25 December 2015

60º on Christmas

So what do you do when it's 60º or thereabouts on Christmas Day, you're in New York City but the museums are all closed, it's cloudy but not raining now, your "supper" reservation is for 4:30 p.m. but it's only 9:30 a.m.? You go for a long walk. I noticed that Gates Avenue ran from near John's where I'm staying all the way from Queens into Brooklyn and Gates met Fulton Street near the Brooklyn Academy of Music. So Christie and I decided to start from our ends of Gates and we'd meet in the middle.

When I got to the corner of Gates and Bushwick, I found two incredible buildings: one a Masonic temple; the other was probably a villa and is now the Iglesia de Cristo Misionera, Inc.

Thank heavens for the Internet and the ease of searching and the wealth of information (right or wrong).

The Ridgewood Masonic Temple, aka Ridgewood Lodge No. 710, Free and Accepted Masons, was designed by Koch and Wagner, completed in 1920, and declared a city landmark in 2014. Currently unoccupied.

According to a photo on Flickr, the "villa" was the Eastern District Turn Verein, designed by Theobald Engelhardt and built in 1902. It was built as an extension to the Italianate Tuttle Mansion which has been demolished. Bushwiki has somewhat different, but rather more, information.

The Iglesia de Cristo Misionera is now closed so both of these buildings are sitting vacant. They do make for a lovely sight and I hope they find new uses.

After Christie and I met, we took the B52 bus down Gates toward BAM and had brunch at The Quarter at 87 Lafayette (in the space formerly occupied by Stonehome Wine Bar). The restaurant had only been open for 12 days so it wasn't crowded, and it WAS Christmas. Our brunch was very nice. Then we walked over to Janet's, where Christie is staying, took Riley for a walk, and then left for our 4:30 appointment at Bacchus Bistro on Atlantic Avenue. Adele beat us to the restaurant and it had started raining. Our supper was very tasty as was the wine: Altitudes Côte de Roussillon. The cute and scruffy waiter with the French accent (he may have been Algerian or Moroccan by background so I was feeling very ecumenical) stole my heart and he could say "Roussillon" a hundred times and I'd say "une fois de plus s'il-vous plaît" (one more time, please). Merci.

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