"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Where & When (Back Again) Game 1: 2019-20

Hello again, good to be back! Where & When is here to accompany you through the 2019-20 Yankee off-season; entertaining and educating as we continue to sleuth out some locations in and around New York City (with an occasional deviation from the norm).  A little birdy told me that some of you folks missed this game, so I decided to find time to oil the gears and bring it back to the storefront, yay!

Before we start ‘er up, some ground rules: the name of the game is Where & When, meaning that I give you a picture of a location and you have to determine the location and time frame the picture is depicting.  For example, I presented a black-and-white pic of some brick church-like building with antique cars parked in front of it; using those and other clues within the pic, you can use your intuition or research the net to pinpoint the address and year in which this picture was taken.  Utilizing your fine detective skills, you determine that the address is 222 Suchensuch Blvd in the Bronx, taken in 1922; by which the building featured prominently is the Metropolitan Executive Municipal Events Depot, which upon further review is where Sherman Peabody used to work and is now split between Duane Reade and Chase Bank (the details after the date are for bonus points).   To keep it fair and show that it wasn’t just a lucky guess (although that can happen in the more obvious locations) or peeking at the credits (more on that), I ask that you explain your method in making your determination; i.e. I found a similar pic at this site or I looked a listing of similar buildings and made a match, or even better I live(d) in the same neighborhood.    If you do find it on the net, please credit your source as well; we try to avoid some copyright issues when possible.

I have to explain about peeking; I do try to credit my sources, but it would not be fair to other players if you simply clicked on the credit link to find the answer. The credits are for copyright purposes and we don’t want the Banter to get into too much trouble, do we? So for fairness’ sake, if I credit a particular source, please refrain from using that source yourself; consider it out-of-bounds.  Now, if you happen to come across the link on your own during your research, I can’t stop you from checking it, but I would hope you don’t follow it and instead let it lead you to a similar source.  That’s not hard for the easier games, but you might be tempted for more obscure ones, which I try to limit for that reason. Still, if you are intrepid enough and uncover interesting trivia pertaining to the particular location, you will be rewarded and it might even put you ahead of the competition.

Oh, the rewards: being that this is a Banter game and we have a lot of inside jokes from the past and present, I like to keep it simple: you win , you get a root beer.  Bonus points come as brownies or cookies; winner’s choice in fact. I like to think we’re all winners already for partaking in the chase and discovering something new about our spiritual hometown. I know it sounds corny, but hey, we don’t have sponsors, so we do it for the fun of it, yes? If I left anything out or if you have any questions, please feel free to ask me in the comments or answer in kind of you know.

And now, on the show:

Credit: Wurts Bros (New York, NY) Courtesy of New York Public Library, NYPL.org digital collections;; Irma and Paul Milstein Division of United States History, Local History and Genealogy

One other thing I didn’t mention: some of you know I tend to drop very subtle hints in my presentation, so you’ll scour my post to see if anything I said is helpful.  Feel free to keep doing so, you know how we do.  Often, I will provide you with a direct clue to help in your tracking efforts.  Other times (like with this one), I will be a bit oblique and just tell you to look carefully, as the pic might have enough clues to help you.  You can make as many guesses as you wish, and you can even post your progress if you like.  If you ask, I might give you an indication of how close you actually are (but please don’t expect a prompt reply).  If no one comes up with an exact address, I may usually take a ballpark figure and reward the player closest to the answer; sometimes the answer itself isn’t precise and I don’t even know exactly where or when, so guessing helps in a way; admit to it if you want credit for your sleuthing.  With this one, you may be thrown off a little if you’re not careful, so I can tell if you’re cheating, haa >;)

With that, have fun! I’ll be in and out to check on your progress and close out the game mid-week, I’ll try to keep up with these weekly as time permits.  Also, unless it’s something breaking ad extraordinary, feel free to banter about the latest moves in the Yanksverse or anything else baseball; these are meant to keep us occupied during the long hot stove season after all.  Later, gators! >;)

9 comments

1 rbj   ~  Dec 1, 2019 6:49 pm

Thanks, Chyll. Hmm, not so easy.

2 Bronx Boy in NC   ~  Dec 2, 2019 10:26 am

Thanks Chyll for the revival!

It’s just barely possible to make out “Jacob H. Schiff Center” right below the arch window. Wikipedia’s entry on the building’s namesake, a prominent financier and community leader who died in 1920, points me to Valentine Avenue in the Bronx and an active period “from the 1930s through at least the 1960s.” A 2006 NY Times letter to the editor says the center opened in 1917. A 1961 Times article about a renovation says the building was located at 2510 Valentine Avenue.

Cars and baza(a)rs… I think that sexy little ragtop is a Ford Model A, and all the cars look to be 1930s vintage. If the sign on the building is advertising an upcoming bazar, unusual spelling notwithstanding, it seems likely such an event in a synagogue would begin with sabbath’s end on Saturday evening. May 7 was a Saturday in 1932. Are those trees just starting to bud?

So my answer is the Jacob H. Schiff Center at 2510 Valentine Avenue in the Bronx in… April 1932.

Google Maps shows the building standing today, occupied by the Super Mundo discount store and other concerns, but showing a sad lack of care.

3 Chyll Will   ~  Dec 2, 2019 6:02 pm

*plays Chantilly Lace and Nautilus on the one-and-two for background music*

[2] Correct, correct and werrrrrd!

See how easy that is, everyone looking along? That's the kind of answer that earns you not only a nice frosty root beer, but a whole plate of brownies. Or cookies. Very precise, lots of information from a simple clue and we all learned something interesting, great sleuthing. Not bad for the first game of the season and congrats, Bronx Boy in NC for the win. I'm gonna dig a little deeper for the next game and see how many of you can match that kind of wit. Cheers!

4 Chyll Will   ~  Dec 2, 2019 6:18 pm

As for the building itself, yeah it's always jarring to me to see a building way back in it's glory days compared to what it is in the present. Of course, there are several factors that likely played into this particular building and many like it around the Bronx, but I'll leave that discussion to the plethora of documentaries that exist and have presented those issues so articulately.

5 rbj   ~  Dec 2, 2019 9:05 pm

I saw the Star of David, and the “churchy” clue. Figured it was a synagogue, and assumed it wasn’t around any more. But “lost synagogues of New York City” in various iterations turned up bupkus.

Couldn’t make out the name. Need better glasses.

6 Mr OK Jazz Tokyo   ~  Dec 2, 2019 9:08 pm

[0] Yes! Thank you, Chyll!

[2] That was great work Bronx Boy, well done.

7 Alex Belth   ~  Dec 3, 2019 8:37 am

Fascinating, Will, fascinating! You still got IT. Thanks for this.

8 Bronx Boy in NC   ~  Dec 3, 2019 10:09 am

Woo-hoo, thanks guys! Root beer for everyone. Big scoop of vanilla ice cream going in mine. I'll pass the brownies around, just save me a middle one.

Next prize I hope we can all share would come from the Modern Era Committee. How'd you like to see three Yankee captains get plaques on the same day? Long odds, but we'll see soon. If some of you don't know, the group campaigning on behalf of #15 has been amazing in its dedication.

9 GaryfromChevyChase   ~  Dec 3, 2019 10:56 am

Great pic, Chyll. Great sleuthing BBinNC. BTW, it would be another travesty if Marvin Miller is not elected to the HOF.

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