Fresh Jersey Eggs (Open Thursday Only)

Fresh Jersey Eggs (Open Thursday Only) from mgo on Vimeo.

Jeremiah is back to mining the movies for the way New York used to be, and this time he’s watching Moscow on the Hudson, in which Robin Williams lives above the Thursday Egg Store (across from Wolinnin’s).

“People used to line up,” said Olga Worobel, who bought the vintage storefront at 72 East Seventh Street several years ago. For more than 30 years the store had been owned by the family that owns Shady Hollow Farm in Whitehouse, N.J., whose product was both the store’s namesake and its star attraction. The store would open on Thursday morning when the egg truck arrived with 500 dozen or so and close when the last gray cardboard flat was sold, about three hours later.

“The whole neighborhood came and stood in line and talked,” said Ms. Worobel, who is 30 years old and attended St. George High School on Sixth Street back when it was still mostly Ukrainian. “Waiting for eggs was like church: it brought people together.”

Digging around, I found the amazing video above over on Gothamist.

I love Ellie Covan.

Dixon Place

And you should love her too.

I read over on Colonnade Row that Dixon Place is moving to a larger space on Chrystie Street in October. I stumbled into Dixon Place back in the 80s, when it was Ellie Covan’s storefront apartment. There was the living room, which was filled with chairs and couches that looked like they had been pulled off the street. There was a bathroom in the rear, which Covan shared with the public. There was a bedroom that doubled as a dressing room. Oh, and there was a small kitchenette cut out of the living room, which served as a refreshment bar during intermission. (I remember juice mainly, but one night, when Nicky Paraiso was telling stories and singing Filipino songs, he cooked us all some — what’s Filipino for schnecken?) That was Dixon Place.

When Covan wasn’t at Dixon Place she was often over at P.S. 122. My vividest memory of her there was leading the Dixon Place Ukelele Ensemble, which I seem to recall performed routinely in their underwear, or less.

When they moved to the Bowery I went less often — I do remember Reno performing there, and her spotting me in the front row, and trying to remember how she knew me. (Answer: from Aggie’s). I seem to recall this was also Covan’s home, but it was bigger at least.

Dixon Place should not exist. Larger arts organizations with access to far greater resources fold all the time. Dixon Place has been sustained for over 20 years now through the love of Covan, by her love for her community and by the love they return, with interest. You can make donations on their website: please send them everything you have. Covan, as great a national treasure as we have, will know how to use it.

Magickal Childe

Magickal Childe

This picture jumped out of this set. Whenever my friend Rosemary and I walked down West 19th Street – usually on our way to Barnes & Noble – I seem to recall Rosemary would have us cross the street so as not to walk in front of Magickal Childe. Black magic.

“He is much better off without me”

Robert Wiles: Photo of Evelyn McHale's Suicide

At 10:40 A. M., Patrolman John Morrissey of Traffic C, directing traffic at Thirty-fourth Street and Fifth Avenue, noticed a swirling white scarf floating down from the upper floors of the Empire State. A moment later he heard a crash that sounded like an explosion. He saw a crowd converge in Thirty-third Street.

Two hundred feet west of Fifth Avenue, Miss McHale’s body landed atop the car. The impact stove in the metal roof and shattered the car’s windows. The driver was in a near-by drug store, thereby escaping death or serious injury.

On the observation deck, Detective Frank Murray of the West Thirtieth Street station, found Miss McHale’s gray cloth coat, her pocketbook with several dollars and the note, and a make-up kit filled with family pictures.


Doyers Street

Doyers St., Chinatown, New York City

I saw this picture back in May on one of my most favoritist blogs, joe’s nyc and then, just a few days ago, from a new soon-to-be-favoritist blog, Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York, I saw this post on Chinatown side streets. I moved back to Tennessee 13 years ago, after having spent 20 years in NYC, and thanks to the Interweb, I can watch as the New York I knew disappears, and I can pool my memories of that New York with others, so it never really vanishes.

I remember hearing a mesmerizing presentation at the 2002 Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative Annual Conference in Berkeley, someone who stood up and clicked through a tray of slides of Shanghai before the Second World War, and brought the city alive through her reminiscences. At the end, someone asked if this information were readily available. “Yes; it’s all in my head.” (I believe this was also the germination of the Virtual Shanghai Project.)

Doyers St., Chinatown, New York City

Back in the 70s we used to go from time to time to the Yun Luck Rice Shoppe on Doyers St. I gather it’s gone now, but people still remember over on Chowhound. My only memory is arriving late one weekend night. The waiter took our order, and then joined the rest of the kitchen and service staff for the communal dinner. After they had all finished eating, they fixed our dinner. Another New York lesson: Being the customer doesn’t make you special.

I loved Pell and Doyers. I’m sure there are stacks of psychological and architectural studies explaining this phenomenon. The foreignness of Chinatown no doubt helped. I loved the mystery and the adventure, cutting first off onto a small side street (Pell) and then, halfway down the block, turning down an alley (Doyers) that cut sharply to the left to Chatham Square. What amazes me is that, as many times as I walked those blocks, that excitement never wore off.

In Sara, Mencken, Christ and Beethoven
There Were Men and Women

Robert AshleyJohn Barton Wolgamot could easily be mistaken for a fellow patient of Christopher Smart’s. in fact — at least according to Robert Ashley — he was the manager of the Little Carnegie in the 1970s and lived in a hotel on Broadway and 104th Street — apparently, another one of my neighbors. Wolgamot had self-published In Sara, Mencken, Christ and Beethoven There Were Men and Women in 1944. It begins:

In its very truly great manners of Ludwig van Beethoven very heroically the very cruelly ancestral death of Sara Powell Haardt had very ironically come amongst his very really grand men and women to Rafael Sabatini, George Ade, Margaret Storm Jameson, Ford Madox Hueffer, Jean-Jacques Bernard, Louis Bromfield, Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche and Helen Brown Norden very titanically.

and continues on — one sentence per page, for 128 pages — until we read:

In its very truly great manners of Ludwig van Beethoven very heroically the very distinguishably Second Coming of Jesus Christ had very ironically come amongst his very really grand men and women to Gregorio Martínez Sierra, Franz Liszt, Oliver Hazard Perry La Farge II, Jean Baptiste Siméon Chardin, Madison Julius Cawein, Vicente Blasco Ibáñez, Edgar Evertson Saltus, André Paul Guillaume Gide, John Van Alstyn Weaver, Richard Henry Stoddard, Walter Dumaux Edmonds, Katherine Anne Porter, Ernest Augustus Boyd, Émile Gaboriau, Felix Salten, Marcel Proust, Diego María Rivera and Gertrude Allain Mary McBrady very titanically.

In 1973 Ashley and Paul DeMarinis composed a setting of the piece for voice, Moog Synthesizer and control electronics. That piece can be heard online, thanks to UbuWeb.