Andrew Alpern gave a talk at the New York Public Library a few weeks ago about the newest edition of his book “Holdouts! The Buildings That Got in the Way.”  He ended with a neutral statement: “Holdouts are neither all good nor all bad. They simply are.”  But it seemed to me that his sentiments leaned toward the negative.

Alpern opened his illustrated presentation with the image of a lonely, two-story building on an otherwise cleared city block, saying, “This is not a holdout.  It is the container of a holdout.”

Holdouts are the people who refuse to sell their property to make way for new developments.  You can see the results of holdouts throughout the city, wherever a tiny building is squished between two towers (one example: 592 Eighth Avenue).

This sort of sight always makes me smile; I think I would like to live in the little building. Continue reading “”

Playhouse 91 to Become Pentecostal Church


Playhouse 91, a 299-seat theater, was built in 1980 in a former stable and ice house. It hosted various theater companies over the years staging productions such as Arthur Miller’s After the Fall, Spook House, A Bronx Take, and The Syringa Tree. Some notable actors who performed there are Harvey Fierstein, Chaz Palminteri, and Frank Langella. Menopause, The Musical, Playhouse 91’s last production, ran for four years.

So what’s coming to the neighborhood? A little research on the Continue reading “Playhouse 91 to Become Pentecostal Church”