‘Sturgeon Queens’ Documentary Highlights 100-Year History of Russ & Daughters

Posted on: January 24th, 2014 at 6:05 am by
This image has been archived or removed.

This year is a significant one for neighborhood favorite Russ & Daughters. Triple digit candles for that birthday fish cake. Yes, the Lower East side mainstay celebrates its centennial, and with some big moves. Notably the introduction of a new cafe around the corner at 127 Orchard street.

The iconic appetizing store is also the subject of a new documentary film by veteran filmmaker Julie Cohen. Apparently her work on the project dates back to 2008, when PBS had commissioned her to produce the Jews of New York series. Russ & Daughters played a role in that film and sparked enough of a creative fire for Cohen to dig deeper.

Fast forward six years. The public is now ready to pull back the lid on Sturgeon Queens, timed for release during store’s hundredth anniversary.

The basis of the film’s content revolves around interviews conducted with survivors of the second-generation store owners, Hattie Russ Gold (100) and Anne Russ Federman (92) of Pembroke Pines, Florida.

The film is unusually presented, in that it lacks the “stiffness” of a traditional narrator. Instead, loyal altacocker customers take the story along its route. Some big names were interviewed for the project, as well. According to The Jewish Week, celebrity customers like Maggie Gyllenhaal, Mario Batali, and Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg collectively share their beloved store experiences. And all were lured with the promise of Russ & Daughters appetizing.

Unfortunately, The Sturgeon Queens won’t be screening in the city anytime soon. The closest it’ll come is Westchester next month. Otherwise you’ll have to wait until next fall for the PBS premiere.

Recent Stories

Someone Sliced Away the Pride Flag from Sugar Sweet Sunshine

It’s not all rainbows for Sugar Sweet Sunshine. Already contending with a spate of garbage dumping on its doorstep, the sweets shop just lost its Pride flag in an apparent hate-driven action. It appears someone snipped the rainbow gay pride flag from the storefront of 126 Rivington Street. We’re told that it had hung here […]

Start of $1.45B East River Park Resiliency Project Delayed

The planned demolition of East River Park for the new coastal resiliency project is delayed, the city recently revealed. The initial scope of the $1.45 billion East Side Coastal Resiliency project pegged a start date of September 2020, when areas of the coastline would be roped off ahead of construction. That was the plan through […]

Elderly LES Woman Lived with Husband’s Corpse for Weeks

An elderly woman in the Seward Park Co-op on the Lower East Side had been living with her husband’s rotting corpse for the last two weeks, cops said. Alarmed neighbors yesterday noticed the foul stench wafting through their apartment building at 383 Grand Street and notified the authorities. Police responded at 11:30am and found the […]

Trees in East River Park Marked for ‘Demolition’

Over a thousand trees will be uprooted later this fall when the city commences its demolition and redevelopment of East River Park. Faux demolition flyers now dot the park to raise awareness of the impending arborcide for the controversial resiliency project. The bright-red bills announce trees as “marked for demolition by the mayor and City […]

Upside Pizza Heads to Little Italy, Replacing Pomodoro on Spring Street

Out with the old style, in with the new. Pomodoro Pizzeria, which shuttered at the outset of the pandemic, is to be replaced by the popular midtown slice shop, Upside Pizza. Founder Noam Grossman and partners Eli and Oren Halali (behind 2 Brothers and Taqueria Diana) together submitted an application to Community Board 2 for […]