History

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. […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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, […]

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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 […]

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Lower East Side History Month: Week 2 Schedule

Posted May 8, 2014 at 10:14 am

Herewith, a list of programming highlights for week 2 (May 8-11) of the first annual Lower East Side History Month. Performances La MaMa Moves presents Resonance: Miki Orihara Solo Concert, 5/8-5/11, 7:30PM Danspace Project Presents Okwui Okpokwasili: Bronx Gothic, 5/8-5/10, 7:30PM La MaMa Moves presents Ashley Chen & Dylan Crossman, 5/9-5/11, 5:30PM THE NEWS – […]

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When Harry Houdini Mystified NYC, from the Bowery to Coney Island [HISTORY]

Last modified May 7, 2014 at 4:53 pm

Harry Houdini, world famous magician, has a few connections to the Lower East Side. Mr. Harry Houdini was actually born Ehrich Weisz in Budapest, Hungary on March 24, 1874. He was one of six children born to Rabbi Mayer Weisz and second wife, Cecilia Steiner. Two years after Houdini was born, the elder rabbi emigrated […]

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Photo: LES BID

Lower East Side History Month: Week 1 Schedule

Posted May 2, 2014 at 11:39 am

The first ever Lower East Side History Month is now upon us. Today is the official kickoff. Here are some programming highlights for week 1. Special Events MoRUS presents A History of 155 Ave C from the Beginning of the New World to the End of the Derelict Dynasty, 5/2, 7pm & 5/3, 5pm-11pm New […]

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Chalk/LES to Kick Off Lower East Side History Month with Sidewalk Chalkings

Posted May 1, 2014 at 10:00 am

Starting tomorrow, the local streets will be chalked with memories as part of the first annual Lower East Side History Month. Just in time for the end of this deluge. Chalk/LES is a three-day community engagement project that encourages passersby to sketch trivia, memories, or random musings about the neighborhood in open spaces. It’s certainly […]

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Photo: Susan Fensten

Spooky Backyard Scene on East Fifth Street

Posted April 18, 2014 at 11:22 am

This week, native New Yorker Susan Fensten plucks another gem from her father’s outstanding collection of previously-unseen images. The shot in question is a spooky backyard scene captured at Mr. Fensten’s East Fifth Street residence (between First and Second Avenues) in 1984. He worked as a bike messenger and lived in a tiny studio at […]

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