by Joel R. Simon




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11:30 AM - 11:00 PM

11:30 AM - 11:30 PM

12:00 NOON - 11:00 PM

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Grand St. - 34th St.
Sixth Ave. - Avenue D
Once the cultural heart of Manhattan, Fourteenth Street was once the home of the famous Luchow's Restaurant, the Academy of Music (a great opera house), and Tammany Hall, the infamous center of New York City political life in the Nineteenth Century.
Luchow's was established in 1882 by German immigrant August Luchow at 110 East Fourteenth Street, opposite Irving Place.  It remained there until 1982, when the restaurant moved to the Theater District and went out of business soon thereafter.  The building itself suffered a fire in 1992 and was finally demolished in 1995, to be replaceed by NYU's University Hall.  Naturally, Luchow's specialized in German cuisine, but like Akina it was a beautiful space with great art (though much, much larger than Akina of course).
The Academy of Music opened its doors in 1854, and was rebuilt after a fire in 1866.  It was the site of the U.S. premieres of Aida in 1873 and Carmen in 1878.  Nearby, Tammany Hall was built in 1830 and was an entertainment venue as well as headquarters of the political organization.  Both structures were demolished around 1926 to make way for the Consolidated Edison Building at the corner of Fourteenth Street and Irving Place.
One surviving famous place along Fourteenth Street is Union Square, first opened in 1832, which holds a fine greenmarket several days a week in season.  A Whole Foods market and Trader Joe's are a few blocks west of Akina, and the famous Strand used book store is only two short blocks south of Fourteenth Street near Union Square.  Strand, first opened in 1927, is almost the last survivor of the famous "Book Row" which once lined Fourth Avenue from Fourteenth Street down to Eighth Street (but Strand itself is around the corner, at the intersection of Broadway and Twelfth Street).
A beautiful house of worship which you might care to visit is the Town and Village Synagogue Tifereth Israel at 334 East Fourteenth Street, a block east of Akina.  It describes itself as "a traditional, conservative, egalitarian and inclusive community" which welcomes visitors but of course asks that they respect the rules of a house of worship.
Also on the south side of Fourteenth Street on the same block are a firehouse and a "Y."  The firehouse is Engine Company Five at 340 East Fourteenth Street.  The company dates all the way back to 1881, and plaques memorialize the brave members of the company who gave their lives in service to the community, beginning with Captain David B. Waters and Firefighter Peter Walsh on 21 May 1866, followed by Firefighter Martin J. Oakley Jr. on 21 December 1897, Engineer Peter McKeon on 13 February 1895, Fireman First grade Joseph J. Brecht on 31 July 1948, Lt. Robert . Greves on 12 November 1992, and finally, Firefighter Manuel DelValle Jr. on 11 September 2001.  
The Sol Goldman YM-YWHA, the Fourteenth Street Y, is a modern building with a swimming pool, gym, theater, and art gallery.  It is open on weekdays from 6:00 AM to 10:00 PM, and on weekends from 7:00 AM to 9:00 PM.  One of twenty-seven sites of the Educational Alliance, the Y offers programs for all ages, including over forty fitness classes per week, inspired by Tikkun Olam, "repair of the world."
Finally, within walking distance of Akina are two great hospitals:  the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary and Beth Israel Medical Center.  If you are kind enough to visit patients at either of the, are are one of the many dedicated folks who work within their walls, Akina is a great place to enjoy fine, healthy food in a relaxing atmosphere.  The NY Eye and Ear Infirmary was first opened in 1820 and has been at its present location at the corner of Fourteenth Street and Second Avenue since 1856.  Beth Israel, a 1,368 bed hospital, was founded in 1890 and at its present location at First Avenue and Sixteenth Street since 1929. 
Of course, I want to make it clear that mention of any institution or organization in this web site does not imply any endorsement of Akina by said institution or organization, and the views expressed herein are strictly the personal opinion of the webmaster, yours truly Joel R. Simon.
Engine Company Five
Tifereth Israel Synagogue
Beth Israel Medical Center