Walk down Bowery from the comfort of your living room
February 18, 2006 12:28 PM   Subscribe

Back to the Bowery: The End of McGurk's Suicide Hall is a photographic walking tour of the Bowery as it is today. Don't miss The Sunshine Hotel (the last of the flophouses) or the photo of the gen-yoo-ine Bowery rat.
posted by kalimac (16 comments total)
too much... to read... at moment.... must... come back.

awesome... post.
posted by shmegegge at 12:37 PM on February 18, 2006

Really terrific. Thanks!
posted by scody at 12:39 PM on February 18, 2006

Please see Weegee. Lots of stuff from the Bowery as it was.
posted by well_balanced at 12:44 PM on February 18, 2006


"Rows of wooden cubicles. Rooms smaller than prison cells. A bed. A locker. A bare bulb and a chicken wire ceiling. Starting at $4.50 a night, Bowery flophouses are the cheapest form of housing available. It’s a lifestyle that many might assume disappeared decades ago.

Check out the Jane West Hotel on far west Jane street for similar accomidations. I stayed there for $75/week for several months when I first came to NY in '84. The dismal accomodations were more than made up for by the bizarre and ever changing clientelle.
posted by HTuttle at 1:28 PM on February 18, 2006

This is an incredible find, thanks for sharing. My earliest memory of this area are from when I was about 6 years old (1973). My parents took us in to go find some a chandelier at one of the many lightning fixtures stores in the neighborhood. This was the first time I had ever seen such a degree of urban blight and abject poverty. It was light night of the living dead down there. Made quite an impression on me at the time.

Btw, what discussion of the Bowery would be complete without bringing up the Bowery Boys, Satch?
posted by psmealey at 1:33 PM on February 18, 2006

Interesting post. Loved the "Yippie" sign. I'll look for it next time I'm down there.
posted by MarshallPoe at 2:25 PM on February 18, 2006

Excellent post. I always wondered what was up with 190 Bowery. I thought that it was abandoned or something. A friend and I have long had a dream of turning it into a nightclub. However, it looks like that will remain only a dream for now.

For anybody who likes this sort of thing, I urge you to check out Luc Sante's Low Life.
posted by Afroblanco at 2:28 PM on February 18, 2006

Fantastic. Forgotten NY is a treasure itself.
posted by mwhybark at 3:44 PM on February 18, 2006

Good stuff. Thank you!
posted by 327.ca at 3:52 PM on February 18, 2006

I love the history of neighborhoods. Yet another reason to move to New York someday.
posted by rainman84 at 3:59 PM on February 18, 2006

Awesome. I love Forgotten NY.
posted by SisterHavana at 5:27 PM on February 18, 2006

Great post -- too much for me to read through at the moment, but I've bookmarked it. For further reading, I highly recommend Luc Sante's excellent book, Low Life, a history of life on the Lower East Side.
posted by mosk at 7:10 PM on February 18, 2006

EXCELLENT post kalimac! Treasure! That's one of my favorite areas of the city. What great photos, lots of good detail. Learned new things from your post, like that the feminist Kate Millet lived on the Bowery. Will let the wonderful webmaster of Fogotten New York know that William Burroughs lived at 222 Bowery.

I was just in that marvellously textured part of town a couple of weeks ago seeing an acupuncturist at 4 Bowery, the Lin Sister Herb Shop. Then went around the corner for juicy steamed buns at Joe's Shanghai on Pell Street (although I prefer the succulent tiny buns at New Green Bo on Bayard, two blocks away). Am really looking forward to the litchi fruit available from the street vendors on the Bowery in May.
posted by nickyskye at 8:59 PM on February 18, 2006

Aw, I'm glad this is a hit! I was amazed no one had posted it before; it passed a very dull hour or two at work.

Thanks to those who posted related links, especially the one about Weegee, whose work I've loved for years. I've never been to the Bowery (only been to NYC twice, really), so being able to find pictures and stories is wonderful. There's a documentary about The Sunshine Hotel and the men who live there that I really need to get ahold of.
posted by kalimac at 9:11 PM on February 18, 2006

One can get the documentary The Sunshine Hotel on Froogle for $29.99.
posted by nickyskye at 10:02 PM on February 18, 2006

Joseph Mitchell wrote some beautiful profiles of Bowery people, many of which can be found in his collection Up in the Old Hotel, which I recommend to absolutely everyone.
posted by teferi at 6:52 PM on February 19, 2006

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