Categories
Mysterious Stories

The Ghost with the Red Hair: Two Hauntings in Long Island City

Long Island City is really a confederation of small villages and hamlets along the northwestern shore of Long Island. The name began essentially as a re-branding of Hunter’s Point then grew to eventually include Astoria, Ravenswood, Sunnyside, Blissville and other communities after the development of the Long Island Railroad improved its land value. “Fifteen years ago, outside of […]

Categories
Queens History

The Fall of Ravenswood, Old Aristocratic Queens

Ravenswood is a dramatic name for a New York City neighborhood and certainly wasted on its primary resident today — Big Allis, the Con Edison generating power station that provides the Queens waterfront with its most unattractive feature. This pocket district is situated on the western edge of Queens just north of Hunter’s Point. Situated […]

Categories
Amusements and Thrills

From ‘Hot Circuits’ to ‘Arcade Classics’: A Museum’s Quest to Preserve Video Games

ARCADE CLASSICS, the latest show at the Museum of the Moving Image, pulling from the museum’s regular collection of video arcade games, is indeed an all-star line-up of classics. But without the fussiness of an actual arcade. (For one, the experience is at pleasant decibels.) The machines will mostly be familiar to anybody who identifies as Generation […]

Categories
Mad Men

This Is The End: ‘Mad Men’ at the Museum of the Moving Image

Mad Men begins its final season on AMC next Sunday, April 5th. If you live in New York, this has been bludgeoned into your brain though city-sponsored banners, ‘60s era dining specials and even a Mad Men-themed bench in front of the Time & Life Building.  There’s also a fine new exhibition at the Museum of the […]

Categories
It's Showtime Podcasts

Rudolph Valentino, the seductive, tragic idol of the Jazz Age

PODCAST  Rudolph Valentino was an star from the early years of Hollywood, but his elegant, randy years in New York City should not be forgotten.  They helped make him a premier dancer and a glamorous actor. And on August 23, 1926, this is where the silent film icon died. Valentino arrived in Ellis Island in 1913, one of millions of […]

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Uncategorized

Nostalgia for Astoria Pool, an early Robert Moses project with a high diving, Olympic-sized history

Mermaidens: Five sisters in bathing suits pose on steps of Astoria Pool, circa 1938. Courtesy the LaGuardia and Wagner Archives FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION Until May 21st, you can vote every day in the Partners In Preservation initiative, a program that will award grant money to certain New York cultural and historical sites among 40 nominees. Having trouble […]

Categories
Queens History

Relaxation in Astoria, in the lap of Queens history

You’ll still find a few free-standing homes on the far western end of Astoria — traditionally called Hallet’s Cove — but you won’t find the one above, a veritable (if ramshackle) plantation getaway as photographed by Berenice Abbott in 1937. The caption of this picture places this house in the hands of Joseph Blackwell, an ancestor […]

That time Christopher Columbus annoyed Robert Moses

Above: Columbus Circle in 1913. Robert Moses wasn’t annoyed with this statue of the explorer, as far as I know, but in 1956, he placed the hideous New York Coluseum convention center next to it, marring the area for decades. (Pic by Irving Underhill, courtesy NYPL) Christopher Columbus is among the most honored figures in […]

Two hundred years ago: Voyage on a doomed ship!

New York Harbor, possibly late 1810s (caption reads only ‘1800s’) courtesy NYPL Two hundred years ago today, a boat on its maiden voyage left New York’s harbor. This happened virtually every day in New York, of course, during this period as America’s most active and bustling port city. However, from 1807 and lasting well into […]

Steinway and Sons: piano men and kings of Queens

Inside Steinway Hall 1890: the 14th Street concert venue could seat 2,000 and also functioned as a showroom for Steinway pianos Henry Steinway, a German immigrant who came to New York in 1850, made his name in various showrooms and factories in downtown Manhattan, enticing the wealthy with his award-winning quality pianos. At their grand […]

Do the Astors own you?

On the passing yesterday of the 800 year old Astor family monarch Brooke Astor, I thought I’d give you a brief rundown on all the places in which they’ve left a literal impression. Okay, ole Brooke was really 105, but in New York anyway, her passing has the feeling of an institution having left the […]