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Archive for March, 2007

NYC’s Jazz Clubs, Places That Matter

jazz club nyc posterNYC’s jazz clubs, with a focus on The East. Since the 1920s, New York’s hundreds of jazz venues have been a key part of the history and experience of jazz. Take our brand new virtual Jazz Tour to learn about some of the spots New Yorkers have loved — the Savoy, Park Palace, Village Vanguard, the W. 52nd St. clubs, Club 845, the Five Spot, The East, Lenox Lounge, and Marjorie Eliot’s Parlor. Three of these places are still going strong, and contact info is listed. village vanguard nyc jazz clubThe East is now gone, and its name isn’t known to many today, but in its heyday in the 1970s, it was a place that mattered. Located at 10 Claver Place in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, The East was nominated to our Census of Places that Matter because it “nurtured the black cultural movement and was home to the African American Students Association, the first African street festivals, the Uhuru Sasa Shule (Freedom Now School), Kwanzaa celebrations, and lots of music!” Formed in 1969, The East was an educational and cultural center that gave birth to over 25 programs and projects before it closed its doors in 1986, and it continues to be remembered in the community for its many contributions to education, culture, and political empowerment. You can also read all about the Village Vanguard in our new book Hidden New York: A Guide to Places that Matter(Rutgers University Press, 2006).

27 Cooper Square, A Place That Matters

27 cooper square new york city bowery27 Cooper Square, at E. 5th St. and the Bowery, nominated by Hettie Jones. Still standing, miraculously, in the midst of a huge new Bowery construction site, is the place where Hettie and LeRoi Jones (Amiri Baraka) settled in 1962. This is where the Joneses produced their magazine Yugen and Totem Press books, and where, for years, many of the era’s best-known artists, writers, and musicians lived and gathered, attracted by each other and the original Five Spot jazz club that stood just a half block south. As Jones wrote in her nomination, 27 Cooper Square matters because it was “a central ground where artists of all races met to share ideas and aesthetics.” Continue Reading>>

This is My CITI

Written by Victoria Taylor, CITI Youth intern I am 17 years old and live in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Growing up, I saw posters for neighborhood meetings and elderly women going door to door to invite people to the meetings. At the time, I did not know what a Community Board was and neither did my family. This changed last September. While in my senior year at the Academy of Urban Planning High School in Bushwick I was introduced to an internship program named CITI, the Community Information Technology Initiative. Continue Reading>>

Staten Island: Beyond the Boat and the Bridge Program/Tour Series

Most New yorkers see Staten Island from the deck of a ferry or from a car speeding towards the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. This series is an invitation to hear historian Mike Wallace speak about the least known borough’s storied past and to experience it close-up, in the company of knowledgeable MAS tour leaders and local experts. Continue Reading>>

Roosevelt House, A Place That Matters

roosevelt houseRoosevelt House, at 47-49 E. 65th St., nominated by Deborah Gardner. Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt lived in one of these neighboring, interconnected townhouses with their children, and Franklin’s mother Sara lived in the other. It was the Roosevelt’s NYC home base in the years before FDR’s presidency. In March, 1933, FDR delivered his first inaugural address from the drawing room of No. 49: “Let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.” Once the Roosevelts left for the White House, they never returned to live permanently at No. 49, though they continued to use the house when in NYC. After Sara Roosevelt’s death in 1942, the building was sold well below its value to Hunter College — then a women’s college within CUNY — to host meetings and events that promoted interracial and interfaith harmony. Hunter closed Roosevelt House for repair in 1992, but it is only now that sufficient funds have been raised to restore the building. In the fall of 2008, Roosevelt House is scheduled to reopen as a public policy center in honor of the Roosevelts’ legacy. Charles A. Platt was the architect who created these two mirror-image rowhouses, connected by a central light court. Read about the design and how the Roosevelts used the place in a profile for the PlaceExplorer contributed by Deborah Gardner and Katie McLaughlin (search by key word: roosevelt).

George Washington in New York City, Places That Matter

george washington plaque new york city place mattersFor President’s Day we highlight the places where George Washington first listened with his troops to the Declaration of Independence, and where he lived during his first year as president. Both spots were nominated to the Census of Places that Matter by Chester Burger. Continue Reading>>

Site of the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, A Place That Matters

asch building shirt waist fire new york city place matters memorialThe former Asch Building at 23-29 Washington Place, site of the Triangle Shirtwaist fire, nominated by Bruce Kayton. Ninety-six years ago this coming Sunday, on March 25, 1911, 146 young women died in less than fifteen minutes when fire blazed through the upper floors of the Asch Building where they worked the sewing machines of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory. Continue Reading>>

Casa Amadeo Record Shop, A Place That Matters

casa amadeo latin music record shop new yorkCasa Amadeo Record Shop, at 786 Prospect Avenue in the Bronx, nominated by David Carp. It’s the oldest continuously run Latin music store in the city, established in 1941 as Casa Hernández by Victoria Hernández, whose brother Rafael was one of Latin America’s most famous composers. It was renamed when its current proprietor Mike Amadeo took it over in 1969. Continue Reading>>

A Landmark Success

sohmer historic building new york cityQ: What happens when an under-funded city agency gets a budget increase? A: It produces more work! In response to a 2006 MAS advocacy campaign, the City Council increased the budget of the Landmarks Preservation Commission by $250,000 for the current fiscal year. Continue Reading>>

Looking Up Miss Brooklyn’s Skirt

prospect heights brooklyn historic building district surveyWalk along the brownstone-lined streets of Prospect Heights in Brooklyn and you will be forgiven for thinking that you are in a historic district. Located just north of Prospect Park, the neighborhood is filled with Neo-Grec and Italianate style row houses built in the late 19th century. While the neighborhood has seen few changes since it was first developed, a major transformation is coming in the form of the Atlantic Yards project. Continue Reading>>

North Bronx Bikeway, A Place That Matters

north bronx bikewayThe North Bronx Bikeway, nominated by Christina Martinez. The borough that has the most greenspace, the Bronx, also has a bike trail that connects its large, beautiful parks. The North Bronx Bikeway is a scenic bike path through the north and central Bronx extending from Van Cortlandt Park in the northwest, down past the Botanical Gardens in Bronx Park, along scenic Pelham Parkway, and ending up in Pelham Bay Park, City Island, and Orchard Beach. To ride the path, just follow the signs for the city’s Greenway System. Along the way you’ll find many of the highlights and landmarks of the north and central Bronx. You might want to conclude your ride at Orchard Beach, or if you veer off to the right toward City Island, you can ride straight down its main artery and find a seafood dinner. Log onto the Place Matters website and click on “Place of the Week” to learn more about the places along the bikeway.

Middle Eastern Stretch of Steinway Street, A Place That Matters

laziza pastriesThe Middle Eastern stretch of Steinway Street in Astoria, Queens, nominated by Dahlia Elsayed. Steinway, from 24th to 28th Avenue, is for Elsayed a “surrogate Cairo, a place for me to connect to that indescribable feeling I get when I’m over on the other side of the world.” That feeling crystallizes for Elsayed at the Egyptian Coffee Shop at 25-09 Steinway, but the district features cafes, markets, stores, and other establishments from throughout the Arab world, Continue Reading>>