Jean Leon Gerome Ferris (1863–1930) Captain Kidd in NY Harbor

Captain William Kidd: Pirate and New York City Forebear

Last modified September 5, 2014 at 6:57 am

A piece about pirates and New York. Hello, 17th century. Welcome to the newborn New York; not necessarily the island that comes to mind when thinking of pirates and their swashbuckling tales of plunder. Nevertheless, here making port and home was one of the most infamous pirates of them all, Captain William Kidd, pictured in the […]

Filed Under


Courtesy of the Dept. of Labor; 1963

Happy Labor Day! [PHOTOS]

Last modified September 1, 2014 at 6:40 pm

On September 5, 1882, 10,000 workers took unpaid time off to march from City Hall to Union Square. This is historically recognized as the first Labor Day parade in U.S. history. For most, Labor Day denotes the end of summer, the beginning of the school year, a much needed day off from work. And while all of that […]

Filed Under


Planks and Pitfalls: Journeying to the Abandoned Staten Island Ship Graveyard [PHOTOS]

Posted August 27, 2014 at 9:38 am

Arthur Kill Road. “Kill” is actually Dutch for “creek,” yet the way the traffic careens around the road’s tight curves at breakneck speeds suggests a modern relevancy. It’s the first of many obstacles in uncovering Staten Island’s historical treasure – the Arthur Kill Ship Graveyard. Located on the western coast of the island, the “attraction” is a maritime marvel; a […]

Filed Under

Architectural drawing of Essex Street Market in 1939, Photo: Municipal Archives

Check Out the 1939 Architectural Renderings for the Essex Street Market [PHOTOS]

Posted August 14, 2014 at 10:33 am

The row of boxy Essex Street Market buildings from below Delancey to Rivington will soon fall. These brick warehouses, constructed in 1940 under Mayor La Guardia to move the pushcarts inside, are situated on SPURA lots currently designated for Essex Crossing redevelopment. But the decades-old resource will receive a brand new (expanded) facility on the site […]

Filed Under


Photo: FDNY

The 1970 Car Crash that Nearly Knocked Out Yonah Schimmel’s

Posted August 7, 2014 at 9:12 am

This photo, culled from the FDNY archive, is crazy. Over forty years ago to the day (August 1, 1970), twenty-three-year-old Brooklynite Robert Sackett crashed his 1962 Cadillac directly into the body of 214 Forsyth Street. He had been driving eastbound along Houston at 8am, colliding with “two trees and a hydrant as [the car] hurtled […]

Filed Under

Photo: Scheme RFA

When the Essex Theatre Entertained the Masses on Grand Street [HISTORY]

Posted July 17, 2014 at 10:00 am

Today, the low-rise strip of Grand Street retail just east of Essex is predominantly home to a healthy mix of businesses. Both old and new, establishments such as Kossar’s Bialys, Doughnut Plant, and Pizza a Casa cater to tourists and locals alike. But many moons ago, this Seward Park retail complex housed the Essex Theatre. […]

Filed Under


Photo: Museum of the City of New York

When Delancey Street Was Widened in 1904 [PHOTOS]

Posted July 11, 2014 at 9:10 am

You’re looking eastward down Delancey Street from the approximate vantage point of the Bowery. The Second Avenue El and Williamsburg Bridge are just visible in the distance. But in the foreground, this roadway is a total mess. It’s 1904, and the city is amidst a project to widen Delancey on the approach to the newly-erected East River […]

Filed Under


Tracing the Origins of New York’s Nickname, ‘The City That Never Sleeps’

Posted June 26, 2014 at 6:05 am

I’m sitting in a 100-year-old converted loft on the Bowery watching the world go by. The Avalon Bowery (the building that killed McGurk’s) is in my peripheral, and it appears the well-heeled residents there are calling it a night behind those curtain-less windows. A thought hits me – the city that never sleeps, a phrase […]

Filed Under


The SS General Slocum: Photo: Wikipedia

The General Slocum or How My Great Grandmother Missed the Boat [HISTORY]

Last modified June 12, 2014 at 12:05 pm

With June 15 being the 110th anniversary of the sinking of the PS General Slocum in the East River, I thought it appropriate to share a personal snippet about a young Lower East Side girl who “missed the boat,” so to speak. The story of the General Slocum passenger boat is certainly a sad one, […]

Filed Under


The drugstore at 114th St and 1st Ave.  Farmacia Vesuvio. The vesuvio is painted on the ceiling.

Diary of an East Harlem Tenement [HISTORY]

Posted May 22, 2014 at 10:00 am

Let’s take a quick trip up to East Harlem (aka El Barrio) to explore some of its rich history. My family’s roots go deep in this area, which in many ways, prompted my interest in exploring other parts of the city. A few months ago, after six years of attempting to enter 401 East 114th Street, my brother […]

Filed Under