August 5, 2020

INSTAGRAMS OF THE MONTH

Our monthly recap of the Best of Tudor City on Instagram: 

An office with a view, Instagrammed by michaelalexandernyc. 
The Woodstock, by lucas_d_in_nyc.
Let's get married, by achandra89.
No. 5 reflected on its new neighbor, by walkingwithlucy.
Fireworks ‒ or close encounter? ‒  by chillyvibes.

August 2, 2020

MORE New Yorker Ads

Today, three ads that ran in the New Yorker just before Tudor City opened. Written specifically for the magazine, the ad copy has a distinct 'literary' quality, sometimes to hilarious effect.
Above, the covers of the magazine in which these ads ran suggest the New Yorker's intended audience: thrill-seeking, nightclub-hopping, polo-playing young folks ‒ the exact demographic that Fred French was after. 

The ads, with summaries and commentary, below.

"Getting off a desert island is easier than getting on Manhattan without a nervous breakdown or an acute case of Delaware, Lackawanna & Western. . . Let the rest of the world go mad. You can retire to airy seclusion on your own hilltop in your own Ivory Tower in Tudor City. . . built just to solve your problem."

[Commuting-themed ad ran July 2, 1927. The $875-to-$3,100 rates quoted are annual rentals, which translate as $73 to $258 per month.]

"The slow, unceasing grind of travel will eventually reduce any man to dust. It begins by taking the nap off your coat sleeves, the bloom off your mind. . . You don't have to do it. It really isn't civilized. . . Retire to airy seclusion in Tudor City and leave the gaff for somebody else to stand."

[Ad ran July 23, 1927. Its title comes from an ancient proverb: "slowly grinds the mill of the gods, but it grinds fine."]

"Live at Tudor City, at right angles to the traffic stream. . . It is in walking distance of almost anything, high, quiet and airy on Prospect Hill. . . with shops, a restaurant, a park ‒ and an atmosphere all its own." 

[This theatergoing-themed ad picturing Times Square ran September 3, 1927. By then, the cheapest rental was $1,000 annually, or $83 per month.]


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More about Tudor City and the New Yorker here.

July 29, 2020

ARTIFACT: 1939 Scarf


Artifact of the day is this rayon scarf, a souvenir of the 1939 New York World's Fair. Depicting a map of Manhattan, it includes many familiar points of interest (Times Square, Radio City, the Empire State Building) as well as some unfamiliar ones (Corlears Hook Park, the Seamen's Institute, the Sara Delano Roosevelt Playground). 

And, of course, Tudor City.


July 26, 2020

The Hotel Tudor Sign Pops Up in Domino Park

JR's photo mural in Domino Park.
Williamsburg's Domino Park is currently exhibiting The Chronicles of New York City, a monumental photo collage picturing over one thousand New Yorkers. Created by the French photographer JR and installed on stacked shipping containers, the 53-foot-high mural is the artist's largest public project in the city.


The mural is of interest to this blog because it includes the Hotel Tudor sign in the upper right quadrant (detail at left). The work has been shown at the Brooklyn Museum, and this marks its outdoor debut. 

The five-acre Domino Park, set on the former site of the Domino Sugar Refinery, is one of Brooklyn's newest riverside parks, and a highly recommended excursion. It's easily accessed from Tudor City by taking the NYC Ferry (at 35th St. and the East River) to the South Williamsburg stop.


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Speaking of artists, our favorite balladeer, Vincent Cross, is about to release a new album of songs about his ancestor, the incorrigible Paddy Corcoran. 

Hear it live-streamed on Cross' Facebook page on August 6th, or buy it on his website, here.

July 22, 2020

More of the INQUIRING FOTOGRAPHER

Another installment in our ongoing feature spotlighting select items from The Inquiring Fotographer, the Daily News' longtime question/answer/photo column, a guilty pleasure of this blog. Today, three locals discuss Charley Horses, the United Nations, and Nikita Khrushchev.

December 28, 1939
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October 31, 1949
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April 26, 1956
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Background on the Inquiring Fotographer column here

July 19, 2020

BRIDGEWORK

Today, some rare photos documenting the construction of the Tudor City Bridge in 1951. The bridge replaced a circa-1880 tunnel, built for horse-powered transportation and a notorious traffic bottleneck in the automobile age. 

The project was overseen by master builder Robert Moses, and one of many improvements to the area in preparation for the arrival of the United Nations.

1951. A construction crane begins demolition of the 42nd Street tunnel. 

The western side of the tunnel being dismantled. At center, under the umbrella, an enterprising hot dog vendor.

On Tudor City Place, a semicircular detour ‒ cut out of the parks ‒ was constructed to keep traffic flowing during the bridgework. View looks south from 43rd Street. 

Readying the forms for the reinforced concrete bridge. 

October, 1952. Ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Tudor City Overpass, as the bridge is officially known; Robert Moses, third from right.

July 15, 2020

Tudor City on Film: DECOY


This installment of Tudor City on Film looks back at Decoy, a '50s TV series about an undercover policewoman, said to be the first show to feature a female cop as its star. Set and shot in New York City, Decoy premiered on October 15, 1957, and ran in syndication for 39 episodes. 

Its star, Beverly Garland, was a B-movie actress better known for her television work, appearing in everything from My Three Sons and The Twilight Zone to Magnum, P.I. and Friends. On Decoy, she plays Casey Jones, an undercover cop who impersonates various characters ‒ drug addicts, babysitters, nightclub photographers, exotic dancers ‒ to solve crimes.

Tudor City appears in the very first episode behind the opening credits, a 42-second tour de force that firmly establishes the show's noir credentials.



The sequence begins with Policewoman Jones racing out of No. 2. Though it's mid-morning, she's wearing a walk-of-shame-worthy outfit: a black evening gown with matching gloves, and a mink stole.
To the sound of screeching violins, she rushes over to the Tudor City Bridge.

She turns to face the camera, and the show's title appears.

She lights a cigarette, a favorite noir gesture.
Tribute title card appears.

She draws heavily on the cigarette, which she plainly needs.

Turning away from the bridge, she walks down Tudor City Place.

The sequence ends as a car drives by and picks her up. In the background is No. 2, then a year old.

Amazingly enough, this title sequence has absolutely no bearing on what follows, and is only vaguely explained ‒ Jones is driven to a crime scene, where a detective looks at her evening gown and asks what she's been working on. "Narcotics," she replies coolly, with no further explanation.

Decoy is currently streaming on Amazon Prime. See the first episode on YouTube here.

A big thank you to Anne Stoddard and Debra Register for sharing this gem!