Categories
Neighborhoods

Remembering the General Slocum disaster, one of the greatest tragedies in NYC history

Listen to our podcast on the General Slocum Disaster: The General Slocum Memorial Fountain is one of the sole reminders of one of New York City’s darkest days, and it’s not a very awe-inspiring memorial. This is no dig at the custodians of Tompkins Square Park, where the memorial has been on display since 1906, nor at Bruno Louis […]

Categories
Neighborhoods Podcasts

The Astor Place Riot of 1849: Bloodshed and Shakespeare splits New York at a busy crossroads

“By the pricking of my thumbs / something wicked this way comes” — Macbeth PODCAST In old New York, one hundred and seventy years ago, a theatrical rivalry between two leading actors of the day sparked a terrible night of violence — one of the most horrible moments in New York City history. England’s great […]

Categories
Friday Night Fever

Webster Hall will return: The end of an era for NYC’s oldest party room

When news circulated this week that East Village nightclub Webster Hall would be closing for renovation in August, people understandably freaked out. It seems we’re losing historically significantly places at an alarming rate, places that seem to take a little bit of New York City’s personality with them when they disappear forever. It was announced […]

Categories
Pop Culture

I Called Him Morgan: The Murder of a Jazz Star in wintry 1970s New York

It was during one of those terrible February nights — blizzard winds with the streets packed tight with snow — at a jazz club in the East Village named Slug’s Saloon, packed with people haloed in cigarette smoke, that a woman named Helen Morgan walked up to one of the performers, her common-law husband, a rising […]

Categories
Neighborhoods Podcasts

St. Mark’s Place: It’s Party Time in the East Village!

PODCAST: The big, brash history of St. Mark’s Place, the East Village’s most interesting street. St. Mark’s Place may be named for a saint but it’s been a street full of sinners for much of its history. One of the most fascinating streets in the city, St. Mark’s traces its story back to Peter Stuyvesant, […]

Categories
Landmarks Mysterious Stories

The Ghost of Peter Stuyvesant May Still Haunt the East Village

St. Mark’s Church-in-the-Bowery is the oldest standing structure in the East Village.  Upon seeing it, you’re almost forced to reevaluate where you are.  It’s intriguing even to those who pass by it everyday. It’s mysterious even to those who work and worship here. Built in 1799 by the Stuyvesant family, St. Mark’s chapel and cemetery […]

Categories
Neighborhoods

The Astor Place Cube is going away (but, really, don’t panic)

The Alamo, aka the Astor Place Cube, 1978. Photographed by Manel Armegol/Flickr Like many remaining stalwarts of the East Village, the Astor Place Cube is headed into a “rehabilitation” of sorts. Alamo, the sculpture by Tony Rosenthal, is being removed as Astor Place goes through an extensive $16 million renovation. The blog Bedford + Bowery observed […]

Categories
Preservation

History in the Making: Gangster’s Funeral Edition

Mary Help of Christian Church pictured in the 1920s (Courtesy NYPL) Hail Mary:  There’s a rally tomorrow evening at 6pm to save Mary Help of Christian Church in the East Village.  This unique building from 1917, once serving the area’s Italian immigrant population, has been bought by a developer and is slated for demolition. The […]

Categories
Mad Men

‘Mad Men’ notes: Hare Krishna blossoms in the East Village

Prabhupada in his early days in New York (Courtesy the Hare Krishna Movement blog) WARNING The article contains a couple spoilers about last night’s ‘Mad Men’ on AMC. If you’re a fan of the show, come back once you’re watched the episode. But these posts are about a specific element of New York history from the […]

Categories
Mad Men

‘Mad Men’ notes: The delirious world of Off-Off-Broadway

Radical thoughts, limited spaces: a performance at the Caffe Cino. Photo by Ben Martin (from an excellent website by Robert Patrick about this important off-off-Broadway site)  WARNING The article contains a couple spoilers about last night’s ‘Mad Men’ on AMC. If you’re a fan of the show, come back once you’re watched the episode. But […]

Categories
Neighborhoods Podcasts

The secrets of St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery, and uncovering the East Village footprint of Peter Stuyvesant

FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION Until May 21st, you can vote every day in the Partners In Preservation initiative, which will award grant money to certain New York cultural and historical sites among 40 nominees. Having trouble deciding which site to support? I’ll be featuring on a few select sites here on the blog, providing you with a window […]

Categories
New Amsterdam

Smoke a Peter Stuyvesant! New Amsterdam leader becomes a cigarette, the “international passport to smoking pleasure”

Oh, that Peter Stuyvesant. He was all about luxury, high class athletic sport and international travel. The Concorde! Monte Carlo! Caviar! Less than three centuries after the iconic Dutch director-general of New Amsterdam died at his palatial farm in today’s East Village, his name was employed to sell a brand of stylish, premium cigarette, still […]

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. […]

History in the Making: Arches and Awards Edition

Cleaner days: Far East Village, namely 10th Street and Avenue D, in a 1937 photograph by the always reliable Berenice Abbott [link: NYPL] Some neighborhoods change slowly but consistently throughout the decades. In the East Village, however, whole areas are entirely revamped while others seem frozen in time. Check some of those changes out here, […]

Alphabet City gets the Hollywood treatment

But the rent was cheap: ravaged East Village avenues in the 1970s (Pic courtesy here) Spike Lee and Robert Deniro are making a new show for Showtime called Alphabet City, set in the raggedy 1980s culture of the East Village. Expect some graffiti, a little crime, rapping and breakdancing, and lots of performance artists. Note […]