Saturday, July 28, 2007

Speaking of Sidewalk Clocks

1510 Third Avenue
E. Howard Clock Company

I might not have remembered to check the sidewalk clock on my way work, however, I always enjoyed the giant pocket watch on the Upper East Side. The E. Howard Clock Company was the first to mass produce pocket watches in America, and, while this clock had its beginnings as an advertisement for a pawnshop (the three arms above the screw and fob ring held the three golden ball symbols now lost), this over-sized timepiece must have also served as an advertisement for the clockmaker too. It stood, originally at 79th Street, but was later moved uptown five blocks after suffering from a near-fatal automobile accident and a botched-robbery attempt. (I guess you can't really steal or kill time after all.)

A Better Idea

200 Fifth Avenue
Hecla Iron Works

would probably have been to look ACROSS the street to the magnificent sidewalk clock near 24th Street. This landmark post clock (referred to by some as a "lollipop" clock, fitting, I suppose since it sits in front of The International Toy Center Building) is the second clock at this site. Obviously, some people were smart enough to check a working timepiece before going to work in the morning.

This 1990 photograph (as all the others in this blog) was taken by Edward E. Stern. From 1988 until the birth of our daughter in 1992, we walked the streets of Manhattan, camera, notebook and Elliot Willensky and Norval White's AIA Guide to New York City in hand. Alas, this was pre-internet, pre-laptop days and some of my research has been lost (can I blame that on my now-teenager?), but the photographs -- 35mm and beautiful -- remain.

I Didn't Know What Time It Was . . .

935 Broadway
at 22nd Street

In 1979 I had my first "real" job as an editorial assistant at St. Martin's Press in the Flat Iron Building. Every day, I'd take the long subway ride down from my studio apartment on the Upper West Side. Emerging from the station, certain that I was late for work, I'd always check the clock directly behind my office. And every day, the clock read


And every day for a year, I'd check that clock. And yes, every day, for that year (and all the years until Restoration Hardware renovated the building and restored the clock) it remained broken.

But I continued to look. And love that clock.

This blog is dedicated to that, and all other, clocks (broken, abandoned, forgotten) of New York City. And a few that were loved enough to be saved.

A plug for Renovation Hardware, by the way. Thank you for refurbishing my first love.