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JSWaters | all galleries >> Gone A-Wandering >> New York City > The Bridge to 1794
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The Bridge to 1794

The Bridge to 1794

Although the original building housing the Bridge Cafe predates 1794 (and the Brooklyn
Bridge - in the background), it was this year that a 'grocery and wine and porter
bottler'opened at this site, operating until 1826. From 1826 to 1905 it was leased
to a variety of saloon and boarding house operators. The building was indicted in 1879
by the district attorney as a 'disorderly house' (aka brothel). It has since changed
hands many times, but has always sold liquor, even during Prohibition when it was run
as a restaurant and sold cider, (beer), supplied by a Brooklyn bootlegger. According
to the cafe's website: “The 1794 date is significant because from that date the building
has been ‘the site of a food and/or drinking establishment on the same site in New York,’
as well as the oldest business in New York City. Chase Manhattan can only trace its origin
to 1799. When Henry Williams opened his porter house here in 1847, he began the unbroken
record of 279 Water Street as a ‘drinking establishment’–the oldest in New York City
(eclipsing McSorley’s Old Ale House).”

Since 1979 it has been named the Bridge Cafe, serving outstanding food in a quirky,
historical setting.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II
1/20s f/3.5 at 30.0mm iso2500 full exif

other sizes: small medium large original
comment | share
Massimo Zaniboni02-Nov-2010 07:48
Amazing composition V
Paolo Peggi (aka Bracciodiferro)27-Oct-2010 19:36
Interesting in colors and details...Vote!
Phil Douglis26-Oct-2010 19:49
I recall walking past this very cafe during my recent shoot in NYC, Jenene. Unfortunately, I saw it in the afternoon, making the scene far more literal and descriptive than your nighttime image. I did not make a picture here, but certainly recall wishing I was able to come back at night to shoot here. The great advantage of night photography is that clutter is often eliminated by exposing for the lights, allowing the the shadows to swallow much of the detail, reducing the image to its essential elements by making it more abstract, mysterious, and timeless. Your image, like many night shots of lonely cafes, summons visions of Hopper's Nighthawks. It is also is a fascinating structure in itself, one that takes advantage of the mood you create by shooting it at night. Your camera's sensor is so large that this ISO 2500 image becomes utterly noiseless. Phil
Patricia Kay26-Oct-2010 16:36
Excellent night shot and a great history of this beautiful old building...BV
Cindi Smith26-Oct-2010 15:28
What a great cafe! Love the wooden structure. This is an awesome image. And the lights are really great. Excellent night shot. Would love to try the food there.
shatterbug26-Oct-2010 05:21
Terrific use of the high-iso qualities of your camera...the light is beautiful!
Jay Levin25-Oct-2010 22:34
I like the mood that you caught in this beautiful night shot, Jenene. The bridge and light add to this atmosphere.