‘NYC Time Machine’ Tool Lets You View Maps from 1660 to Present Day

Posted February 24, 2015 at 5:16 am

Here’s one for all the cartography nerds out there. Say you live on East Broadway, but wanted to quickly see the city grid back when the boulevard was known as Harman Street (1800s, named for farmer Harmanus Rutgers). Well, there’s a new website for that. Boogie reader Orian Breaux sent along a link to a […]

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Street Beat: Goerck, Mangin, and Thomas Edison’s Lower East Side Stint

Posted February 19, 2015 at 10:14 am

Street and the beat, tying some convoluted history together for you once again. Ever heard of Goerck Street? Or Mangin, perchance? A history to every name… In 1797, the Common Council (the lawmakers) commissioned surveyors Casimir Goerck (Goerck Street, long gone) and Joseph-François Mangin (street is still around), to prepare an official map of the city. […]

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[Dr. Isabella Lee and Mrs. Lawrence in the upstairs apartment of 65 Pitt Street / Photo: Michael Levine]

Revisiting the Original Pitt Street Location of Streit’s Matzo Factory [PHOTOS]

Posted January 9, 2015 at 10:00 am

Still grappling with the recent development that Streit’s Matzo is under contract to sell its longtime Lower East Side headquarters, we figured it apropos to revisit (i.e. re-post) a previous story about its origins. The factory wasn’t always located at 148-154 Rivington Street. In fact, the business was born at 65 Pitt. Below is the […]

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NYE-1937 daily mail

Why We ‘Ring’ in the New Year

Last modified December 31, 2014 at 12:25 pm

Four parts copper to one part tin. Those are the preferred bells. Their sound reverberates the longest and loudest.  This is gonna get real spiritual in a second so brace yourselves. For thousands of years going back to ancient Egypt, the passing of a loved one was marked by the tolling of bells to ward […]

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Turkey Shoot

A Very Merry Christmas with Wassailing and Cheer

Last modified December 25, 2014 at 6:32 pm

Are you going caroling this year? If yes, please bring back this hairstyle. It is so much better than the ugly Christmas sweater. Remember over Thanksgiving when we said “come Christmas, you might just discover hefty similarities between caroling and masking/mumming. In fact, carolers were once known as Mummerers. Instead of the once-traditional ragamuffin style, groups […]

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When Thanksgiving Tradition Included Halloween-Like Masquerading

Posted November 27, 2014 at 10:34 am

There was once a time when Thanksgiving custom more resembled Halloween masquerading than turkey and history lessons. That’s right. So get out your masks, people! Thanksgivoween is upon is. Check the history. Two key words: masking and mumming. To surmise thousands of years of he said/he said, most agree the word masking encompasses all forms […]

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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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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 February 26, 2015 at 4:37 pm

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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