Rediscover the UWS's Main Street!
"West Seventy Today" introduces you to your small business neighbors along West 72nd Street, from Central Park to Riverside Park in weekly installments.
Meet your neighbors, NEW:
BIG BAG is Better than Ever!
by Claudie Benjamin

Seung Min Lee's enthusiasm for work and for life in general is hugely refreshing to anyone who speaks with her. It is not surprising to hear her say that she gains energy from interacting with customers. For 10+ years Seung has been partners in business with Sang Lan Lee, her mother, in the retail shop Big Bag at 134 W. 72nd Street. The two clearly appreciate each other. Sang says her daughter used to be her assistant. "Now, I'm her assistant!" she laughs. "My mother has much better taste than me," insists Seung.
Seung is an artist who paints in oils as well as a performance artist. "It's always a bumpy, hard-to-pay-bills road for an artist," she says. So, partnering in a retail business has provided some reliability. When Seung and her mother went into business together, their first shop was on West 72nd Street just a few steps east of Amsterdam Avenue. Its windows were discreetly elegant, highlighting delicate jewelry and handbags. Also featured was deluxe luggage. But, luggage is no longer sold at the shop's brand new 134 West 72nd St. location across the street. "People don't really buy luggage in stores anymore," says Seung. She explains that it's much easier to choose travel bags online and have them delivered. KEEP READING
...and OLD:
The West End Club[house] and International Sunshine Society
by Tom Miller

In 1883 real estate operator, Margaret Crawford began construction on five upscale rowhouses on West 72nd Street, between Columbus Avenue and Broadway. The avenue-wide street was developing into what the West 72nd Street Association would describe five years later as “the model street of the city.” The well-known architect Gilbert A. Schellenger designed the homes in the Renaissance Revival style. Completed in 1884 they were four stories above a high basement level, with a high stone stoop rising to the parlor floor level. 
The New York Times reported its purpose was “to promote intercourse among the members and provide a clubhouse.” Exclusive men’s social clubs routinely took over mansions within post residential neighborhoods. The elegant interiors with carved mantels, costly paneling and sweeping staircases created an aristocratic setting for the clubrooms. The upper floors contained rooms for members to stay when, for example, they were in town on business during the summer months while their homes were closed for the season. The New York Herald mentioned “The West End Club house is at No. 134 West Seventy-second street. The interior is luxuriously fitted up.” KEEP READING
KEEP READING the history of 134 W72nd at 72 Crosstown
72 Crosstown highlights the architectural and social histories of 1/3 of the buildings along West 72nd Street. If you have a building you'd like us to prioritize, or a business you think we should feature, let us know!
SUGGEST a business:
See you on West 72nd Street again, next FRIDAY!
45 West 67th Street NY NY 10023