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Produced by a bunch of smart, opinionated, dishy, nosy, funny New Yorkers
who love to run around Lower Manhattan eating, going to movies and plays, listening to music, taking pictures, and sharing all the dish

Isolated Beauty

by Yori Yanover

Here’s what everything one writes about Amalgamated Dwellings must include: In 1927 the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America sponsored a co-op complex near Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx. In 1930 the union began work on the six-story Amalgamated Dwellings on the block bounded by Grand, Columbia, Sheriff and Broome Streets. Abraham Kazan, who later built Co-op City in the Bronx, directed the project for the union.

But none of the above prepares you for the calm majesty of the Amalgamated courtyard. It’s a scene out of old fairy tales, as Viennese as the Bambi dreams of the Austrian workers who first erected this very structure thousands of miles from here. It is a place to be experienced alone.

Now, when I was pointing my camera at this glorious corner of solitude, my back was turned on several hundred Orthodox Jews who were celebrating most exuberantly the completion of a Torah scroll inside and outside the Amalgamated community room. The air was rich with song and joy, spilling out every which way – and yet, look at this undisturbed, isolated beauty…


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