Thursday, April 15, 2010

Mayflower Coffee Shop(pe)

I found a wonderful book at a library sale yesterday: Harold H. Hart’s Hart’s Guide to New York City (New York: Hart Publishing, 1964): “Over 2,200 personally investigated reports. Restaurants, Hotels, Nightclubs, Museums, Cocktail Lounges, Sports, Shopping, Transportation, Art Galleries, Tours, etc.”

With Hart in hand, I thought of lines from Frank O’Hara’s poem “Music” (Lunch Poems, 1964):

If I rest for a moment near The Equestrian
pausing for a liver sausage sandwich in the
    Mayflower Shoppe,
that angel seems to be leading the horse into
This bit of urban surrealism comes into focus (still surreal) when one knows a little of Manhattan. “The Equestrian” is Augustus Saint-Gaudens’s statue of William Tecumseh Sherman, found in Manhattan’s Grand Army Plaza (at 59th Street and Fifth Avenue). The “angel” is the allegorical gal leading Sherman on his way. Bergdorf Goodman is to be found — in the words of the company website — at “the crossroads of fashion,” Fifth Avenue and 58th Street. All that, I know. As for the Mayflower Shoppe:

Thank you, Mr. Hart.

The Mayflower stood at 777 Fifth Avenue. The Apple Store now stands at 767, next to an empty corner. More from Hart’s Guide to come.

More on the Mayflower
The Mayflower motto (“The Optimist’s Creed”)
A menu page (Alas, no food)

Also from Harold Hart’s Guide
Chock full o’Nuts
Greenwich Village and coffee house
Minetta Tavern, Monkey Bar
Record stores

comments: 4

karl mohn said...

Wow, thanks! Not a New Yorker myself, but a huge O'Hara fan! Thanks for answering this question for me!

Michael Leddy said...

You’re welcome, Karl.

kopisusu2 said...

Thanks! That's the piece I was missing too!

Michael Leddy said...

You’re welcome!