Mad Men

‘Mad Men’ notes: The numbing horror of the New Haven line

The train gang: Grand Central Terminal, 1961, photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt (LIFE images) 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… Read More


New York City’s Elevated Railroads: Journey to a spectacular world of steam trains along the avenues

Above: The Third Avenue Line as it looked running along the Bowery, changing the nature of New York street life, even as its innovations helped expand the city. PODCAST Before there were subways, New York City transported travelers up and down the length of Manhattan by elevated railroad, an almost unreal spectacle to consider today.… Read More

100 Years Ago: Queens and the influence of Penn Station

Pic courtesy Shorpy Over the next few posts, I’m turning back to exactly one hundred years ago, to contrast the beginning of 2010 with the events of 1910. New York City was in the midst of its Gilded Age, at the beginning of the skyscraper era, more confident as a worldwide center of finance, media… Read More


The long-running, long-lasting Long Island Railroad

An early edition of the LIRR, passing through bucolic Brooklyn The Long Island Railroad has been around for a very long time. Last month, in fact, the central railroad turned 187 years old, almost as old as train travel itself. And it is the The official birthday is April 24, 1834, when the charter was… Read More

Run DMC and the Revolution: Historic Hollis, Queens

It’s like that: Rap pioneers and proud sons of Queens NAME THAT NEIGHBORHOOD Some New York neighborhoods are simply named for their location on a map (East Village, Midtown). Others are given prefabricated designations (SoHo, DUMBO). But a few retain names that link them intimately with their pasts. Other entries in this series can be… Read More