Russian & Turkish Baths

Art & Culture | History

At Over 125 Years Old this Bathhouse has a Storied History and a Unique Business Model

Russian and Turkish Baths East Village

About Russian & Turkish Baths

 & why it made the Carpe City list

  • The Russian & Turkish Baths, established in 1892 as the Tenth Street Baths, before most homes had running water, was opened by the city to help immigrants living in overcrowded neighborhoods stay clean.
  • Still popular today, the bathhouse is open 365 days a year.  The current owners, Boris Tuberman and David Shapiro, run the baths on separate weeks, a trend that started in the 1990s when their relationship became strained. On the bathhouse’s website, the schedule shows the weeks of the year split up between Boris Weeks (in black) and David Weeks (in red). The schedule also rotates between co-ed, men only, and women-only hours. Visitors buy passes for a David day or for a Boris day.
  • The different features of the bathhouse include the Turkish Sauna, the Aromatherapy Room, the Redwood Sauna, the Russian Room, and a plunge pool to cool off between rooms. The bathhouse also offers massages, salt scrubs, and Dead Sea mud treatments. Bathers can get a traditional Russian Platza (more on that below!).
  • Inside you will also find a restaurant, which serves traditional Jewish and Russian dishes including borscht, blini, Siberian pelmeni, and sausage.
  • The bathhouse used to be a notorious meeting place for members of the mob and corrupt politicians.
  • Famous bathers have included Robert De Niro, Frank Sinatra, John Belushi, Mick Jagger, and Bill Murray.
  • More recently, the bathhouse was featured in Season 3, Episode 1 of Showtime’s Billions.

Carpe City Trivia

What is a Platza?

Here is a Platza in Action from a Banya in Brooklyn


By: Cyd Sacks

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