Moscot Makes Move to 108 Orchard Street Official

108 Orchard Street, Moscot’s home for 77 years.

The Wall Street Journal (subscription required)  this morning has confirmation of the long-rumored transition of Moscot Eyewear from 118 Orchard Street, where it’s been a fixture for almost 80 years, across the street to 108 Orchard.   The iconic Lower East Side store is taking over the corner spot where the Tenement Museum shop used to be located and the basement on the South side of Delancey Street.

As the Journal notes, Helm Equities bought 118 Orchard during the summer for $4.8 million and also purchased air rights for an undisclosed amount, allowing for a 12-story building on the southeast corner of Orchard and Delancey streets.  David Escava, the owner of Helm Equities, said he offered to keep Moscot but the legendary LES retailer did not want to commit to staying put given the uncertainty about exactly what will be built. Escava indicated a “new national retailer” would probably pay $300 per square foot, triple what Moscot is being charged now.

Local Purveyors Recreate 1800’s Saloons’ “Free Lunch”

The Tenement Museum will host a special tasting tour on Tuesday evening, inspired by the old saloon tradition of  offering a “free lunch” with the purchase of a beer. Jane Ziegelman, the author of 97 Orchard Street, will discuss the types of food that typically “fed the patrons at historic Gotham saloons.” Edible Manhattan teams up with the Brooklyn Brewery and local purveyors to recreate the lunch offerings: smoked herring, pickled oysters, ham, pretzels, rye bread and sausage. A building tour is included. $25 // 6:30pm // 108 Orchard Street.

Tenement Talks: Cokie and Steve Roberts on Uniting Traditions for Interfaith Families

Veteran journalists and bestselling authors Cokie and Steve Roberts will be at the Tenement Museum this evening discussing their book, Our Haggadah: Uniting Traditions for Interfaith Families, as part of the museum’s free Tenement Talks series. The book offers a personalized version of the Passover Haggadah—written especially for couples of mixed faiths—which combines their own traditions with favorites from others. Cokie, known for her work as a senior news analyst on NPR and ABC News, is Catholic; Steve, also a journalist and a Professor of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University, is Jewish. Choosing to honor both of their faiths and traditions (throughout almost forty years of marriage), the couple hosts a Passover Seder that has evolved from a small family gathering to a veritable event celebrated with loved ones from all walks of life.  FREE // 6:30p // 108 Orchard Street.

Tenement Talk: Love on the Streets With Ariel Sabar Tonight

Why not continue celebrating Valentine’s Day with a Tenement Talk focused on stories about finding love on the streets of New York?  Author Ariel Sabar will be at the Tenement Museum this evening to discuss his new book, Heart of the City: Nine Stories of Love and Serendipity on the Streets of New York.  The Tenement Museum blog notes that Sabar, inspired by his parents having met in Washington Square, “set out to find the invisible forces at play in great public places.” He also focuses on how city planners use the built environment to draw people together.  Audience members are encouraged to share their own stories.  Free // 6:30p // 108 Orchard Street.

Tenement Talks: Bowery – Past, Present and Future with David Mulkins

Bowery Photographs by Photographer Sally Young via

David Mulkins, co-founder and chair of the Bowery Alliance of Neighbors, will be at the Tenement Museum tomorrow evening for an “illustrated talk on the legendary street,” and a discussion titled: Bowery – Past, Present and Future. The Bowery Alliance was created three years ago to promote preservation of the historic character of the Bowery. 

Tenement Talks: Eric Homberger’s Historical Atlas of New York City

Author and historian Eric Homberger will be on hand to discuss his book, The Historical Atlas of New York City – A Visual Celebration of Nearly 400 Years of New York’s History (Second Edition), this evening at the Tenement Museum as part of their Tenement Talks series. Currently an American studies professor at the University of East Anglia, the author has earned bragging rites for this book as the Tenement Museum’s #1 bestselling book on New York.  FREE // 6:30p // 108 Orchard Street.

Tenement Talks: Loise W. Knight on Jane Addams – Tonight

Louise W. Knight, author of the highly praised biography, Jane Addams: Spirit in Action, will be featured in the Tenement Talks series at the Tenement Museum this evening. Knight will be discussing Jane Addams’ riveting story – she was an activist (founder of the Hull House, the first settlement house in the U.S.), a presidential advisor and the first woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize – with writer and critic Vivian Gornick. FREE // 6:30p // 108 Orchard Street.

New Food, Old Foodways – at Tenement Talks Tonight

Jane Ziegelman, the author of 97 Orchard Street: An Edible History of Five Immigrant Families in One New York Tenement, will moderate a discussion about new food trends and how they reflect cultural foodways from the past, tonight at the Tenement Museum.  Proprietors joining in the discussion will include restaurateur and pastrami maker Noah Bernamoff of Mile End, pickle-maker Shamus Jones from Brooklyn Brine, and hop fanatic Ben Granger from Bierkraft. FREE // 6:30p // 108 Orchard Street.

Songs From the East Village Release Party at Tenement Talks Tonight

The East Village Community School will be celebrating the release of their album, Songs From the East Village this evening at the Tenement Museum.  The album is a very creative way to raise money for the school, combining the talents of some of the parents  (including accomplished singer and musician Susan McKeown, who oversaw the production) and children from the school.

The Pigeon Game – A Work in Progress – at Tenement Talks Tonight

Still from The Pigeon Game - directed by Annie Heringer

Tonight’s Tenement Talk at the Tenement Museum will feature a twenty minute cut of the documentary The Pigeon Game, by Annie Heringer.  She will present her work in progress, two years in the making, about the dying breed of men and women who still race homing pigeons in New York City. Heringer, an Emmy award-winning documentarian, is still seeking finishing funds for the fascinating project. Watch the trailer after the jump.

Tenement Talks – Cait Murphy’s Scoundrels in Law

Author Cait Murphy will be speaking about her latest book, Scoundrels in Law: The Trials of Howe & Hummel, Lawers to the Gangsters, Cops, Starlets, and Rakes Who Made the Gilded Age, at the Tenement Museum tomorrow night as part of their Tenement Talks series. The book offers an inside look at crime and punishment in the nineteenth century through the eyes of two of the most colorful and notorious law partners in American history.  Listen to her read an excerpt on Vanity Fair’s blog here. FREE // Wednesday, July 7th, 2010 // 6:30p // 108 Orchard St.