Showing posts from August, 2016

RIO DISTRICT- theatre, hotel, apartments and shops located where Fort Washington Ave meets Broadway at W. 159th Street

The elegantly curved Rio Vista Hotel on lower Fort Washington Avenue has been reclaimed from its status as an abandoned, boarded up building and will now provide apartments for 100 homeless and low-income people. Once a boarded up eyesore in the neighborhood, the Rio’s handsome fa├žade of yellow brick, stone and terra cotta ornamentation have been scrubbed clean, causing it to stand out in a neighborhood of graffitied apartment buildings.  Inside,  the gutted building has been transformed into a bright and cheerful environment of apartments, community rooms, support services and even a penthouse.  The 82 units in the building cost approximately $37,000 each to build, according to Harriette Epstein, a spokesperson for the CSS (Community Service Society).  The Rio, a 4-floor building located where Fort Washington Avenue curves to join Broadway at W. 159th Street,  was built in 1920 by Loew’s movie company which built and owned many movie palaces before the 1950s. Behind the hotel on Broadw…

Myrna Loy's First Visit to Manhattan

From Myrna Loy's autobiography on her FIRST visit to Manhattan:"We landed in New Jersey, as you had to then, and Leland gave me the tour. He was something of a raconteur, so he enhanced my first awed entry into Manhattan. I was this girl from Montana who moved to LA as a teen and had played these elegant New York women in movies but it was the fake Hollywood backlot New York! I suddenly felt authentic...We drove through the Holland Tunnel, headed east, and came out on Park Avenue. And Park Avenue was really something in those days. It still is, but in the spring of 1935, to a wide-eyed newcomer, it just looked fantastic. In fact, the whole city struck me that way-- vast and vivid, alive! I fell in love with Manhattan then and there, and the romance has lasted more than 50 years.- Myrna Loy, movie star

NOTE: I met Myrna Loy years ago at a screening of one of her old movies. I was just a kid in my 20s and was invited by my friend Lisa DiGiovine. I told her she was my favorite …

Jim Dykes interviews Dr. Ruth Westheimer, famous sex therapist

Dr. Ruth Westheimer interview by Jim Dykes (published 1996 in the New York Citizen News) Edited down from the original interview.
The Little, Big-Hearted Woman Who Became a Celebrity Because she Wasn’t Afraid to Talk About Sex. One of Washington Heights’ Foremost Citizens Discusses her Eventful & Inspiring Life in a Personal Interview with Jim Dykes. “Write your name down…I’ll give you a plug,” whispered Dr. Ruth from the kitchen, waiting for WOR Radio’s Joan Hamburg to put her on the air from home in an impromptu interview within MY interview! Barefoot and dressed in a powder blue housecoat, Dr. Ruth Westheimer answered the front door of her 12th floor Cabrini Blvd. apartment looking more like the little Jewish grandmother (which she is) that the world’s most famous sex therapist. It is instantly apparent (even though she professes not to be a “morning person”) that from the minute this 4’ 7’ dynamo gets up in the morning, it is go-go-go all day with meetings, phone calls and interv…