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Deven has started on a McCarthy map of Manhattan, using the new MyMap feature from Google.  He already has included CDA on Columbus Circle, FDR/Woodrow Wilson, O’Dwyer Townhouse on West 55th Street, Weeden HQ above new Citibank branch on West 72nd Street. Be sure to read his excellent annotations. Still to add: Commodore Hotel (now Grand Hyatt), Henry Hudson Hotel.

This came from Kathie back on 6/11/99, but I didn't get around to posting it until 11-19-99. Sorry: A few little comments—how could you not mention Murray’s deli (home of the bottomless chicken roll sandwich_ on your map list? Also, how about mentioning, esp. for those of us not in nyc, what fdr-ww has become—the Key West condos. I was shocked when i first saw it. Wonder what the tenants would think if they could’ve seen Rupert & Pringle Pigeon in action. 

10/11/99 NOS: This weekend we received a menu from La Nueva Victoria under our door. We used to eat there in the old days when it was called La Victoria China and was about half a block north of its present location at Broadway and 95th Street. Also, Deven recently (9/23/99) reminded me that we used to prefer La Princessa over La Victoria China. For the life of me, I cannot remember where La Princessa was located or what it looked like.

11/16/99 DEVEN: Just looking at the note on Spanish/Chinese restaurants on the old gang’s site and, if I recall La Princessa was on the east side of Broadway midway between 100 and 101 Sts. It was bright, with fake wood paneling, fluorescent lights, and the usual formica tables. Their Arroz con Camerones was very large and quite edible. The green peas were a nice touch.

11/16/99 NOS: Still cannot remember it, tho the name is starting to sound familiar. At or near the same location is El Flor de Mayo, one of the neighborhood's most popular Spanish-Chinese restaurants. 

While we're doing restaurant memories . . . Iris and I used to eat (prob. late 70's to early 80's)  at Chuan Hong on the West side of Broadway, between 105-106 sts. Two small rooms, fake wood paneling, and the most garish lighting I have ever seen in my life. It had been recommended by Deven. The food was good and the prices were cheap. 

There was a place at the southwest corner of 94 and Broadway. Maybe called Shanghai D'Or, even though it was one of the then-ubiquitous Cantonese joints. I remember having dinner there with Power in the late 60's.

What was the name of that awful place in the Greystone Hotel? You could go from the Greystone's lobby, through the kitchen of the place and into the restaurant proper. Must have been in the 70's that I ate there. As I recall it, the mixed vegetable were mostly sautéed onions. Yum.

Hunam Plum was on the Southwest corner of 100th and Broadway. That location has been the site of more failed restaurants than almost anywhere else in the neighborhood. Even Mariel Hemingway had a place there. 

11-16-99 Vicki Free Presser: 

Ah, comidas chinas y criollas—start with egg drop soup, proceed to the ropa vieja. I liked Victoria China because of the name of course.

I think I remember eating at Stark’s on 90th Street with the crowd. But I do have a great Tip Toe Inn (86th & B’way) story that has nothing to do with politics. My mother went in one day and ordered the fruit salad. Took one bite, called the waitress over and told her there was booze in the salad. Waitress looked at my mother like she was crazy, but went into the kitchen to check. Came back red-faced. She was new and didn’t know there were two vats of fruit salad, the regular, and a special one for the little grey-haired ladies from West End Avenue who wanted to have a tipple but didn’t want the world to know . . .

11-16-99 Deven: I don’t know how one could talk about West Side food memories and not mention Murry’s on Amsterdam between 95th & 96th. It is where we could get french bread, olive condite, and Good-O cola supreme on credit without a reference check.

11-16-99 NOS: 1. Greasy Harry's. I don't remember its name so I just coined this one. An unbelievably low class coffee shop at the northwest corner of 96 and Columbus. Late 60's. 2. Smack King. Unbelievably low class hot dog stand on the west side of Broadway, just south of 96th street. Real name was Snack King, but we nicknamed it for a reason. Probably early 70's. 3. John Fiore's Eat Shoppe. Good solid hamburger joint with the beautiful puffed onion rings in the window. Northwest corner of 96 and Broadway. Probably survived until the mid-70's. 4. The Yacht Bar. An unbelievably low class bar next to the movie theater, between 99th and 100th streets on the east side of Broadway. We'd go there in the middle of the night for Stewart's Sandwiches, which they'd take out of the refrigerator and warm in a toaster oven. Mid 70's. [4-8-07: There's not much on the Web about Stewart Sandwiches, but there is this and this.) 5. The Chess Club. Second floor, northwest corner of Broadway and 96th street. You could get munchies there until about 2 am. Early 70's. [1-28-04 Nos:] There was a Spanish joint on the SW corner of 96 and Amsterdam where you could get a container of beans and rice to take out for a dollar.

This all reminds me that in Those Days, we didn't have all-night Korean groceries on every block. Back then, finding late night munchies took work, son.

Marty Reisman wasn't part of the gang, but he sure was part of the neighborhood, so I figured I'd put some notes about him here. You can read a bio: USATT Hall of Fame Inductee (1981). You can even buy Table Tennis equipment from him: ("Marty Reisman distributes the Reisman/Hock 3-ply blade with extra large face. Personally endorsed to recipient with Reisman signature and logo. $29.95 + $3 shipping. He also has a limited supply of 5-ply blades and hard rubber. 330 East 49th St., New York, NY 10017. 212-758-6768 (ph), 212-688-1428 (fax)") [6-7-02 link broken -- Nos] [Nos 1-10-06: See {9-27-06 link broken}]

9-27-06 Nos: You can find Marty all over Google these days. Including an official Marty Reisman thong at CafePress (gotta get me one).

11-16-99 Stephanie Digby: 

Still remember La Princessa with affection - best black beans. Also remember when it was closed down for health reasons. When it reopened, the only visible difference was that they no longer flipped the coke caps onto the floor.

Was there another Chinese restaurant at 94th before Shanghai D’Or? If so, does anyone remember it’s name? Seem to recall that I liked it.

11-17-99 Kathie sent long email with several recollections of the old days on the West Side.

11-17-99 Deven: I seem to recall Shanghai D’Or on or just south of the southeast corner of 94th & Bway, but I don’t recall what was on the southwest corner. It might have been another comidas chinas y criolas.

11-17-99 Martin: The comidas (I don’t believe chinas) y criolas place sounds right to me. And let's not forget Taj Mahal, which was on the west side of Broadway between 93rd and 94th (I’m not sure on the cross streets.)

11-17-99 Vicki Free Presser: The Taj Mahal was indeed on the West Side of B’way, but it was between 92nd and 93rd—I remember precisely because it was in my building. In fact, I had my 12th birthday party there.

11-18-99 Vicki: Wait, it wasn’t the taj mahal, -- it was the Maharajah India Restaurant!

11-18-99 Stephanie: Vicki, wasn’t that the place for which you wrote a review, rather tactfully commenting on the delicacy of the seasoning?

11-18-99 Vicki: Yes, Stephanie, you remember correctly. About 1972-73 I was a restaurant and arts reviewer for India Abroad, a rag owned by friends of a fellow Brandeis graduate (One night the whole editorial staff went out to eat after putting the paper to bed, and I realized the there was nothin’ but Jews and Hindus at the table). Yes, my review hinted that this was the blandest Indian food in captivity—and yet they proudly diplayed my review in the window, I think until the board of health closed the place down.

11-18-99 Deven: I recall Taj Mahal (site of the infamous "Let’s order one of everything on the menu" feast) being somewhat lower on Broadway, perhaps between 91 & 92 Sts. And if we’re really going to mention every restaurant we ate at why has no one mentioned the lovely rat-hole where we used to have breakfast after dropping off The Advocate at the bulk mail section of the GPO.

11-19-99 Nos: Taj Mahal was the name of an Indian import store on the East side of Braodway in 80's or 90's (streets, that is). I'm sure the restaurant was called Maharaja India, though I never ate there. I like Indian food, though I always ask for it to be prepared "tourist style."

12/5/99 Franne: Hi, Nos. Do you remember Cleopatra? Now that was a unique restaurant.

12/31/00 [Prob. Deven] Cleopatra was indeed an unusual restaurant. Their apricot pudding was heavenly. And when the chef bought out the owner the name was changed to At Our Place, an almost anagram of Cleopatra. I recently interviewed, but did not hire, a cook who used to work there.

1/28/04 email from David Golden:

I found your site accidentally when I Googled "comidas chinas y criollas." I grew up in the nabe, and when I was 8 sported a McCarthy button. The primaries had me thinking about that the other day. I also remember one of my teachers wearing an O!Dwyer button.

Shanghai d'Or was on 94 & Bway as far back as I can remember in the 1960s. We never went there. We preferred the Manchuria between 93rd & 94th. You'll notice their sign is still mounted high on the building if you look up. They had a great, fanciful mural of the Brooklyn Bridge with junks in the river and a blimp.

My favorite C3 place was the Pez Dorado on B'way between 92 & 93.

11-12-04 Nos: The Chinese restaurants are going fast. When I got to the West Side in 1968,  there were Cantonese joints all over the place. A few years later, they were overtaken by the Szechuan and Hunan places. Now they're mostly gone. There are currently only six Chinese-Chinese (as opposed to Spanish Chinese) restaurants on Broadway between 84th and 116th streets: Ollie's at 84; Empire Szechaun at 97th; Hunan Balcony at 98th; Empire Szechuan Kyoto at 100th; Ming's Wok at 101st; and Ollie's at 116th. Gone are the one at about 85th, the place that Carmine's replaced at 91st,  Broadway Cottage II at about 92nd, Shanghai D'Or at 94th, Szechuan West at 100th, Hunan Plum at 100th, Broadway Cottage at 103rd, Chuan Hong at 104th, Dynasty at 110th, and something upstairs at about 111th.

We're also losing the Spanish-Chinese (comidas chinas y criollas) places -- at least on Broadway. In the last year or two, we lost La Tacita de Oro at 99th, La Casita at 106th and La Bella China at 108th.

Fortunately, there's no shortage of yuppie fern bars.

1-10-06 Nos: We just lost the giganto Empire Szechuan at 97th Street; it merged with Empire Szechuan Kyoto at 100th. They also briefly had another place on the west side of Broadway, between 97 and 98th.

9-26-06 Martin forwarded this from James Farber: 

I walked by today and saw that the sign was down, the windows were papered over, and there was no notice of renovation.  Then I searched on-line and found only this on

Posted by Rachel on 09/09/2006
Vinnie's Is NO MORE
Sadly, after decades of fantastic pizza and business, Upper West Side rent has gone up too high, and Vinnie's has been forced to close. Though I was not happy about renovations that had recently been done, Vinnie's was the pizza "staple" of the neighborhood, and will be missed. R.I.P Vinnie's!


Nos says: Who the hell was Vinnie? I know Big Nick's, and Sal & Carmine's is still here (over 30 years), but I don't know Vinnie's. [Martin explains: ". . . the joint on the East side of Amsterdam Avenue between 73rd and 74th Street. Long been my pizza of choice."] Also, La Caridad at 78 & Bway is closed for renovations. My friend Wendy says they'll reopen in smaller space.

Martin has contributed this poem: 

Oh my, what a wonderful pie.
I think I may need a good cry.

When I think of those days
For a good slice I craved

There was only one place I would try.

For decades Vinnie was home
To the best pizza this side of Rome

I filled up with glee
On crust, sauce and cheese

Now I’ll have to make do with Calzone.

Nos says 2-12-07: Ming's Wok (Chinese, abt 101 and Broadway) has closed. La Rosita (Spanish, abt 108th and Broadway) has also closed.

Nos says 3-30-2011: The only "regular" Chinese restaurants left on this strip are Pearl's, Hunan Balcony, and Empire Szechuan Kyoto. The trend was written up in the West Side Spirit, Feb 25, 2010, article "Where has all the Moo Shoo gone?" The Chinese and Spanish joints that I loved have been replaced Thai and Asian places such as Sookk, Sura, Malaysia Grill, Thai Market, and Ozen.

Hotel Paris page | Nos's Home page

Last revised 07/30/2007