"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Where & When: Game 27

Whew, welcome back to another round of Where & When.  I’ve been busy managing some issues the past few days, so I knew Monday’s game would be pushed back, but I can’t really announce something like that unless I had an official schedule; Monday and Thursday are the usual days this day is played, but it’s not something set in stone. At any rate, there’s been a lot of off-season stuff to talk about, so an off-schedule challenge is not something to froth at the mouth about (if things were slow, yeah I’d be a bit uptight).

At any rate, here is today’s challenge:

Where & When Game 27

Click on pic for larger view

This one gave me a headache, because the source who posted it did not know the location; the clues are not so evident unless you have access to stronger records than I do (likely), so we may be doing a favor for these folks when we figure out the where; or should I say YOU figure it out.  I know where it is now, and it’s not gonna be easy to figure out if you do what I did.  Get your preferred headache medication ready, this is not as simple as it looks (of course I can expect at least two of you to figure it out right away).  I must admit, I wanted to use this picture in earlier games, but I was stumped until now where this possibly could be; I’ll reveal my path of discovery after the game.

Since there is no absolute reference that I can find for the pic, I will accept an approximation of the date, but I insist on having an address of one of the buildings here.  A bonus will be awarded to those who can tell us each business that exists today in place of the businesses in the picture. The first player to get the correct answers will receive a grail of Barqs (you can’t get much better than that in my opinion) and the rest will have to fight over A&W or Crush (yes, Crush makes cream soda), both of which happen to be pink

Do your best and have fun; don’t forget to show your math.  I’ll try to get back to you in 6the evening because I know I’ll be busy, but like I tell my nephew when I buy him lunch at 5 Guys, try to savor this one instead of inhaling it >;)

[Photo Credit: New York Shitty]

P.S.: When I read the comments section of the source, I found out someone had already hunted down the addresses the same way I did. D’oh!


1 RIYank   ~  Dec 17, 2013 9:24 am

Yeah, this is hard!
I think it must be about 1940, maybe a couple years later.
And it feels like the Lower East Side, but I'm not at all confident about that.

2 RIYank   ~  Dec 17, 2013 9:30 am

Okay, I actually have a guess.
This is such a challenge that I don't want to post the answer here. I'll email Will.

3 RIYank   ~  Dec 17, 2013 9:44 am

Yeah, I'm confident now on the Where. I just happened to try the right approach, I think. Must have been fate.

4 TheGreenMan   ~  Dec 17, 2013 10:22 am

I think I got the location from Kismet Records over on the right. Used the address of the clothing store to do a street view and it looks like the same street. No clue on the year, maybe I'll go with the early 1940's as RIYank guessed.

And I just got RIYank's "fate" joke. Well played.

5 RIYank   ~  Dec 17, 2013 10:42 am

That was my approach too. Google streetview after doing a little research on Kismet Records. The store fronts in streetview are pretty clearly the ones in Will's picture -- look at the pentagonal ornaments over the second floor windows in the main part of the building.

But did you find anything on the clothing store? Or do you just mean you used the address number because it's more clearly visible on the clothing store? I came up empty on Blausner's itself.

6 William Juliano   ~  Dec 17, 2013 10:51 am

One of the addresses is 225 East 14. Street (the block is between 2nd and 3rd Ave's). Here's what it looks like today: http://tinyurl.com/mkhrza2 A barber shop still sits in the same address.

The helpful clue was Kismet record shop, whose address can be found doing a google search.

As for the date, the style of cars suggest the 1940s, and the mention of the Victor 45 on the Kismet canopy would narrow that down to no earlier than 1949. Judging by the dress, we can probably assume the weather is mild (one lady has a jacket, but most without), so either spring or early fall.

7 seamus   ~  Dec 17, 2013 11:18 am

[6] Actually, it looks to me like the old barbership is where the gallery is now. The shoe repair is where the new barbershop is. Based on the apartment access points.

8 TheGreenMan   ~  Dec 17, 2013 11:23 am

[5] No, I just meant that the address, 211, was the easiest to read. I did find something for them, but it was a picture of folks walking around the boardwalk in Atlantic City.

9 William Juliano   ~  Dec 17, 2013 11:36 am

[5] [8] Blauner's was a Philly-based department store, but I am not sure this shop is related.

10 TheGreenMan   ~  Dec 17, 2013 11:47 am

Just dug a bit deeper on Blauner's...and still not finding much. There is a gentleman named Max Blauner who now heads a real estate investment company. But the first property he sold was a family-owned business in the garment district. Hmm... There was another Max Blauner (his father?) who died in 1962. Along with Sydney and Richard Blauner, they made affordable versions of Parisian gowns for American women under Lombardy Frocks/Dresses and later the Suzy Perrette Company. The label "Jeunesse" was also owned by the Blauser company.

This could have been an early store of theirs before they opened the Suzy Perrette Company on W. 37th Street in 1949. It sounds like that building was the family-owned building that the current Max Blauner started his real estate business with. But I could be dead wrong about that.

11 RIYank   ~  Dec 17, 2013 11:57 am

The cars do look like late 40s, now that I've investigated that. The one double parked in front of the wine store is I think a Buick '48 Special.
Also, there's a crumpled marker on the film in the upper left corner, which seems to say 19_9 (the blank is for the bit that's been crumpled out). So 1949 is the best guess. Good job by William on the Victrola clue!

12 rbj   ~  Dec 17, 2013 12:39 pm

No clue. Blauner's was no help. Bit busy today.

13 thelarmis   ~  Dec 17, 2013 1:49 pm

I wish I was good at this game...

Kismet Records looks cool and Barq's is my fave! : )

14 seamus   ~  Dec 17, 2013 3:20 pm

[13] yeah I was sort of wanting to go in and look through the store. It's a good name. Kismet Records.

15 Chyll Will   ~  Dec 17, 2013 7:26 pm

Answer: Eat 14th Street btw 2nd-3rd Avenue, c. 1940's. You figured out the same path I used to identify this block, though it was kind of hard since there aren't a lot of records of any of the stores here. Blauners was especially misleading, since there's no exact telling whether or not this is part of the Blauners of Philadelphia chain. I did find some names that seemed to indicate that the chain expanded to New York earlier; Julius and Isidor Blauner, in particular, were involved in a series of litigation that involved their business somewhere in Manhattan (court records did not specify any addresses but alluded to Manhattan in some cases). However, in 1922 Julius Blauner was one of three honorees of a banquet given by the NY Merchants Association to celebrate the success of the newly built Garment Center Capitol cooperative, of which he was treasurer.

But that's all another story, and it didn't help with our quest at all. The only other significant clue that was legible enough to read was the store front on the far right which had "Kismet Records" painted on the window pane. This was a little misleading at first because when you searched Google for the name, it brought you a lot of info for modern record labels with the same name in Great Britain and India. But further crate digging (Kismet Records New York) would lead you past Barbra Streisand to this random entry that listed an address we could reference. When I used this address on Google Maps, it displayed an area that looked similar to the picture, but I had to be certain. So I used the address again and included '1940s' in the search and came across Forgotten New York and their entry about the history of 14th Street from West to East. In the long article, there just happened to be a paragraph about Manhattan Russian Souvenirs, a store that just so happened to share the same address which we were looking up... and then I saw this!

And boom goes the dynamite. There was no question at this point; I compared the game picture to the modern pictures (the souvenir shop still displays the worn sign from the old key shop underneath Kismet Records) and went to work setting it up. It was only after I did all that work did I think to look at the comments from the site I referenced to see that someone had already done the legwork for me and posted the address five years ago.

So yeah, that was a tough one, but considering the journey you likely had to take to get there, it was worth the effort to put together.

RIYank again found it first, so he adds to his root beer collection once again. Bonuses to William Juliano and TheGreenMan for the additional information they provided about the clues in the picture (Blauners will haunt me from now until Opening Day) and the rest of us will raise a mug of Canadian Cream Soda, eh? Thanks for playing, see you on the next one later in the week. As always, suggestions and submissions are welcome. >;)

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
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