Bleecker Street is a street in New York City’s Manhattan borough. In the 16th century, Native Americans referred to as Sapokanikan (“tobacco field”). This area would later become known as Greenwich Village. The land was cleared and turned into pasture by Dutch and freed African settlers in the 1630s. In 1664 Greenwich Village developed as a hamlet separate from the larger New York City to the south. It officially became a village in 1712 and is first referred to as Grin’wich in 1713 Common Council records. Sir Peter Warren began accumulating land in 1731 and built a frame house large enough to hold the Assembly when smallpox rendered the city dangerous in 1739. In 1741, Warren built Warren House, a mansion overlooking the Hudson River on his 300-acre estate in Greenwich Village. Bleecker Street, in Greenwich Village is named after the Bleecker family because the street ran through the farm of the family. In 1808, Anthony Bleecker and his wife deeded to the city a major portion of the land on which Bleecker Street sits. Madison Square Park and the Madison Square Monument are also near Bleecker Street.
During the 1950s, Bleecker Street and the Village became important to the American bohemian scene, when the “Beat Generation” gathered in the Village and forever changed our history. The Beat Generation burst onto the scene with the publication of On The Road (1956) by Jack Kerouac and Howl and Other Poems (1957) by Allen Ginsburg and Rod McKuen. American Society was on the verge of major shift and these changes could be felt and heard in the music and books that was being released by the new poets, writers, artists and students who made up a group of people known as the “beats” or “beatniks”. The neighborhood has always been known for its colorful, artistic residents and the alternative culture. The Village has traditionally been a focal point of new movements and ideas, whether political, artistic, or cultural. This tradition of avant-garde and alternative culture was established by the beginning of the 20th century, when small presses, art galleries, and experimental theater thrived.
Bleecker Street and the Village played a major part of what was to come in the form of the hippie counterculture and flower power that dominated the 60’s that all started with the East Coast Beat movement. The majority of folk singers and writers from this generation created a cultural phenomenon in the late fifties continuing into the sixties, all got their start on Bleecker Street and the numerous famous “hang-outs” and clubs that made history. The Cafe Wha?, the Bitter End, Cafe Au Go Go and The Village Gate were clubs that were home to Arlo Guthrie, Bob Dylan Peter, Paul & Mary, The Velvet Underground, Jimi Hendrix and the Mama’s and the Papa’s (just to name a few). Beatniks made wearing “all black” an ultimate fashion statement which is carried forth today.
One of the first steel frame skyscrapers in New York City was the Bayard-Condict Building and was built in this area of the Village. My very first trip to New York City was back in 1964 and the bohemian culture was in full swing. Even though my parents were middle class conservatives they were also were very hip at the time and as we strolled down Bleecker Street, my mother took a photo of me outside of Café Wha. I have never forgotten that moment as my parents gave me my sense of adventure. Back in the sixties, we strolled Central Park and Little Italy and as a young girl, I ice skated at Rockefeller Center. By then there were thousands of tourists coming to this are because of the “Beat Culture”. This was right before the full blown hippie movement that was coming at us like a fast moving train and American history and culture would never be the same. Because of my early jaunts to New York City, I would later move to New York City in 1972, living in what is now the chic THE EMPIRE HOTEL at Columbus Circle.
Today, Bleecker Street is one of the most fashionable ‘hoods in the City with that fabulous long line of history. Where else can you find a Bond No. 9 Boutique, Magnolia Bakery and Marc Jacobs? For the “Sex and the City” and “The Devil Wears Prada” fans, Magnolia Bakery is the place to be (as long as you visit the gorgeous Bond Boutique next door first!) Word is that Bleecker Street is officially the new Rodeo Drive after a real-estate deal pushed prices for retail property into the realm of world-famous shopping strips. The quaint West Village is now home to the third-most expensive storefronts in the city. Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Jack Spade and Juicy Couture all have Bleecker addresses, near our Bond No. 9 on Bleecker Street.
Check out the video below with the Bond Guy Douglass Marshal as he visits Magnolia bakery, as he talks in front of the Bond Boutique, you can see those gorgeous roses in the window as Bond launches the latest fragrance Madison Square Park!
I cannot wait to get back to New York City and re-visit Café Wha? and visit the Bond No. 9 Boutique!
Bleecker Street, New Fragrance Review By Raphaella
Bond No. 9′s Bleecker Street Eau de Parfum (unisex) is an unusual fragrance for me. I have been wearing it for days now, trying to get a feel on how it breathes and lives and it suits me quite well. Bleecker Street is a huge surprise, as usual. Bond No. 9 press office describes Bleecker Street as “Art, fashion, seduction, and dessert in liquid form, a warm and sensual aphrodisiac that glides from day into evening” and I have to agree. Bond No. 9 has also called Bleecker Street “the newest and the hippest fragrance in New York” in honor of the just one of the hippest neighborhood in New York.
Bleecker Street is a “unisex woody gourmand oriental” and Michael Edwards in the “Fragrances of the World Guide” classifies this as a “Woody Oriental”. I cannot deny that this scent has certain freshness about it and I cannot put my finger on it exactly. I am relieved that this is not a “typical foodie” fragrance with the over-kill of vanilla. It is the right degree of sexiness that gives this great appeal to both women and women. As with all Bond fragrances, it is very well blended and smooth and this is not a typical “gourmand” scent that can be overly sweet.
Perfumer David Apel, who also created the masculine and delicious Wall Street, has constructed a super smooth and superb scent in which all of the notes star. I do not want to smell like a cupcake or dessert and have the highest respect for a perfumer who can create a scent that is this intoxicating without being obvious with the cinnamon, patchouli and vanilla. David Apel has turned Bleecker Street into High Art.
I read that early reports stated that Bleecker Street was possibly is a tribute to Magnolia bakery’s cupcakes but really is not so in the outcome of the scent. The only relation is the absolute deliciousness. Bleecker Street kicks off with the Top Notes of Violet Leaf, Cassis and Thyme which gives it its green opening. The Middle Notes include Jasmine, Cedarwood, Cinnamon, the cinnamon being very soft here but mingles magnictently with the Cedarwood. The Base Notes are Oakmoss, Suede, Patchouli, Amber and Vanilla which gives it great depth and warmth. The complete dry down is woody-earthy-mossy and what I love about this scent is that the base notes are absolutely sublime and again, only a great perfumer can accomplish this, holding back in not creating the obvious.
The bottle, designed by fashion designer and artist Rachel Katz, is stunning and actually comes in a few versions. One bottle is tricked out in Swarovski crystals…a limited edition 100ml flacon which is lime green-chartreuse-amethyst-gold starburst watercolor flacon which is studded, back and front, with a checkerboard pattern of matching crystals. The cap of the eau de parfum is also a deep purple metallic. There is also a Limited Edition Swarovski Stars Bleecker Street fully covered Swarovski crystal version in the gorgeous green color which houses the aromatic gourmand juice. It also comes with the original bottle which is equally gorgeous.
I am not sure what should come first. A trip to the Bond Boutique to sniff Bleecker Street as you then stroll over to Magnolia Bakery or should you first visit Magnolia Bakery, get loaded up on all that delicious sugar and then visit the Bond Boutique as you test all the fragrances? Hmmm, a serious choice but I would go with the latter. Every woman (men are also are sugar and cupcake junkies!) needs fortification of cupcakes before sniffing and shopping!
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Bond No. 9 website www.bondno9.com Bond No. 9 toll free number: 1.877.273.3369
Bond No. 9 New York Boutiques:
897 Madison Avenue (73rd Street) 212.794.4480
680 Madison Avenue (61st Street) 212.838.2780
399 Bleecker Street (11th Street) 212.633.1641
9 Bond Street (Broadway & Lafayette) 212.228.1732