New York Daily Photo Analytics

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Nativity

It is amazing how inured we can become of things with constant exposure - like a beautiful vista seen daily. If someone had asked the existence or whereabouts of a nativity scene in NYC, I'm not sure if I would remembered this one, yet it is essentially a city block long on one of the busiest streets in Manhattan - Houston Street, a veritable crosstown highway, the dividing line between the Village and SoHo. It is not a street typically used by pedestrians for strolling - although there are retailers (like Rafetto's), the street does not have the ambiance of the surrounding smaller streets.Not to mention I cross this street daily and have done eight postings on subjects found on it. The photo shows the life size nativity which is erected annually by St. Anthony's church - officially the Church of St. Anthony of Padua at 154 Sullivan Street. The Roman Catholic Shrine church was built in 1866. It is staffed by the Franciscan Friars and is the oldest existing parish founded for ministry to Italian immigrants in the United States. In the 1930s, Houston Street was widened for the construction of the subway. Tenement buildings on abutting the north side of the church were demolished, leaving a narrow space between the church's north wall and Houston Street, where the Nativity scene is installed.

Interesting note: Convicted Mafia mobster, Vincent "The Chin" Gigante, was a habitue of Greenwich Village. He died December 19, 2005 - his funeral was held at St. Anthony's church.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

How do you research for these posts? I love reading about all the different areas/buildings of the city.

Lucy said...

It's good to see the ethnic cultural and religious decorations for the season in the old neighborhoods of NYC...

claudine said...

Même si tu n'es pas chrétien, tu es touché par cette crèche. Noël approche !

Brian said...

anoI do a lot of online and offline reading (I have a decent library on NYC). However, being a long time resident really helps in knowing what to look for in doing searches and also helps picking subjects that I may know has an interesting story or history behind it.

b13 said...

I just perused yor blog and love your photos. The illuminated juggling and the shot of Petite on that rope are fantastic. I'll be adding you to my roll of sites to frequent. Thank you for sharing :)

Ron Diorio said...

At one time that nativity scene was almost 3/4 of a block long with the magi on camel coming down a hill and a fountain. Overtime as the congregation dwindled down the men who put the scene together died off and the "new" scene arrived.