A swanky, hip hop to New York’s provocative Playboy Club

Manhattan’s Playboy Club, at 5 East 59th Street NBC’s saucy new series ‘The Playboy Club’ starts this Monday. I believe it’s set in Chicago, however I thought this was a fine time to revise and reprint an article I wrote last year on the Manhattan branch of the Hugh Hefner club, which was featured in an… Read More

The wheelhouse of Wall Street 1885

No ‘Mad Men Notes’ this week as I’m out of town, but please enjoy this captivating shot of mad men on Wall Street, circa 1885, courtesy the Cornell University Library. The more you look at it, the more interesting details emerge. Click on picture for much greater detail. Trinity Church, at far left, would still… Read More

A TV shout-out to a debonair palace for independent women

postcard from Old New York With Mad Men making its return last night on AMC, myself and many other bloggers (like the fabulous Natasha Vargas-Cooper and the folks over at the City Room) are scouring the episodes for fun New York City history references. One of my favorite buildings in the city made an appearance… Read More


History in the Making: The Long, Forgotten Trail Edition

Abandoned railroad tracks dart along the cobblestones of the Brooklyn waterfront. Walker Evans 1960 (Courtesy LIFE images) Mad Men starts on Sunday, speeding the story up to Thanksgiving 1964. What was going on in the city then? [City Room] You think it’s hot down in the subway today? Imagine what it was like several decades… Read More


From New Amsterdam to Alicia Keys: NYC history in 2009

(Photo courtesy of Only In Holland) In 2009, New York went Dutch. One hundred years ago, the city threw an elaborate party, the self-important, historically aware (often inaccurate) and undeniably prideful Hudson-Fulton Celebration, honoring the 300th anniversary of Henry Hudson sailing into New York harbor and Robert Fulton’s invention of the steamship. Although we didn’t… Read More

New York City “in decay” on primetime TV

I just caught up on all my Mad Men episodes last night and feel foolish that I never mentioned the episode from a couple Sundays ago entitled ‘Love Among The Ruins.’ The AMC TV show, set in the early 1960s Madison Avenue ad agency Sterling Cooper, frequently offers us peeks into classic New York landmarks… Read More

Toots Shor’s and the art of celebrity male bonding

So make it one for my baby, And one more for the road FRIDAY NIGHT FEVER To get you in the mood for the weekend, every other Friday we’ll be featuring an old New York nightlife haunt, from the dance halls of 19th Century Bowery, to the massive warehouse clubs of the mid-1990s. Past entries… Read More