May 22, 2019

Introducing AZALEA & OAK

The former flower shop in Windsor Tower is now home to the just-opened Azalea & Oak, a chic boutique offering a curated selection of reclaimed jewelry and accessories, vintage designer handbags, plus toys and togs for kids. 

This is the first brick-and-mortar location for the company, which has hosted pop-ups around town and has kiosks in Bryant Park's Holiday Shops. We wish it much success!
Above, the shop exudes a groovy downtown vibe. Below, the section set aside for smaller fry. 

May 19, 2019


Manhattanhenge, the twice-yearly solar event when the sunset perfectly aligns with the east-west streets of Manhattan's grid, was discovered (and named) by Neil deGrasse Tyson in 1996. Since then, it's morphed into a popular street party for the Instagram generation.

The Tudor City bridge is a prime vantage point since one does not have to dodge traffic for a direct view of the phenomenon. Here are this year's dates:

Be prepared for massive crowds ‒ bring a stepladder ‒ or consider showing up on the half sun dates, when the scene is a bit less frantic. Below, some photos of Manhattanhenges past.

May 15, 2019

Tudor City on Film: GOTHAM

Today's installment of Tudor City on Film examines an episode of the crime drama Gotham, which ran for five seasons on the Fox network, and is currently streaming on Netflix.

An origin series from DC Comics, it details the rise of James Gordon, future Gotham City Police Commissioner, as well as backstories for Bruce Wayne (future Batman) and classic Batman nemeses like the Joker, the Riddler, the Penguin, Catwoman, and Poison Ivy. 

Tudor City appears in episode 14 of the first season, with a sequence set on No. 45's roof alongside the Tudor City sign. Renamed via expert F/X, the sign is a natural fit with the production's overall steampunk design.
The sequence begins with a man, tied to a chair with a noose around his neck,
 being tossed off the roof of No. 45. Behind him, the 'Gotham City' sign.

The next morning, the body is examined by the forensics expert.

Police Captain Sarah Essen arrives at the crime scene. 
Upper left, the noose dangling from the sign.

Detective Harvey Bullock brings her up to speed. She warns him to watch his back.

"Don't stand so close to the edge of the roof," she says. "Accidents happen."

Bullock gazes down uncertainly. Cut to next scene.

Lots more Tudor City in the movies here.

May 12, 2019


Four ads from a month-long campaign with the tagline Come Over to Tudor City. They ran in the summer of 1938, hence the emphasis on "tree-lined walks," "grassy lawns" and "breathing space."

May 8, 2019


Introducing Drew Leshko, a Philadelphia-based artist whose sculptures ‒ miniature versions of everything from building facades to newsstands to dumpsters ‒ are made of paper and wood. 

The artist has a penchant for vintage signs, and below, his take on the Tudor City sign, rendered in miniature.

Sign framework, made of paper, paint and basswood.

The finished product. 

For more of Leshko's work, check out his website here

May 5, 2019


Another drawing of Tudor City by the prolific Vernon Howe Bailey, profiled earlier. Sketch No. 165 was one of 381 drawings the artist made of city street scenes, which were serialized in The Sun. Original caption, below.

Forty-second Street and First Avenue.
The opening of the tunnel on Forty-second Street, west of First Avenue, and modern buildings of Tudor City are shown in the accompanying sketch. The tall building at the left is Tudor Tower and the peak-roofed structure is Woodstock Tower. 
Monday ‒ West Street Scene.

Illustration from the collection of Brian Thompson.

May 1, 2019


Happy birthday to Woodstock Tower, opened ninety years ago today on May 1, 1929. In honor of the occasion, here's a glowing review of the building from the April 20, 1929 issue of the New Yorker, written by T-Square (the pseudonym of the magazine's architecture critic, George S. Chappell).

   The New York sky line does not stay put very long. It seemed we had hardly finished laying a wreath on the doorstep of the Fred F. French Company's Tudor City, the twin masses of which made such a satisfactory sky and water-gate to the end of Forty-second Street, when another unit went up which completely blots out the right-hand mass of the balanced composition. The design is now unsymmetrical and, we are glad to report, even more pleasing. For the new building, Woodstock Tower, is a graceful minaret topped by a slender spire that makes a nice accent in the morning or evening sky. 
   A closer view reveals an agreeable combination of limestone base and simple brick shaft, enlivened by casement windows which, opening outward and firmly held at various angles, add quite a jovial note.

Read more about The Woodstock here.  More Tudor City in the New Yorker here and here.