April 8, 2020

IMAGINARY ARCHITECTURE: The Elizabethan Apartments

Presenting The Elizabethan Apartments, a fantasy building that's one part Tudor City, one part Burghley House in Lincolnshire, England. Created by Instagrammer imaginaryarchitecture, a self-described "architecture nerd," it's part of a series of "buildings that don't exist. . . but should. All drawings done with just a pen, a pencil and a ruler."

Close-up of the tower's turrets, and a Tudor City influence, its sign.

The rooftop chapel is a "great spot for a residents-only club house."

Above, Burghley House and Tudor City. The former, a Tudor mansion dating from 1555, is open for tours. Info here.

April 5, 2020


That nightly clapping that you've been hearing at 7:00 pm over the last week is part of a citywide initiative meant to show appreciation for the essential workers keeping our hospitals ‒ and city ‒ functioning in these fraught times. Organized on social media via the hashtag #ClapBecauseWeCare, the originally once-a-week event proved so popular that it's become a nightly one.

Below, a video (that's more about the audio) made last night. Tap the bottom right corner to enlarge. 

In Tudor City, the clapping is augmented by car honking, pots-and-pans clanking and overall hooting and hollering. It's reminiscent of the colony's early days, when there was a tight-knit sense of community that's faded over time. It's nice to see this spirit back at an event that evokes comfort, community, and hope.

Thank you to David Reiff for the suggestion.

April 3, 2020


Just when you think things can't get any worse, giant bees are swarming above The Manor.  Instagrammed by skillman.william1.

April 1, 2020

If You Live in Tudor City

Spring is on the way, and to get you in the mood, some spring-like selections from a Tudor City ad campaign that ran in 1933. The ads spotlight the colony's parks, and share the same tagline:  . . . If You Live in Tudor City.

March 29, 2020

Then and Now: First Avenue

First Avenue, looking south from 45th Street, then and now.

Photo by Wurts Brothers, looking south down First Avenue from 45th Street, Tudor City at center right. At the time, the corridor was devoted to meatpacking, and officially named the Abattoir Center; locals called it Slaughterhouse Row

The smokestacks are part of the New York Edison steam plant. 

74 years later, the same view is much airier than expected. Razed in 1948, the Abattoir Center was replaced by the United Nations campus, at left. The steam plant was demolished in 2007, and has been a vacant lot ever since. 

March 27, 2020

WEEGEE and Tudor City

Weegee distortion self portrait
A look at a series of photos featuring Tudor City made by Weegee, the famed crime photographer.

Born Arthur Fellig, he starts out 
in 1935 as a freelance police-beat photographer for the tabloids, and is soon nicknamed 'Weegee,' given his Ouija board‒like psychic sense for being in the right place at the right time for the right picture.

In 1945, a collection of his stark street photos, entitled Naked City, is published to much acclaim, and makes him famous. He abandons photojournalism and moves to Hollywood ‒ to consult on the movie version of Naked City.

For the rest of his life, he works solely as an 'art' photographer, producing abstract pictures he dubs 'distortions,' created in the darkroom using a variety of developing tricks. Celebrities and the nude female form are favorite subjects.

Distortions of Marilyn Monroe, Pablo Picasso, John F. Kennedy, Andy Warhol and Frank Sinatra.

 To the art world, the distortions are no match for Weegee's police-beat work, but he continues to produce them until his death in 1968. We believe the photos below were made around 1965. Although the United Nations is clearly is the focus of the pictures, Tudor City deftly photobombs them all.

The Chrysler Building, No. 45 and the U.N. undergo distortion.

The apocalypse comes to Midtown, sparing the U.N. and Tudor City.

The U.N. as exclamation point ‒ and a tiny glimpse of the sign.

The superimposed face belongs to Arthur Goldberg, named U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. in 1965, and the subject of a number of Weegee distortions. 

Last but far from least, an arty composition featuring the United Nations, a giant lady, and a strategically positioned Prospect Tower. The photo is understandably untitled ‒ words fail us too!

Thank you to Weegee aficionado Anna Mogyorosy for the tip.

March 25, 2020


Tudor City, normally peaceful, is now eerily quiet in the extraordinary times we're living in. Photo evidence below.

To provide readers some extra distraction during these stressful days, this blog will be adding a weekly Friday post for the duration of the lockdown. Stay safe and stay home. 

Not incidentally, Tudor City Steakhouse could use some love right now. It's offering delivery via Grubhub or by phone: 212-682-4000.

Thanks to Garth Justice and Rose Sculley for the photographs.