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Film History

The first film ever made outdoors in New York – May 4, 1895

Ever wonder what the very first movie ever shot in Manhattan was? It also happens to be the first American film ever shown to a paying movie audience.Woodville Latham and his sons Otway and Gray Latham had invented the Eidoloscope projector (also called the Pantoptikon), running very crudely like a film projector today. However its […]

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Film History

Celebrating New York City history at the Oscars: Julius Bar, Minetta Lane, Madison Square Garden

Films honored annually at the Academy Awards usually have a historical backdrop — lavish sets and period-accurate costumes plucked from the past. Most of the nominees for Best Picture this year take a time machine to a past generation. The Favourite peers at the backroom (and bedroom) intrigues of Queen Anne. Roma dives into Mexico City in the early 1970s; BlacKKKlansman visits […]

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Wartime New York

Nazis In New York: Watch the Oscar-nominated documentary short “A Night At The Garden”

Events such as these used to be unthinkable, anomalies of history that once played like speculative fiction. But this really did happen. Eighty years ago this month — on February 20, 1939 — over 20,000 members of the German American Bund, a pro-Nazi organization, gathered at Madison Square Garden (at its Hell’s Kitchen location on Eighth Avenue) to unite the philosophies of […]

Categories
The First

Nikola Tesla and the Wireless World: The Invention of Remote Control

THE FIRST: STORIES OF INVENTIONS AND THEIR CONSEQUENCES  The Serbian inventor Nikola Tesla is known as one of the fathers of electricity, the curious genius behind alternating current (AC), the victor in the so-called War of the Currents. But in this episode of The First, starting in the year 1893, Tesla begins conceiving an even grander scheme […]

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Planes Trains and Automobiles

PODCAST REWIND: Remembering the original Pennsylvania Station

PODCAST The story of Pennsylvania Station involves more than just nostalgia for the long-gone temple of transportation as designed by the great McKim, Mead and White. It’s a tale of incredible tunnels, political haggling and big visions. Find out why the original Penn Station was built to look so classical, why it was then torn […]

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Religious History

Happy Pope Day! A history of the holiest of New York tourists

Pope Francis arrives in New York City today — part of his first-ever trip to the United States — and the city is rolling out the red carpet. In fact, all available carpets are being rolled out and even some throw rugs. New York loves Popes. (Not always of course.) Only the Marquis de Lafayette […]

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Gilded Age New York

The Murder of Stanford White

PODCAST The tale behind the brutal murder of renown architect Stanford White on the roof garden of Madison Square Garden, the building that was one of his greatest achievements. On the evening of June 25, 1906, during a performance of Mam’zelle Champagne on the rooftop of Madison Square Garden, the architect Stanford White was brutally murdered by Harry […]

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Landmarks

Flatiron Building: A Three-Sided Story

PODCAST For our 8th anniversary episode, we’re revisiting one of New York City’s great treasures and a true architectural oddity — the Flatiron Building. When they built this structure at the corner of Madison Square Park (and completed in 1902), did they realize it would be an architectural icon AND one of the most photographed buildings […]

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Wartime New York

The Arches of Madison Square Park

Memorial arches have been a dramatic way to honor military victories, dating back to the Roman times. Naturally, in a city with abundant Beaux-Arts classical-style architecture, New York has erected its share of grand archways. Two spectacular examples exist today — the Washington Square Arch and the Soldiers and Sailors and Sailors Memorial Arch in Brooklyn. But […]

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Those Were The Days

THIS is New York Fashion Week — as it might have been in 1915

 New York Fashion Week, the city’s twice-yearly celebration of couture and runway, traces its roots to a 1943 press week event at the Plaza Hotel, organized by publicist Eleanor Lambert.  But there had been a variety of one-off ‘fashion weeks’ or American fashion events in the  years between the wars.  In 1934, the Mayfair Mannequin Academy, a local […]

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Those Were The Days

THIS is New York Fashion Week — as it might have been in 1915

 New York Fashion Week, the city’s twice-yearly celebration of couture and runway, traces its roots to a 1943 press week event at the Plaza Hotel, organized by publicist Eleanor Lambert.  But there had been a variety of one-off ‘fashion weeks’ or American fashion events in the  years between the wars.  In 1934, the Mayfair Mannequin Academy, a […]

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It's Showtime Podcasts

Rudolph Valentino, the seductive, tragic idol of the Jazz Age

  PODCAST  Rudolph Valentino was an star from the early years of Hollywood, but his elegant, randy years in New York City should not be forgotten.  They helped make him a premier dancer and a glamorous actor. And on August 23, 1926, this is where the silent film icon died.   Valentino arrived in Ellis Island in 1913, one of […]

Categories
Amusements and Thrills

History in the Making 3/19 “Opulent Grandeur” Edition

Arriving at Madison Square Garden one century ago, you would find the Barnum & Bailey circus in town with their new spectacular, The Wizard Prince of Arabia. (Poster from the blog My Delineated Life) All Nine Lives: The odd, little tale of Peter, the pole-sliding fire cat from Bushwick. [The Hatching Cat] Prince Charles: What do […]

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Bowery Boys Bookshelf

The Alienist by Caleb Carr, released 20 years ago this week: Retracing the steps of this Gilded Age murder mystery

NOTE: This article has a few plot spoilers but no major twists are revealed or discussed.  I’ve tried to write the descriptions within the interactive map as vaguely as possible. The Alienist by Caleb Carr was published 20 years ago this week, an instant best-seller in 1994 that has become a cult classic among history […]

Categories
Those Were The Days

Let’s go see the horses at Madison Square Garden!

Click into the pictures for greater detail.  Pictures courtesy the Library of Congress These unbearably cute orphans were lined up to go to the National Horse Show at Madison Square Garden which began on November 15, 1913.  These are of course the days of the Garden down at the northeast corner of Madison Square, the […]