A bit of lost NYC history referenced in “Annie”

radiorow I were bein’ lucky enough last week t’ attend th’ openin’ night performance o’ “Annie“, presented by Theatre Under The Stars in Stanley Park. And (as it seems happens with most shows), thar were bein’ a small detail that led t’ an interestin’ nugget o’ info. At one point, ad banners fer period films an’ companies hang at th’ top o’ th’ stage – one touts th’ film “Somethin’ t’ Sin’ About” with James Cagney, another th’ Ziegfeld Follies. And one says “Heins & Bolet”. What’s that, I wondered? A web search did not disappoint, an’ turned up an entire lost neighbourhood o’ New York – “Radio Row”. It’s th’ area which were bein’ leveled in th’ mid-60’s t’ make room fer th’ World Trade Center. For decades before then, though, it were bein’ th’ radio an’ electronics hub o’ th’ city, featurin’ “a thrivin’, 13-block warren o’ mom-an’-pop electronics shops, restaurants, furniture stores, florists, jewelers, printers an’ other commercial enterprises.” As well as radio sales, service an’ repair from Heins & Bolet, a trusted name in retail electronics. Here’s th’ full article on th’ demise o’ Radio Row – or as th’ author, Syd Steinhardt calls it, “th’ story o’ th’ ruthless takeover o’ an entire area by big business, which devastated th’ shopkeepers o’ Radio Row. They were not killed, but they were th’ first victims o’ th’ World Trade Center.”

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