Daily photographs by HANS VON RITTERN, with humorous, artistic and social commentary on life in the big city.

Posts tagged “SAKS Fifth Avenue

Photo of the day: MEET BETTE MIDLER IN PERSON MAY 9, AT KORVETTES DEPT. STORE

BETTE KORVETTESPOSTER

Photo of the day: MEET BETTE MIDLER IN PERSON MAY 9, AT KORVETTE DEPT. STORE – 36 years ago! May 9, 1977. It was a Monday afternoon, I am sure I played hooky from college, and I got there early and got in line with all my Bette Midler memorabilia which she gladly signed (in those days, stars did that!). It was the advent of Bette’s much anticipated ‘Live At Last’ 2lp record set. To capture the escence of 1970’s bawdy Bette – you need to hear her live, up till then there had been only three studio recordings of her. The ‘Live’ record album became one of the most quoted and mimicked in every drag queen’s act in those days. “Hello Cleve-land!”
 BETTE MIDLER @ KORVETTES 1977©
Red head Bette was in true camp mode and kibitzed with everyone. Dig the groovy 1970’s graphics in the background of the smaller photo. Doesn’t her assistant look like ‘Laurie Partridge’?? I stayed a while and took some photos of the, then, rising superstar. On the way out of the old Korvettes Department Store – I grabbed this sign with the photo, right out of the standing sign holder and raced for the door. Today the sign is one of the few artifacts left of the long gone (then one of the first) discount department store Korvettes located at 575 Fifth Avenue/47th Street, to the consternation of SAKS Fifth Avenue, which was just two blocks up on the swanky avenue.
Eugene Ferkauf, owner of E. J. Korvette department store, standing outside by storefront on Fifth Avenue

Eugene Ferkauf, owner of E. J. Korvette department store, standing outside by storefront on Fifth Avenue

(The store used both spellings: KORVETTE and KORVETTES.)
See Bette perform ‘Live’:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wO7CTclJ8B4
Now today, 36 years later, you can see blonde Bette on Broadway in the play “I’ll Eat You Last.”

Mondays on Memory Lane – Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip ‘shop’ Bloomingdale’s 1976

QUEEN ELIZABETH collageQueen Elizabeth II                                                        Prince Philip and Marvin Traub

Mondays on Memory Lane – Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip ‘shop’ Bloomingdale’s 1976: It wasn’t your average advertisement in the local papers ‘Come Meet the Queen at Bloomingdales’! This being 1976, the height of the disco era it could have been any one of dozens of queens. Divine, Sylvester, Craig Russell, Holly Woodlawn, Rollerena, Charles Pierce, Danny LaRue, Jim Bailey?
No, this was THE Queen to beat out all other queens, The one that always carries her handbag wherever she goes. Queen Elizabeth II and her husband Prince Phillip. (As Bette Midler once famously asked: “What has she got in that handbag?! A card that says ‘I am the Queen?!’) Bloomingdale’s then CEO and president Marvin Traub had pulled off the media stunt of all stunts and convinced the Queen to visit his store. This was quite a coup for him. She wasn’t visiting Macy’s, SAKS, or Bonwitts, Tiffany or Bergdorf’s, she was visiting the store that was so hotly in vogue at the time. The Queen “didn’t choose Saks, and she didn’t choose Bergdorf — she chose Bloomingdale’s,” Traub once boasted in an interview with The Post.
As part of the city’s 1976 bi-centennial celebrations, on Friday, July 9th, 1976, the Queen first decided to participate in a little historical reenactment herself. Most famously, the Queen graced the steps of Trinity Church to receive back rent owed the crown — 279 peppercorns. A bronze plaque presently marks the spot at Trinity where she accepted the peppercorns.
After a luncheon at the Waldorf, the royals fit in a couple unusual stops. The first was a spot of afternoon tea at the Morris-Jumel Mansion in Harlem, accompanied by the Daughters of the American Revolution. Afterwards, they sped downtown for a tour of Bloomingdale’s, not only stopping traffic, but reversing it on Lexington Avenue, to allow the Queen to exit her vehicle from the right side.
queen
She quietly moved from floor to floor, admiring the many displays of products of British make, particularly the pottery and furniture. She was also greeted to a private fashion show, as Her Majesty was led through a room of mannequins garbed in the latest stylish trends from 1976. Along the way, a few American designers made appearances to greet Queen Elizabeth, including Calvin Klein.
I recall it was in the mid afternoon and many office workers made it a long lunch to see the famous couple. I got there several hours early to get a good viewing spot on one of the upper floors where a museum exhibit had been set up. The aisles were narrow here so therefore the best spot to snap a picture with my little instamatic camera with the square flashcubes. The buzz on the floor was heightened but polite, no shoving or pushing – after all, it was the Queen! She graciously perused the exhibit but her eyes and his swept across the crowd as they truly tried to connect to the people of New York, it was quite remarkable. (Remember, this is before John Lennon’s 1980 assassination and security was still very lax in those days.) A representative of Bloomingdale’s remarked, “we thought — and the Queen agreed — that it would be a very American experience for her to go amidst all the crowds and just pretend she might be shopping.”
It was a surreal ‘pretend shopping excursion’ but it was a thrill for me, but alas…no…she didn’t do the royal hand wave 🙂
QUEEN CROWD
Story told in honor of her 87th birthday yesterday April 21.

Photo of the day: THE ULTIMATE EASTER BONNET!

EASTER BONNET

“In your Easter bonnet,
with all the frills upon it,
You’ll be the grandest ‘lady’ in the Easter parade.
I’ll be all in clover and when they look you over,
I’ll be the proudest fellow in the Easter parade.
On the avenue, Fifth avenue,
the photographers will snap us,
And you’ll find that you’re in the rotogravure.
Oh, I could write a sonnet about your Easter bonnet,
And of the guy I’m taking to the Easter parade.”
There are certain people that are just “so New York” – this is one of them. “Ms.” Columbia.
Nothing but sheer unmitigated joy streams from him/her and people absolutely light up when she appears. The gall, nerve, insanity, craziness, devil-may-care attitude with a broad grin is absolutely infectious. The delight of living in New York, is you never know where she, the parrot on her head and her dyed-to-match-poodle are going to show up! Saks Fifth Avenue, parades, Greenwich Village, Wall Street, Broadway, Chelsea or on the Queens number 7 train heading for her own Easter parade 🙂
HAPPY EASTER  !

Photo of the day: NEW YORK IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS!

In New York City – shopping is a sport !

BLOOMINGDALE’S Friday’s hours:

7:00AM – 10:00PM
Saturday, November 24
9:00AM – 10:00PM
Sunday, November 25
10:00AM – 9:00PM
Monday, November 26
9:00AM – 10:00PM
Tuesday, November 27
9:00AM – 10:00PM
Wednesday, November 28
9:00AM – 10:00PM

MACY’S HERALD SQUARE STORE HOURS
Friday, November 23: 12:00AM – 10:00PM
Saturday, November 24: 7:00AM – 11:00PM
Sunday, November 25: 10:00AM – 10:00PM
Monday, November 26: 9:00AM – 9:30PM
Tuesday, November 27: 9:00AM – 9:30PM
Wednesday, November 28: 9:00AM – 11:00PM

SAKS FIFTH AVENUEMon-Sat 10 am – 8 pmSun 12 pm – 7 pm

LORD & TAYLOR
Mon – Sat: 10am – 9pm
Sunday 11am – 8pm
BERGDORF GOODMAN
Holiday hours begin November 26: Monday to Friday open 10am until 9pm. Saturday until 8. Sunday 11am until 7pm