My walking trail of Jewish Manhattan
using Oscar Israelowitz’s book, Jewish Heritage Trail of New York as my guide. With Google Maps, I was able to plan and enjoy without wasting time and energy, and so had an amazing experience.
My photos are in the form of slideshows with further info from Wikipedia.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
|East Village, Manhattan|
|Location in Lower Manhattan|
|District||New York City CouncilDistrict 2|
|Locality||Manhattan Community Board 3|
|Streets||2nd Avenue, 1st Avenue,Avenue A, the Bowery, St. Marks Place|
|ZIP||10009, 10003 and 10002|
|Congressional Districts||8, 12 and 14|
|New York State Assembly||Districts 64, 66 and 74|
|New York State Senate||Districts 25 and 29|
|Subway||Second Avenue (F train),Astor Place (4 6 <6> trains), and First Avenue (L train|
East Village is a neighborhood in the borough of Manhattan in New York City, bordered to the west by Greenwich Village, to the north by Gramercy Park and Stuyvesant Town, to the south by the Lower East Side, and to the east by the East River. Generally, although definitions vary on the neighborhood’s exact street boundaries, East Village is considered to be the area east of Third Avenue and theBowery to the East River, between 14th Street and Houston Street.
The area was once generally considered to be part of the Lower East Side, but began to develop its own identity and culture in the late 1960s, when many artists, musicians, students and hippies began to move into the area, attracted by cheap rents and the base ofBeatniks who had lived there since the 1950s. The neighborhood has become a center of the counterculture in New York, and is known as the birthplace and historical home of many artistic movements, including punk rock and the Nuyorican literary movement. It has also been the site of protests and riots.
East Village is still known for its diverse community, vibrant nightlife and artistic sensibility, although in recent decades it has been argued that gentrification has changed the character of the neighborhood.
Stop 115: Yiddish theatre District
Second Avenue – from E 4th to E 12th Streets
Yiddish Theater District
|Yiddish Theater District|
poster for The Yiddish King Lear
The Yiddish Theater District, also called the Jewish Rialto and the Yiddish Realto, was the center of New York City’s Yiddish theatrescene in the early 20th century. It was located primarily on Second Avenue, though it extended to Avenue B, between Houston Streetand East 14th Street on the Lower East Side and East Village in Manhattan. The District hosted performances in Yiddish of Jewish, Shakespearean, classic, and original plays, comedies, operettas, and dramas, as well as vaudeville, burlesque, and musical shows.
By World War I, the Yiddish Theater District was a rival of Broadway in scale and quality, cited by journalists Lincoln Steffens, Norman Hapgood, and others as the best in the city. It was also the leading Yiddish theater district in the world. The District’s theaters hosted as many as 20 to 30 shows a night.
After World War II, however, Yiddish theater began to die out. As the Yiddish-speaking population grew older, Yiddish theaters disappeared, and by the mid-1950s few theaters were left in the District.
In 1903, New York’s first Yiddish theater was built, the Grand Theater. It hosted performances of vaudeville acts and movies, original plays, musicals, adaptations of Sholem Aleichem, and translations of Shakespeare, Ibsen, Tolstoy, and George Bernard Shaw.
In addition to Yiddish theaters, the District had related music stores, photography studios, flower shops, restaurants, and cafes (including Cafe Royal, on East 12th Street and Second Avenue). A high percentage of the Yiddish and Hebrew sheet music, including Yiddish theater hits, was published by Metro Music, on Second Avenue in the District. Metro Music went out of business in the 1970s. The building at 31 East 7th Street in the District is owned by the Hebrew Actors Union, the first theatrical union in the US.
The childhood home of composer and pianist George Gershwin (born Jacob Gershvin) and his brother lyricist Ira Gershwin (born Israel Gershowitz) was in the center of the Yiddish Theater District, on the second floor at 91 Second Avenue, between East 5th Street and East 6th Street. They frequented the local Yiddish theaters, with George running errands for members and appearing onstage as an extra. Composer and lyricistIrving Berlin (born Israel Baline) also grew up in the District, in a Yiddish-speaking home. Actor John Garfield (born Jacob Garfinkle) grew up in the heart of the Yiddish Theater District. Walter Matthau had a brief career as a Yiddish Theater District concessions stand cashier.
Among those who began their careers in the Yiddish Theater District were actors Edward G. Robinson and Paul Muni, and actress, lyricist, and dramatic storyteller Molly Picon (born Małka Opiekun). Picon performed in plays in the District for seven years. Another who started in the District was actor Jacob Adler (father of actress and acting teacherStella Adler), who played the title role in Der Yiddisher King Lear (The Yiddish King Lear), before playing on Broadway in The Merchant of Venice.
The Second Avenue Deli, opened in 1954 by which time most of the Yiddish theaters had disappeared, thrived on the corner of Second Avenue and East 10th Street in the District, but it has since moved to different locations. The Yiddish Walk of Fame is on the sidewalk outside of its original location, honoring stars of the Yiddish era such as Molly Picon, actor Menasha Skulnik, singer and actor Boris Thomashevsky (grandfather of conductor, pianist, and composerMichael Tilson-Thomas), and Fyvush Finkel (born Philip Finkel).
Orpheum Concert Garden
The Orpheum Theatre, home of the New York production of Stomp, which opened in 1994
|Address||126 Second Avenue
New York City, New York
The Orpheum Theatre is a 299-seat Off-Broadway theatre on Second Avenue near the corner of St. Marks Place in the East Villageneighborhood of lower Manhattan, New York City. It is the home of the New York production of Stomp since it opened in 1994 with over 5,000 performances of the show have taken place there.
There may have been a concert garden on the site as early as the 1880s, but there was a theatre there by 1904. During the heyday ofYiddish theatre in the Yiddish Theater District in Manhattan, the venue was the Player’s Theatre, and was part of the “Jewish Rialto” along Second Avenue. By the 1920s, the theatre was exhibiting films, but was converted back to dramatic use in 1958, with the first production, Little Mary Sunshine, opening in November 1959.
Significant productions include the revival and revamping of Cole Porter‘s musical Anything Goes in 1962, Your Own Thing in 1968, The Me Nobody Knows in 1970, The Cocktail Party in 1980, Key Exchange in 1981, Broken Toys! in 1981, Little Shop of Horrors in 1982,Sandra Bernhard‘s Without You I’m Nothing in 1988, The Lady in Question in 1989, Eric Bogosian‘s Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll in 1990, John Leguizamo‘s Mambo Mouth in 1991, and David Mamet‘s Oleanna in 1992.
Irving Place Theatre
- For the rock venue, see Irving Plaza
The Irving Place Theatre was located at the southwest corner of Irving Place and East 15th Street in the Union Square neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City. Built in 1888, it served as a German language theatre, aYiddish theatre, a burlesque house, a union meeting hall, a legitimate theatre and a movie theatre. It was demolished in 1984.
The original building on the site was Irving Hall, which opened in 1860 as a venue for balls, lectures, and concerts. It was also for many years the base for one faction of the city’s Democratic Party.
The facility was rebuilt, and opened as Amberg’s German Theatre in 1888 under the management of Gustav Amberg, as a home for German-language theatre. Heinrich Conried took over management in 1893, and changed the name to Irving Place Theatre. The first night of the play Narrentanz (The Fool´s Game) by Leo Birinski took place here on November 13, 1912.
Clemente Giglio converted the theatre in 1939 into a cinema to present Italian films. In 1940 it was taken over by a group of non-Equity actors, the “Merely Players”, whose productions were picketed by the theatrical unions. During WWII it presented a steady program of mixed bills of Soviet propaganda and French films, as well as weekly folk dance sessions.
Moishe’s Bake Shop
McSorley’s Old Ale House
McSorley’s Old Ale House
McSorley’s Old Ale House, generally known as McSorley’s, is the oldest “Irish” tavern in New York City. Located at 15 East 7th Street in the East Village neighborhood of Manhattan, it was one of the last of the “Men Only” pubs, only admitting women after legally being forced to do so in 1970.
The aged artwork, newspaper articles covering the walls, sawdust floors, and the Irish waiters and bartenders give McSorley’s an atmosphere that many consider, correctly or not, reminiscent of “Olde New York.” No piece of memorabilia has been removed from the walls since 1910, and there are many items of “historical” paraphernalia in the bar, such as Houdini‘s handcuffs, which are connected to the bar rail. There are also wishbones hanging above the bar; supposedly they were hung there by boys going off to World War I, to be removed when they returned, so the wishbones that are left are from those that never returned.
Two of McSorley’s mottos are “Be Good or Be Gone”, and “We were here before you were born”. Prior to the 1970 ruling, the motto was “Good Ale, Raw Onions and No Ladies”; the raw onions can still be had as part of McSorley’s cheese platter.
Stop 116: Yiddish Theatre Stars’ Walk
156 Second Avenue
Second Avenue Deli
|Second Avenue Deli|
|Food type||Kosher delicatessen|
|Street address||162 East 33rd Street (betweenLexington Avenue and Third Avenue), in Murray Hill,Manhattan|
|City||New York, NY|
It relocated to 162 East 33rd Street (between Lexington Avenue and Third Avenue) in Murray Hill in December 2007. It opened its second location, at 1442 First Avenue (at East 75th Street), on the Upper East Side, in August 2011.
The delicatessen originally opened in 1954 on the southeast corner of Second Avenue and East 10th Street in the Yiddish Theater Districtin the East Village neighborhood of Manhattan. By that time, most of the Yiddish theaters of the prior half-century had disappeared.The Yiddish Walk of Fame is on the sidewalk outside of its original location, honoring stars of the Yiddish era such as Molly Picon, actorMenasha Skulnik, singer and actor Boris Thomashevsky (grandfather of conductor, pianist, and composer Michael Tilson-Thomas), andFyvush Finkel (born Philip Finkel).
It closed briefly following the murder of its founder Abe Lebewohl, a survivor of The Holocaust, during a robbery on March 4, 1996. The crime remains unsolved.
On January 1, 2006, new owner Jack Lebewohl closed the delicatessen at its original location in the East Village after a rent increase and a dispute over back rent that the landlord had said was due. (The East Village location later became a Chase Bank branch.) On July 31, 2007, Lebewohl announced that the delicatessen would reopen at a new location in the fall of 2007. It reopened on December 17, 2007, at the Murray Hill location with Jeremy Lebewohl, the nephew of its founder, as its new proprietor.
The sidewalk outside the old Second Avenue location is the home to what is known as the Yiddish Walk of Fame, where the names of about fifty stars of the old Yiddish-theatre era are embedded in plaques on the sidewalk, similar to the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
The delicatessen’s specialties include matzoh-ball soup, corned beef, pastrami, knishes, gefilte fish, cholent and other notables of Jewish cuisine. Despite the deli being under kosher supervision, most Orthodox Jews will not eat there because the restaurant is open onShabbat.
The original restaurant had a separate room decorated with memorabilia of Yiddish theatre actress Molly Picon, including posters, song sheets, photographs, etc. The new location has pictures of her on the walls for approximately one half of the dining area.
Stop 117: Home of Peter Stuyvesant
Second Avenue & E 10th Street
St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery
|Location||131 East 10th St. @ 2nd Ave.
Manhattan, New York City
|Architect||Ithiel Town, et al.
|Architectural style||Georgian; Federal body,Greek Revival steeple|
|Governing body||Private (Episcopal Church)|
|NRHP Reference #||72000885|
|Added to NRHP||June 19, 1972|
|Designated NYCL||April 19, 1966|
St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery is located at 131 East 10th Street, at the intersection of Stuyvesant Street and Second Avenue in theEast Village neighborhood of Manhattan in New York City. The property has been the site of continuous Christian worship for more than three and a half centuries; it is New York’s oldest site of continuous religious practice, and the church is the second-oldest church building in Manhattan.
History and architecture
In 1651, Petrus Stuyvesant, Governor of New Amsterdam, purchased land for a bowery or farm from the Dutch West India Company and by 1660 built a family chapel at the present day site of St. Marks Church. Stuyvesant died in 1672 and was interred in a vault under the chapel.
Stop 118: Hebrew Technical School Site
26-36 E 10th Street
Hebrew Technical Institute
Hebrew Technical Institute was a vocational High School in New York City. The school was founded on January 7, 1884 and closed in 1939. After completing two years at the school, students could specialize in wood-working, pattern making, metal working, instrument making, mechanical drawing, architectural drawing, wood carving, free-hand drawing or applied electricity. The school was founded after three Hebrew charity organizations formed a committee to promote technical education for the many Jewish immigrants arriving in New York at the time. The school originally opened at 206 East Broadway. After a number of relocations, the school moved into 34 and 36 Stuyvesant Street.
- Arthur Hamerschlag, first President of Carnegie Mellon University, class of 1889.
- Jack A. Kraft, inventor of the Vortex Mixer, class of 1937.
- Both architects at Schwartz & Gross.