And Now, Just For Fun: An East Village Scavenger Hunt

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Of the many historical scavenger hunts that Watson Adventures conducts across the country, one of founder Bret Watson’s personal favorites is “Secrets of the East Village.” With winter upon us, The Local thought you might prefer to go on the hunt from the comfort of your warm and toasty apartment, by having a look at the clues below. Need more? After hearing Mr. Watson introduce the tour at Cooper Square, click on the points in the above map to hear him share more history about each location (you can view a larger version of the map here). The answers to his questions are at the bottom of this post.

1. At Second Avenue, 10th Street: One of the city’s oldest churches (erected 1705-99), St. Mark’s is the descendent of a private chapel that stood on Dutch governor Peter Stuyvesant’s farm (or bouwerie). Much more recently, the church hosted a wedding that Sandra Bullock bolted from in “Two Weeks Notice.” And in the last season of “Sex and the City,” Carrie and Miranda argued outside the church after a funeral here. Speaking of funerals, find a guy whose tombstone could be called “macaroni.” What year did he become vice president?

2. At Second Avenue, 10th Street: This neighborhood was once the heart of the Jewish Rialto, or theater district. A stalwart from that era was on the southeast corner here until recently–rising rents drove the legendary Second Avenue Deli out of business. But it left behind mementos. Where you can look down at the stars, what person would you most like to add to your score?

3. 6th Street between Second and First Avenues: One of New York’s worst tragedies is associated with this block, once the heart of the German community. Find a place that, after the General Slocum disaster, underwent a conversion, as Germans moved to Yorkville to escape bad memories. Which of the following was not a factor for the ill-fated passengers?  a) untrained crew      b) old lifejackets     c) painted lifeboats     d) low pressure in the hoses

4. Seventh Street between Second and Third Avenues: Visit a pub that boasts, “We were here before you were born.” What stirred the sawdust in 1970? (You don’t have to enter for the answer.)

5. Fourth Avenue, Seventh Street: Enter a triangle to visit Tom Thumb’s inventor. What did his wife add to his dessert?



1.  1817, indicated on the tomb of Tompkins, which has a feather carved on it
2. Ben Bonus, honored with a star in the sidewalk
3. Low pressure in the hoses
4. High heels, in a headline in the window of McSorley’s.
5. Fruit–Cooper invented Jell-O, his wife added fruit.

Questions and answers (c) 2010 Watson Adventures LLC