Windows on the Bowery


The Bowery Alliance of Neighbors has just launched their terrific new “Windows on the Bowery”” project, to which I was honored to contribute in a small way. To learn all about the who, what, where and why of the project read my new article in The Villager here. 

I was at the project’s launch event at Cooper Union this past Tuesday (July 5, 2016) and documented it for your delectation:


The indefatigable David Mulkins of Bowery Alliance of Neighbors gives remarks.



A good crowd of press, dignitaries and public for a Monday morning! Among those assembled: feminist scholar and author (and longtime Bowery resident) Kate Millett, poet and novelist Paul Pines, and the grandsons of Eddie Cantor (see below) and CBGB’s Hilly Kristal


Cooper Union’s Mindy Lang, who headed up the design aspects of the project


I wrote the text for the panel in the upper right quadrant!


Likewise, I wrote the text for the panel in the upper right quadrant here as well!


Your awkward correspondent with Brian Gari, Eddie Cantor’s grandson, a talented entertainer in his own right


Mulkins dishes it out to NY-1

Mulkins dishes it out to NY-1

When the press conference wrapped, I took a little stroll down the Bowery to see which of the storefront signs I could spot. We had done a similar excursion before when we took our Bowery Ghost Walk, but this time we took pictures some of what we came across.



See the photo below for a close-up which reveals the identity of this once notorious location, which will ring a bell for fans of Luc Sante’s “Low Life”.



Somewhere around here I passed the Bowery Mission. I was sorely tempted to take a picture of the long line of men I saw waiting at its door, but shrank from the task as bad manners, which is only one reason why I’m a bad photographer. But it did occur to me that my Villager article is skewed towards the Bowery’s entertainment history. The fact is that charitable missions and flophouses are an important part of its storied past as well.


This location might be of interest to fans of my book “No Applause” seeing as how it was….



This one tickled me mightily for it is a beer hall, not dishonoring in any way the space’s former occupant, which was…




This one didn’t have a sign, it’s just a cool old business that’s been in the Bowery for ages, and I was in a picture taking mood


One of the few remaining architectural links to the Bowery of old. The Bowery Savings Bank at 130 Bowery was designed by McKim, Mead & White and opened in 1895


Down the street at Bowery and Canal is the HSBC Bank, which has an interior display of many of the placards describing the lower end of the famous thoroughfare:




I’ve noticed this building many a time without suspecting its significance. In many cities and towns it probably wouldn’t raise any eyebrows, but in NYC, where most old buildings have been torn down, it stands out. See what makes it distinctive below:




Most of today’s Bowery is now Chinatown, and given the delicious aromas emerging from this bakery, it was hard to imagine any real regrets about the transformation. But what was here before was also cool:


Chatham Square is where I peeled off and made for the Brooklyn Bridge and home. But know that the are DOZENS more of these signs in addresses all down the Bowery! It’s well worth the excursion for NYC history buffs, especially now that the weather is nice! And once again my full background article on this project is here.



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