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Thread: NYC Then and Now

  1. #31
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    New York, You've Changed: Taxi Driver (Part 1)

    Nick Carr

    If locations were billed alongside actors, Robert DeNiro would share co-starring credits on Taxi Driver with New York City.


    The character of Travis Bickle is utterly co-dependent with the New York of 1976, a spawn of all that New York had become at the time. Without the tough, dangerous, smut-filled, immoral, seedy, dank, sweaty, filthy, gritty streets of that world, Bickle could not exist.

    That world has vanished. Travis Bickle is dead.

    Finding the locations used in Taxi Driver turned out to be incredibly difficult, largely because the film documents a side of the city that has since been demolished, rebuilt, renovated, spit-shined, and stamped with a seal of approval. Literally, entire blocks that appear in the movie have been leveled since 1976, and only the brief appearance of a building number or street sign gives any clue to the actual location.

    The movie begins with a blurry, surreal trip through Times Square and the surrounding blocks. Though the footage is too distorted to be sure of any locations, I'd love to know where that Modell's is (6th Avenue?).


    The film opens with Travis Bickle heading to a cabstand on 57th Street to get a job.



    In the background of the first shot, the now defunct West Side Elevated Highway is visible. The elevated highway was shutdown in 1973 due to neglect and deterioration (a dump truck collapsing through a portion near 14th Street sealed its fate). The highway was later dismantled and replaced by the mostly ground-level West Side Highway (though some of the old elevated portions remain north of 57th Street). The building on the river is gone -- anyone know what it is (maybe an old marine terminal)? Note the view of New Jersey in the background; many of those same houses and buildings still exist.

    The building on the left in this next still has been torn down; a glass-and-steel highrise is currently going up in its place.



    Sadly, the cab stand and surrounding buildings have all been demolished -- I'm guessing another glass-and-steel apartment building will also be going up on this spot soon.


    Before we continue, a quick look around 57th Street to see what still remains from the Taxi Driver days:

    This building on the corner is one of the few remaining structures that was around in 1976. Founded in 1897, Artkraft Strauss was a sign manufacturer famous for creating Times Square's most iconic neon displays, including the smoking camel, the Bond sign, and the Morgan Stanley ticker. Artkraft Strauss was also responsible for creating and maintaining the National Debt Clock on 34th Street.


    In 2006, Artkraft Strauss closed its manufacturing arm to focus on consulting.


    'm willing to bet this garage sign has been around since '76.


    Finally, I'm not 100% sure about Jamie's Foreign Car Service, but that font seems pretty dated ... and when was the last time you saw a sign in Manhattan advertising repair work on "Japanese Cars"?


    Back to the film. Now equipped with a cab, Travis begins making the rounds (he seems to prefer the Times Square beat). For a brief moment, you get a glimpse out the rear window of the cab:



    Bond Clothing, on the right in the Taxi Driver still, was once one of the most memorable buildings in Times Square. Famous for advertising "two-trouser suits," the original building featured two 50-foot statues of a man and a woman ...


    ... and a 50,000 gallon "waterfall" sign behind the main logo, spanning 120 feet at over 27 feet high. Note the sign declaring that "every hour, 3,490 people buy at Bond" (very exact!). Sadly, the Bond store went through many renovations, and closed their Times Square location in 1977 (a year after the filming of Taxi Driver). A new restaurant using the Bond name has opened on 45th Street.


    As Travis is driving along, you get a few very quick glimpses at some long gone Times Square establishments. This eatery (location unknown), offers two eggs and extras for the bargain price of 90 cents.


    A small market (location also unknown) offers cigarettes for 45-50 cents.


    Next, we get the iconic shot of Travis walking down 8th Avenue south of 47th Street to go to a porno movie.



    Yup, a Duane Reader on the corner, a Hilton across the street, and the porn theater is now a Gray Line bus company ticket center (I have to admit, there is something satisfying about the thought of tourists buying New York sightseeing tickets there, totally clueless to the building's questionable past). Marquee comparisons:



    Travis goes the Show & Tell theater at 737 8th Avenue between 46th & 47th (DeNiro met his first wife, actress Dihanne Abbot, during the interior filming -- she played the porno theater's concession stand girl). There are two possibilities for the current 737 8th Avenue, and neither are very rewarding:


    A vacant lot midway up the block...


    ... or a strip of shuttered former porn video stores on the south corner. Either way, the Show & Tell is gone (though wouldn't this be the perfect place for another glass-and-steel apartment building??).


    After, we get a couple of totally random shots of New York, including this one on 7th Avenue at 33rd Street, with the Empire State building in the background.



    Coney Island Pizza on the left is now a Sbarro's. The restaurant on the right is long gone. The building midway down the block is now the Old Navy flagship store. I miss New York's old yellow street signs. But at least we have a new JC Penney's!

    The movie then takes us uptown to the Charles Palantine campaign headquarters at the corner of 62nd St & Broadway, where Travis meets love interest Betsy (his narration -- "I first saw her at Palantine Campaign headquarters at 63rd and Broadway" - is off by a street). The building is now completely different:



    I'm not sure if it was completely razed and rebuilt, or if the current structure is a renovation of the original building ...



    Today, the doors that once brought you into Palantine's campaign office now take you into a Chase Bank.



    The stoop Travis sits on is gone:



    Betsy exiting the building:



    After Travis gets Betsy to agree to a coffee date, he's back on his beat in Times Square. Here, we get a POV shot as Travis pulls over on the west side of 7th Avenue between 42nd & 43rd streets. Things have changed a bit:



    The theater playing Anita Nymphet is the old Rialto Theater, sadly torn down in 1998 to make way for the glass-and-steel Reuters building -- check out an interesting comparison between buildings here. Playland is gone, of course.



    And, on the corner, you get a look at former New York City-based fast food chain Nedicks, once famous for its orange drinks. The big arrow points to a Kentucky Fried Chicken, now gone (you can see part of the white sign).



    Depressed? Don't be -- it only gets worse! Check out Part 2, coming Wednesday! And, if you've made it this far, think about subscribing to our RSS feed or Twitter account (if you're not already) for future updates!

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nick-carr/new-york-youve-changed-ta_b_309663.html

  2. #32

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    1902


    2009 (from Hoboken)

  3. #33

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    ^^Good pics Merry.


    One of my favorite books ever is New York Then & Now, a long out of print photo documentary book from the mid-1970's (probably the same one that Triborough called "hideously outdated", which it is). Still one of my faves because the pics, taken by Edmund V Gillon Jr., aren't enhanced in any way....strictly b/w and from the same angle as the earlier pics.

    Here are some of the before & after pics from the book. The text, by Edward B. Watson, is included since it is out of print, and because it sheds great light on the pictures. The third pic in each set is a recent image from Google Earth, with icons and all, from as close to the original spot as possible to capture.

    125th St








    Broadway @ Park Place







    Broadway @ Murray St





    Last edited by Radiohead; October 8th, 2009 at 12:11 AM.

  4. #34

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    Broadway N of Houston







    Broadway N from 10th St






  5. #35
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    ^ I love that book .

    It's amazing to see how much has survived in the Google shots.


    New York, You've Changed: Taxi Driver (Part 2)

    Nick Carr

    When we last left off, Travis Bickle was cruising through Times Square. We then catch him uptown as he makes a drop off at the Hotel Olcott at 27 West 72nd Street. Here, he drives up to the hotel, and we see the O LAR Restaurant on the east side. Today, it's a Dallas BBQ.



    Curious what O LAR Restaurant was all about? This awesomely bizarre ad from a 1974 New York magazine should tell you all you need to know!

    Travis pulls up to the front of the hotel. Note the new awning:



    Then, Travis meets up with his cabbie buddies at an unknown grease joint. As far as I can tell, this isn't the Belmore Restaurant nor The Terminal/Exchange bar featured later on in the film. Anyone have any idea where this might have been? There's a Hess across the street, if that helps.


    The next day, Travis meets Betsy at the campaign office. I incorrectly identified the building in the previous post -- I trusted the Taxi Driver Special Edition DVD "Locations Featurette," which has the building at 62nd & Broadway. As alert reader David pointed out, it's actually at 63rd & Broadway and has completely changed. Nowadays, Betsy would be coming out of a Bank of America (I've updated Part 1 with new pictures for those who are curious).



    Travis takes Betsy to a place called Charles' Coffee Shop at the corner of 58th & 8th Ave (long gone, of course). In this shot, we get a glimpse of the old Museum of Arts & Design building:



    A different angle gives us a view of Columbus Circle and the future site of the glass-and-steel Time Warner Center:



    Charles' Coffee Shop is now a Duane Reade:


    Travis asks Betty out to a movie, and decides to get her a Kris Kristofferson album as a gift. He goes to a record store, and though I don't know the original location, the woman's shirt tag identifies it as a Sam Goody (one institution I don't mind having gone extinct). Any guesses?



    We then get a shot of Travis driving by a news ticker announcing Palantine's arrival in New York, and at first I couldn't figure out what the hell this mundane office building was. When it hit me that it was 1 Times Square, I couldn't believe how much has changed. Also, I love the ad on the bus.



    Travis then meets up with some friends at the Terminal Bar (next to the Exchange Bar), formerly at 41st Street and 8th Ave. Currently, the New York Times building resides on the property, with a Schnippers restaurant in place of the Terminal. I realize "Terminal" refers to the Port Authority across the street, but there's something absolutely perfect in the double-meaning.



    The Terminal Bar was closed in 1982. A short documentary about the place and more information is here.

    Finally, we have the legendary meeting between Travis and child prostitute Iris (played by Jodie Foster) in front of the Variety Theater. What remains of the Variety today?



    Yes, the Variety was torn down to make room for another glass-and-steel 21-floor condo highrise. Originally opened in 1913 as a Nickelodeon theater, the Variety operated until 2004, at which point it was an off-broadway theater. It was torn down in 2005. Intelligent Flickr photographer GVSHP took some pictures prior to its demise, and I warn you, they'll break your heart:



    We get a tighter angle as Travis pulls up. The bar on the left is now Daydream Yogurt.



    A yogurt place. Just because I'm now feeling particularly angry (really, I want to drive home the point), here's a picture of the Variety's demolition:


    Later, as Travis drives west on 42nd Street, we are treated to a great view of 8th Ave looking north. First, we catch a man begging in front of a diner on the east corner. That diner is now some sort of bland pizza chain called the Villa Italian Kitchen (with locations around the world -- even Kuwait!).



    As we move west, you can see how much has changed. That cigarette shop now appears to be an Auntie Anne's pretzel place. Also, note that the phone booth in the first picture is now a phone stand.



    As we continue west, we get a glimpse of the sign for the old Times Square Motor Hotel (free parking!). According to this New York Times article, in 1988, "the director of the Mayor's Office of Homeless and Single Room Occupancy Housing Services...announced the city's intention to buy the hotel and use it as a residence for the homeless and as the site of a work-release program for jail inmates." In other words, a halfway house.

    Times have changed since 1988: a Westin Hotel is now on the site.



    Finally, as we complete our journey across 8th Ave, we get a shot of the old Show World Center porn theater marquee. Though the theater is now the Times Square Comedy Club/Laugh Factory, Show World is still in business next door as a sex store, and for some reason, I find that a bit refreshing.



    Here, you can see the building housing the theater in full -- I love its bizarre height and width, and how it sticks out so oddly from the surrounding buildings. It almost looks like a giant middle finger flipping off the rest of Times Square.


    Meanwhile, I'd love to know how much -- if any -- of the awning is originally part of the old porn theater sign (again, I find it strangely appealing to think about tourists sitting in the same theaters where countless pervs spent skeezy nights in Times Square).


    Coming soon! Part 3 of our New York, You've Changed: Taxi Driver series, beginning with Travis's ill-fated date with Besty to a 42nd Street porn theater. A sneak peak at what was playing then and now:



    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nick-c..._b_312032.html

  6. #36
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    New York, You've Changed: Taxi Driver, Part III

    Nick Carr

    Continuing along where we last left off, Travis takes Betsy to Times Square for their ill-fated movie date. Exactly where they are is tough to place as they walk along Broadway/7th Ave, but based on the median, I believe they're at the corner of 45th and Broadway (note that this section of Broadway is now closed off to traffic as a pedestrian walkway):



    Travis takes Betsy to the Lyric, a former 42nd Street playhouse and movie theater.



    The actual show Travis brings Betsy to see is not the above-advertised Sometime Sweet Susan, but a 1969 Swedish sex educational film called Language of Love. Currently, the Hilton Theatre is gearing up for the 2010 release of the Spiderman musical.



    In this photo, you can see the full Lyric facade. Originally designed as an opera school, the Lyric opened as a theater in 1903, with 1,350 seats, 2 balconies, and 18 box seats. In 1934, it was converted into a movie theater to survive the Depression. At some point along the way, it became a porno theater. In 1994, the Lyric and neighboring Apollo theater (on the left) were demolished to make way for a theater combining the two. Major architectural elements were carefully removed and re-installed in the new building, which currently is known as the Hilton Theatre.


    Shortly after the film begins, Betsy storms out of the Lyric (would she have the same problem with Spider-man: Turn Off The Dark?).



    Travis desperately tries to talk with Betsy, offering us a glimpse across the street of what I believe is the New Amsterdam theater (like the Lyric, it had been converted from a theatrical stage to a movie house during the Depression and was in shambles by the time Disney leased it in 1993).



    If you look closely, the theater across the street is playing Clint Eastwood's The Eiger Sanction:



    Travis later stops at McAnn's Bar, a location I cannot find anywhere. There are several McAnn's in the city, but none of them have addresses that match the building numbering (McAnn's should be 692 or 694...). Any ideas?


    Travis makes a call to Betsy to apologize, and amazingly, this scene was shot in a place where I spend a good amount of time when working on films: the lobby of the Ed Sullivan Theater building which, in addition to the Letterman studio, also houses the Mayor's Office of Film. It's looking quite a bit different these days, but I like that they left the metal phone book holder:



    Angry, Travis storms around the corner out the front door:



    Travis tries unsuccessfully to talk to Betsy at the campaign office, and while we've already covered the location in detail, I wanted to note the oddly-named restaurant across the street, "Aunt Fish" (no longer around, of course).



    Travis then meets up with his buddies at the Belmore Cafeteria, a former grease joint on the corner of 28th and Park. Sadly, the owner sold the property in 1981, and a bland high-rise was built in its place:



    An angled view of the new building:


    Travis steps outside with fellow cabbie Wizard for a discussion about guns. We get a quick glimpse north (the building on the right past the Belmore is now Les Halles, the restaurant owned by TV personality chef Anthony Bourdain):



    The reverse view shows a fight on the street -- you can make out a pretty neat subway globe lamp. Meanwhile, a McDonalds is now on the corner.



    Across the street, more changes:



    Travis continues to follow Betsy, and parks outside her building on Broadway between 62nd and 63rd streets. Across the street, you can see the AAA building entrance, and how it looks today:



    Travis decides to check in on Iris, the young prostitute he met outside the Variety. He parks his car on 13th Street between 2nd and 3rd Aves to wait for her. It took me a good ten minutes of searching for that red door before I realized it doesn't exist anymore:



    If you haven't noticed, one of the key aspects that makes Taxi Driver a quintessential New York movie is that the city geography makes sense. When Charlie takes Betsy to a coffee shop, for example, they head a few blocks south from the campaign headquarters at 62nd Street to a grease joint at 58th. When Charlie brings Betsy to the porno theater, we see them walk a logical path down Times Square to 42nd Street. And here, when Travis reunites with Iris, he goes right around the corner from the Variety Theater, where he first met her.



    The door marked ROOMS is at 202 East 13th Street (oddly, everyone remembers this entrance, even though nothing ever happens here):



    Charlie follows Iris along, passing this great wall ad for Endicott Johnson, a New York-based shoe manufacturer. The electronics store on the right is now Cafe Deville.



    Travis then speeds off, passing Gothic Cabinet Craft. Hooray! Something that still exists! The sign's different, but it's still the same business over 30 years later.



    I take pride in correctly guessing the location of this next shot immediately, in which Travis is picked up by the gun dealer. The only clue in the photo is that tuft of green up the street, but it's enough to give it away as Madison Square Park, placing Travis somewhere along 5th Ave (actually at 19th street):



    As the cab comes around the corner, we get a quick look at a diner advertising "coffee shop - fountain service." This is now a Sephora.



    Yes! Another business still around! Same hardware store on 19th street as Travis heads off in the cab.



    Travis then attends a political rally, and I can't place this one. I was thinking it might even be in Brooklyn, with the view of the Manhattan Bridge and those warehouse-like buildings in the background. Any guesses?


    I have absolutely no idea where the R&M Super Market is (where Travis first uses his new gun).


    Travis then attends a second political rally. This was easy to locate, as the first shot features street signs (38th & Seventh Ave). Note the new fancy glass on the left...



    In this next shot, the only change is the DONT WALK and street signs. Look carefully and you'll see what 33 years does to a wall advertisement.



    One last view of Seventh Ave:



    Travis is quickly asked to leave by a cop, and while most of these places are gone, the Spanish Taverna restaurant still exists:



    Based on the reviews, I definitely need to try this place one night (though don't be fooled by the exterior -- dishes range from $20 to $40!).



    Yet another corner diner is gone -- this time, The Center has been replaced by Health King. Note that everyone is looking and smiling at the camera (Travis is driving too fast to notice during the film):



    One final look at how Seventh Ave has changed:



    Back to 13th Street again, and Charlie meets up with Iris. The place on the corner has been serious renovated and is now Hea, a Japanese restaurant:



    Across the street, another view of Gothic Cabinet Craft:



    Charlie gets out and chats with Iris:



    Again, we see the infamous ROOMS entrance...but no one ever goes in!



    Travis has a chat with Iris' pimp, played by Harvey Keitel. The scene takes place outside of 204 East 13th Street.:



    In this reverse shot, we get a look across the street (the buildings have all since been torn down):



    After a deal is reached, Iris and Travis continue down the street...



    ...to 226 E 13th Street. Things are looking cheerier these days:



    A tilt up shows the rest of the building:



    Travis later takes Iris to a diner. Any ideas on where this might be?


    The street vendor on the right makes me wonder if this is on St. Mark's (man, does that brick look familiar). Good to know that Gino's Italian Ices have been around so long.


    Charlie goes to the Palantine rally at Columbus Circle in what proves to be a failed attempt to assassinate the candidate:



    The angel statue featured is still around:



    As Travis flees the scene, we get a glimpse of the old Gulf + Western building on the corner, later to be stripped down and completely renovated into the Trump International Hotel (along with steel globe).




    After the bloody shootout on E 13th Street, the film concludes at the St. Regis Hotel at 55th Street & Fifth Ave. I like the new black awning:



    Travis chats with his cab buddies...



    ...then meets Betsy in a cab to end the film.



    As evidenced in these past three installments, quite a lot has changed in New York since 1976. Personally, I don't look back nostalgically on the grittier New York of the late 1970s. As I never experienced it first hand, I believe it's dangerous and naive to romanticize something the city has worked so desperately to rise up from. In 1976, a large portion of New York's population people simply didn't care, and the city suffered for it.
    In 2009, people care. A byproduct of people caring is a city that is safer, more g-rated, more expensive, more museum-like. I agree that such an environment leaves very little room for growth, artistic or otherwise -- frankly, you can't have a Belmore diner at the corner of 28th & Park anymore (if you owned the place, would you not sell the property for countless millions?). While I dislike the fact that so many of the FAR more interesting locations in Taxi Driver have been replaced by Duane Reades, McDonald's, Starbucks, and Sephora's, I can only look at it as part of the unfortunate social evolution of New York. Ultimately, if New York City didn't want them, they wouldn't exist for long. And hey, if it all bugs you that much, there are plenty of other American cities going through some pretty bad rough patches you could move to, and I promise the rent will be much cheaper.

    Regardless, as I stated at the beginning of this series, New York is as much a character in Taxi Driver as Travis Bickle, and Scorsese can't be praised enough for giving it so much screen time.


  7. #37
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    That Modell's is on 42nd between 7th and 8th

    [QUOTE=Merry;300044]New York, You've Changed: Taxi Driver (Part 1)

    Nick Carr

    If locations were billed alongside actors, Robert DeNiro would share co-starring credits on Taxi Driver with New York City.


    The character of Travis Bickle is utterly co-dependent with the New York of 1976, a spawn of all that New York had become at the time. Without the tough, dangerous, smut-filled, immoral, seedy, dank, sweaty, filthy, gritty streets of that world, Bickle could not exist.

    That world has vanished. Travis Bickle is dead.

    Finding the locations used in Taxi Driver turned out to be incredibly difficult, largely because the film documents a side of the city that has since been demolished, rebuilt, renovated, spit-shined, and stamped with a seal of approval. Literally, entire blocks that appear in the movie have been leveled since 1976, and only the brief appearance of a building number or street sign gives any clue to the actual location.

    The movie begins with a blurry, surreal trip through Times Square and the surrounding blocks. Though the footage is too distorted to be sure of any locations, I'd love to know where that Modell's is (6th Avenue?).


  8. #38

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    The Taxi Driver presentation is just wonderful to see. However I do think there are a few errors here and there .... can anyone verify?:

    The Palantine Campaign Headquarter building shown in the film was ideed torn down for an apartment building. The red brick building you show is a different building.

    The coffee shop at the corner of 58th and 8th was in an old building that was torn down for the blue apartment building that stands there now. The Duane Reade is in that new building.

    The diner at 42nd street and 8th was in a building that was torn down... to make way for the block were the Westin is.

    The Times Square Motor Hotel building still exists as a homeless shelter... I believe the building is landmarked.

    " Travis takes Betsy to Times Square for their ill-fated movie date"... I believe that photo is in front of the Gulf+Western at 59th Street... (Trump International).

    A curiosity: The "O Lar" space had become by the very late 70's a cool Japanese restuarant. John Lennon and Yoko Ono would eat there often. "Aunt Fish" was owned by actor Patrick O'Neal along with other restaurants in the area: O'Neals Ballon and The Ginger Man ( I believe the Ginger Man shows up in Annie Hall.

    About: "In 1994, the Lyric and neighboring Apollo theater (on the left) were demolished to make way for a theater combining the two. Major architectural elements were carefully removed and re-installed in the new building, which currently is known as the Hilton Theatre."

    ^Correct me if I'm wrong but these buildings were not demolished but gutted and reconfigured. The exterior architecture was not removed and reinstalled.
    Last edited by Fabrizio; October 19th, 2009 at 06:44 PM.

  9. #39
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    The Lyric & Apollo were for all intents and purposes torn down, save for their lobby areas and the areas between the lobbies and the auditoriums. The auditoriums were in the north half of the block, facing onto W 43rd. They combined the two spaces into one and built the new theater (it keeps changing its name depending upon which corporate sponsor ponies up the cash).

    The theater to the west with the columns is the Times Square Theater, and has been sitting fallow for years. Marc Ecko had plans to turn it into a huge hip hop emporium, but he's now gone bust and is being sued for breaking his lease.

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    I'm confused then. This was demolished and reconstructed? (43rd streeet entrance): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ny-lyric-theatre.jpg

    ^ Wasn't this restored in the early 1980's? I believe I saw the original "On Golden Pond" there (probably a children's matinee).

  11. #41
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    My bad -- That link is to a picture of the facade of W 43rd Street lobby section of the Lyric, which indeed was not razed, but preserved and incorporated into the new "Hilton" double-theater (Lyric / Apollo duo). The old face takes up about 1/4 - 1/3 of the Hilton's facade along West 43rd; the rest of the new structure is mainly red brick and stretches west on 43rd to the Roundabout's American Airlines Theater (formerly The Selwyn).

    Some of the Lyric's 42nd Street facade were incorporated into the new entry on West 42nd.

    Next door at the Apollo only some of the exterior survived (bits of which were combined with Lyric and incorporated into the "restored" entry on W 42nd):

    THE APOLLO THEATER was built in 1920 by the Selwyn brothers and was to be the block's last addition after the Times Square theater, with which it shared a facade. Designed in the Adamesque style by architects de Rosa and Pereira, the interior was painted tan, rose and blue. The Apollo's auditorium lay on 43rd Street with a long, narrow hallway leading to a 42nd Street entrance.
    The Apollo was originally called The Bryant:

    Originally opened in 1910 as the Bryant, a vaudeville and movie house, this theater was acquired ten years later by the Selwyn brothers. The theater was rebuilt, renamed the Apollo, and given a new neo-classical/Georgian style colonnaded facade on 42nd Street, which it would share with the Selwyn's Times Square Theatre next door. The theaters were both designed by architect Eugene DeRosa. The Apollo could seat 1197 and was designed in Adam style, with 675 seats on the orchestra level, 495 in the balcony, and 27 in the boxes.
    Some interesting trivia on the old Apollo, pre-demolition:

    In Pickpocket's Stash, a Peek at Life in 60's

    ... wallets, stuffed with faded photographs, identification papers and dated materials indicating roughly when they were stolen, were found a week ago by workers who are demolishing the Apollo to make way for a new, larger theater, part of the stunningly swift revitalization of Times Square.

  12. #42
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    Getty Images has lots of old images & film clips of NYC.

    This LINK shows various footage of 42nd Street in different eras.

    For great shots of the Apollo & Lyric and other nearby theaters, check out this clip:

    1969 MONTAGE theater marquees and pedestrians along 42nd Street in Times Square / New York City

    And loads of clips of Times Square from the 1950s.

    Amazing to see how great (better?) the illuminated signage in TS was back then.

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    Mad Men’s New York City: Your Guide To Living Out The Don Draper Dream

    Click on the images for larger versions




    One of the best parts of watching Mad Men (besides the expertly crafted plot and character development) is the perfectly recreated world of 1960s New York. Who doesn’t wish they could simply step into their tvs for a moment and experience the romance of sipping a cocktail in an elegant 60s bar? We’ve put together a list of Mad Men inspired locales, consisting of places that have been here since the 1960s as well as their modern counterparts. Here’s everything you need to know to dress, drink, eat, and live like a character out of Mad Men. (Don Draper not included.)

    WHERE TO GET GROOMED:


    Then…



    Astor Place Hairstylists: 2 Astor Place. This ramshackle, 75-seat East Village barbershop might not have been Don’s first choice for a shave and a trim before heading to the boardroom. But it’s where he could have gone during one of his ill-fated attempts at hanging out with downtown bohemians (assuming the beatniks didn’t shun haircuts and shaving altogether). Astor Place has been family-run since 1947 and its rock bottom prices ($15 for a standard men’s cut) are a welcome time warp in and of themselves.


    Now…



    Freemans Sporting Club:
    8 Rivington Street.A trim at Freeman’s Sporting Club will run you more than it would at Astor Place, and its brand of nostalgia (vintage barber chairs, walls lined with taxidermy Americana-themed knick-knacks) is more ironic. But in addition to spiffy cuts, this chop shop gives you easy access to two other branches of Taavo Somer’s hipster empire: the FSC menswear boutique (attached to the barbershop) and Freeman’s restaurant at the end of the eponymous alley. A bonus for Don: the barbers here offer a $25 “hangover treatment” (a eucalyptus-tinged shave that ends with a neck and hand massage) that could soothe his frequent morning-after blues.

    WHERE TO TAKE YOUR WIFE FOR A NIGHT ON THE TOWN:


    Then…



    Lutece
    : Closed. In 1961, the newly-opened Lutece was the number one restaurant in New York. After a hotel room tryst, Roger Sterling lures his “date” to have dinner with him by promising her Lutece. Betty is also dying to go for a romantic dinner date with Don; unfortunately, Don uses it at the setting for the “apology dinner” between The Barretts and the Utz Potato Chips owners (though he promises Betty they’ll go just the two of them soon.) Lutece remained one of the premiere New York restaurants for over 40 years, but unfortunately closed in 2004 to much fanfare.

    And now…



    Waverly Inn
    : 16 Bank Street. The place to see and be seen, any modern suburban housewife would thrill to be seated at this exclusive restaurant for a night on the town. The cost keeps it from being an “everyday” type of restaurant, so definitely save it for spacial occasions like anniversaries and birthdays. Sure, it’s not that romantic, but since when are ad men interested in wooing and romancing their wives?

    ….AND WHERE TO TAKE YOUR LOVER:


    Then…



    The Waldorf Astoria:
    301 Park Avenue.This Park Avenue grande dame is just a block away from Madison Avenue’s many ad firms. And while it’s far from the most discreet location for an extramarital fling (it’s the first choice of many international dignitaries in town for U.N. summits), its convenient luxury would be tough for Don to turn down. And if Don really turned on the charm, a private Grand Central platform that once ferried VIPs like Franklin Roosevelt from the station to the hotel could come in handy if Don is sprinting to make the train back to a lonely Betty in Ossining.

    and now…



    The Standard:
    848 Washington Street. Speaking of railroad tracks, this sleek new Andre Balazs property looms over the Meatpacking District’s freshly refurbished High Line. Although trains no longer run there, pedestrians do meander and are often treated to gratis peep shows seen through the hotel’s floor-to-ceilng glass windows. The secretive Don might not be up for baring it all to voyeurs, but all it should take is a few drinks at the Boom Boom Room, the Standard’s fancy-schmancy, uber-exclusive rooftop bar, to lower those inhibitions and start adversiting himself to passersby.

    WHERE TO CONDUCT A BUSINESS LUNCH:


    Then…



    The Oyster Bar:
    Grand Central Terminal, Lower Level.In a memorable Mad Men moment, Don sabotages Roger (who had hit on Betty) by getting him plastered on oysters and vodka at Grand Central’s iconic seafood restaurant right before a big meeting. Roger winds up spewing out much more than a sales pitch all over the conference room floor before blaming it all on less-than-fresh raw bar offerings. Just take it easy on the sauce, however, and you’ll be able to enjoy The Oyster Bar’s nautical selections without losing your lunch or your office poise.

    and now…



    Monkey Bar
    : 60 East 54th Street. Don probably would have hung out at the original incarnation of this midtown canteen, which opened in 1932. But ever since Vanity Fair editor and Waverly Inn owner Graydon Carter took over the old space last year, Draper would see it as an even plusher place to wine and dine his wife.The restaurant is nearly impossible to get into, but Don always likes a challenge. And its tough to imagine a better crowd for the ad men to pitch to: Anna Wintour, Barbara Walters, Matt Lauer, Mark Ronson and Tom Ford have all become regulars.

    WHERE TO CELEBRATE GOOD NEWS:



    Then…




    Sardi’s:
    234 West 44th Street.When Bobbie Barrett sells Jimmy Barrett’s tv show in Season 2, she invites Don to come celebrate at Sardis, where she orders steak. Sardi’s is just as popular with the entertainment crowd these days, and remains the go-to after theater dinner spot. The beloved “show-biz” restaurant on 44th Street is known for it’s Caricatures on the walls and 16 oz Sirloin Steak. And, for those of you currently starring on Broadway, Sardi’s delivers to all Broadway houses.

    And now…



    Rose Bar
    : 2 Lexington Avenue. Nur Khan’s Rose Bar in Gramercy Park Hotel is one of the most eclectic and sophisticated drinking locations in the city, perfect for toasting newfound success with a “Diamonds and Pearls” cocktail or a flute of Pink 75 gin with lemon juice and rose jam, topped with Prosecco.

    WHERE TO ENJOY THE PERFECT COCKTAIL


    Then…



    The Oak Bar at The Plaza:
    768 Fifth Avenue. This famous New York watering hole was closed during Prohibition, but had made a full-fledged comeback by the time Don Draper would have stopped by in the 60s. To date, it’s one of the most elegant places to pop in for a drink, and their Old Fashioneds (Don’s drink of choice) are the best in the city. If you’re more of a Betty than a Don (a sexist way of determining whether you’d prefer a sweeter drink), try the Side Car, another classic cocktail which may go down a little easier.

    And now…



    Employee’s Only:
    510 Hudson Street. No one can compete with The Oak Bar for best Old Fashioned, but cocktails have come a long way since 1963. Employee’s Only has some of the most interesting cocktails in the city, including the “Amelia”, which is Russian Standard Vodka and Elderflower liqeur shaken with pureed blackberries and fresh lemon juice.

    WHERE TO DINE WITH THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES


    Then…



    21 Club:
    21 West 52nd Street. Every president since FDR (with the exception of one G.W. Bush) has dined at the legendary 21 Club, and it was a special favorite of President John F. Kennedy. The 21 Club stores the private wine collections of JFK and Richard Nixon, as well as a host of other 60s stars. Still very much around today, and one of the nicest Holiday dining spots in the city.

    And now…



    Blue Hill:
    75 Washington Place. Our modern President prefers a modern restaurant for his New York City visits. On a widely-publicized “date night” earlier this year, he took his wife (who is often compared to Jackie Kennedy and even dresses like her) to Blue Hill, where the health-conscious first couple dined on fresh, organic food brought in from the countryside.

    WHERE TO HANG OUT WITH THE YOUTH SUBCULTURE OF THE MOMENT


    Then….



    White Horse Tavern:
    567 Hudson Street. In Season 1, when Don awkwardly goes to a beatnik bar in Greenwich Village with his bohemian girlfriend Midge, it wouldn’t at all be surprising to imagine they were at the White Horse Tavern, the bar where Dylan Thomas famously drank himself to death. Other patrons include Bob Dylan and Hunter S. Thompson. The White Horse Tavern is just as popular with the budding literary crowd today.

    And now…



    Market Hotel
    : 1142 Myrtle Avenue. In New York, bohemia is constantly on the move. It fled Greenwich Village decades ago and has made subsequent pit stops in Soho, Tribeca, the East Village, the Lower East Side and Williamsburg. Today, starving artists seem to have temporarily settled in still-affordable Bushwick. The Market Hotel, housed in a former Dominician speakeasy, is one of the neighborhood’s standout spots. The huge, barebones loft space hosts a bevy of fledgling lo-fi bands (often brought into town by tireless indie concert promoter Todd P) and international DJs. Don might be horrified by the offerings at Market’s makeshift bar and its two unisex bathrooms, but flirting with that cute alternachick smoking Gauloises in the corner should make up for those petty inconveniences.

    WHERE TO BUY A GRAY FLANNEL SUIT:

    Then…



    Brooks Brothers:
    346 Madison Avenue.It’s an American classic. It’s on “the Avenue.” And as we learned last week, Don’s fellow mad men are already there.

    And Now…
    -


    Lord Willys: 223 Mott Street. This season, Mad Men has gotten in some funny digs at the expense of the stuffy Englishmen who acquired ad firm Sterlin Cooper. Stiff upper lip aside though, Brits have never lacked for a sense of humor. See them apply it to bespoke menswear at raffish Nolita store Lord Willy’s. Boxer sizes run from “big Willy’s” to “massive Willy’s,” while suits cut from Savile Row fabrics recall the Swinging London look and start at $3,600. As we learned last week, Don is a Brooks Brothers man through and through. But Lord Willy’s is the place he’d go should he ever want to tip his fedora to his Anglo overseers.

    http://guestofaguest.com/nyc/mad-men...-draper-dream/

  14. #44
    Forum Veteran Tectonic's Avatar
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    The city definitely has more trees.

  15. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by lofter1 View Post
    Getty Images has lots of old images & film clips of NYC.

    This LINK shows various footage of 42nd Street in different eras.

    For great shots of the Apollo & Lyric and other nearby theaters, check out this clip:

    1969 MONTAGE theater marquees and pedestrians along 42nd Street in Times Square / New York City

    And loads of clips of Times Square from the 1950s.

    Amazing to see how great (better?) the illuminated signage in TS was back then.
    Great videos, Lofter.

    Some observations:
    What I'd give to jump into one of those 1969 clips. The city would still seem more electric and unpredictable than today (even though it was 40 years past). The same goes for the '50's clips. Loved that neon....the '50's had to be the golden age. The formality of dress has surely tapered down over the years. Even in '69, most every male at least had his shirt tucked in. Is it just me, or have we become a nation of throw-on-something-at-the-last-minute slobs? Some might see this as an era of unpretension. But the case could be made for an era of de-evolution.

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