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Brooklyn History

The mysterious death of Calvert Vaux

On November 19, 1895,  Calvert Vaux went for a morning walk from his son’s home in Brooklyn. He never returned. The 70 year old architect had helped create New York City. His landscape collaborations with Frederick Law Olmsted had given Manhattan its Central Park and Brooklyn its Prospect Park and Fort Greene Park. His own […]

An ode to Sbarro Pizza, a long way from Bensonhurst

On the grim news today that Sbarro Pizza has filed for bankruptcy, I thought I would reprint my article from July 2009 on the Brooklyn origins of this fast-food slice joint. The Sbarro family in their original salumeria in Bensonhurst In my July 2009 roundup of famous New York-style pizzerias, I left out the one […]

Ulmer Park: A toasty footnote in Brooklyn beer history

We’re putting together the first new podcast of the year right now, involving a major traumatic event in south Brooklyn history. As I’m getting that together, enjoy this blog posting from summer 2009 about one of southern Brooklyn’s long forgotten pleasure destinations, Ulmer Park. You can find the original article here. Over a 100 years […]

Bensonhurst’s Sbarro: a non-New Yorker’s New York pizza

The Sbarro family in their original salumeria in Bensonhurst In my Friday roundup of famous New York-style pizzerias, I left out the one pizza company that could technically be called the most recognizable New York pie — at least to those who live outside the city. Sbarros Pizza is a fixture of shopping malls and […]