In Her Footsteps…
On March 25th, my family celebrated Mom’s birthday. Thought I’d publish this as I was thinking about her a lot recently.
Last summer I took my usual trip to NYC and NJ to visit family. During that visit I took 1 day to visit Mom’s (Gayook’s) favorite places.
I started out visiting her apartment on the Upper Eastside (85th Street between 2nd and 3rd Ave, 1st floor) I was able to talk to someone who lived in the building but not the people who lived in her apartment. It’s right across the street from the fire department. She remembers my grandfather wanting to move because the landlord was raising the rent to $60/month!
After that I walked over to Third Avenue in search of the location of LJP’s Laundry Mat. After the presentation to the NY Art Deco Society, someone pointed out that in one of the photos you could see the above ground tracks for the Third Ave line in the background. So I started my search there.
I FOUND IT!
It was a corner commercial space on 82nd and 3rd NE Corner. It’s a 7-11 now! I also went into the Pub next door and talked to some of the people at the bar who were very excited to see the old pictures of the building. We all went outside to look for a date stone that would tell us when the building was built but couldn’t find one.
Unfortunately the scaffolding hides much but it is one of the Bremer Buildings. If anyone in NYC is in the area when the scaffolding is removed, please send photos!!
Built as French flats for middle-class families, with stores on the ground floor, this structure is actually composed of two connected buildings with a unifying cornice. By 1900 it was home to working families of German, Irish, English, and Italian origins who sometimes took in boarders to supplement their income. However by 1920, German families were the predominant group. Soon after purchasing the buildings in 1922, the Bremer family put their name on the cornice.
Building Use: Mixed Residential and Commercial
Building Materials: Brick and cast stone
Date of Construction: 1888
Original Architect: Edward Wenz
Architectural Style: German Renaissance Revival
After that bit of excitement I made my way to The Metropolitan Museum of Art on 5th Ave. Mom used to reminisce about sitting on the steps and eating her lunch because her school was in walking distance. Then I made my way into Central Park heading south towards the Carousel.
My grandfather used to take the family to the Central Park on the weekends. Mom’s favorite thing was to ride on the carousel! Whenever we saw one no matter where we were, she wanted to take a ride! She always picked a white horse that went up and down. And that’s just what I did.
I can just imagine what a sight I made, a grown woman riding on a white horse laughing and crying in memory of her mother! “This one’s for you Mom!”
This is such a great story. I am so happy that you did this. After my mother passed, I did the same thing generally speaking, on the New Jersey Shore, visiting all the places that we went to together. When Kayden is old enough to understand, you have to do this trip with her. Gayook would be so pleased.. So interesting. I am so sorry that we didn’t know you were doing a presentation in Miami. Or that Rory was doing a talk. We are hardly ever in the US anymore so we might not have been able to coordinate it but your presentation and that whole week in Miami actually sounds more interesting to me than the Congress happening this month. Please let us know ahead of time if you’re doing another one. If not, we’ll get in touch when we’re going through LA.
This was a beautiful way to remember, honor, and connect with Gayook, Jenn. Thanks for sharing the story.