Tag Archives: 61st Street

Classic Hollywood #13

Candid Photographs of Marilyn Monroe

Instead of the typical movie publicity or glamour photographs of Marilyn Monroe, we thought we’d highlight three photographs that show Marilyn in a bit of a different light.

Betty Grable and her How To Marry A Millionaire (1953) co-star Marilyn Monroe emerge from a Hollywood restaurant. Grable who was 20th Century Fox’s blond bombshell for most of the 1940’s was being “replaced” by Monroe. Grable was relieved as she was getting tired of fighting with Daryl F. Zanuck, Fox’s studio chief. Supposedly she told Marilyn privately, “Honey, I’ve had my time in the spotlight, now it’s your turn!”

Marilyn takes a break and kneels on the steps of a brownstone while filming Billy Wilder’s The Seven Year Itch (1955).  A portion of the film was shot on location in New York City. The brownstone where the lead character, Richard Sherman (Tom Ewell) lives with Marilyn subletting the apartment above him, is located at 164 East 61st Street. The building is still there, though somewhat modified.

Marilyn Monroe with a very dour looking Joe DiMaggio in Florida in 1961. Monroe was visiting DiMaggio, who was a special instructor to the New York Yankees during spring training. After their nine month marriage ended in divorce in 1954, the couple remained friends and got closer as the years passed. There were rumors that Monroe and DiMaggio were contemplating remarrying one another when Monroe passed away in 1962.

Permanent Street Signs in New York

Looking Above Street Level

There is nothing extraordinary about 1113 First Avenue, the building at the northwest corner of 61st Street and First Avenue. A late 19th century five story walk-up building with a restaurant at ground level. But if you look up to the corner between the second and third floors you will see the street name etched in stone and attached to the building, circled in red in the photo above.

The rectilinear street grid layout imposed upon Manhattan at the beginning of the nineteenth century assured the builder of this building that it would be located at 61st street and First Avenue seemingly forever.

Before the twentieth century street signs were not at every corner. There were in fact few street signs in New York and they were usually at major intersections or the nicer parts of town.  Continue reading