Saturday, April 27, 2013

The end of the line...

Turn Right.
Yesterday I took you down Fifth Avenue. At 42nd Street I turn west at the Public Library.
Opened in 1911, this edifice of learning sits on land that previously held Manhattan's water supply within the neo Egyptian Croton Reservoir.
Walk down 42nd.
My mother loved a bargain and for years
Stern Brothers was her secret weapon.
Sitting on the north side of 42nd, this mid tier
department store served New Yorkers until
1969. Then sadly it met the wrecking ball.
Shortly thereafter the new and curvacious
Grace Building arose upon the same spot.
Stern's final move was into the former
Gimbels on Herald Square, previously
occupied by Abraham & Strauss. In 2001
they finally closed their doors forever.

Cross Mid Block.
Directly behind the Library is Bryant Park. When I was a young man that was one place you did not dare to go into. Known as "Needle Park", it was a den of iniquity and frankly quite dangerous.

Stop and Linger.
In the late eighties a group of citizens
took over the park. They transformed it
into the verdant and vibrant oasis it is
today. Under it's spreading branches -
Cafes, Restaurants, Summer Film Festival,
Free Reading Library, Bocce Ball, and
more await all. What's most amazing are
the flowers. Everyday I tip toe through
thousands upon thousands of tulips,
daffodils, and hyacinth on my way to the
office. What could be better than that?
Pause and Remember.
Our final stop on my commute
is 1411 Broadway. In my
youth this was the address of
the Metropolitan Opera House.
Long the home of Manhattan
high society, my grande dame
Great Grandmother Sadie had
a box on the golden horseshoe.
It's final curtain was 1966 and all
ended as a pile of ruble in 1967.
Start Anew.
Everyday I now spend the bulk
of my hours at 1411 Broadway.
No longer a venue of culture,
it is home to the Jones Group a
conglomerate of fashion brands.
What Sadie would think of that?