Disappearing Acts

08/08/2014 § 1 Comment

Porto RicoEvery morning on my way to the train at the West 4th Street station, I pass the Porto Rico Importing Co. at 201 Bleecker Street in Greenwich Village.  More of a coffee and tea store than a true coffee bar, it’s where I buy the coffee I use at home (try it out: Monsoon Malabar is my favorite).  It’s usually full of bench sitters and the usual bunch of parked cars, but today I happened upon a rare moment of quiet and a break in the traffic so that I could take the shot above.

As I took the picture, an eccentric-looking older gentleman ambled by and gruffly offered his two cents: “You know, places like that are disappearing around here.”  He then proceeded to point out the growing vacancies around Porto Rico, both new and old. I readily agreed with him and he eventually set off on his way down Bleecker, satisfied.

Vaguely familiar that Porto Rico has been around for some time — it does mention something about 1907 on the awning, at least — I did a bit of research and discovered that the ground floor of 201 Bleecker has been operated by the Longo family since the early 1900s, initially as a bakery and then later as the coffee and tea store we know today.  The current owner-operator, Peter Longo, is the third generation to run the store, the building having been bought by his grandfather in 1905 for $5,000.  Peter was born in the building, as well as his father before him.

For someone who’s only lived in the neighborhood for just over a year, it’s always exciting to learn more about longtime residents and businesses, but also to hear how the streets have changed.  The next time you find yourself on Bleecker, I definitely recommend that you stop by for a pound of coffee or perhaps a new tea — because it’s true, places like this are rapidly disappearing these days.

For a fuller story on Porto Rico, Alex Witchel at the NY Times wrote a great article on Peter and the store that you should also read.

Have a lovely (caffeinated) weekend!
M. xx

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Summer in the City

07/08/2012 § Leave a comment

In between cold beverages (there were many) and a little Olympics viewing (probably more than a little) and one well-deserved nap (definitely deserved), I kicked around Washington Square Park for a bit over the hot hot hot weekend.  Understandably, because of the blistering heat, I did find the park somewhat emptier than usual, but nonetheless full of lovely, summery things to see.  Sidenote: I’m not sure if I’m including the guy covered in pigeons…

Real Property Lust: 16 West 12th Street

21/09/2011 § 2 Comments

Yours Truly could definitely be tempted to move a bit uptown for a pretty Greenwich Village perch like this one.  Anyone want to go halfsies on a cool $21 mil?  I mean, it does come equipped with a library and a fitness center.  Think of all the money you’ll save on overdue books and gym memberships!

Garden parties. Hostess dresses. Gin cocktails.

Herringbone floors, j’adore.

A gorgeous blank canvas, ready to be decorated.

In. Love.

All images via Sotheby’s.

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