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Brooklyn History

No Nonsense: Fifth Avenue lingerie from Brooklyn factories

Store: Kayser Hosiery545 Fifth Avenue at 45th Street German immigrant Julius Kayser didn’t start off being so intimate with women. When he opened his first factory in 1880, he specialized in simple cotton gloves, and soon moved to the silken kind, the sort a proper woman wore to the opera or a masquerade ball. He […]

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Brooklyn History

Ten fabulous facts about 70 Willow Street, Brooklyn Heights, aka ‘the Truman Capote house’

The strange, yellow Brooklyn Heights mansion best known as the home where Truman Capote wrote ‘Breakfast At Tiffany’s’ has finally been sold for $12 million, after many months of humbling markdowns from its original hefty pricetag. Located in the heart of old Brooklyn, the new owners will be winning more than a literary prize. The house has […]

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Brooklyn History On The Waterfront Podcasts

Notes from the podcast (#133): Red Hook, Brooklyn

A haunting snapshot of the Atlantic Docks, circa 1870-80s (possibly as early as 1872) photo by George Bradford Brainerd (courtesy the Brooklyn Museum)  Quite a few notes on the podcast this week! There were a lot of little details I found interesting that didn’t make the cut:Before the Water Taxi: One of the more enlightening […]

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Brooklyn History On The Waterfront Podcasts

Red Hook, Brooklyn: A rich seafaring history, organized crime and the isolation of a beleaguered neighborhood

PODCAST Red Hook, Brooklyn, the neighborhood called by the Dutch ‘Roode Hoek’ for its red soil, became a key port during the 19th century, a stopping point for vessels carry a vast array of raw goods from the interior of the United States along the Erie Canal. In particular, two manmade harbors were among the […]

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Brooklyn History

Holidays on Ice 1861: Skaters flock to Brooklyn’s icy ponds

Williamsburg(h)’s Union Pond, one of the finest destinations for ice skating in the city, 1863. It later became America’s first enclosed baseball field. The nation was at war one hundred and fifty years ago, but that didn’t stop the austere celebrations in the ‘borough of churches’. But while thousands of Brooklyn residents attended church that […]

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Brooklyn History

A Wretched Anniversary: The Brooklyn Theater Fire of 1876

It is difficult to discuss calmly the frightful disaster which happened in Brooklyn on Tuesday night. No such awful sacrifice of human life has ever been known in this country shipwreck and the casualties of war alone being excepted. — New York Times editorial, Dec. 7, 1876    One hundred and thirty-five years this evening, […]

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Brooklyn History

Let There Be Light: Brooklyn illuminates Manhattan with a spotlight that ‘will burn your skin at three hundred feet’

That Gotham glow: The powerful Sperry searchlight drapes the dark city in light. The Woolworth Building is lit up like a candle. A thin, bright streak of light brushes across the sky and dances off the clouds above. With few buildings over fifteen stories and the city’s electrical lights at a fraction of the intensity […]

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Brooklyn History

Today in history: tragedies in Staten Island, Park Slope

click pic for closer view One of the strangest and most tragic accidents in New York history occurred 49 years ago today when two planes, one United Airlines, the other TWA, collided in midair above New Dorp, Staten Island. The United Airlines flight plummeted to Brooklyn, in the intersection of 7th Avenue and Sterling Place […]