Thursday, November 11, 2010

How Sullivan Street Came to Midtown

Cup of the Day #44
Midtown Cup Verso
Colored ink on white cup, 2010

One of my favorite things about living here on the far West side of Manhattan is the easy access to the Hudson River. The Hudson River Park, comprising bikeways, walkways and landscaped piers now stretches from the Washington Bridge up North at 172nd Street, all the way down to the Battery at the Southern tip of the Island. After dropping Grace off at school, I often head the two blocks across 45th to pier 84, eager to see sunlight scintillating on water, ferries traveling to and from Weehawken on the New Jersey side and fuel barges plying their way upriver towards the misty bridge.

Yesterday morning, I stood alone at the river end of the pier with my back to gray green water and watched the sun come out from behind the massed apartment towers of 42nd street, all new since I moved to the neighborhood 10 years ago. The wind was blustery and blew my mental  cobwebs away.

Heading home up 47th I stopped in Sullivan Street Bakery which serves up excellent pizza bianca and rustic breads as well as a strong cup of coffee - Vita beans from Seattle (press pots only).

Why is it called Sullivan Street Bakery? I asked Michael, who was cutting my length of pizza bianca. It used to be on Sullivan Street in Greenwich Village, he told me. Then there was a split. They came here with the name, plus the original baker. The other party got the storefront.

I also learned that Jim Lahey, the owner, planned to spend his life as a sculptor before he travelled to Italy and got into bread. Well, I am glad he did, and glad they are baking just down the street.

Neighborhood pet parade, 
Pier 84, October 2010
Photo by Gwyneth Leech

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