Inside the 124-Year-Old Russian and Turkish Baths in the East Village

The New York Times recently published a fantastic profile on one of the City's oldest bath houses, Russian & Turkish Baths in the East Village.

The 124-year-old bathhouse on East 10th Street has long been a New York institution, a bona fide melting pot, where the sweat of celebrities mingles with that of rabbis and taxi drivers. It’s where downtown denizens have gone to detox and discuss the deeper things of life, and where Orthodox Jewish men have gone to convene, or to hide from their wives. For much of its existence it has been a men’s club for those far beyond the age of vanity.

Check out the full article for more on the Russian & Turkish Baths.

David Abrams cooling off with ice water in a sauna at the Russian and Turkish Baths.
David Abrams cooling off with ice water in a sauna at the Russian and Turkish Baths.
Photo: Nicole Crain
The 124-year-old bathhouse on East 10th Street in the East Village.
The 124-year-old bathhouse on East 10th Street in the East Village.
Photo: Nicole Crain
Boris Tuberman, left, one of the bathhouse’s two owners, and Dmitry Shapiro, son of the other owner.
Boris Tuberman, left, one of the bathhouse’s two owners, and Dmitry Shapiro, son of the other owner.
Photo: Nicole Crain
Sophia Giovannetti, 23, and Michael Swellander, 29, chatting between baths.
Sophia Giovannetti, 23, and Michael Swellander, 29, chatting between baths.
Photo: Nicole Crain
Jason Russell, 42, in the cold pool after sitting in the saunas.
Jason Russell, 42, in the cold pool after sitting in the saunas.
Photo: Nicole Crain
Gary Hope, 48, getting a platza (an oak-branch thrashing).
Gary Hope, 48, getting a platza (an oak-branch thrashing).
Photo: Nicole Crain
Visitors relax in the common area between saunas, steam rooms and an ice-cold pool in the East Village bathhouse.
Visitors relax in the common area between saunas, steam rooms and an ice-cold pool in the East Village bathhouse.
Photo: Nicole Crain
Jim Monahan scrubs down in the showers after time in the searing Russian Room, which is heated to over 190 degrees. Regulars say the saunas are hotter on so-called Boris weeks.
Jim Monahan scrubs down in the showers after time in the searing Russian Room, which is heated to over 190 degrees. Regulars say the saunas are hotter on so-called Boris weeks.
Photo: Nicole Crain
Rich Trince shaves at the bathhouse on a Boris week. Mr. Trince, 50, has been visiting the baths for 20 years.
Rich Trince shaves at the bathhouse on a Boris week. Mr. Trince, 50, has been visiting the baths for 20 years.
Photo: Nicole Crain
Jamie Valleau rinses off on a David Week. “David’s week is easier because they run specials,” said Mr. Valleau, 26, a carpenter, bartender and mechanic who lives in Brooklyn.
Jamie Valleau rinses off on a David Week. “David’s week is easier because they run specials,” said Mr. Valleau, 26, a carpenter, bartender and mechanic who lives in Brooklyn.
Photo: Nicole Crain
Mr. Valleau outside the Turkish steam room, which is heated to 140 degrees.
Mr. Valleau outside the Turkish steam room, which is heated to 140 degrees.
Photo: Nicole Crain
Joel Reuben Ganz receives a massage, a gift from his friend Michael Ngo, for his 39th birthday.
Joel Reuben Ganz receives a massage, a gift from his friend Michael Ngo, for his 39th birthday.
Photo: Nicole Crain
Vanessa Luczun takes a dip in the 45-degree pool in the center of the bathhouse after heating up in the saunas.
Vanessa Luczun takes a dip in the 45-degree pool in the center of the bathhouse after heating up in the saunas.
Photo: Nicole Crain
A guest receives a platza, a massage with bundles of oak branches, or venik.
A guest receives a platza, a massage with bundles of oak branches, or venik.
Photo: Nicole Crain
Adik Sukiasyan scrubs down after using the sauna.
Adik Sukiasyan scrubs down after using the sauna.
Photo: Nicole Crain
The storied baths are housed in the basement of an East Village tenement. Women were allowed just one day a week until the 1980s, when Mr. Tuberman and Mr. Shapiro gradually made nearly every day coed.
The storied baths are housed in the basement of an East Village tenement. Women were allowed just one day a week until the 1980s, when Mr. Tuberman and Mr. Shapiro gradually made nearly every day coed.
Photo: Nicole Crain

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