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Blossom Restaurant: 1935

Blossom Restaurant: 1935

Oct. 3, 1935. "Blossom Restaurant, 103 Bowery, Manhattan." 8x10 gelatin silver print by Berenice Abbott for the Federal Art Project. View full size.


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Pigs feet and kraut - 10 cents

Now there is a meal that will stick to your ribs. I could see my father ordering that especially if there was a good dark German beer around to wash it down.

Most of the neighborhood bars I frequented as a young man in Baltimore always had a big jar of pigs feet along with pickled eggs for individual sale and I can attest to the fact that pigs feet and beer is a good thing but you can hardly find it anymore. Pickled eggs and horseradish wasn't a bad taste treat either and if your sinuses were blocked they became unblocked with the whiff of pickle juice and horseradish plus it seemed to help ward off colds.

I'd vote for any politician who promises to get them back into every bar in America. Now that would really be making America great again.

Changing neighborhood

This storefront is now a Chinese variety store, according to Google maps.

Where to eat

One of the difficult things about time travel is the dearth of vegetarian restaurants in the past. It's nice to know I can get a veg. dinner for a dime at this place.


The guy in the stairwell is a dead ringer (pun intended) for the very much alive Peyton Manning.

Tripe a la Creole

"Cut a pound and a half of tripe into small pieces, fry them in a pan with two ounces of butter, one chopped onion, and half a green pepper, also chopped. Brown them slightly for six minutes, then transfer them to a saucepan with one cut-up tomato and half a pint of Espagnole sauce (No. 151). Season with one pinch of salt and half a pinch of pepper, adding a bouquet (No. 254), also a crushed clove of garlic. Cook for ten minutes and serve with one teaspoonful of chopped parsley."

That doesn't sound too bad. But I think I'd substitute some Andouille for the tripe. I have no stomach for tripe.

There's 15 cents burning a hole in my pocket,

And the Tripe a la Creole is winking at me.

Just So You Know

You can see the buildings still located at 98 and 100 Bowery in the reflection of the windows above "BLOSSOM RESTAURANT" and "SOUP BREAD 5c.

Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk

The fellow in the stairwell looks like Larry Fine on a good hair day.

Your order, please.

I'll have the pigs feet and kraut, and a hair bob for the lady.


Prices have gone up. A "shave and a haircut" is now more than "two bits," a bit being an eighth of a dollar, or 12½ cents.

Elementary Example

I have used this photo in my 5th grade classroom for many years. Researching old recipes, determining the cost of a night of fine dining for a family of four in 1935 compared with today, or the rate of inflation. So many possibilities.

Jimmy the Barber

He needs a surname and a supporting role in The Godfather.

Now what will it be

for me thirty cents. Three large chops or hair cut and shave; I think I'll take the chops!

On a budget.

I'll just have the soup & bread since I've only got 5c

You haven't lived

until you've had the oxtail goulash with buttermilk.

Window dressing

I'm curious about the stacks of plates, apparently with food, that are in the front window. Was this common practice? Does anyone have a guess?


Pigs head! I'll be right over.

Close shave

That looks like one very angry barber!

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