Stars of MSG: the Garden goes gospel – summer 1957

STARS OF MADISON SQUARE GARDEN: Billy GrahamLOCATION: MSG III Sitting squarely where boxers and hockey stars frequently bloodied themselves, worshippers sit and listen to evangelist Billy Graham, during a run of 98 ‘Crusade’ sermons at the Garden in 1957, beginning on May 15. Events that summer would also continue onto Times Square and Yankee Stadium.… Read More

Stars of MSG: The deadliest roller skating event ever

People were just wild about skating in the 1880s. STARS OF MADISON SQUARE GARDEN: Six-day skater William DonovanLOCATION: MSG I People were a touch insane in the 1880s and 90s. One of the most popular sports was the six-day bicycle race, a sport so popular, particularly in Madison Square Garden II (debuting there in 1891),… Read More

Stars of MSG: Indoor fishing in an outdoor wonderland

ABOVE: Fly fishing in Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx, August 1909. Meanwhile, downtown, people cast for greater prizes indoors. (Pic courtesy LOC) STARS OF MADISON SQUARE GARDEN: R.C. Leonard, fishermanLOCATION: MSG II Of all the curious events to ever happen at Madison Square Garden — from the first one to the latest — no… Read More

Stars of MSG: No miracles on ice — Russians beat USA!

STARS OF MADISON SQUARE GARDEN: 1980 Russian Olympic TeamLOCATION: MSG IV Nope, that headline is not from an alternate timeline. Thirty years ago, the most memorable moment in US Winter Olympics history occurred on February 22, with the victory of the US men’s hockey team against its athletic and ideological rivals from the Soviet Union.… Read More

Stars of MSG: Warren Remedy, the winningest dog

STARS OF MADISON SQUARE GARDEN: Warren RemedyLOCATION: MSG IIThe picture above is of the Katharine Hepburn of dogs, Warren Remedy, the only dog to ever win the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show three times in a row.  Despite the name, this smooth-haired Fox Terrier canine superstar was female. She also kicked off the storied Best… Read More

The Americans: NYC’s first professional hockey stars

The New York Rangers , the city’s ice hockey hope since 1926, began their season on Friday, losing one that night and recovering on Saturday versus Ottowa Senators. Okay, so I’m not going to pretend that I’ve ever been a hockey fan before this year. However, geek alert, I have this uncanny ability to trick… Read More

Postcard from the Past: New York, September 1959

TEXT: “Sept 16th and 17th 1959‘Ice Capades’Plymouth Hotel Fire at 4:30 AMThursdayMerman in ‘Gypsy’” The Hotel Chesterfield (130-136 West 49th Street), built in 1927, was a luxury accommodation conveniently near Rockefeller Center and various Broadway theaters. The Ice Capades referred to in this card are the well-reviewed Ice Capades program launched at Madison Square Garden.… Read More

New York City “in decay” on primetime TV

I just caught up on all my Mad Men episodes last night and feel foolish that I never mentioned the episode from a couple Sundays ago entitled ‘Love Among The Ruins.’ The AMC TV show, set in the early 1960s Madison Avenue ad agency Sterling Cooper, frequently offers us peeks into classic New York landmarks… Read More

Philly’s New York nude treasure

I was in Philadelphia for the holiday but couldn’t leave the Bowery Boys behind, stumbling into an attractive nude lady with a connection to old New York. The Philadelphia Museum of Art, known less for its collections of Thomas Eakins than for its usage in the movie Rocky, holds an old piece of Stanford White’s… Read More

Barnum’s freaky link to Madison Square Garden

Barnum star Jumbo the Elephant is used in a truly horrific thread company advertisement, being dragged by gigantic spools through the streets of New York City! Oh, PETA, where were you in the 1870s? The Barnum American Museum, America’s surrealistic showcase of the moralistic, natural and bizarre, burned down to the ground in 1865. But… Read More

Who let the dogs in?

Here’s a look at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show from exactly 100 years ago. The Saint Bernard pictured is named Uncle Sam. For a look even further back, here’s a New York Times article from 1904 regarding a Bronx Kennel Club dog show. It too features Uncle Sam (most likely the same dog). Despite… Read More