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Health and Living Newspapers and Newsies Podcasts

Nellie Bly: Undercover in New York’s Notorious Asylum for the Insane

The story of New York World reporter Nellie Bly as she poses as a mental patient to report on the abuses of Blackwell’s Island’s Lunatic Asylum. PODCAST Nellie Bly was a determined and fearless journalist ahead of her time, known for the spectacular lengths she would go to get a good story. Her reputation was […]

Categories
Mysterious Stories

The Mystery on North Brother Island: A story told in news clippings

A thousand unsolved mysteries live within a newspaper’s archives, little forgotten events that have faded into history. Sometimes you can search deeper, and the answers to those mysteries may emerge. This is what happened in a series of three articles I found the other day while doing some research on North Brother Island (the fruits […]

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A Most Violent Year Pop Culture

More signs of ‘A Most Violent Year’: New movie tie-in column

Looking over the East River at Brooklyn and Queens, 1981, where much of the film’s action takes place.  (Photo courtesy GeorgeLouis at English Wikipedia) A few weeks ago I posted the trailer to the new film by JC Chandor called A Most Violent Year, set in New York City in 1981. As support for the […]

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On The Waterfront

Arbuckle’s Deep Sea Hotel, aka ‘the Working Girls Hotel’, a coffee king’s housing solution for independent women

The boat hotel built by a coffee manufacturer, photo from January 1913 (courtesy LOC)Arbuckle’s Deep Sea Hotel was neither in the deep sea, nor was it a hotel.  But for hundreds of young, single women at the end of the Gilded Age, it was home. Accommodations were indeed limited for the thousands of women who […]

Fun on the ice: Party time atop the frozen East River

Daredevils trespassing the ice between New York and Brooklyn in 1871. I spent much of New York’s Christmas blizzard nightmare in various airports throughout the country, unable to get back to La Guardia Airport, where it appears I would have just been stranded anyway. With all the transportation fiascoes, the unplowed streets and the mounting […]

Puzzle time! Can you identify these details of Hell’s Gate?

In digging around a little further for information on Hoorn’s Hook and Hell’s Gate — two East River spots mentioned in the Gracie Mansion podcast — I came across the incredible illustration among the Library of Congress’s digital images page. Labeled the ‘East View of Hell’s Gate, in the Province of New York’, the piece […]

June 15, 1904: Remembering the General Slocum disaster

The morning of June 15 — The steamboat smolders off of North Brother Island Today is the anniversary of undoubtedly one of New York’s most tragic events, a disaster that famously eradicated a neighborhood and became the city’s single largest loss of life in the 20th century — the explosion of the steamboat General Slocum. […]

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Podcasts

Corlears Hook and the Pirate Gangs of the East River

The Short Tail Gang sit underneath a pier at Corlears Hook, picture taken in 1890, long after all the great pirate gangs of the area had disbanded, been eaten by rats, or joined the Confederate army (listen to podcast for explanation!) PODCAST Download this show it for FREE on iTunes or other podcasting services. Click […]

Mayor Westervelt: “Police officers must wear uniforms!”

KNOW YOUR MAYORS 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.Mayor Jacob WesterveltIn office: 1853-1855 Dutch-blooded Jacob Aaron Westervelt, 24th man to become mayor of New York since the British evacuation of 1783, […]

How Erin Brockovich saved the East River ampitheater

I’ve always been a little fascinated by that small ampitheatre that’s located in Manhattan’s East River Park (near Corlear’s Hook). For years it just seemed so hopelessly abandoned. In the past few years though it’s been making a comeback, featuring the occasional live concert and offering a unique, leafy respite for joggers. The East River […]