History

In Lamenting the Loss of MAD Magazine, Exhuming its Lafayette Street Origins [HISTORY]

Posted July 9, 2019 at 5:07 am

Last week, over the quiet Fourth of July holiday, the world learned that MAD Magazine will no longer appear on newsstands, and cease to print new material. Instead, the iconic 67-year-old satire will go into syndication, so to speak. According to widely published reports, the October issue will be the last. Thereafter, mainly reruns – the […]

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The Oft-Overlooked ‘Drag Balls’ of Harlem [HISTORY]

Posted June 28, 2019 at 5:08 am

Bet that got your attention. The year was 1931 and “Fag Ball” was the newspaper equivalent click-bait of the decade. Certainly made me wonder what all the fuss was about, and how it all began. And by “it,” I mean Drag Balls.  Don’t let your Mothers down, children. We must leave the Lower. In 1869, […]

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I was a Butcher at the Meat Market of Yore; this is my Story [PHOTOS]

Posted June 11, 2019 at 5:09 am

“…So Richie…waddaya doin’ here…killing time? ” -Frankie “the Hat” In July of 1977, shortly before the Blackout, and the arrest of the notorious Son of Sam (aka David Berkowitz), I moved back to the city after a five-year stint in Lincoln, Nebraska. I had been invited to stay with a childhood friend, and his fiancé, […]

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Streets

Exhuming the Lost Blocks Razed for the ‘Village View’ Housing Complex [PHOTOS]

Posted May 29, 2019 at 5:05 am

The Village View housing complex opened fifty-five years ago as part of the Mitchell-Lama program. Construction of the sprawling campus – situated on Avenue A and First Avenue between East Second and East Sixth Streets – required the massive clearance and demolition of dozens of buildings. Displacement and disruption followed as whole neighborhoods were effectively […]

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One Last Trip through the Essex Street Market Before it’s Demolished [PHOTOS]

Posted May 6, 2019 at 5:01 am

Today is an historic day. For the first time in seventy-nine years, the Essex Street Market is no longer selling goods from any of its one-story brick warehouses. Not selling at all, in fact. Last day in business here – before crossing Delancey to its new Essex Crossing HQ – was yesterday. With a dreary […]

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‘Punk’ Docuseries Attempts to Answer All of Your Punk Questions

Last modified March 25, 2019 at 2:01 pm

Is it punk to create a documentary series about punk? Or is that the antithesis of the spirit itself? While watching the new docu-series Punk on the Epix network, I found myself asking these questions. Was I no longer a happy nonconformist if I actually liked this series? Does punk endure, or are some of […]

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Vinny Vella, Actor and Pulse of Little Italy, Dies at 72

Last modified February 22, 2019 at 9:35 pm

Who’s better than you? Vinny, that’s Who. Little Italy residents this week are mourning the loss of Vinny Vella. The local legend, and character actor, died of complications from liver cancer on Wednesday (February 20) at the age of 72. He is survived by his wife Margaret-Anne, and his children Benjamin and Anthony Hernandez, Lauren […]

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City Honors Sun Yat-sen with Permanent Monument and Columbus Park Plaza Renaming

Posted February 8, 2019 at 5:08 am

To commemorate the Lunar New Year, the City announced this week that wheels are in motion to permanently install the bronze statue of 20th-century revolutionary and founder of the Republic of China, Dr. Sun Yat-sen. This public artwork has been on display since late 2011 in the north plaza of Columbus Park, and after getting […]

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When Lord & Taylor Ruled Lower East Side Fashion [HISTORY]

Posted December 28, 2018 at 5:00 am

Lord & Taylor will close its landmarked Fifth Avenue building in a few short weeks after more than a century in business. WeWork acquired the historic property in a blockbuster $850 million deal last year. The department store had originally planned to take space in the “bottom floors” while the co-working company reigned above. But […]

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Chinatown Pushes for Congressional Gold Medal to Honor Chinese American War Heroes

Posted November 2, 2018 at 9:30 am

This Saturday, folks will have a unique opportunity to attend an event that not only commemorates local veterans, but one that may help give these unsung heroes their deserved recognition in the eyes of the Federal government. Throughout United States history, over 16,000 Chinese Americans participated in all four theaters of World War II. As […]

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