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Window at 125 1 Art and Photography Galleries Midtown Midtown East Turtle Bay

One of the smallest of its kind, Window at 125 is an exhibition space that showcases artwork and performance-based pieces by unrepresented artists. As explained to me by the curator, Danika Druttman, "The Introducing Series" display is part of a program that the Roger Smith Hotel (located on Lexington Avenue between 47th and 48th) organizes to celebrate and engage artists in New York. The premise is to have an already established artist champion an emerging one. The multi-disciplinary work is on view at any hour of the day inside this tiny window.

Having inherited the Roger Smith from his father-in-law, James Knowles seeks to make the hotel feel like home – with an artistic swirl. Along the 47th Street side of the hotel, one can always expect to find his sculptures hanging above, and on a permanent basis, there is a stretch of his metal work extending from 125 to Lexington Avenue. In addition, there are on-going art exhibitions in the lobby, the bar and other parts of the building. More than a hotel, the Roger Smith considers itself a cultural entity, bringing together people and art.

Window at 125 2 Art and Photography Galleries Midtown Midtown East Turtle Bay
Window at 125 3 Art and Photography Galleries Midtown Midtown East Turtle Bay
Window at 125 4 Art and Photography Galleries Midtown Midtown East Turtle Bay
Window at 125 1 Art and Photography Galleries Midtown Midtown East Turtle Bay

More places on 47th Street

Lost Gem
The Actor's Temple 1 Synagogues Videos Theaters Hells Kitchen Times Square Midtown West

The Actor's Temple

Ezrath Israel was originally established as a Jewish Community Center in 1917 by the West Side Hebrew Relief Association, a group of Orthodox Jewish shop owners. The area was known for its busy steamship ports, however, the entertainment business eventually became one of the biggest industries in this part of town. As show business grew, so did the number of congregants, and it became the place of worship for many prominent actors and performers, including Sophie Tucker and Shelley Winters. The Actors Temple continued to thrive until shortly after WWII when people in the industry began journeying across the country to Hollywood. The synagogue then found its membership slowly decreasing. By 2005, there were only twelve members left in the congregation. A year later, when Jill Hausman became the rabbi, she found herself resuscitating what had once been a proud shul. Rabbi Hausman was pleased to report to us that in the eight years that she has been there, membership has increased to about 150, a marked improvement. Still, she has hope that the Actor's Temple will continue to grow. "We are a well-kept secret," she says, "but we don't need to be." To help maintain the synagogue, the sanctuary is shared with an Off Broadway theater company that performs on their "stage," just a few feet in front of their sacred arc and collection of eleven torahs. Today, Rabbi Hausman welcomes all denominations of Judaism, even those who are "on the fringes of society." She is a warm, sweet, bright woman who not only has her door open to everyone, but her heart as well. She emphasizes the importance of love and acceptance in her sermons and is adamant that the Actors Temple is a "no-guilt synagogue." People should come if they feel compelled to pray – Rabbi Hausman's only goal is to have them leave with a desire to return.

Lost Gem
Phil's Stationery 1 Office Supplies Midtown East

Phil's Stationery

For the first seven years, Phil Podemski had his shop on Park Row across from City Hall, but in 1973, with the help of his son, Sam, they came uptown and have resided on 47th Street ever since. "It was a good move on our part," Sam admitted. "It has allowed us to weather each of the storms that have come our way."Because Phil's Stationery is in the Jewelry District, there have always been customers in need of memorandum books, special jewelry bags for shipping, and other necessary items that Sam and his dad never allowed to run out of stock. "This has kept us alive." That and the warm customer service that he strongly believes in. "Yes, I could close up shop and sell my goods solely on the internet, but I would miss the people — the human connection." Sam's best connection, however, was with his dad. "We were together for forty years until he passed away in 1996. I have the best memories of him yelling at me throughout those years, always in the most loving way."When Sam and his dad initially opened, they were not known as an office supply store. They carried an amalgam of health and beauty products, chocolate, and other novelty goods. As time progressed, they evolved into a full office supply shop carrying absolutely everything that one could want or need for their desk. In addition to having fun rummaging through the stacks of notebooks, journals, pens, markers, and an array of art supplies, it is the collection of Berol pencils made in the U.S. in the 1960s, the old Swingline staplers — and several other items that date back some fifty to sixty years — that will provide a noteworthy trip down memory lane for many.