History

Harper's 1898, Collection of Maggie Land Blanck

Revisiting the Iconic (and Photogenic) Tenement Fire Escapes

Posted October 23, 2014 at 10:10 am

Ah, the iconic New York City fire escape. Sitting out on your “escape” really is just that. The breeze. The city below your feet. The views. The sounds. The smell (to each their own). Fire escapes have always been crucial to New Yorkers for a variety of reasons, least of which, surprisingly, was escaping fire. […]

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‘Miriam Friedlander Way’ is Dedicated on East 6th Street for the Former Councilwoman and Activist

Posted October 20, 2014 at 10:03 am

For eighteen years, Miriam Friedlander represented Council District 2 and was a fierce advocate for the community. She served as Councilmember from 1974 to 1991, tenaciously fighting for the rights of women, tenants and the LGBT community. In fact, it was under her tenure that City Council adopted the unisex “Councilmember” moniker. And now her […]

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Photo: Wikipedia

When the Bleecker Street IRT Station Had ‘Skylights’ [PHOTOS]

Posted September 26, 2014 at 9:22 am

Over a century after this photo was snapped (1905), it’s pretty crazy to think the Bleecker Street IRT station still maintains virtually the same feel. The image coulda been taken yesterday. Except for one difference. Note the presence of the subway “skylights,” which were meant to let in natural light to the underground. Yes, subterranean […]

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"The Bowery as it is today [1900]," Photo: NYPL

That Time When Locals Wanted to Rename the Bowery ‘Piccadilly’ or ‘Parkhurst Avenue’

Posted September 18, 2014 at 10:33 am

In an age when the Bowery moniker is gold – emblazoned across apparel and television screens – it’s difficult to fathom how its name was once threatened. At the turn of the last century, a collection of local Bowery merchants petitioned on numerous occasions to force the city to rename the thoroughfare. At least three […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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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