Saturday, September 25, 2010

The rest is history

In 1923, a 16-year-old Greek boy named Gus Poulos arrived here from Athens, Greece. Working at a deli in the Yorkville section of Manhattan, within three years, he bought the business outright. 

On vacation in Miami, he noticed the plentiful supply of excellent fruit: oranges, mangoes, grapefruit, bananas, pineapples and most importantly, papayas, so in 1931 he opened his first juice store at the corner of 86th and Third, Hawaiian Tropical Drinks, Inc.

A young German-American woman introduced him to the sausages from the German establishments in the neighborhood and before long, he added frankfurters to his juice stand. The rest is history. 

Still doing business in precisely the same location after 80 years, and after a long renovation...

Papaya King on the UES has been reopened and the results look very good indeed.

The dogs are the same. Still packed into a “natural casing” intestine, they still crack in your mouth as you bite through them. Skinless just won’t do after getting to know these first rate hot dogs. They’re the real deal.

The storefront is brand new, more glass, a bit more room for the cookstaff, a bit more of a squeeze for the customer. No problem. These dogs are well worth squeezing for. Even Julia Child said so.

And they left the 1950 neon sign intact. Fantastic!

Blue collar, white collar, every ethnicity, everyone eats at Papaya King. The only platform more democratic is the subway.

179 East 86th Street
New York, NY 10028
(212) 369-0648
Friday & Saturday
8am–2am, and a hat tip to the PapayaKing website.

Friday, September 24, 2010

I heart living in SoBro

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Ridding our shores of this deadly menace

Not long ago I was on the UpperWestSide riding a bicycle up the bike path to the GWB and I stopped to say Hi to these guys. Hudson River Fisherman.

They had the whole deal going, the folding chairs and the ice-filled cooler, the battery-powered tunes and the bait table. The one little guy never stopped moving. He had two rods going at once. The other guy chilled the whole time, never uttered a word.

What are you catching here? I asked the little guy.

“Watch” he said.

And then he cranked one in. Just like that.

Soon for the bait table, I’d imagine. The bait fishheads sure look the same.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

9:22pm, downtown

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


SoBro signage

Monday, September 20, 2010

That does it!

I'll fix him.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

He's got nothin'

Master architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (affectionately “Mies” in the industry) was born in Germany but made his international reputation right here in New York.  A giant in architectural history for pioneering the modernist “International Style” in the late 1940’s and 50's, he also created such iconic pieces as his famous Barcelona chair, featured in many chic Manhattan lobbies.
From Encyclopedia Britannica:
“His first great work was the German Pavilion for the 1929 International Exposition in Barcelona, Spain, a travertine platform with chromed steel columns and spaces defined by planes of extravagant onyx, marble, and frosted glass. The steel-and-leather Barcelona chair he designed for the space went on to become a 20th-century classic.”
Born the same year as our ClockTower, he was director of the famous German Bauhaus from 1930 – 33. But it is for his Seagram’s Building (1956–58) at 375PARK and 52nd  Street that we revere him. Still one of the finest examples of the functionalist aesthetic and a masterpiece of corporate modernism, this 38 story tower serves to this day as headquarters for the Seagram Liquor Company. When completed, this plain steel skeleton sheathed in a simple glass curtain-wall facade was the most expensive skyscraper in history, yet exemplified Mies's famous dictum that "less is more”.

Perhaps Mies’s most famous and widely quoted observation is “ in the details.”

He’s got nothin' on us.

I think it's cool

The hanging gardens of Alexander Avenue cling to the northern face of the Major Deegan overpass between 134th and 135th streets, just south of “Doctor’s Row”. This stretch of Alexander Avenue became known for the comparative wealth of the residents there and the opulence of their brownstone homes.
In this relatively recent satellite photo our ClockTower is on the far left and the overpass is on the far right.

Today, the underpass is little more than rain protected parking and shelter from the sun on a hot day.

It’s cool under there.