1974) and was designed by the architecture firm of Sloan and Robertson, a firm known for its Art Deco towers.

The Women’s House of Detention was preceded on the site by the Jefferson Market Prison. Both the Prison and the House of Detention housed many notable women whose radical, revolutionary, transgressive, ‘obscene,’ or just plain illegal behavior led to their incarceration there. While the Art Deco style Women’s House of Detention was originally built as a more modern, humane setting for prisoners than its predecessors, with a focus on rehabilitation and WPA-commissioned artworks to uplift its prisoners, it was eventually shut down following ongoing allegations of racial discrimination, abuse, and mistreatment of prisoners.

WPA artist Lucienne Bloch working on Women’s House of Detention mural.

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Angela Davis: Her Greenwich Village Connections

This is an updated reposting of a blog by staffer, Matthew Morowitz, January 26th, 2016.

Angela Davis. Photo courtesy of

Angela Davis. Photo courtesy of

Activist, leftist, and radical feminist — these are just some of the words used to describe Angela Davis, a scholar and civil rights leader and fighter who came to prominence in the countercultural era of the 1960’s.  Davis was born on January 26, 1944. Greenwich Village has always been a breeding ground for movers and shakers, whether they be artists or activists, or anything in between.  Today, on Davis’ birthday, we look back at her life and her connections to the neighborhood. Read the rest of this entry »

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Disappearing New York: The Case of the Missing Watch Repair Shop

Like most of us who live and work in the city, it’s hard to imagine living or working anywhere else. I, myself, have struggled with this for many years. Where would I go if I left? Alas, I can think of no other city, at least in the U.S., that provides the culture, the depth of interest, or the excitement that New York City offers. And so we hold on….

But faced with exorbitantly rising rents and shrinking income, small business owners in the city are too often forced with making a ‘Sophie’s Choice,’ to either pull up stakes and move, or to close operations entirely. Such was the case with Walter Dikarev’s Watch repair shop on West 10th.

Walter’s Antique Clock & Watch photo credit Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York

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Beyond The Village and Back: Temple Emanu-El, Reform Movement Builder and Shaker

In our series Beyond the Village and Back, we take a look at some great landmarks throughout New York City outside of the Village, the East Village, and NoHo, celebrate their special histories, and reveal their (sometimes hidden) connections to the Village.

Today we are going to take a look at Temple Emanu-El located at 65th Street and Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.  It is New York’s largest synagogue, and by reputation is the largest Reform synagogue in the world.  But this very uptown institution actually has some very downtown roots, which may surprise you.

The Landmarked Romanesque Revival Temple Emanu-El

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Remembering the Arch (and other) Conspirators

Washington Square Arch at night. Image via

On January 23, 1917, poet Gertrude Drick, painters John Sloan and Marcel Duchamp, and actors Russell Mann, Betty Turner, and Charles Ellis climbed to the top of Washington Square Arch. Drick read a declaration of independence for the “Free and Independent Republic of Washington Square” with the intent of having a neighborhood free from mainstream convention.  Read the rest of this entry »

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One More Reason to Check Out Our Landmarks Applications Webpage: Cool Old Pictures

A while ago I wrote about a wonderful resource on the GVSHP website, the GVSHP Landmarks Application webpage. This page contains all upcoming, pending and closed applications for alterations, demolitions and new construction on landmarked sites in our neighborhoods (Greenwich Village, the East Village, and NoHo).  It also lets you know how you can weigh in on the decision of whether or not to approve these applications, or find out more about them.  Keeping track of these incredibly important applications which have such an impact upon our neighborhoods is reason enough to view this page on a regular basis.

But there is another, more fun reason.

1926 Photo of 1 Perry Street from the Landmark application for that address.

Most of the applications include historic pictures of the buildings and streetscapes which are the subject of the applications.  These are often rarely seen or hard to find images, which are not only great fun to look at, but which can provide important information in assessing the appropriateness of any proposed changes to our landmarks. Further, some of these photos aren’t available online, and acquiring them requires a trip the NYC Municipal Archives or the Landmarks Preservation Commission (not to mention a Freedom of Information Law request, which can take weeks for a response).  But by posting these applications on our website, we save you the trouble!

Here is just a sampling of some of the interesting historic photos within the applications currently on our Landmarks Application webpage for you to peruse:

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A Walk Around the East Village ca. 1980 with Carole Teller

One of the facts of life that has always bummed me out is that I can’t visit history, to experience the past first-hand. Thankfully, though, GVSHP has just released Part 2 of our Historic Image Archive collection “Carole Teller’s Changing New York”.  While the entire Carole Teller collection offers a wide-ranging view of New York from the early 1960s to the early 1990s, part 2 largely focuses on the East Village and Lower East Side in the 1970s and 80s.  Now with the help of the internet and a little imagination, we can join Carole and her camera for a walk around the neighborhood!

Man with a Big Radio, 1st Avenue and 4th Street, photographed by Carole Teller

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Business of the Month — Eva’s Kitchen, 11 West 8th Street

Your input is needed! Today we feature our latest Business of the Month — help us to select the next. Tell us which independent store you love in Greenwich Village, the East Village or NoHo: click here to nominate your favorite.  Want to help support small businesses?  Share this post with friends.

What’s the West 8th Street stop for all kinds of health-conscious New Yorkers, seeking made-to-order Mediterranean fare in a family-run business? For nearly forty years, since the spring of 1978, it’s been Eva’s Kitchen, our January Business of the Month.

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Will the Real Petrus Stuyvesant Please Stand Up?

In this part of New York, the Stuyvesant name is all around us: Stuyvesant Street, Stuyvesant Town, Stuyvesant Square, the old Stuyvesant Casino (a former East Village jazz club, now the site of the Ukrainian National Home) and, Stuyvesant Polyclinic, just to name a few. Many know that this stems from the Stuyvesant clan being the first European landowners in this area, starting with the family patriarch, Petrus Stuyvesant, who was the director-general of New Netherland from 1647 until 1664 when it was taken over by the British.

Portrait of Petrus Stuyvesant with signature. Courtesy of the Museum of New York City

Petrus Stuyvesant is also referred to as Peter, Pieter, and even Peg-Leg Pete (due to his missing appendage).  This variation on his first name, as well as the fact that there were descendants who shared his name(s) and played a significant role in New York history as well, can sometimes cause some confusion.  So we thought we would use this opportunity to explain a bit of the Stuyvesant genealogy as well as some of their impact on the East Village.

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