Categories
Gilded Age New York

“The First Dandelion” and Walt Whitman’s very bad timing

In 1888, the New York Herald ran this poem by the great Walt Whitman:                                          The First Dandelion                                     […]

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, 190 years ago, that an iconic poem was written in Chelsea

On Christmas Eve, one hundred and ninety years ago today, wealthy landowner and august Columbia professor Clement Clarke Moore completed a seasonal poem to read to his children. He penned the whimsical little tale — a throwaway, really, in comparison to his great and respected writings in Greek and biblical literature — from a desk […]

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, 190 years ago, that an iconic poem was written in Chelsea

On Christmas Eve, one hundred and ninety years ago today, wealthy landowner and august Columbia professor Clement Clarke Moore completed a seasonal poem to read to his children. He penned the whimsical little tale — a throwaway, really, in comparison to his great and respected writings in Greek and biblical literature — from a desk […]

New trailer for The Great Gatsby: What’s behind the collar?

When the original trailer for Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s ‘The Great Gatsby’ came out in May, I respectfully nitpicked its depiction of 1920s Times Square. That same article applies to the new trailer Read it here: Times Squared: Lovingly nitpicking ‘The Great Gatsby’ trailer The Arrow collar sign makes a more prominent appearance […]

New trailer for The Great Gatsby: What’s behind the collar?

When the original trailer for Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s ‘The Great Gatsby’ came out in May, I respectfully nitpicked its depiction of 1920s Times Square. That same article applies to the new trailer Read it here: Times Squared: Lovingly nitpicking ‘The Great Gatsby’ trailer The Arrow collar sign makes a more prominent appearance […]

Categories
Brooklyn History

Ten fabulous facts about 70 Willow Street, Brooklyn Heights, aka ‘the Truman Capote house’

The strange, yellow Brooklyn Heights mansion best known as the home where Truman Capote wrote ‘Breakfast At Tiffany’s’ has finally been sold for $12 million, after many months of humbling markdowns from its original hefty pricetag. Located in the heart of old Brooklyn, the new owners will be winning more than a literary prize. The house has […]

Categories
Brooklyn History On The Waterfront Podcasts

Notes from the podcast (#133): Red Hook, Brooklyn

A haunting snapshot of the Atlantic Docks, circa 1870-80s (possibly as early as 1872) photo by George Bradford Brainerd (courtesy the Brooklyn Museum)  Quite a few notes on the podcast this week! There were a lot of little details I found interesting that didn’t make the cut:Before the Water Taxi: One of the more enlightening […]

Jack Finney’s ‘Time And Again’, preservation by sci-fi

The Dakota Apartment circa the 1890s: If you arranged everything just right, could you go back to it? The writer Jack Finney, who was born a hundred years ago this week, on October 2, 1911, turned the Dakota Apartments into a time machine in his 1970 novel ‘Time And Again’. He inspired a legion of New […]

Mayor LaGuardia’s former home and its sci-fi, erotic past

Above: Mayor LaGuardia presenting his weekly WNYC radio show from Gracie Mansion. He would carry on the tradition at his Riverdale home. Fiorello LaGuardia, among the greatest mayors ever in New York history, died on this date, September 20, 1947, at his home in the Riverdale neighborhood of the Bronx. He arrived at the lovely four-story […]

Super Local: Captain America and New York’s other heroes

A 1940s antique store carries more than dusty lamps in the summer superhero film, ‘Captain America: The First Avenger,” which transplants its hero’s origins from the Lower East Side to downtown Brooklyn. I know I can be a bit fanatic in my New York-centeredness, but this statement I can make with fact — the comic book […]

The best non-fiction in the universe (and in New York, too)

If you love perusing lists of books that you’ll never get a chance to read in your lifetime, please check out the Guardian’s list of the 100 greatest non-fiction books ever written. And when they say ever, they mean it. (The oldest entrant is dated c400 BC.) The works on their list cover the entire […]

150 years ago: ‘Malaeska’, the birth of the dime novel

Today marks a big literary milestone of sorts. Serialized Harlequin romances, comic books, cheap paperbacks and pulp magazines filled with tales of gangsters and spies all trace themselves to the ‘dime novel’, a cheaply produced, cheaply bought publication of the mid and late 19th century, introducing breezy, far-flung tales to readers of lower classes. Although […]

Bowery Boys Bookshelf: New York City writes about itself

No city has been more savaged and disparaged, more exalted and varnished, than New York City — and this from the very writers who lived here. The man who exclaimed “Manhattan crowds, with their turbulent musical chorus!” also wrote, “Silence? What can New York-noisy, roaring, rumbling, tumbling, bustling, story, turbulent New York-have to do with […]

Mark Twain and the long century without him

Above: Mark Twain at Delmonico’s Restaurant One hundred years ago today, Mark Twain died of a heart attack in Connecticut, famously the day after Hailey’s Comet whisked by the earth. Although obviously more known for his reminiscences of Missouri and his later life in Hartford, Conn., New York City figured significantly in his career. Twain […]

J.D. Salinger and the frozen ducks of Central Park

“I live in New York, and I was thinking about the lagoon in Central Park, down near Central Park South. I was wondering if it would be frozen over when I got home, and if it was, where did the ducks go? I was wondering where the ducks went when the lagoon** got all icy […]