Categories
Landmarks

PODCAST REWIND: Rockefeller Center

PODCAST REWIND:  JD Rockefeller Sr. may have earned his money is some rather unscrupulous ways, but his son Junior made good by giving midtown a towering city-within-a-city, a complex of Art Deco buildings that serves as New York’s beating heart. We take a compact look at the complicated lineage of Rockefeller Center, from its controversial […]

Categories
Christmas

History In the Making 12/16: Miss Average Rockette Edition

Hmmm. The ludicrous graphic above ran in the New York Times Magazine, November 12, 1967. Keep in mind the word ‘topographically’ is most often used when describing places.  When I mentioned this graphic to a friend, he said, “They probably ran it so that admirers would know what size jewelry and furs to buy their […]

Categories
Christmas Podcasts

American Kicks: A History of the Rockettes

Lifted spirits: The Rockettes practice for a 1964 productions. (Life/Arthur Rickerby) PODCAST The Rockettes are America’s best known dance troupe — and a staple of the holiday season — but you may not know the origin of this iconic New York City symbol. For one, they’re not even from the Big Apple! Formerly the Missouri […]

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Queens History Robert Moses

Assorted mishaps from the 1964 New York World’s Fair — in its first month and before it even opened

Certainly Robert Moses expected there to be a few little problems to arise at the opening of the 1964 World’s Fair on April 22, 1964.  And for the most part, the most popular attractions launched without a hitch.  But a host of bad press on opening day and a litter of minor issues created a […]

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It's Showtime

The Evangelist of Kitsch: Liberace’s final performances, with the Rockettes, at Radio City Music Hall 1986

Liberace is the embodiment of a certain California flamboyance, but New Yorkers were as susceptible to his allure as anyone. In fact, for this brightly-painted musical showman, Radio City Music Hall was a second home.  He continued to smash box office records here year after year as late as the 1980s, well past his prime […]

History in the Making: The Roxy Theatre and Kitty’s hair

ABOVE: Satisfied New York filmgoers exit into the lobby, May 1943. WHAT lobby, pray tell? This is the massive 6,000-seat Roxy Theatre, at 153 W. 50th Street, “often cited as the most impressive movie palace ever built” according to Cinema Treasures. Movies at the Roxy were presented with live orchestras and vocals. In this case, […]

Categories
True Crime

The crazy tale of the Mad Bomber

A ticking bomb goes off in Grand Central Terminal. The seats at Radio City Music Hall, rigged with explosive devices planted inside the upholstery. Bombs found at the Empire State Building, others detonating at movie theaters and in phone booths, at the New York Public Library and in subway stations. An explosion inside Macy’s. Chaos, […]

Wonderland: Walt Disney’s seven Big Apple moments

Yesterday’s news about a new Times Square flagship store for Disney had me wondering what influence if any New York had on the career of Walt Disney, arguably one of the most successful men in history to make his name on the West Coast. Come to find out, the world might never have had Mickey […]

PODCAST: Radio City Music Hall & the Rockettes

Behind the glamour of New York’s greatest stage Radio City Music Hall is a story involving a toothpaste tube designer, an allergy to Brazil nuts, a hydraulic lift protected from the Nazis, and a man named Roxy. PLUS: The Bowery Boys go backstage (well, figuratively) with the Rockettes. Listen to it for free on iTunes […]