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On The Waterfront

A Haunting Look Inside the Lusitania

The Lusitania gets dwarfed by recollections of the Titanic.  But in many ways, the destruction of the Cunard Line’s premier ocean liner on May 7, 1915, was a deeper tragedy than that of the White Star liner. As a casualty of war — sunk by a German U-boat off the coast of southern Ireland — […]

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On The Waterfront Podcasts

Chelsea Piers: New York City in the Age of the Ocean Liner

PODCAST The Chelsea Piers were once New York City’s portal to the world, a series of long docks along the west side of Manhattan that accommodated some of the most luxurious ocean liners of the early 20th century. Passenger ocean travel became feasible in the mid 19th century due to innovations in steam transportation, allowing […]

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Bowery Boys Bookshelf

The Lusitania’s final voyage, breathlessly told

They said the Lusitania couldn’t be sunk. The German telegrams to the contrary were merely cheap scare tactics. Besides, England will provide protection once in their heavily guarded waters. The boat is simply too big to sink. There are plenty of lifeboats, enough for the entire passenger list. Even those in steerage! And the best […]

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Wartime New York

Voyage into war: New Yorkers enlist for France a century ago

Men and women aboard La Lorraine, heading to France and the prospects of a grave war. War was newly ablaze in Europe one hundred years ago today. A latticework of alliances was slowly drawing virtually country on the continent into a conflict which would rage for years and later become known as World War I. […]

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On The Waterfront

In 1863, the Russians invaded New York City

In 1863, New Yorkers flocked to the waterfront to see a startling sight — Russian war ships in New York Harbor. The fleet of Russian ships, sailing into New York Harbor in September 1863, as depicted by Harper’s Weekly. They were here as a display of force, but not to threaten the United States. Russia’s […]

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On The Waterfront

Where golf balls fly: Pier 59 at Chelsea Piers

The West Side Elevated Highway zooms past Pier 59, still in operation but long past her prime. (1951) Courtesy NYPL There are very few angles on the 100th anniversary of the Titanic tragedy that aren’t being excessively covered in other places this week. So instead of focusing on the ship and its passengers, I thought […]

Bowery Boys On The Go: History of NYC Transportation

Wheels converge: Motor buggies, horse drawn carriages and other conveyances glide and to and from the railroad terminal ferry station at West 23rd Street (i.e. Chelsea Piers) Pic courtesy NYPL Tomorrow we begin our first official summer blockbuster: a set of several podcasts in a row, themed BOWERY BOYS ON THE GO. Every two weeks, […]

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Know Your Mayors

Know Your Mayors: George B. McClellan Jr.

Our modest little series about some of the greatest, notorious, most important, even most useless, mayors of New York City. Other entrants in our mayoral survey can be found here. Perhaps no mayor of New York City this side of Fiorello Laguardia has ever overseen so drastic a change to the landscape of the city […]

The boat that keeps on sinking

The Carpathia docks off of Pier 54, emptied of its cargo of Titanic survivors Ninety-six years ago today, the RMS Titanic sank in the icy waters south of Newfoundland, killing 1,517 people, including three of New York City’s most prominent and richest citizens, sending a shock wave through high society and the mercantile elite. William […]