A Tribute to Sam Shepard, Pioneer of New York’s Off-Broadway stage

The Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and actor Sam Shepard,  who passed away today at age 73, is remembered for many classic film roles and triumphant plays which embodied a gritty American aesthetic. But he was also a pivotal contributor to the development of Off and Off-Off Broadway theater in New York City during the 1960s and … Continue reading A Tribute to Sam Shepard, Pioneer of New York’s Off-Broadway stage

The Invention of Benjamin Franklin Part One: Franklin Gothic (1706-1748)

THE FIRST PODCAST   Benjamin Franklin did more in his first forty years than most people do in an entire lifetime. Had he not played a pivotal role in the creation of the United States of America, he still would have been considered an icon in the fields of publishing, science and urban planning. How … Continue reading The Invention of Benjamin Franklin Part One: Franklin Gothic (1706-1748)

Listening to the Silent Parade of 1917: The Forgotten Civil Rights March

“To the beat of muffled drums 8,000 negro men, women and children marched down Fifth Avenue yesterday in a parade of ‘silent protest against acts of discrimination and oppression’ inflicted upon them in this country, and in other parts of the world. Without a shout or a cheer they made their cause known through the … Continue reading Listening to the Silent Parade of 1917: The Forgotten Civil Rights March

The Story of Bayard’s Mount, Lower Manhattan’s Missing Mountain

Bayard’s Mount, one of the highest points in Manhattan, has been gone for more than two hundred years. Where other hills and high points have been incorporated into the modern topography New York, this old hill was wiped from the map. Bayard’s Mount used to sit at around where Mott and Grand Streets meet today, … Continue reading The Story of Bayard’s Mount, Lower Manhattan’s Missing Mountain

The Story of SoHo: The Iron-Clad History of ‘Hell’s Hundred Acres’

PODCAST The history of SoHo, New York’s 19th century warehouse district turned shopping mecca Picture the neighborhood of SoHo (that’s right, South of Houston) in your head today, and you might get a headache. Crowded sidewalks on the weekend, filled with tourists, shoppers and vendors, could almost distract you from SoHo’s unique appeal as a … Continue reading The Story of SoHo: The Iron-Clad History of ‘Hell’s Hundred Acres’

The Martyr and the Traitor: Choosing Sides In The Revolutionary War

You may know Nathan Hale well from history books or from New York’s numerous memorials as a symbol of American patriotism, dying for his country long before anybody actually thought it would ever be a country. The British hanged him in New York as a spy in the aftermath of the Great Fire of 1776. He had performed … Continue reading The Martyr and the Traitor: Choosing Sides In The Revolutionary War

Webster Hall will return: The end of an era for NYC’s oldest party room

When news circulated this week that East Village nightclub Webster Hall would be closing for renovation in August, people understandably freaked out. It seems we’re losing historically significantly places at an alarming rate, places that seem to take a little bit of New York City’s personality with them when they disappear forever. It was announced … Continue reading Webster Hall will return: The end of an era for NYC’s oldest party room

How American Newspapers Reported the New York Blackout of 1977

Forty years ago today, New York City was plunged into darkness. The city has certainly seen longer blackouts in its history but none as violent or as deadly in its effects than the Blackout of 1977. The deteriorating city, in the midst of a withering heat wave, was ill-equipped for such emergencies. Hundreds of stores … Continue reading How American Newspapers Reported the New York Blackout of 1977

Down The Up Staircase: A Century of Black Lives In A Crumbling Old House

The extraordinary house at the heart of Down the Up Staircase is currently for sale.  “411 Convent Avenue is a House located in the Hamilton Heights neighborhood in Manhattan, NY,” the blog Street Easy dryly notes.  “411 Convent Avenue was built in 1901 and has 3 stories and 1 unit.” Bruce D. Haynes, a professor … Continue reading Down The Up Staircase: A Century of Black Lives In A Crumbling Old House

A Tour of New York City Through 55 Years of Spider-Man Comic Book Covers

The newest summer blockbuster Spider-Man: Homecoming may be the greatest New York City superhero movie ever. It doesn’t treat New York like a series of famous backdrops (although there certainly are a couple); it has a familiar landscape and there’s a particular care given to depicting Queens, the home of Peter Parker. There’s even a couple scenes … Continue reading A Tour of New York City Through 55 Years of Spider-Man Comic Book Covers