FAO Schwarz, the oldest toy store in the United States is open in Rocekfeller Center

FAO Schwarz, founded in 1862, is the oldest toy store in the United States .  It is one of the most famous toy stores in New York City,  and  one of the most famous toy stores in the world. 
There has been an F.A.O. Schwarz toy store in New York City for the past 147 years!  

Frederick   Schwarz was born in Herford, Westphalia. In 1856, Frederick, the youngest of three Schwarz brothers, emigrated to the U.S.   joining his brothers in Baltimore, Maryland.  Six years later, the brothers opened ''Toy Bazaar,'' their first toy retailing business.  Following the success of ''Toy Bazaar,'' Frederick moved to New York City in 1870 where he opened his first toy store  at 765 Broadway, a location that placed him at the center of what was then New York's most fashionable shopping district. 

  Schwarz is believed to have introduced the first live Santa Clause in December 1875;  it inspired   other stores, including Macy's, to offer their own versions. In 1896, Schwarz proclaimed the store as the "Original Santa Claus Headquarters" in New York.
 In 1876 the company issued its first catalog, attracting an even wider consumer base. That same year Schwarz moved the business uptown, to larger quarters at 42 East Fourteenth Street.

F.A.O Schwarz, 5th Avenue
By the end of the decade Schwarz  was reputed to be the largest toy dealer in the world.  Parents and kids were  impressed  by his   displays of handmade dolls with elaborate wardrobes,    exotic stuffed animals covered with real fur, authentically detailed toy soldiers and models of full-rigged sailing vessels and  working reproductions of trains and carriages.

In 1931, the New York City location moved to 745 Fifth Avenue into Squibb Building,  the new   Art Deco   skyscraper. At one point, there were 40 locations across the United States, but the Fifth Avenue store is the last one remaining.
In May 2009, Toys "R" Us Inc. acquired FAO Schwarz. 

F.A.O Schwarz, 5th Avenue

Three years ago rising rents in midtown Manhattan have claimed another victim: The F.A.O. Schwarz flagship store on Fifth Avenue closed its doors on July 15, 2015.

There were rumors that the new store will be  open at the base of Paramount Group‘s 2.5-million-square-foot office tower at 1633 Broadway between West 50th and West 51st Streets, just in time for the 2016 Christmas season. It did not happen.

Just three years after its Fifth Avenue storefront shuttered back in 2015, FAO Schwarz's new flagship is open again.   The store  reopened  at 30 Rockefeller Center on November 16, 2018.

The trademark toy soldier uniforms  were redesigned.  The retailer  brought  back the iconic dance-on piano and clock tower while adding new interactive toys and activities, including a build-your-own race car station, live magic shows and play grocery store. 

Life-sized versions of classic toys such as a space ship, fire truck and toy train  serve as bulk candy containers, and recognizable design elements such as the Toy Soldier and a New York City subway car  serve as a check-out counter. 

 In addition, visitors  find several new products in the entertainment program :  among them, a toy store, training bus racing and exciting magic show.
There are even more things to experience in the new location. For one, when kids pick out a doll, they'll be "interviewed" by an "adoption agency" to ensure that they'll be a good parent to their inanimate child.

What is Salmagundi?

Salmagundi refers to either a salad like dish or a pirate-style stew that came about in the 17th and 18th centuries . The stew includes   anything the cook has on hand. 
Salmagundi  as a  salad  has meat, anchovies, eggs, and onions, often arranged in rows on lettuce and served with vinegar and oil, and spiced with anything available.    The French word "salmagondis" means a hodgepodge or mix of widely disparate things. 

Salmagundi is also a name of a  the literary magazine that was found by Irvin Show in  January 1807 in New York.  Irwin Show is American playwright and novelist whose written works have sold more than 14 million copies.
 Irvin used different pseudonyms such as  William Wizard and Launcelot Langstaff and wrote a  lot of satiric articles about the life in New York .  In its seventeenth issue, dated November 11, 1807, Irvin used the word "Gotham" as a nickname  for New York for the first time. I wrote about  it in one of my earlier posts.
Salmagundi is also a name of the club, one of the oldest art organizations in the United States.
Salmagundi Club,   originally called the New York Sketch Class,  it had its beginnings in Greenwich Village where in the studio of the sculptor Jonathan Scott  Hartley a group of artists, students, and friends at the National Academy of Design gathered weekly on Saturday evenings. Hartley  sculpted three of the nine busts around the front of the Thomas Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress in Washington, DC.

The Club adopted its present name a hundred years ago after Washington Irving published "The Salmagundi Papers".   The name also serves as the club dining room's famous "Salmagundi Stew".  
The club had several temporally locations and  in 1917   purchased the 1852 Irad Hawley brownstone townhouse at 47 Fifth Avenue between East Eleventh and East Twelfth Streets. Hawley  was   the  first president of the Pennsylvania Coal Company.  The borough of Hawley in Pennsylvania in Wayne County was named after him. 

The Club offers programs including exhibitions, painting demonstrations, and art auctions throughout the year for members and the general public.

The  club has  three galleries, a library,  and a restaurant and bar with vintage pool tables. All facilities are available for special events and private rentals.
The Club owns a collection of over 1,500 works of art spanning its 140 year history and has a membership of nearly 850 artists and patrons.

The Salmagundi Club offers a variety of Art Classes, all open to the public. All classes are $20 per class to attend and are "walk-in" classes (no advance notice is required). Attendees must bring their own art supplies but easels and tables are provided as are models for the life drawing classes.

Candy Nations

The Garment District in New York’s history is  a place where factories and fashion have been linked for almost a century.  The district is generally considered to lie between Fifth Avenue and Ninth Avenue, from 34th to 42nd Streets. The center of this district is    New York’s most important thoroughfare -  Broadway, between 36th and 39th Street, in the heart of midtown Manhattan, between Times Square and Macy's Herald Square.

The Garment District Alliance  was founded   in 1993  by the district’s 575 property owners and over 6,500 businesses   to improve the quality of life and economic vitality of Manhattan’s Garment District. This fall The Garment District Alliance conducted  its Winter art installation -    a parade of nine-foot-tall ‘Candy’ sculptures.  It was installed just  t in time for trick-or-treating season  and is view   to December 9, 2018. 
Candy Nations was created in 2011 by French sculptor Laurence Jenkell to convey “an optimistic message of unity beneath external differences,” and originally displayed during the G20 Summit in Cannes, France. 

 The Group of Twenty (G20) is an international forum that brings together the world's 20 leading industrialized and emerging economies. The group accounts for 85 per cent of world GDP and two-thirds of its population. The first G20 summit occurred in Berlin, in December 1999, and was hosted by the German and Canadian finance ministers.

There are 19 countries -    Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, , France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom,   United State and  the European Union in G20.

The sculptures tower 9 feet tall, each weighing 1,450 pounds and wrapped in the colors of one of these countries. Laurence Jenkell   was born on December 31, 1965 in Bourges, France, she went on to study applied arts in both London and Heidelberg. Today, she and lives and works in Vallauris, France.

Jenkell's practice obsessively revolves around a single motif: depicting larger-than-life wrapped pieces of candy using Plexiglas, resin, and cast aluminum. Jenkell received commissions by companies and events such as Coca-Cola and the rugby World Cup.