The Thin Man Tidbit #12 - New York - Part 3

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The Thin Man Tidbit #12 - New York - Part 3

Unread postby Liz » Sat Feb 11, 2012 7:38 pm

New York – Part 3

This is the final part of the New York City locations tidbit, plus some suburbs.

Map Key:

10. Greenwich Village - 108
11. Reuben’s – 114


Greenwich Village

Pg. 108 (Chapter 20):

We went over to a Japanese place on Fifty-eighth Street for dinner and then I let Nora talk me into going to the Edges’ after all…….They lived in a pleasant old three-story house on the edge of Greenwich Village and their liquor was excellent.

Note that this tidbit might get a bit artsy for some. Greenwich Village, or simply called "the Village", is a largely well-to-do residential neighborhood on the west side of Lower Manhattan. Greenwich Village, however, was known in the late 19th to mid 20th centuries as an artists' haven, the bohemian capital, and the East Coast birthplace of the Beat movement. What provided the initial attractive character of the community eventually contributed to its gentrification and commercialization.

The name of the village is Anglicized from the Dutch name Greenwijck, meaning "Pine District", into Greenwich, a borough of London.

It is bounded by: W 14th Street on the North; W Houston Street on the South; the Hudson River on the West; Broadway on the East


In the 16th century, Native Americans referred to its farthest northwest corner, by the cove on the Hudson River at present-day Gansevoort Street, as Sapokanikan ("tobacco field"). The land was cleared and turned into pasture by Dutch and freed African settlers in the 1630s, who named their settlement Noortwyck, and where Governor Wouter van Twiller farmed tobacco on his 200 acre farm. The English conquered the Dutch settlement of New Netherland in 1664 and Greenwich Village developed as a hamlet separate from the larger (and fast-growing) New York City.

It officially became a village in 1712 and is first referred to as Grin'wich in 1713 Common Council records. Sir Peter Warren began accumulating land in 1731 and built a frame house large enough to hold a sitting of the Assembly when smallpox rendered the city dangerous in 1739. His house survived until the Civil War era. The oldest house remaining in Greenwich Village is the Isaacs-Hendricks House, at 77 Bedford Street (built 1799, much altered and enlarged 1836, third story 1928). When the Church of St. Luke in the Fields was founded in 1820 it stood in fields south of the road (now Christopher Street) that led from Greenwich Lane (now Greenwich Avenue) down to a landing on the North River. In 1822, a yellow fever epidemic in New York encouraged residents to flee to the healthier air of Greenwich Village, and afterwards many stayed. The future site of Washington Square was a potter's field from 1797 to 1823 when 10 to 20,000 of New York's poor were buried here, and still remain. The handsome Greek revival rowhouses on the north side of Washington Square were built about 1832, establishing the fashion of Washington Square and lower Fifth Avenue for decades to come. Well into the 19th century, the district of Washington Square was considered separate from Greenwich Village.

Greenwich Village is generally known as an important landmark on the map of American bohemian culture. The neighborhood is known for its colorful, artistic residents and the alternative culture they propagate. Due in part to the progressive attitudes of many of its residents, the Village has traditionally been a focal point of new movements and ideas, whether political, artistic, or cultural. This tradition as an enclave of avant-garde and alternative culture was established during the 19th century and into the 20th century, when small presses, art galleries, and experimental theater thrived.

The Tenth Street Studio Building was situated at 51 West 10th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, the building was commissioned by James Boorman Johnston and designed by Richard Morris Hunt. Its innovative design soon represented a national architectural prototype, and featured a domed central gallery, from which interconnected rooms radiated. Hunt's studio within the building housed the first architectural school in the United States. Soon after its completion in 1857, the building helped to make Greenwich Village central to the arts in New York City, drawing artists from all over the country to work, exhibit, and sell their art. In its initial years Winslow Homer took a studio there, as did Edward Lamson Henry, and many of the artists of the Hudson River School, including Frederic Church and Albert Bierstadt. The building was razed in 1956 in order to make way for the Peter Warren Apartments, an 11-story building named after Sir Peter Warren (of the 18th century) mentioned above. Julia Roberts has recently purchased a penthouse there.


The Hotel Albert from the late 19th century through the 21st century has served as a cultural icon of Greenwich Village. Opened during the 1880s, it was located at 11th Street and University Place. Originally called the Hotel St. Stephan, it was renamed The Hotel Albert in 1902 while under the ownership of William Ryder. It served as a meeting place, restaurant and dwelling for several important artists and writers from the late 19th century well into the 20th century. After 1902 Ryder's brother, Albert Pinkham Ryder, lived and painted there. Some of the other famous guests who lived there include: Augustus St. Gaudens, Robert Louis Stevenson, Mark Twain, Hart Crane, Walt Whitman, Anaïs Nin, Thomas Wolfe, Robert Lowell, Horton Foote, Salvador Dalí, Philip Guston, Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, and many others. Looking much the same today, Hotel Albert now houses apartments.


During the golden age of bohemianism, Greenwich Village became famous for such eccentrics as Joe Gould and Maxwell Bodenheim, dancer Isadora Duncan, writer William Faulkner, and playwright Eugene O'Neill. Political rebellion also made its home here, whether serious (John Reed) or frivolous (Marcel Duchamp and friends set off balloons from atop Washington Square arch, proclaiming the founding of "The Independent Republic of Greenwich Village").

Washington Square Arch, 1902

In 1924, the Cherry Lane Theatre was established. Located at 38 Commerce Street it is New York City's oldest continuously running Off-Broadway theater. A landmark in Greenwich Village’s cultural landscape, it was built as a farm silo in 1817, and also served as a tobacco warehouse and box factory before Edna St. Vincent Millay and other members of the Provincetown Players converted the structure into a theatre they christened the Cherry Lane Playhouse, which opened on March 24, 1924, with the play The Man Who Ate the Popomack. During the 1940s The Living Theatre, Theatre of the Absurd, and the Downtown Theater movement all took root there, and it developed a reputation as a place where aspiring playwrights and emerging voices could showcase their work.

In one of the many Manhattan properties Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney and her husband owned, Gertrude Whitney established the Whitney Studio Club at 8 West 8th Street as a facility where young artists could exhibit their works in 1914. By the 1930s the place would evolve to become her greatest legacy, the Whitney Museum of American Art, on the site of today's New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting and Sculpture. The Whitney was founded in 1931, as an answer to the then newly founded (1928) Museum of Modern Art's collection of mostly European modernism and its neglect of American Art. Gertrude Whitney decided to put the time and money into the museum after the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art turned down her offer to contribute her twenty-five-year collection of modern art works. In 1936, the renowned Abstract Expressionist artist and teacher Hans Hofmann moved his art school from E. 57th Street to 52 West 9th Street. In 1938, Hofmann moved again to a more permanent home at 52 West 8th Street. The school remained active until 1958 when Hofmann retired from teaching.

The Village hosted the first racially integrated night club in the United States, when the nightclub Café Society was opened in 1938 at 1 Sheridan Square by Barney Josephson. Café Society showcased African American talent and was intended to be an American version of the political cabarets Josephson had seen in Europe before World War II. Notable performers there included among others: Pearl Bailey, Count Basie, Nat King Cole, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald, Coleman Hawkins, Billie Holiday, Lena Horne, Burl Ives,Leadbelly, Anita O'Day, Charlie Parker, Les Paul and Mary Ford, Paul Robeson, Kay Starr, Art Tatum, Sarah Vaughan, Dinah Washington, Josh White, Teddy Wilson, Lester Young, and The Weavers, who also in Christmas 1949, played at the Village Vanguard. Not a shabby list.

by Joe Schwartz - New York, Cafe Society, 1939


The Village again became important to the bohemian scene during the 1950s, when the Beat Generation focused their energies there. Fleeing from what they saw as oppressive social conformity, a loose collection of writers, poets, artists, and students (later known as the Beats) and the Beatniks, moved to Greenwich Village, and then to North Beach in San Francisco. The Village (and surrounding New York City) would later play central roles in the writings of, among others, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs, James Baldwin, Truman Capote, Marianne Moore, Maya Angelou, Rod McKuen, and Dylan Thomas, who collapsed at the Chelsea Hotel and died at St. Vincents Hospital at 170 West 12th Street, in the Village after drinking at the White Horse Tavern on November 5, 1953.

Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and Gregory Corso, 1957 in Greenwich Villlage

Off-Off-Broadway began in Greenwich Village in 1958 as a reaction to Off Broadway, and a "complete rejection of commercial theatre". Among the first venues for what would soon be called "Off-Off-Broadway" (a term supposedly coined by critic Jerry Tallmer of the Village Voice) were coffeehouses in Greenwich Village, in particular, the Caffe Cino at 31 Cornelia Street, operated by the eccentric Joe Cino, who early on took a liking to actors and playwrights and agreed to let them stage plays there without bothering to read the plays first, or to even find out much about the content. Also integral to the rise of Off-Off-Broadway were Ellen Stewart at La MaMa, originally located at 321 E. 9th Street and Al Carmines at the Judson Poets' Theater, located at Judson Memorial Church on the south side of Washington Square Park.

The Village had a cutting-edge cabaret and music scene. The Village Gate, the Village Vanguard and The Blue Note (since 1981), hosted some of the biggest names in jazz on a regular basis. Greenwich Village also played a major role in the development of the folk music scene of the 1960s. Music clubs included Gerde's Folk City, The Bitter End, Cafe Au Go Go, Cafe Wha?, The Gaslight Cafe and the Bottom Line. Three of the four members of The Mamas & the Papas met there. Guitarist and folk singer Dave Van Ronk lived there for many years. Village resident and cultural icon Bob Dylan by the mid-60s became one of the foremost popular songwriters in the world, and often developments in Greenwich Village would influence the simultaneously occurring folk rock movement in San Francisco and elsewhere, and vice versa. Dozens of other cultural and popular icons got their start in the Village's nightclub, theater, and coffeehouse scene during the 1950s, 1960s, and early 1970s. Notably besides Bob Dylan, there were Jimi Hendrix, Barbra Streisand, Peter, Paul, and Mary, The Lovin' Spoonful, Simon & Garfunkel, Jackson Browne, James Taylor, Eric Andersen, Joan Baez, The Velvet Underground, The Kingston Trio, Richie Havens, Maria Muldaur, Tom Paxton, Phil Ochs, Joni Mitchell, Laura Nyro, and Nina Simone, among others. The Greenwich Village of the 1950s and 1960s was at the center of Jane Jacobs's book The Death and Life of Great American Cities, which defended it and similar communities, while critiquing common urban renewal policies of the time.

Greenwich Village was also home to one of the many safe houses used by the radical anti-war movement known as the Weather Underground. On March 6, 1970, however, their safe house was destroyed when an explosive they were constructing was accidentally detonated, killing three Weathermen (Ted Gold, Terry Robbins, and Diana Oughton).

In recent days, the Village has maintained its role as a center for movements that have challenged the wider American culture, for example, its role in the gay liberation movement. It contains Christopher Street and the Stonewall Inn, important landmarks, as well as the world's oldest gay and lesbian bookstore, Oscar Wilde Bookshop, founded in 1967. The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center – best known as simply "The Center" – has occupied the former Food & Maritime Trades High School at 208 West 13th Street since 1984. In 2006, the Village was the scene of an assault involving seven lesbians and a straight man that sparked appreciable media attention, with strong statements both defending and attacking the parties.

At the current time, artists and local historians mourn the fact that the bohemian days of Greenwich Village are long gone, because of the extraordinarily high housing costs in the neighborhood. After all, that’s what drew the artists to the neighborhood……the low cost of housing. The artists fled first to SoHo then to TriBeCa and finally Williamsburg and Bushwick in Brooklyn, Long Island City, and DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass). (this looks like another tidbit waiting to be discovered :investigate:) Nevertheless, residents of Greenwich Village still possess a strong community identity and are proud of their neighborhood's unique history and fame, and its well-known liberal live-and-let-live attitudes.

Greenwich Village is still home to celebrities, including many actresses/actors Emma Stone, Julianne Moore, Uma Thurman, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Edward Norton, Leontyne Price, Amy Sedaris, and Barbara Pierce Bush, the daughter of former U.S. President George W. Bush; Thurman and Bush both live on West Ninth Street. American designer Marc Jacobs and CNN anchor Anderson Cooper live in the neighborhood. Alt-country/folk musician Steve Earle moved to the neighborhood in 2005, and his album Washington Square Serenade is primarily about his experiences in the Village. The Village serves as home to Anna Wintour, the editor-in-chief of Vogue Magazine and Calvin Trillin, a feature writer for The New Yorker magazine. It seems obvious to me that rent has gone up since the 50s.

Greenwich Village includes several college or post-baccaulaurate institutions. Since the 1830s New York University (NYU) has had a campus there. In 1973 NYU moved its main campus from University Heights in the West Bronx to Greenwich Village. In 1976 Yeshiva University's established Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in the northern part of Greenwich Village. In the 1980s Hebrew Union College was built in Greenwich Village. The New School, with its Parsons The New School for Design, a division of The New School, and the School's Graduate School expanded in the 2000s, with the newly renovated, award winning design of the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center at 66 Fifth Avenue on 13th Street. The Cooper Union is also located in Greenwich Village, at Astor Place, near St. Mark's Place on the border of the East Village. Pratt Institute established its latest Manhattan campus in an adaptively reused Brunner & Tryon designed loft building on 14th Street, just east of Seventh Avenue. The university campus building expansion was followed by a gentrification process in the 1980s.

The historic Washington Square Park is the center and heart of the neighborhood, but the Village has several other, smaller parks: Father Fagan, Minetta Triangle, Petrosino Square, Little Red Square, and Time Landscape. There are also city playgrounds, including Desalvio, Minetta, Thompson Street, Bleecker Street, Downing Street, Mercer Street, Cpl. John A. Seravelli, and William Passannante Ballfield. Perhaps the most famous, though, is "The Cage", officially known as the West Fourth Street Courts. Since 1975 New York University's art collection has been housed at the Grey Art Gallery bordering Washington Square Park at 100 Washington Square East. The Grey Art Gallery is notable for its museum quality exhibitions of contemporary art.

Washington Square Park

The Village also has a bustling performing arts scene. It is still home to many Off Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway theaters; for instance, Blue Man Group has taken up residence in the Astor Place Theater. The Village Gate (until 1992), the Village Vanguard and The Blue Note are still presenting some of the biggest names in jazz on a regular basis. Other music clubs include The Bitter End, and Lion's Den. The village also has its own orchestra aptly named the Greenwich Village Orchestra. Comedy clubs dot the Village as well, including The Bostonand Comedy Cellar, where many American stand-up comedians got their start.
Each year on October 31, it is home to New York's Village Halloween Parade, the largest Halloween event in the country, drawing an audience of two million from throughout the region.


Couldn’t resist this one of a couple in 2010 on the way to the parade (thanks to ABC 7):


Several publications have offices in the Village, most notably the citywide newsweekly The Village Voice, and the monthly magazines Fortune and American Heritage. The National Audubon Society, having relocated its national headquarters from a mansion in Carnegie Hill to a restored and very green, former industrial building in NoHo, relocated to smaller but even greener LEED certified digs at 225 Varick Street, a short ways down Houston Street from the Film Forum.

In Media

• Village Barn (1948–50), the first country music show on network television (NBC) originated from a nightclub of the same name in the basement of 52 West 8th Street.
• In Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window (1954) James Stewart's character lives in a Greenwich Village apartment.
• The ABC sitcom Barney Miller (1975–82) was set at the fictional 12th precinct NYPD station in Greenwich Village.
• The cover photo for The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan of Dylan and his then-girlfriend Suze Rotolo was taken on Jones Street near West 4th Street in Greenwich Village, near their apartment.
• The NBC Sitcom The Cosby Show (1984–92) made several references to the Village during its run, and the townhouse used for exterior shots is on St. Luke's Place.
• The NBC sitcom Friends (1994–2004) is set in the Village. Central Perk was apparently on Mercer or Houston Street, down the block from the Angelika Film Center; and Phoebe lived at 5 Morton Street. The building in the exterior shot of Chandler, Joey, Rachel, and Monica's apartment building is at the corner of Grove and Bedford Streets in the West Village. One of the show' working titles was Once Upon a Time in the West Village.
• In Wait Until Dark (1967), Susy Hendrix (Audrey Hepburn) lives at 4 St. Luke's Place.
. Henry's short story The Last Leaf is set in Greenwich Village.
• Next Stop, Greenwich Village (1976) chronicles the story of a young Jewish boy in 1953 who moves to the Village, looking to break into acting.
• On Sex and the City (1998–2004), exterior shots of Carrie Bradshaw's apartment building are of 66 Perry Street, even though her address is given as on the Upper East Side.
• The Pope of Greenwich Village (1984) centers on a maître d' (Mickey Rourke) in the Italian section of the Village.
• The Real World: Back to New York, the 2001 season of the MTV reality television series The Real World, was filmed in the Village.
• The Greenwich Village KFC/Taco Bell infested with rats appeared on many TV networks worldwide.
• The anti-hero of Kurt Vonnegut's book, and resulting film Mother Night, Howard W. Campbell Jr. resides in Greenwich Village after WWII and prior to his arrest by the Israelis.
• Greenwich Village is the setting for the restaurant 22 Bleecker in the Catherine Zeta-Jones, Aaron Eckhart and Abigail Breslin movie No Reservations.
• Chinese Coffee (2000), an independent film by Al Pacino, which features Pacino and Jerry Orbach, is set in Greenwich Village in 1982.


Pg. 114-115 (1st page of Chapter 21):

Nora made a place for me between her and Dorothy in the taxicab. “I want coffee,” she said. “Reuben’s?”
I said, “All right,” and gave the driver the address…..
Nora went on talking about her until we got out of the taxicab at Reuben’s.
Herbert Macaulay was in the restaurant, sitting at a table with a plump dark-haired girl in red.


Reuben's Restaurant and Delicatessen was a landmark restaurant and deli in New York City. Arnold Reuben, a German immigrant, first opened the restaurant in 1908 at 802 Park Avenue. In 1916 it moved to Broadway and 73rd Street, and two years later moved again, this time to 622 Madison Avenue. Three decades after it first opened its doors, Reuben's Restaurant and Delicatessen had a formal opening at 6 East 58th Street with Mayor Fiorello La Guardia in attendance (March 28, 1935, New York Times). It stayed at this location for three more decades until it was sold in the mid 1960s, afterwards moving to a location at 38th Street and Madison Avenue.

Arnold Reuben was interviewed about his restaurant by the Federal Writers' Project in 1938. Marian Burros remembered the restaurant's appearance in a January 11, 1986 New York Times column: "Italian marble, gold-leaf ceiling, lots of walnut paneling and dark red leather seats—to a small-town girl it was the quintessential New York restaurant." The restaurant's menu included sandwiches named for celebrities; Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra both had sandwiches named for them.

Reuben's restaurant is one of several restaurants and chefs that claim to have originated the Reuben sandwich. According to its version, in 1914 an actress filming with Charlie Chaplin requested the combination. There is disagreement whether that recipe was the same as what became to be known as the Reuben sandwich. Another version is that the sandwich was named after Arnold Reuben for his charitable work and donations, though the actual sandwich was created by William Hamerly.

The restaurant also played a small part in the 1919 Black Sox scandal in which the Chicago White Sox conspired to "throw" the World Series. Arnold Rothstein and Abe "The Little Champ" Attell met together in a private room inside Reuben's in an initial attempt by Attell to sell the idea to Rothstein, the most powerful sports gambler of the period.

Arnold Reuben's son, Arnold Reuben Jr., worked in the restaurant with his father until it closed in the mid-1960s when Reuben sold the restaurant to Harry L. Gilman. Arnold Reuben retired to Palm Beach, where he died on December 31, 1970 at the age of 87.

The deli at 244 Madison Avenue remained until late 2001 when the restaurant was forced to close due health infractions.

The Menu:



I know that you are all wondering if this is where the Reuben sandwich originated. History tells us that the existence of the Reuben sandwich dates back to as early as the late 1920s. Most people believe that Reuben Kulakofsky of Omaha, Nebraska invented it during his regular poker game session at the Blackstone Hotel. During the weekly poker games that he had with his colleagues, they liked fixing their own sandwiches on mealtimes. When the owner of the hotel finally got to try it, he liked it so much that he included it on the hotel’s menu and called it Reuben Sandwich.

On the other hand, there is the Reuben’s NYC story. New Yorkers believe that the Reuben sandwich was discovered in 1928 by Arnold Reuben He made the sandwich for an actress named Annette Seelos who one day walked into his shop and asked for something to eat. He noticed that the actress looked quite in a bad mood that’s why he thought of fixing something that would make her fell better. But his cupboards were pretty bare at the time. He just got random slices of bread that he could think of, which happened to be rye, stuffed meat in it, some cheese and sauerkraut to go in it, and served it to the distressed lady. Right after she was done eating, she told Arnold that that was the best sandwich she has ever had. Afterwards, Arnold Reuben thought of including it in his menu and called it the Reuben Special.

The next two locations are outside of New York City proper. You can find them on this map:


Scarsdale, NY

Pg. 162 (Chapter 26):

Macaulay gave me his address, in Scarsdale, and stood up.


Lots of weirdness in Scarsdale….

Scarsdale is a town and village in Westchester County, New York, in the northern suburbs of New York City. The Town of Scarsdale is coextensive with the Village of Scarsdale, but the community has opted to operate solely with a village government, one of several villages in the state that have a similar governmental situation. As of the 2010 census, Scarsdale's population was 17,166.

The Arthur Suburban Home Company purchased a 150-acre farm in 1891 and converted it into a sub development of one-family dwellings, starting a transformation of the community from rural to suburban. The first store in Scarsdale opened on the corner of Popham Road and Garth Road in 1912. By 1915, the population approached 3000. By 1930, that number approached 10,000.

In 1940, German agent Gerhardt Alois Westrick secretly met with American business leaders at his Scarsdale home until public pressure drove his family from the community.

Scarsdale became the subject of national controversy in the 1950s when a "Committee of Ten" led by Otto Dohrenwend alleged "Communist infiltration" in the public schools. A thorough investigation by the town rejected these claims. This same group, known as the Scarsdale Citizens Committee, sued to prevent a benefit for the Freedom Riders from taking place at the public high school in 1963 because some of the performers (Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Pete Seeger) were allegedly "communist sympathizers and subversives."

Another controversy enveloped the town in 1961, when the Scarsdale Country Club, headed by Charles S. McCallister, refused to allow a young man who had converted from Judaism into the Episcopal Church to escort a young woman to her debut at the club. It was the club's policy, at the time, to prohibit Jews from the premises. In response, Rev. George French Kempsell of the Church of Saint James the Less announced that he would ban any supporters of the club's decision from receiving holy communion. The event marked a turning point toward the decline of anti-Semitism in the town.

In 1967, U.S. Secretary of State and former longtime resident Dean Rusk returned to Scarsdale at the height of the Vietnam War to receive the town's Man of the Year Award and was greeted with a silent protest.

Scarsdale was the subject of a landmark United States Supreme Court decision, ACLU v. Scarsdale (1985), that established the so-called "reindeer rule" regarding public nativity scenes and upheld the right of local religious groups to place nativity scenes on public property.

The Scarsdale Medical Diet was developed by Scarsdale, NY physician, Dr. Herman Tarnower with co-author Samm Sinclair Baker. Did any of you go on this diet? I did. It was a low carb/high protein weight-loss diet. You probably remember that he was murdered on March 10, 1980, by his long-time lover Jean Harris, the headmistress of The Madeira School, a fashionable boarding school for high school girls in McLean, Virginia.


In popular culture

• Bugsy - Barry Levinson's 1991 Oscar-winning film features Warren Beatty as gangster Benjamin Siegel, who lived in Scarsdale during the 1940s. The film opens at Siegel's house in Scarsdale (actually filmed in Hancock Park, Los Angeles), and Scarsdale is mentioned numerous times throughout the film.
• Seconds - John Frankenheimer's 1966 film, starring Rock Hudson, opens with the central character taking a Metro North train to Scarsdale, where he lives with his wife.
• "Hell High" - B-grade horror film; Scarsdale High School was used as a filming location.
• Seinfeld - Kramer is accidentally rewarded with a Tony Award for the fictional musical "Scarsdale Surprise", supposedly based on the Scarsdale Diet doctor murder.
• Taxi - Tony Danza's character, Tony Banta, attempts to adopt a young boy from a wealthy foster family in Scarsdale in several episodes.
• Fringe - Plane Crashes in Scarsdale in the beginning of episode "The Transformation". Dan Robins, one of the writers of the show, lives in Scarsdale. Original air date: February 3, 2009
• Jacob M. Appel's "Scouting for the Reaper" is set in Scarsdale.
• See How They Run by James Paterson uses Scarsdale as the setting in his novel.
• Sleepless In Scarsdale by John Updike uses Scarsdale as the setting for his poem.
• The Spy by James Fenimore Cooper was set in a house in Scarsdale.
• Guys and Dolls - In the song "I'll Know" a "Scarsdale Gallahad" is referenced.
• Friends - Ross (David Schwimmer) envisions moving to Scarsdale after he and Rachel marry and have two children (Season 2)
• Friends - Monica and Chandler move to Scarsdale with their two new babies. (Season 10 finale)

Pleasantville, NY

Pleasantville, NY was the location of Lillian Hellman’s farm. Hammett lived there for a time.


Pleasantville is a village in Westchester County, New York, United States. The population was 7,019 at the 2010 census. It is located in the town of Mount Pleasant. Pleasantville is home to a campus of Pace University and to the Jacob Burns Film Center. Pleasantville was the original home of Reader's Digest, which still uses a Pleasantville postal address.


In January 2012, GQ Magazine anointed Pleasantville the second best-smelling city in the world. Maple, oak, and pine smell cyclically different as the seasons turn, and Pleasantville's scent is based on these trees and their leaves at all stages—green, yellow, dead brown, and budding.

Pleasantville history goes back to the Iroquois tribe, who raised corn there and whose trading routes crossed through the present-day village long before the arrival of Europeans. French Huguenot Isaac See (sometimes spelled Sie) settled here as an agent for Dutch landowner Frederick Philipse in 1695, thus beginning the modern history of Pleasantville.

By the time of the American Revolution, the population of the growing settlement was comprised of English, Dutch, and Quakers, most of whom were tenant farmers. During the Revolution, this area was part of the Neutral Ground, where there were conflicting loyalties among the settlers. British spy Major John André passed through what is now Pleasantville on a mission to carry information from Benedict Arnold at West Point to the British in New York City. André lost his bearings near the present-day corner of Bedford Road and Choate Lane and fell into the hands of the Americans. The capture of André is often cited as a key factor in the ultimate victory of the American forces.

The arrival of the New York Central Railroad and New York and Harlem Railroad in 1846 was significant for Pleasantville. The following year, a train station was built near the present corner of Bedford Road and Wheeler Avenue, and as a result the commercial center of Pleasantville shifted to its current location. The older business district at Bedford Road and Broadway is today called the Old Village. The railroad offered a speedier and more frequent connection with New York City—only 70 minutes away by rail, compared with a five-hour overland journey by stagecoach or a two-hour steamboat trip down the Hudson River. The present-day train station, which currently houses the Iron Horse Grill restaurant, was built in 1905 and was moved to its present location in the 1950s to accommodate the lowering of the tracks below grade. Before the addition of the now heavily trafficked station, commuters working in New York City and Lower Westchester were forced to rely on rides from Marc Damon, now famous in Pleasantville for being "The Friendly Coachman." Pleasantville was also a stop on the Underground Railroad, a network of safe houses for escaped slaves from the South on their way to freedom in the north.

The latter half of the 19th century was a time of rapid growth in Pleasantville. By the 1870s, there were four shoemaking businesses, a shirtmaking business, and a pickle factory. The first newspaper to serve the village, The Pleasantville Pioneer, was launched in about 1886. The village's numerous small farms and orchards began to be subdivided for a wave of solid foursquare and Victorian houses built for a growing middle class. The 1890s saw the establishment of a police department, volunteer fire department, and a library system. Pleasantville was incorporated as a village on March 16, 1897.

Pleasantville quickly developed from a country village into a bustling modern suburb of New York, with a large number of workers commuting between the village and the metropolis on what is now the Metro-North Railroad's Harlem Line. During the first two decades of the 20th century, roads were paved for the first time, water mains were installed, and electrical wires brought power to the village's houses. Other improvements during the first half of the 20th century include the construction of Soldiers and Sailors Field in 1909, the Saw Mill River Parkway in 1924, the Rome Theater in 1925, Memorial Plaza in 1930, Parkway Field in 1930, and Nannahagen Park in 1937 (the adjacent village pool was completed two years later). By the time of World War II, the village had taken on the appearance that it bears today.

Pleasantville merits interest for its literary history. Playwright Lillian Hellman (The Children’s Hour, The Little Foxes) bought Hardscrabble Farm on the western outskirts of Pleasantville and lived there in the 1940s and 1950s. I was unable to find a photo of Hardscrabble Farm. But I did find Hardscrabble Road. So I imagine this is the vicinity in which it is located, if it still exists.

DeWitt Wallace and Lila Bell Wallace, co-founders of Reader's Digest, made Pleasantville their headquarters in 1922, using a converted garage and pony shed on Eastview Avenue as their office and later building a home and larger office space on adjacent property. Subsequently the Digest held office space in several buildings throughout Pleasantville, including the present-day Village Hall at Bedford Road and Wheeler Avenue and, diagonally opposite, the bank building currently occupied by Chase. Reader’s Diges tmoved its headquarters to nearby Chappaqua in 1939, but retained its Pleasantville post office box, thus making the name of the village familiar to millions of Reader's Digest subscribers around the world. Today Pleasantville is home to many novelists, editors, and writers, who find its easygoing charm and proximity to New York an attractive combination.

Pleasantville's reputation as a cultural center was enhanced in 2001 with the opening of the nonprofit Jacob Burns Film Center in the landmark Rome Theater, a Spanish mission-style building and one of the first movie theaters in Westchester County. The Burns Center is dedicated to presenting independent, documentary, and world cinema. Guest speakers at the Burns Center have included Jerry Lewis, Woody Allen, Jonathan Demme, Robert Klein, Oliver Stone, Stephen King, Rob Lowe and numerous other notable filmmakers and actors.

In 1948, in an unincorporated area of Pleasantville off Bear Ridge Road, acolytes of Frank Lloyd Wright began putting their lessons to work by building homes in their mentor's modernist, open-plan style. The neighborhood, called Usonia Homes, comprises 50 houses spread among 100 acres of wooded hillside; the development includes two houses designed by Wright himself. Also, the layout of the neighborhood was planned by Wright in a circular manner, preserving most of the original trees and "encouraging the flow of the land". The balance of the homes were decreed to be in the modern "organic" style ordained by Wright. The community was named "Usonia" in homage to Wright, whose ideas on the way Americans should live together guided their plan. Click on the thumbnail to see the Roland Reisley House, designed by Wright:


This house in Usonia was designed by David Henken, an apprentice to Wright.


According to Chandler Burr of GQ Magazine, Pleasantville is among the "Top Ten Best Smelling Cities in the World". Although Pleasantville is technically not a city, Burr contends that, "Money changes the smell of everything, and wealthy towns where people who want to flee New York's asphalt canyons go to have gardens and lawns have scents as restricted as the covenants guarding their real estate values. Maple, oak, and pine smell cyclically different as the seasons turn, and Pleasantville's scent is based on these trees and their leaves at all stages—green, yellow, dead brown, and budding. When you close your eyes you get grass and then the smell of 'America as it was' whenever that might mean for your nose. If Normal Rockwell's paintings emitted a scent, this is what it would be."

Another addition to Pleasantville's cultural scene is the Pleasantville Music Festival, made possible by the Village, over 150 volunteers and the PEAK 107.1. It is an all-day outdoor event staged at Parkway Field on the second Saturday in July. Main stage acts have included Roger McGuinn, The Bacon Brothers, Rusted Root, Jakob Dylan, Dar Williams, Carney, Back Door Slam, Marc Cohn, Augustana and Joan Osborne.

Other Famous Residents

• John Emory Andrus, politician
• Matt Ballinger, singer in the pop band Dream Street
• Dave Barry, humorist, author
• Louis Biancaniello, multi platinum record producer, songwriter, and musician
• Nick Catalano, author
• Benjamin Cheever, author
• Anne Hyde Choate, an early and prominent leader in the Girl Scouts
• Johnny Craig, comic book artist
• Terry George, Irish screenwriter, director
• Paul Geroski, economist
• Bill Graham (1931–1991), rock promoter
• Otis Hill, professional basketball player, standout at Pleasantville High School and Syracuse University
• Morgana King, singer and actress
• Boris Koutzen (1901–1966), violinist, composer, conductor Chappaqua Orchestra
• David Leonard, guitarist, singer-songwriter, author
• Norman Leyden, musician, arranger, composer and founder of the Westchester Youth Symphony
• Kyle Lowder, actor
• Gavin MacLeod, actor
• Sean Maher, actor
• Janet Maslin, film critic
• Kurt McKinney, actor (1994–2000, 2006-; recurring character on The Guiding Light)
• Scott Mebus, author, composer, playwright, theatrical producer
• John Nonna, Olympic fencer, former mayor, current county legislator
• Sidney Poitier (1960s), actor
• Steven Clark Rockefeller, Jr.
• Deion Sanders Retired NFL and MLB Player, Former New York Yankee, NFL Hall of Famer
• David Selby, actor, producer, writer
• Will Shortz, puzzle creator and editor for the New York Times
• Henry Stone, owner of TK Records
• Robert Tagliapietra, fashion designer
• Tina Turner, Recording Artist, Actress, and Author
• DeWitt Wallace (1889–1981), magazine publisher, co-founder of Reader's Digest
• Lila Bell Wallace (née Acheson), (1890–1984), magazine publisher, co-founder of Reader's Digest
• Joseph Wallace, author of Diamond Ruby (2010).


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Re: The Thin Man Tidbit #12 - New York - Part 3

Unread postby shadowydog » Sat Feb 11, 2012 9:18 pm

Well if I may be permitted to add a little cultural addition to the history of Greenwich Village. :blush: (hope you don't toss me out of here for this) In the late 60s, I and a group of teachers decided to make like a group of hippies in NYC over spring break.....I got the tickets to the Broadway play of our fellow hippies talked a friend into letting us stay in her Park Ave apartment for the weekend.....and one of the other hippies told us that she knew a member of a British barbershop quartet that played in Greenwich Village. Off we went. Got to apartment and started making our assault plans. Only to discover that the gal that knew the guy who was in the band didn't know the address of the place in the Village where he was playing......All she knew is that it was a place called "Your Fathers Mustache" - (Turned out it was hidden like the best of the speakeasys which we didn't discover until the end of the adventure). However, one of the gals said: "No problem" and went and picked up the phone, dialed "O" and said: "Yes Ma am, can you tell me where your Fathers Mustache is?" :freaked: We could hear the operator screaming curses from the opposite side of the apartment.

No problem I said....we can hop a cab from the theater. Sooooo we come out of the theater after watching the play, hop in a driver asks where to.....we reply.....your fathers mustache. He goes :-O :yikes: and looks like he is about to jump out of the cab. We convince him that it is the name of a place in the village. (turns out he was new to NYC barely spoke English and didn't know much about the city. :sigh:).

Well we directed him to take us to the village and drive around looking for a sign. No such luck. I spotted a police officer and told the driver to stop and ask him. The driver said....I'll ask. Why we said.....He English is not that good. If I say "Officer where is your fathers mustache, he might throw me in jail" We decided we might also suffer the same fate and got out of the cab. We spent the next half hour or so wandering up and down the streets of Greenwich Village stopping complete strangers and asking them...."Excuse me, can you tell me where your fathers mustache is?" while trying to not fall over laughing at the looks of total panic on their faces......Ah the good ole days in the village when the hippies ruled.

Oh yes we did find the place.....what happened after that is secret. :biggrin:
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Re: The Thin Man Tidbit #12 - New York - Part 3

Unread postby Buster » Sat Feb 11, 2012 9:35 pm

I remember buying a button in the Village that was silver and read "Nirvana Now"in a very groovy font...probably two decades before Nirvana even was a band. :bigwink:

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Re: The Thin Man Tidbit #12 - New York - Part 3

Unread postby stroch » Sun Feb 12, 2012 9:26 am

Totally superficial remarks here...Allen Ginsberg wearing a reindeer sweater :-O and Ruben's menu features Coca-Cola in the "mineral waters" section!

My hippie-era ventures into the Village were in search of the Bitter End and The Village Gate. I felt so sophisticated, as one does at that age.
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Re: The Thin Man Tidbit #12 - New York - Part 3

Unread postby Liz » Sun Feb 12, 2012 2:15 pm

shadowydog wrote:Oh yes we did find the place.....what happened after that is secret. :biggrin:

No fair! :lol:

Can you remember the address (roughly)?
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Re: The Thin Man Tidbit #12 - New York - Part 3

Unread postby Liz » Sun Feb 12, 2012 2:21 pm

stroch wrote:Totally superficial remarks here...Allen Ginsberg wearing a reindeer sweater :-O and Ruben's menu features Coca-Cola in the "mineral waters" section!

And there was no food on that menu. The food page was not available.

I didn't go to the Village until I was 25. It was a half day trip. I don't remember much except for Washington Square.
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Re: The Thin Man Tidbit #12 - New York - Part 3

Unread postby shadowydog » Sun Feb 12, 2012 3:19 pm

Liz wrote:
shadowydog wrote:Oh yes we did find the place.....what happened after that is secret. :biggrin:

No fair! :lol:

Can you remember the address (roughly)?

No except it was in the "downtown" Greenwich Village entertainment center. It was in a basement and had a "bouncer" who decided if you were allowed in or not. Dressed in our best hippie attire and knowing somebody in the band, we got in. All bars had to close at 2AM........well sort of.....a select group (including us :biggrin: ) were invited to the private after party which lasted until after dawn. A couple of the guys found out that the gals had never been in NYC before and invited all of us to a private tour of the city. Out we went to a...... :-O Two seater Aston Martin sports car. :-O :redcar: Well since I knew the city I volunteered to squish myself into the tiny ledge behind the seats in a fetal position and the other 4 contorted themselves into the bucket seats and off we went. :ok: :harhar: :biglaugh:

Just googled it and found this:

Editing again. Read the last entry on that link. :-O :yuck: Some people just don't appreciate the flavor of the "early history" of the Village. :grr:
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Re: The Thin Man Tidbit #12 - New York - Part 3

Unread postby fansmom » Sat Feb 18, 2012 11:50 pm

Old map of Westchester County, Liz? North Tarrytown changed its name to Sleepy Hollow a few years ago. :bigwink:

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