November 26, 2023

Stocking Stuffers

In honor of the Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend, here five items that might ring someone's bell. 

Tudor City Coffee Mug, $9.20
Buying details here

Tudor City Wall Art, $20.48
Buying details here.

Tudor City Spiral Notebook, $14.10
Buying details here.

Tudor City Pillow, $25
Buying details here.

Tudor City Tee Shirt, $23.34 
Buying details here.     

November 19, 2023


It's time once again to call upon our talented camera people for this week's content. Over to you, Instagrammers.

            No. 5 by scentlovr          

43rd Street by gregmorago                   

Trouble in the West by nastasiaspassport                    

No. 5 taller than the Chrysler Building by testanyc    

 The Sign by pamelaberkovic                              

November 12, 2023


International film posters
Today, we re-visit Ciao! Manhattan, which we first posted about seven years ago. An underground movie, it's acquired a cult following over time thanks to its poor-little-rich-girl star, Edie Sedgwick. The ending was depressing, but the post was a big hit.

The years passed, and it got us wondering if there were any other photos around. After a diligent search, here are the results. 

First, there was a photo depicting Edie in a gravity-defying pose on the Sharansky Steps, shooting the cameraman a knowing look. 

Sedgwick radiating Sedgwickiness at the top of the steps. Over her shoulder, the fallout shelter sign mounted on the wall of No. 45.

Another variation on the theme.

Afterward ‒ sans leopard skin coat ‒ Edie bums a cigarette from a guy with the perfect pudding bowl haircut, as another helper with a blunt bob looks looks on. Even the off-camera staff's hair is groovy.

Finally, a rare color photo. Who knew that the color of Edie's cap was blue? While you ponder that question, you might want to take a look at the original post.

November 4, 2023

ARTIFACT: 1926 Prospectus, Part 3

Where the New York business man can live near his job ‒ this is the basic reason why Tudor City received such unanimous endorsement. This architect's perspective shows the earlier construction planned for the development. Future units will preserve the same architectural design. Note the broad, paved streets and spacious parks.

In this, our last installment on the 1926 prospectus, an imagined rendering of Tudor City appears. Although the size and design of these buildings would be altered, the basic shape of the colony is here, save for The Woodstock and Hotel Tudor which were soon added. One other omission was the power station ‒ and its gigantic smokestacks ‒ at 40th Street and First Avenue. 

We also must note the space provided to the positive press reaction ‒ six pages total, nearly a third of the booklet.

Here are a few of the newspaper clippings describing Tudor City. Newspapers throughout the country, in news and editorial columns, carried details of the proposed Fred F. French development. The soundness and practicality of the development struck a responsive chord in the press. "A Cure for Strap Hanging," the New York Sun called Tudor City. In the following pages are reprinted some of the editorial comments on the development.

 What followed was the reprinting the articles praising the planned development. Then, on the last page, Fred F. French's thoughts on the matter.

On the back cover are the founder's initials.

October 29, 2023

The Latest on the VACANT LOT

There have been some changes to the proposal for a casino to be built on the three-block piece of land just to the south of the United Nations.

For one thing, the much derided Ferris wheel is gone ‒ a victim of general bad-mouthing ‒ and in its place are two new arrivals. First, a star architect, Bjarke Ingels [the Via 57 West apartments, et al] coupled with the promise that nearly 40% of the apartments will be for middle-income families. 513 units, in perpetuity.

Here is a new rendering of the proposal: from left to right, the residential towers, the hotel (gold buildings) and at the base, a circular structure that houses the entrance to the casino, the majority of which will be built underground. 

Coming soon to the site is the appropriately-named Field of Light at Freedom Plaza, designed by Bruce Munro. Made up of 17,000 fiber-optic spheres that change color, the installation will be on view for 12 months and is scheduled to be unveiled in December.
A close-up view of the festivities. Both imaginary images staged by the Soloviev Foundation in an effort to give their proposal some buzz. Still, if the casino is not built, all bets are off ‒ including the loss of 513 middle-income apartments.

Your comments, as always, are welcome.

October 22, 2023


 Assorted photographs that might require a bit of explanation as to why they are included in this post.   

In our first example, the picture depicts a melon about to be eaten, but another question lingers. What does all this have to do with Tudor City?

The answer is woven in the tablecloth. The three F's (for Fred F. French) and the words TUDOR CITY.


Made in the 1960s, this photo of the local delicatessen with a familiar name has come to our attention. Although it was never officially part of Tudor City, the Tudor Delicatessen was part of the scene unofficially.  


A still from 1977 promoting the film "Superman" starring Christopher Reeve and Margot Kidder, where the two actors can be seen hanging around the Daily News building; Tudor City can be seen in the Hotel Tudor sign at upper left. Below, how the newspaper itself reported the story. 


This scene of the United Nations at night is enhanced by the shout-out by the Secretariat, which proudly spelled out the UN's initials in honor of its birthday. But where is Tudor City?     

The Tudor City sign can be glimpsed above at the upper right corner, with Prospect Tower melting into the inky darkness below. More surprising, a couple of blocks away are signs (for Reilly Electrotype Company, Cirker's Gramercy Storage Warehouses, and Consolidated Production Service) that are clearly read even at night.

October 15, 2023

TUDOR CITY vs. the SUBWAY, Part Three

Ran on May 11, 1928
A return to advertising today, specifically anti-subway advertisements. Our first example is an open letter to 'Mr. O'Sullivan' from the Tudor City pedestrians; it read
Dear Sir: We would like to express, formally and publicly, our appreciation for your great work in behalf of the walkers of this city. You have added comfort to what was already a pleasure. Our aims are much alike, and it is our sincere hope that this public statement may serve to further our mutual cause ‒ self-locomotion.
We live in Tudor City because (a) we like it there and (b) from there you can walk to wherever you want to go. We represent an organized revolt against traffic tie-ups, subway jams, all the evils of congestion. We walk ‒ and get there. We use your heels. And we thank you for all you have done to make this movement a vital factor in our city's life.
Mr. O'Sullivan was, of course, Humphrey O'Sullivan, who in 1896 attached pieces of rubber to his shoes to ease leg fatigue, and shortly thereafter, patented the rubber heel. It made him rich and famous, and was still quite the phenomenon when Tudor City first opened.

March 2, 1928


April 12, 1928

April 6, 1928

March 29, 1928
We conclude with an obviously concocted ad, a message from the President of the Amalgamated Pedestrians Association, who is never named. "There is no occasion for anxiety at the present time," he says. As the APA constitution prevents him from calling a strike anyway, he archly suggests everybody "move to Tudor City" instead.

More anti-subway ads here and here.