New York Daily Photo Analytics

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

That Color

Before this site was actually launched in March, 2006, I had already decided to feature Vesuvio Bakery as my very first posting - see here. There were a number of reasons - this place was so absolutely iconic - it had history, charm and was family owned by a member of the Italian community surrounding it. And a good product. In short, I could think of nothing that could better represent an aspect of the city that New Yorker's love. It's image graced many brochures along with my business card for this website. Today it becomes the first establishment I feature twice - an obituary of sorts - Vesuvio closed in February, 2009.
Vesuvio Bakery was opened in 1920 by Nunzio and Jennie Dapolito. Their son Anthony was born the same year on nearby Houston Street. He was the oldest of five boys and began delivering bread from a horse-drawn bread wagon (in 1937, the family acquired a truck). Anthony ran the bakery until 2002 when he sold it to Lisa and Christine Gigante (his sisters-in-law), who reopened it as a bakery/cafe, adding a few tables and small menu. Their bread continued to be baked in their coal oven.
Anthony became a well known political activist, carrying the unofficial title "mayor of Greenwich Village." His bakery became an informal meeting place for community members. He served on the community board and fought for numerous causes, including work with Jane Jacobs against the highly controversial NYC urban planner Robert Moses.
Anthony died at age 82 in 2003.
And I must admit one of the many secret reasons that I (and many others) love this place - that color ...

Related Postings: Vesuvio, Jane Jacobs.

14 comments:

Katie cat said...

What a great background story, and great color as it matches your blog!

Brian Dubé said...

Katie - thanks. However, I need to work on the color a bit - see the original posting.

Velvet Eden said...

it's amazing how places open and close at such a pace in New York. I am sad to see this place close after having such a long history. Hopefully, u will be able to find another Vesuvio!

Buenos Aires Photoblog said...

Wow! I really like this picture. It reminds me of the photo picture book "Store Front - The disappearing Face of New York" by James T. und Karla L. Murray. Your picture would perfectly fit into the book.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful photo. I can almost smell the bread...miss Zitos too.

Will Hennessy said...

wow, such history there. i wish someone would buy the place and bring it back to life...sad

Beth in NYC said...

I hate this. Great places like this close every day in the city and it just bums me out. Very nice photo, though.

Team Splashi said...

That is great looking storefront.

Cheers

Brian Dubé said...

Thanks all - make sure to check out the original posting.

Jacob said...

Vibrant color and fascinating story! I thought sure it would be a mafia tale...

lemon said...

Very sad, to compare how it was then and now.
But, thank you for sharing both photos. Picturesque shop, nice to live near, to buy bread from it and not from a supermarket, e?

Anonymous said...

It's sad to see so many empty storefronts around the city lately.

this too will pass said...

what a shame; I was in that bakery back in 2005 during a visit from the UK; great pic'

Ines said...

I love those old-fashioned stores and buildings!