Tuesday, February 23, 2010

9 Essex Street: The Madoff Turkish Bath?

1 comment:

Malcolm Shifrin said...

The baths in the photo are labelled in English and Yiddish as Russian baths (ie, steam baths) rather than Turkish baths (which at that time would normally have implied hot dry air in several rooms, each hotter than the previous one.
Abraham Levy ran Turkish baths at 102 Essex Street and these were open in 1896.
Of course, Madoff might have been referring to his granfather's baths as being Turkish because the term is unfortunately used less specifically as we move further into the twentieth century.
Both the so-called Turkish baths, and the Russian baths, were different from the Islamic hammams found in Turkey and around the Islamic world for centuries.