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Neighborhoods

What Lies Beneath: New York’s long-forgotten graveyards

Bryant Park in 1907, with construction on the library well underway.  This was the site of one of the final official potter’s fields in Manhattan before they were moved to the islands of the East River. (Picture courtesy New York Public Library) Happy Halloween!  To put you in the spirit of the season, take a… Read More

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Neighborhoods

A short history of a short street named Raisin Street

A 1932 photo of 34-36 Barrow Street by Charles Von Urban, courtesy the Museum of the City of New York. Click here to see what this section of the street looks like today In this week’s Ghost Stories of Old New York podcast, Tom speaks of the ghosts at romantic restaurant One If By Land,… Read More

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Neighborhoods Those Were The Days

When the Bowery Ballroom was a shoe store and other scenes from Delancey Street in the 1930s

The Tree-Mark Shoe Store at 6-8 Delancey Street. You may know this building today as the Bowery Ballroom, a music venue since 1997. (Wurts Brothers, date unknown, both courtesy NYPL) The interior of the shoe store, 1930 (Pic courtesy MCNY) This building has had a rocky history, according to historian Matthew Postal.  Using remnants of an old theater… Read More

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Neighborhoods Preservation

The neon bible: A chat with ‘New York Neon’ author Thomas E. Rinaldi about the city’s most stylish signs

Bond Clothing Store sign was a mainstay of Times Square in the 1940s and 50s. For more on Bond’s unusual transition after that, read my article from 2007 on Bond International Casino. Picture courtesy Life Magazine, Lisa Larsen photographerNew York Neon is the Bowery Boys Book of the Month for July, a superb review of the… Read More

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Neighborhoods

Why are there so many Henry Streets in New York City?

Manhattan’s Henry Street looking south, 1935, photo by Berenice Abbott (NYPL) Since Manhattan and Brooklyn developed as two separate cities before they were intertwined within consolidated New York City in 1898, it’s not surprising to see similar street names in both boroughs, deriving from different origins.  But the Henrys being honored in these street names… Read More

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Neighborhoods Podcasts

The many lives of the Limelight, aka the facade formerly known as the Church of the Holy Communion

  Above: The Church of the Holy Communion — and once the quite infamous nightclub Limelight — as the less lauded follow-up, called Avalon. ¬†Within a couple years, the club would be transformed again — into a high-end retail experience. ¬†Below: Michael Alig, one of its more notorious nightly residents. (source)PODCAST If you had told… Read More

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Neighborhoods Podcasts

The secrets of St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery, and uncovering the East Village footprint of Peter Stuyvesant

FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION Until May 21st, you can vote every day in the Partners In Preservation initiative, which will award grant money to certain New York cultural and historical sites among 40 nominees. Having trouble deciding which site to support? I’ll be featuring on a few select sites here on the blog, providing you with a window… Read More

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Neighborhoods

The missing: Revisiting the Etan Patz disappearance in SoHo and holding on to memories of a transformed neighborhood

The scene at Wooster and Prince Street on April 19, 2012.  The world has changed since the disappearance of Etan Patz from the streets of New York on May 25, 1979. At least it seemed that way yesterday when the FBI and the New York Police Department reopened the cold case of the boy’s disappearance… Read More

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Neighborhoods

The toy radio magic of Fulton Street’s Electro Importing Co.

If you were the type of child who idolized the inventor over the sports hero, then the decade of the 1900s was something of a creative revolution. Children enamored by the flurry of new inventions in the late 19th century — the railroad, the telegraph, the camera — could only imagine interacting with these devices.… Read More

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Neighborhoods

This woman’s work: Exhausting images of Astor Place and Lafayette Street

Gritty streets, circa 1912. Looking up Lafayette Street, below Astor Place. “The breaking point. A heavy load for an old woman.” The building to the right is the DeVinne Press Building, built in the 1880s, and today home to Astor Center Wine & Spirits. In the distance: the Wanamaker Department Store building, today the home to… Read More

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Neighborhoods

The Thermos Building, keeping it hot (and cool) in Chelsea

A charming family enjoys its insulated beverages — just as they like it, just as they need it — in an ad from 1909.  The invention of the vacuum flask in 1892 (by Scottish chemist Sir James Dewar) does not rank high among mankind’s most remarkable inventions, but its longevity relies on being a steady… Read More