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.
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.)
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.
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.