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Amusements and Thrills

Don the Talking Dog, German vaudeville sensation, saves a drowning man in Brighton Beach

There once was a talking dog named Don. One hundred years ago today, he saved a man from drowning in Brighton Beach.  Don shouted or barked the word ‘Help!’ then ran to the waters to save him. But perhaps I should explain. In December 1910, the New York Times ran a startling announcement that a dog […]

The Bowery Boys New York City swimsuit edition, 1880-1920

Bathing beauty: Diver Maggie Ward prepares for a jump into the waters of Coney Island, in the summer of 1888  The notion of organized ‘ocean bathing’ — actually going into the water for health, relaxation and enjoyment — was really a 19th century invention, first popularized in the United States during the 1830s at the […]

Brighton Beach and Manhattan Beach, at your leisure

Above: Manhattan Beach Hotel EPISODE 102 Today Brighton Beach is known for Brooklyn’s thriving Russian community, while its neighbor Manhattan Beach is calm and family oriented. But over a hundred years ago, these neighborhoods were the homes of giant, lavish hotels catering to the upper classes. While regular folk were playing at Coney Island’s Steeplechase […]