Farewell Charming Olde New York, part 4

quote:
Originally posted by S'tan:
http://www.curbed.com/archives/2007/07/10/bouluds_dbgb_...abdicated_throne.php

David Boulud is opening a restaurant on the CBGB site and calling it
DBGB ... for David Boulud's Good Burger.
Which will cost $29


Best comment:

"I am going to puke up Daniel Bouloud's $29.00 burger in front of the place
so at least some of CBGB's spirit will still be alive."


I'll join you. Absolutely fucked...
quote:
Originally posted by Anna Nicole:
I just also noticed yesterday that Dicks bar on 12/2nd is also closed.


It was closed when I was back in July. I guess Johnny must have finally "bought the farm?" I used to love that place. I think Dean Johnson might have dee-j'd there at one time. It also used to be Slugger Ann's, a rough-and-tumble place run by Jackie Curtis's grandma. Jackie used to live upstairs as a child.
quote:
Originally posted by Jacob R Clark:
quote:
Originally posted by Anna Nicole:
I just also noticed yesterday that Dicks bar on 12/2nd is also closed.


It was closed when I was back in July. I guess Johnny must have finally "bought the farm?" I used to love that place. I think Dean Johnson might have dee-j'd there at one time. It also used to be Slugger Ann's, a rough-and-tumble place run by Jackie Curtis's grandma. Jackie used to live upstairs as a child.


I also noted with horror that The Bar has gone straight. I had just seen "Cruising" and did you know one of the most notorious scenes of the film was done there? Couldn't help but note as well that there were a preponderance of tweaked-out twinks at The Phoenix, the closest thing left to the Bar or the Tunnel (where I was a too-regular back in the day).
"Living in a fishbowl" ... when I was recently in Manhattan I had a number of conversations about the prevalence of the new glass houses, transparent skyscrapers, people live without curtains and put their entire selves on display... It doesn't matter if you stare into my living room, it's all designer showcase anyhow ... Maybe TV reality shows have inured people to being on display... as no-one remembers the next day what they were looking at, they are on to the next ant-farm.

Michael Bloomberg complaining that NYC was "behind London" in that there were "ONLY" 11,000 video cameras taking surveillance photos on the streets versus London's 400,000... poor things how can you ever leave the house without make-up, not that most of us would anyhow.

and now this

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/18/fashion/18celebrity.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

Everyone getting into the paparazzi act, and actors or other famous types who once could count on New York cool to maintain anonymity in Manhattan now have to deal with the amateur hour.

"...the paparazzi crowd is the reason celebrities like Brad Pitt, Renée Zellweger, Scarlett Johansson and Josh Hartnett have cited for moving, and Ms. Berk and some publicists say the exodus continues. Some actors have chosen the Santa Barbara area, others have gone as far Utah and Montana. For most, though, the only other choice, for work-related reasons, is New York, where traffic and crowds make the chase more daunting for photographers. Yet it may not offer much of a respite.

" 'New York unfortunately is becoming more difficult,' said Natalie Portman, who lives in Manhattan, at the premiere of Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium. 'I know people hate hearing us complain about it, but New York isn't what it used to be for anonymity, unfortunately.' "

I guess the town can eventually hope to attract the voyeurist/exhibitionist element in society... and the shy ones can repair to Montana or Tesuque.
"One In Six New Yorkers Cannot Afford Enough Food"

In the news recently, and in time for Thanksgiving, was this bit:

New York hunger levels 'rising'

In a city of plenty, historically too many people have always starved here. But now with the economy allegedly so "strong" it is getting worse.

And even those who can afford enough to eat are paying through the nose here in Manhattan. Every time I go to the supermarket, prices have risen again.

I am reminded now of spending time in Hawaii where every thing not raised on-island was extremely expensive-- and that was just about everything except pineapple, sugar cane and taro. New York City is now just such an island.

I recently was in Westchester County, about 10 or 15 miles from where I live in Lower Manhattan, and prices were fifty cents to a dollar less than they are in my local supermarket. For just about everything.

First they blamed it on bad harvests, then Katrina. And then it was rising real estate prices. However the prices never ebb and flow as you might think they would when those factors do. I have realized that there is only one real cause-- greed. Capitalism run amok.

Take this example: There was a glut of pumpkins this fall in the US. Because the growing conditions this summer were exactly how pumpkins like them. All throughout New England pumpkins were being sold everywhere for record low prices. Here in NYC? $10-20 each! Rather than sell these pumpkins, the stores would rather they rot in the bins than get less than an inflated price.

Greed.
Yes. Buy or starve.

Each day in the USA there are approximately 15 million children who do not know if they will get anything to eat. ....how about some slightly expired pumpkin?

Even within the city there is a crazy disparity. I know people who used to live on W.74th Street on the park who then moved to E.9th Street at 1st Ave. who say the cost of living downtown is on average 40%(!) cheaper just based on things like groceries. Of course, you can now go to Whole Foods on the Bowery and pay uptown prices for food.

Greed.
And passivity.
Howdy folks! Been away for a while and glad to be back. Hope you're having a good solstice eve.

As someone who has already reduced my air travel considerably, the following comes as exceedingly bad news. We all know flying these days is already a major headache, but now the TSA comes with this hideous announcement. The unfriendly skies just got a lot meaner. Good luck trying to book those already-hard-to-get seats!

Gov't to Limit NYC Flights

Dec 19 02:20 PM US/Eastern

By DEVLIN BARRETT
Associated Press Writer

HERNDON, Va. (AP) - Fewer flights will go in and out of New York City airports at the busiest times to try to ease chronic nationwide air travel delays, the government said Wednesday.

To help holiday travelers, military airspace will be opened to commercial traffic on the East and West Coasts, the government said.

Transportation Secretary Mary Peters made the announcement after months of closed-door wrangling with the airlines over how to curb air traffic around New York City's three major airports: John F. Kennedy International Airport, LaGuardia Airport, and Newark Liberty Airport in New Jersey.

Delays often begin in the congested New York area then spread across the nation.

"I had hoped to be able to avoid caps but the truth is for the short term, for the next few years this is the solution that will provide some relief for travelers," Peters said.

Under new rules that take effect in March, JFK will only be allowed 82 or 83 flights per hour at peak times, down significantly from the 90 to 100 that had been scheduled this past summer. Similar caps will go into effect at Newark, but the exact number has yet to be determined. LaGuardia already has limits on flights.

"The American public, the passengers, the customers and consumers want and deserve a much more dependable, much more reliable system, and this is what this plan will do," she said.

The Federal Aviation Administration will also create a "czar" for New York City air travel, hoping to solve some of the confusion and headaches with a new position.

Peters also confirmed the government would be opening military airspace to commercial flights in order to accommodate the holiday season crush. A similar temporary measure was done during Thanksgiving week on the East Coast. A section of West Coast airspace will be added this time to try to smooth travel in and out of southern California, Peters said.

The government described the New York airport caps as a short-term approach lasting two years, at which point officials said they hope new technology and modernized systems will allow for greater capacity in the region.

After that two-year period, Peters said the government would like to auction additional flight slots at JFK to the highest bidder.

In two years, however, the decision will be made by someone else, since the Bush administration will have ended.
___

Associated Press writer David B. Caruso in New York contributed to this report.
Today I was doing the dishes and nursing a head cold when I heard a rumbling crash, and then the endless sirens. Odd that I didn't even think it was a 9/11-type incident. I instinctively knew exactly what it was. At the much-disputed and VERY unwanted Trump Soho "Hotel" under construction, there was a crane accident, killing at least one and shearing off a corner of the top floor.

A few months ago 18-19 C. human bones were found as they dug the foundations-- shades of "Poltergeist." This has been the third or fourth accident at the site and the company responsible, Bovis Lend Lease, was also in charge of the Deutsche Bank cleanup.
Bovis was reported at the time of the previous calamity where at least two firemen died, to be mob-connected. I know of a major west coast developer who when recently visiting NYC and after casually viewing a number of the construction sites on 6th Avnue in the 20's said he really couldn't believe how incredibly lax the work codes were, cranes taking up traffic lanes, walkways directly beneath scaffold, the 'safety' nets on upper stories, giant wood beams laid on the avenue to reconfigure traffic lanes -all were proceedures wildly illegal according to work rules on the west coast in places like San Francisco.
I just heard that Baird Jones from Webster Hall died. Suddenly.

I can't help get shocked at the many sudden deaths I've heard about of late. People my age just seemingly dropping dead. I saw Baird just a 2wks ago and he didn't seem at all sick or anything... really shocking.
Went by Florent on Friday night; haven't been in ages because...well, who wants to be in the Meat Market anymore? Anyhow, the closing will be June 30. Just before Bastille Day, no less. The absolute kick in the gut (according to staff) is the new tenant moving in: Starbucks. Collect your matchbooks, kids.

Florent is one of the first places I gravitated toward the first time I came to NYC...it was 1991, and my boyfriend at the time (journalist Rob. Walton) escorted me to this oasis of a diner in an otherwise bleak, seemy 'hood. Next to us were two boys, about 16 or 17, on their first date...both were beaming with hope, possibility, unlimited boundaries of love and lust. Florent, in his own way, offered comfort and light in an otherwise daunting probability. I will truly miss this historic landing pad.
Jesus that is absolutely horrifying. Starbucks??? I mean it is not surprising in a way but some things you think are immune to outside forces. I haven't been to florent in a while (esp since I stopped working the west side aisle) but it has always held a special place in my memories of the Jackie years. R.I.P. VIP!
You know that shoe repair across from St Marks in the bowery - the one that has been there a million years . . . the one with the old "Cat's Paws" decals. Saw a sign in the window that they lost their lease and looks like it is being cleared out by the end of the month.

Sigh.

I wonder if it is going to be a Chase or a Starbucks?

After all, one wouldn't want to have to walk the half a block away to get to a Chase or Starbucks. What is going to replace Chase & Starbucks when they can't afford the rents?
That shoe repair store is catty-corner from my place; you can see it if you lean onto the fire escape. I wasn't sad AT ALL when Second Avenue Deli shut down (grossly overpriced, mediocre, the owners were hateful & greedy), but the closure of that gazillion-year-old shoe repair store made me a little sad.

Maybe it will be a micro-mini Duane Reade.
Whats doing with all the closed stores on 3rd/14th SEcorner are they knockin that corner down for more Yuppie condos perhaps?
My chum recently moved to Jackson Heights (37th Av/Indian side) and I must say am loving that area - reminds me allot of West Kensington (London) very Brit/Indian vibe. Fantastic Supermarkets too (DIRT CHEAP one called TradeFair) I carried a back pack with me last Sat. Filled it AND FOUR carrier bags FULL and the total bill $54! Greate Indian too, fun Bollywood stores. Its tough finding NY hoods that have none globalized branded stores these days.
Lex, you just que'd in all of your stalkers.

I know its been shut for a few months now but anybody know what happened to Mo Pitkins on A? It was gone without a trace suddenly. I didn't really favor the place but it gave a lot of stage time to people I liked.

A is getting odd now with Alt Coffee rebranded as a recreation place for children and my favorite custom T shirt store being transformed into an 'eco freindly' merchant. But it seems the street is still a barometer for the economy cause if you hang out during a weekday the local foot traffic reflects a newly scruffy profile reminiscent of the early 90's.
Goodbye to Florent...

"When his lease on 69 Gansevoort St. expires on March 31, rent will
increase from $6,000 a month to approximately $50,000. It's unlikely a
deal will be struck. Florent is currently battling his landlord in court
over tax increases and is withholding rent as a result. The litigation also
means he does not plan to simply pack up shop on the 31st.

"I talked to my lawyer and [the restaurant] will stay open for two or three
months. I'd like to end on a high note and I think Gay Pride Day would be
perfect."

That's June 29, in case you want to put it in your book.

He also says he'd like to hold a writing contest - "people could write their
best story, the most insane story, of the restaurant" - with the winner
receiving a dinner on the final night. "

http://www.nypost.com/seven/03122008/news/regionalnews/...ing_it_in_101555.htm
There was always a high turnover of shoe stores and other apparel stores on those blocks of 8th, especiall between 5th and 6th Aves. Probably not a little bit of the exodus now is due to the impact of on-line shopping for shoes where it is just too easy to get great prices compared to what always were over-priced items on those 8th Street blocks. Lower Broadway is a better choice for shoe shopping if one is looking for cool stuff that is overpriced. But the question remains, what kind of retail will move in to the current crop of empty storefronts on 8th?
Yes Seven, those stores did have high prices but it was kinda fun shopping there and aklso 8th st was the main corridor for me when going between east village and west village, i was always bumping into someone or something.

Seven, where on lower Broadway are you talking about? Do you mean near Houston or further down? it's been so long that i've been there, maybe some stores opened up since I've been there.
Babette, I have to admit enjoying the stroll down 8th St. too and I've made enough purchases there over the years, from a great hat at the store near the corner of 6th Ave. to assorted tops at the various boutiques. I also did tons of browsing, and then of course there was Patricia Field's place which was a total must.

Broadway below Houston and above Canal is where a lot of shoe stores similar to the ones on 8th are. The shoe stores above Houston are mostly for nikes etc. and the skateboard fanatics. But even now there are less shoe stores there than just a year ago. The last item I purchased in that zone was quite some time ago but it was a pair of jack boots made by Chippewa, to my mind the best traditional motorcycle boots made, that are not that easy to find, I got an ok price.

I still windowshop on 8th Street and probably will as long as a couple of the boutiques hold out and then there still is Joyce Leslie where a girlfriend is always recommending items to me and where the price is always right.
http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/04/16/how-foreig...ocal-economy-afloat/


NYC & Company, the city's tourism marketing agency, estimated that foreign visitors spent about $560 million more in the first three months of 2008 than in the first quarter of 2007, an increase of 7 percent.

One of the main reasons is that the dollar is so weak against the euro and other currencies that everything in New York appears to be on sale.

The Modern, the restaurant at the Museum of Modern Art, added the euro equivalent to prices on the wine list to impress upon tourists what bargains the bottles were. It worked: the restaurant says it now sells more (and more expensive) bottles of wine.

(there is a longer article about this in the paper NY TImes today, the influx is so enormous the economy is NY is skewed differently from any other US city. Doesn't have much to say about effects on culture but I'm sure many could cue in on the trickle down effect of 1,000,000 more European tourists in NY in the first quarter of 2008 than in the first quarter of 2007.

Like I've said before Americans' money did it to Europe from the 1900s - on. Now it's New York's turn.)
Thank you Stan. I think the news is encouraging in a sense. For years savvy Asians and young Eurotrash have been shunning this city ... first because of Guiliani, then because of 9/11. The international influx was one thing I used to really love about this town in the late 80s when I first moved here.
4 A.M. Last Calls Could Be Headed The Way of Smoky Bars
By CHRISTOPHER FAHERTY, Staff Reporter of the Sun | April 17, 2008

City nightlife industry insiders fear that the days of 4 a.m. last calls are numbered.

In most parts of Manhattan, bar and club owners say, it has become nearly impossible to open new nightlife establishments that are permitted to serve alcohol until 4 a.m. "” the Prohibition-era curfew that is seen as a bedrock of New York City's party town identity.

Community boards that now hold substantial clout with the New York State Liquor Authority are increasingly requesting that liquor licenses be tied to earlier closing times, often at or before 2 a.m., a number of advocates for the nightlife industry said.

"It is a trend that has certainly increased in the last six months, and if it keeps increasing there are going to be serious problems for the nightlife industry and the city's economy," a lawyer for the New York Nightlife Association, Robert Bookman, said. An independent study conducted at the request of his association found that city nightlife establishments garner 58% of their revenues between the hours of 1 a.m. and 4 a.m., he said. Under state law, which says the closing time for bars in the city is 4 a.m., the liquor authority lacks the power to place stipulations on the operating hours of bars and clubs. However, if a bar owner agrees to limit its hours of operation with the local community board, the liquor authority will write it into the license.

Community boards for years have provided the liquor authority with recommendations for liquor licenses, but only recently has their influence become a determining factor in designating them. "The new leadership that took over during the last few years of the Pataki administration has been dramatically more responsive to the community than any I've ever seen with many years of experience with the SLA, and I think that's a good thing," a state assemblyman who represents the Chelsea area of Manhattan, Richard Gottfried, said.

A spokesman for the liquor authority, William Crowley, said the agency determines liquor licenses on a case-by-case basis and follows the letter of the law.

Some say community boards are wielding their newfound power with the liquor authority to force bars to close earlier than ever before.

"More and more of the community boards are insisting that bars close at 2 a.m. or earlier," Ben Leventhal, the editor in chief of Eater.com, a Web log that chronicles many of the liquor license issues arising in the city, said. "It's become the community boards' de facto bargaining chip."

Matthew Piacentini, an entrepreneur poised to open a European-style parlor, said he decided to back out of plans to open the lounge in a commercial building on Hudson Street in TriBeCa after the community board stipulated he would have to close at midnight on weekdays and 1 a.m. on weekends. Mr. Piacentini pitched his establishment as an upscale anecdote to nightclubs for a clientele interested in having conversation. "If I could only be open for six hours there was no chance I could bring in the necessary revenue," he said.

Brad Hoylman, the chairman of Community Board 2, which covers Greenwich Village and SoHo, said the board approves 90% of all liquor license applications, and 80% of those are tied to certain stipulations such as time constraints.

"In our neighborhoods, most people don't want to live next to a nightlife establishment, he said. "What we try to do is be reasonable and have a fair negotiation with the applicant."

Community Board 3, which covers the bar-saturated neighborhoods of the East Village and the Lower East Side, is widely described as the stingiest board in the city when it comes to obtaining a new liquor license. The board's district manager, Susan Stetzer, said her board doesn't stipulate closing times, but that the applicants themselves come to the board with their own closing times.

According to minutes from the board's monthly meetings in November, December, and January, the most recent records available, not a single liquor license recommendation was granted to a bar that would close after 3 a.m. on weekends and 2 a.m. on weekdays.
This was from 2005.
Interesting to read it in 2008.



NY Post
By Maureen Callahan
Published January 27, 2005

JASON Gordon, a 27year-old book publicist whose blog, Productshop NYC, covers the downtown music scene, says he knew the Lower East Side was over when "one of my mom's friends had her 50th birthday party at Tenement."

"That place" - a tiny restaurant that once catered to hipster spillover from neighboring Ludlow Street institutions like the Pink Pony and Max Fish "has become like a bar mitzvah reception hall within the past year," he adds.

While the gentrification of the Lower East Side-long inhabited by struggling artists and musicians, and home to dive bars, vintage shops and small rock clubs - has been progressing for quite some time, locals and small business owners are stunned by the sudden influx of luxe.

Small bars are shutting down and other establishments are going upscale to cater to the new weekenders who are colonizing the once rough hewn area.

"The problem with the Lower East Side," says Lockhart Steele, who covers Manhattan real estate on Curbed.com. "Is that it's facing change that's out of proportion with the scale of the neighborhood.".

Robert Sacher is closing his 10-year old Luna Lounge on Feb. 28; a developer bought his Ludlow Street building to make way for an apartment complex.

"They're turning the Lower east side into SoHo," Sacher says. "The businesses that are being forced out are being replaced by businesses that cater to people who can pay $16 for a plate of chicken."

When Sacher was informed his lease wasn't going to be renewed, he looked into moving Luna down the street, to a space formerly occupied by a club called Torch (which burned down).

He was priced out; the space sold for $2 million and is now home to a week-old, three-level nightclub called Libation; the opening-night party was handled by Lizzie Grubman.
"We had a lot of models, a lot of record company people, celebrity types," says owner Denis Keane. "That guy from 'Oz' was here."' Libation, located just a few doors down from scenester rock hangouts like Max Fish and the Dark Room, is very spacious, very pristine and very beige. The wall behind the bar is fitted with two plasma TVs. The second and third levels are private party spaces; there's also a VIP area with a minimum bottle charge of $250.

"We want to raise the level of what's going on around here," says Keane, who has run low-key Irish pubs in Midtown and Queens.

"We hired a manager who used to work at Jean-Georges. We have a big cocktail consultant. We hired our own security, a lot of ex-law enforcement.".

Keane says his space isn't catering to "the poor artist type."

"I'm seeing the trendy first-responders: people in funky clothes, with a few dollars in their pocket, or a Black AMEX," he says. I had one Wall Street guy come in with 100 people. He just threw his card down and said, 'Charge it!".

The Lower East Side real estate revolution started with the Hotel on Rivington. Yet to be completed, the 20-story, glass-and-steel structure _ with rooms starting at $275 a night - may seem like a striking anomaly among the area's five-story structures, but it's led to a slew of other luxury projects.

Hotelier Jason Pomeranc, who owns the swank 60 Thompson, begins construction this month on a 22-story hotel on Allen Street, where a new luxury loft building (with condos that went for up to $1.5 million) opens in March.

A lot on the corner of Houston and Eldridge reportedly has been sold to a developer for $4.5 million. Avalon Chrystie Place, which will have 361 luxury rental apartments (the developers say they haven't set prices), is under construction on Houston.

And the rent asked on a vacant restaurant on the corner of East Broadway and Essex is currently $30,000 a month, according to LoHo Realty's Jacob Goldman - who finds that Park Avenue price staggering.

"1 mean, it's not Tavern on the Green," he says. "What are they thinking?"

Long term, "you are going to see a diminishment of live music downtown, because of the rents," says Fez owner Josh Pickard, who is closing his legendary Village club (where Ryan Adams played his first New York solo show) in March.

"There's the rise of real estate values, plus issues with neighbors and noise control, which has become more stringent under Bloomberg," he says.

Other venerable clubs and restaurants are capitulating to the area's changing clientele. El Sombrero - the tiny, rundown Mexican restaurant on the corner of Ludlow and Stanton affectionately known to residents as "The Hat" - is trying to appeal to the area's new nighttrippers: The once-kitschy interior now resembles a miniature hotel lobby, and the beloved summer tradition of selling margaritas to go is (very quietly) no more.

"Fridays and Saturdays are just amateur nights . The floodgates open everywhere, from Jersey to Long Island to the Upper East Side," says 33-year-old Jason Consoli, who hosts a weekly party at Lit. (His flyer reads, in part, "Weeknights keep the a - - holes away!")

Though located a bit north of the Lower East Side, Lit suffers an influx of weekend warriors.

"Lit's a dive bar; it's a rock bar," Consoli says. "People who live on the Upper East Side - their idea of getting crazy is to go hang out with the punk rock kids. But they don't really like to hang out with these people; they don't really like this music.

"If you walk up to the door and they recognize you, or you look like you belong there," says Consoli, "you get a hand stamp and you can go downstairs. If you don't look like you belong there, you don't get a hand stamp, and you have to stay upstairs."

Jason Baron, owner of the 6-month-old bar the Dark Room, says the bridge-and-tunnel factor is so high on Friday and Saturday nights that he steers clear of his own establishment. "I go over to my friends' houses to drink," he says.

Curbed's Lockhart Steele, who has been chronicling every change on the Lower East Side with a jaundiced eye, is trying to remain cautiously optimistic:

"I'm not opposed to all this change," he says. "I think there are just large forces beyond our control. It's the slow drift downward from SoHo and the East Village."

Yet he admits the neighborhood's rapid shifts - culturally and commercially - seem inexorable.

"The indication that a neighborhood's already over," he says, "is when the first wave of cool places is already out of business."
Bureaucratic Terrorism usually does attack the most vulnerable, the most not equipped to defend. What will replace the toy tower? A Gucci billboard?
_____________________________________________

May 19, 2008, 4:58 pm
An Eccentric East Village Structure Is Torn Down
By Colin Moynihan


A toy horse hangs from the Toy Tower, a 65-foot wooden structure that is being demolished this week. (Photo: Oscar Hidalgo/ New York Times) A city work crew wearing hardhats showed up early this morning on Avenue B and began dismantling a 65-foot wooden structure known as the Toy Tower that has stood for more than 20 years in a community garden and has become a beloved, if unofficial, landmark.

The tower in 1998. (Photo: Nicole Bengiveno/The New York Times) Enlarge this image. The tower, built of boards and beams salvaged from the streets, was assembled bit by bit over decades by a local man named Eddie Boros, who died last year at the age of 74. His creation has been described in guide books and was the subject of a documentary that was broadcast on PBS. But about two weeks ago, the city's Parks and Recreation Department, which has some oversight over the garden at East Sixth Street and Avenue B, determined that the intricate tower was unsound and had to be removed.
By 11 a.m., about two dozen people were watching the workers operate a large orange truck with a crane. Although some passers-by expressed relief that the tower was coming down, most of those who stopped to watch said that they regretted its removal.
"It's a shame," said a local man who goes only by the name Graywolf and has been a garden member for 18 years. "That tower is an icon. It's world known."
At the same time, he acknowledged, "We've seen that it's shifted and twisted in the high winds."
Garden members said that some of the many found objects that festoon the structure, like a French horn, which Mr. Boros used to blow sometimes late at night, would be saved and included in a memorial to the tower and its creator.
As a worker suspended in a bucket near the top of the tower wielded a chainsaw and began slicing off bits of wood, talk turned to the irascible but generous Mr. Boros, who was born and lived nearly his whole life on East Fifth Street, within shouting distance of the garden.
"That's his portrait, his autobiography," said Eileen Shields, 38. "He worked on it every day."

Remnants of the tower, which some locals call an "icon." (Photo: Oscar Hidalgo/The New York Times)Some remembered an icy night in 1996 when Mr. Boros used ropes to lash together a part of the tower that had become destabilized by a storm. True to his custom, Mr. Boros, who often roamed the streets in his bare feet, worked that cold night without the benefit of shoes. He did, however, have the help of several comrades from Sophie's Bar on East Fifth Street, a dimly lighted and congenial tavern, where Mr. Boros was as much of a fixture as he was in the garden.
He would often stop in for a tall noontime glass of straight Seagrams, said Kirk Marcoe, 40, an owner and local resident. Mr. Boros would happily take on those who wished to challenge him in arm wrestling, he added.
"He had hands the size of ham hocks," Mr. Marcoe said. "He never lost."
At one point, the city workers tied a rope to a section of the tower and pulled it to the ground. An 8-by-8-foot tangle of graying wood came crashing down on top of a plot where flowers, plants and herbs had been growing.
The demolition halted for the day around 1 p.m. with the tower still about three-quarters intact. Workers began moving debris from the garden plots into a large metal container. Pat Russell, a garden member, grabbed the tattered remnants of an American flag that had once flown from the tower and folded it neatly, while others took bits of weathered wood as souvenirs.

Add Reply

×
×
×
×