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Two Boots Pizza, Village Cigars and Ipanema

The Village Cigars store in Greenwich Village is an iconic building. You may have seen it in movies or on TV, it’s been used as a backdrop a lot. It’s the first thing the main character, Larry Lapinsky, in Next Stop, Greenwich Village sees as he emerges from the subway. In the movie, True Believer, James Woods’ law office is located right next to it. It’s a unique, triangular building that you can’t miss when you walk by it. I’ve probably walked by it thousands of times since I moved here back in 1993, but I just learned something interesting about this place. While reading the fine blog, Forgotten New York, I came upon a tour of Greenwich Village and saw a photo and read this:

Embedded in the sidewalk at the venerable Village Cigars shop at 7th Ave. South and Christopher Street, trod upon by hundreds of thousands of feet yet barely noticed, is a marker that reads:

“Property of the Hess Estate which has never been dedicated for public purposes”

So what’s this all about?

There used to be a five-story residential building on Christopher Street called the Voorhis. It was condemned in the 1910s to make way for the IRT subway, which also extended 7th Avenue south from Greenwich Avenue. However, the Voorhis’ owner, David Hess, refused to surrender this small plot to the city to become part of 7th Avenue South’s new sidewalk. The Hesses created this mosaic to let everyone know of their small (VERY small) victory against the city.

Village Cigars moved to its present corner site in 1922, and bought the 500-square inch property from the Hesses for $1,000. The mosaic has stayed put.


I’ve probably walked over that sign every time I’ve walked by Village Cigars and never noticed it. And I’ve never walked inside of Village Cigars in my life and now I want to see that sign and take some pictures of the shop. So that’s exactly what I’m going to do. So there!

The sun is setting on Manhattan as I head down 7th Avenue.

Halfway into my journey I spy Two Boots pizza and decide to have a slice.

I've always loved this guy in the front window.

Here's the special slices you can order, they're all named after odd TV and movie stars, such as Tony Clifton, Larry Tate, Mr. Pink...

And The Dude, which is the slice I ordered.


The view from the front window as I devour The Dude.

And we're on the road again.

And there it is, just across the street...

Village Cigars in all its triangular glory.

And there's the Hess Estate triangle, let's go take a look.

Very cool, proof you can beat City Hall. I'm surprised Bloomberg hasn't had this ripped out of the sidewalk.

As I said, I've never been inside this store, let's go in and take a look around.

Glassed-in cigar humidors line the left hand wall of the building.

Here's an accidental obligatory humidor mirror shot of myself and the cigars.

And here's a display of pipes for those of you that prefer...ahem...alternative tobacco.

There's a nice display of lighters on this case on the opposite wall in the store.

Something you don't see in many stores these days, cigarette holders.

And for those of you who are trying to quit or don't smoke, there's a decent selection of candy, mints and gum in here.

A lone indian sits cross-legged up in the corner under the frightening gaze of what appears to be a Cardboard Box Man Mutation...aaaahhh!

On the way home, I passed the Ipanema bar and thought about TWM reader and author, Mick Dementiuk's request yesterday for a photo of a sexy bartender.

Okay, plenty of seats at the bar...now let's see if I can find that sexy bartender for Mick...

And here she is, Kate, the pretty and sexy bartender for the evening! This shot's for you Mick! Oh, okay, it's for me too!

Two Boots Pizza
201 W. 11th St. (@7th Ave.)

Village Cigars
110 Seventh Ave. South (Near Christopher St.)

252 W. 14th St. (Between 7th and 8th Ave.)

Further Reading: Daytonian in Manhattan, New York Magazine and NY Times.

I need this job and I need it bad,
That's why I gotta keep myself from gettin' mad,
The man with the cigar, I hope he doesn't push me too far.

Surprise link, click on it...I dare you!

I know last week I announced I’m just going to be posting here from Friday through Monday, but there’s going to be a guest post tomorrow by Actor/Writer/Filmmaker, Jeff Galfer who wrote about an experience he had as he’s preparing to shoot the first movie he’s ever made. It’s called “Buried Treasure,” and he wrote it and is co-producing it. Leslie Hope, who we met on my previous blog, Marty After Dark is directing it. You can read more about the movie and maybe even help them out with a donation at their Kickstarter Page. Tune in to read Jeff’s guest post right here tomorrow, it should go up around noon.

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Reader Comments (31)

A real honest to God cigar shop...in Bloomberg's New York. Enjoy them while they are still legal...

June 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJaws the Cabbie

i've seen the village cigar store on tv, i just can't remember which show. this is going to bug me all day! great post and the shot of kate at the end is a nice way to wrap it all up! talk about a happy ending! lol!

June 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBobby D.

Oh wow, a nice handful! Get in line boys, I'm first, hehehe ;)

Great blog, as usual.

I love a good "fuck you" to the powers that be. Take that Interborough Rapid Transit. "Long Live the Hess Estate" is my new battle cry.

June 4, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterrandall

There are always hot chicks at Ipanema ! .... very similar place to the Distinguished Wakamba Lounge .......

June 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGENE

@Jaws: I hear you, glad I documented the joint before Bloomie trades it for a 7-Eleven!

@Bobby D: I don't know of a TV show that featured it, but I'll Google it and let you know if I find anything.

@Mykola Mick Dementiuk: Thanks for inspiring that last shot!

@randall: Me too! To the Hess Estate!

@GENE: It's somewhat similar to the Wakamba, but not quite as scary. And they welcome photos there, remember the night we were in there a couple years ago? That was a great night!

June 4, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

@TWM: I agree on the scary factor between the 2 places .... though I wish they would merge and open as a strip club !

June 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGENE

I remember seeing the Hess Estate marker on NYScout awhile back and the cigar shop is on my "ridiculously long to-do list". Now, I need to win the lottery (even though I don't play it) and get my list "to-done" :)

June 4, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterroadsidewonders

Marty! Nice post my friend. Check this out...just on the corner above Village Cigars in a webcam. Here is the link...crappy site but still fun playing Big Brother! Village cam!

June 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRuben Dutch

@GENE: The only problem with merging the two bars would be the name, Distinguished Wakamba Ipanema. I think the initials (D.W.I.) would scare away possible patrons who drive.

@roadsidewonders: Well I play the lottery every week and when I win I'll fly you out here and we'll go to the Village Cigars and plenty of other places!

Ruben Dutch: Thanks, my friend! And thanks for that live link, too cool!

June 4, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

DWI .......... that's funny ! .................. I didn't even come close to thinking of that :(

June 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGENE

Marty - Being that I'm only 3.5 hours away, I really have no excuse to not come to NYC more often (other than it's freakin' inconvenient). I HATE driving there. I suppose I should just park in Jersey.

I have actually ridden my bike there (that went poorly - as I was stuck in the Lincoln Tunnel for what seemed like an eternity). Riding in Manhattan was actually more pleasant than riding on I95, or the Lincoln and Holland Tunnels :)
The train is really the most pleasant option; but that takes close to 6 hours with stops.

June 4, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterroadsidewonders

I was trying to come up with a snarky comment about the girl from Ipanema when a song started playing in my head and won't stop.
Curse you Wombacher!

June 4, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercsp

@GENE: Thanks, glad you liked that!

@roadsidewonders: I can't believe you rode your bike here! Is that adventure posted anywhere on your blog? When I win the Mega-Millions tomorrow, I'll have you and whoever you want to bring flown in! We'll have one big TWM shindig in the city! Who else wants to come?

@csp: At least it's better than Tom's Diner, right?

June 4, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

I love that photo, Marty - "proof you can beat City Hall." Amen.

June 4, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermeleah rebeccah

@TWM: That was cruel.

June 4, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercsp

@meleah: Amen, indeed!

@csp: You’ve got to be cruel to be...well, you know.

June 4, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

@TWM: Mana Mana

June 4, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercsp

@csp: Aaahhh! You win!

June 4, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Two Boots rules, Tony Clifton & Mr.Pink are my 2 favorites. I have walked past that Village cigar shop for years, it's part of the scenery. It's the 1st thing you see when you emerge from the #1 train on Christopher St.

June 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDanny the freelancer

@Danny the feelancer: Glad to hear that Tony Clifton and Mr. Pink are your two favorites, mine too! The Village Cigar Shop is indeed part of the scenery there, long may it live! Thanks for chiming in!

June 4, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

That story, and the mosaic itself, are so cool! I hope it stays there forever.

June 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBiff

Hay you didn't rate the Pizza .
I been to that Cigar store many times with Friends that smoke Cigars, I very occasionally smoke them if I get Good ones & didn't pay for it.
Would Like to See More Sexy Bartenders Please.

June 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJHwang

Since I'm all out of beer and it's now 4:19 AM and I have nothing better to do than to nitpick:
It should be 7th Avenue South

June 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterUncle Waltie

@Biff: I agree!

@JHwang: I only rate cheeseburgers, but if I were to rate Two Boots pizza, I'd definitely give it four slices! And I'm always on the lookout for sexy bartenders!

@Uncle Waltie: Thanks, eagle-eyes! Sip Ahoy!

June 5, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

I went to Village Cigar all the time in the late 90s, and I always loved that triangle out front, but never knew the backstory. Thank you for that!

June 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

@Lisa: You're welcome and thanks for reading and chiming in!

June 5, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty


.....or as another Budweiser-drinkin' buddy of mine would put it......"nothin' finer than a bud'n'Bud".....

.....some GREAT work here Mistah Double-yuh......hope you are keepin' a smile on the dial !

(And something EVIL in my soul wants to combine the last two surprise links into "Moo, Monica, Moo".....sorry)

June 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDrBOP

@DrBOP: Thanks! And that's too funny about combining the two surprise links, great idea, DrBOP!

June 5, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

I want to bury my face in Kate's rack

June 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterReggie Thistleton

@Reggie Thistleton: I think that thought was on everyone's mind that night!

June 8, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

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