Christmas Newspapers and Newsies

A Very Special New York Newsies Christmas

The gritty image of the scrappy 19th century newsboy, the can-do kid slinging newspapers from the street corner, full of vinegar and character, was an encouraging invention of the newspapers themselves. Children were cheap labor, willing to sling stacks of freshly printed papers to corners across the city. Many kids preferred the profession to that… Read More

Taking the H out of Christmas: Cards on 14th Street

I found this interesting old photo in the Library of Congress digital collection, no date, with the caption “Christmas Card vendor, New York.” — His spelling of Cristmas and New Yeaps is a little, shall we say, unorthodox.— If we use the ‘Emergency Baggage Repair’ shop for orientation, it appears the vendor is standing across… Read More

Mystery Santa and his mysterious diner

This picture (from Google Life images) was taken in 1962 by Leonard Mccombe. From the reflection, I believe it’s a Cobb’s Restaurant and Cocktail Lounge, but I can’t find any further information on this intreguing looking place. Where was it?

Decked out: America’s first Christmas tree market

Outside the Barclay Street train station, circa 1903 (courtesy LOC). The Christmas tree marketplace had been well-established by then. HOW NEW YORK SAVED CHRISTMAS Throughout the month I’ll spotlight several events in New York history that actually helped establish the standard Christmas traditions many Americans celebrate today. Not just New York-centric events like the Rockefeller… Read More


The Best Rockefeller Center Christmas Trees EVER

Not all Rockefeller Center Christmas trees are born alike. Once removed from their serene forest habitats, each winner of New York’s annual arboreal beauty pageant finds itself in a different set of circumstances, thanks to world circumstances and fashions of the day. The following trees deserve special commendation: 1931 The Original Tree By Although the… Read More

Dyker Heights outdoes the Griswolds

For eleven months out of the year, Dyker Heights is a quiet, unassuming section of Brooklyn, far from the blazing electicity of Manhattan. But every December, it threatens to create its own Times Square in lights. The “Dyker Lights” has become the unofficial center of Brooklyn holiday festivites, showing up the nation’s suburbias with elaborate,… Read More