All hail the Coney Island Mardi Gras parade!

Before there were Mermaids, there was Mardi Gras. Above: ghoulish revelers from the 1911 parade An even larger collection of freaks and aquatic oddities than Coney Island’s everyday normal assortment will come slithering down Surf Avenue this Saturday with the 26th annual Mermaid Parade. The parade is the heart of Coney’s modern freak-show aesthetic, Christmastime […]

Robert Moses’ ridiculously large parking lot

Photo:Claudio Papapietro for http://ontheinside.info Starting Monday, May 12, New Yorkers will have another way to transport themselves between boroughs with a new ferry service shuttling between Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan. You’re probably familiar with at least one of its three stops: Pier 11’s sleek Wall Street Ferry Terminal, just a few steps away from Staten […]

Would ‘Post’ master Bryant like his Park today?

Above: Painting of Bryant Park by artist Mike Rohner. Visit his website for some other lovely works. Editor-poet William Cullen Bryant, the 19th century’s most influential publisher of the New York Post, never lived to see Fashion Week or the yearly outdoor Summer Film Festival, the star events hosted in the park that was named […]

‘Most Wanted’: Robert Moses vs. Andy Warhol

Above: a hilariously hideous Robert Moses mosaic, on the sidewalk at Flushing Meadows Robert Moses wanted the World’s Fair of 1964 in Flushing Meadows to be a family affair with little controversial material. Not surprisingly this meant few displays for American art. So how did an Andy Warhol mural get plastered on the New York […]

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Podcasts

PODCAST: The New York World’s Fair of 1964-65

Come with us as we jettison ourselves into the future as it was seen in the past — namely the 1964-65 World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows, Queens. Fans of Robert Moses, 1960s space-age optimism and really, really large tires should take special note to listen. Listen to it for free on iTunes or other podcasting […]

Beyond Park Avenue: NYC’s biggest parklands

And now for something that may surprise you — the top five largest parks in New York City, according to the New York Department of Parks & Recreation: 5. Central Park It seems unfathomable that Central Park isn’t number one. And downright impossible that it’s number FIVE in all the city. In truth the Olmstead-designed […]

More Robert Moses shenanigans!

We really shouldn’t demonize Robert Moses as we do — he did give the city so many marvelous things — but you hear about one of his schemes that almost came to fruition and you just want to cry. This time around, I’m referring to the Brooklyn-Battery Bridge, a potential catastrophic project Moses cooked up […]

Jane, stop this crazy thing!

(Jacobs, as seen in Canada) We finally made it over to the Municipal Art Society’s exhibit on the extraordinary Jane Jacobs, community leader and civil planner whose theories on a successful urban landscape are currently fueling community activism today. Jane Jacobs and the Future of New York is part-bio on Jacobs, part inspection of her […]

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Podcasts

PODCAST: Coney Island – 20th Century Freakshow

Come see the Wonder Wheel, the king of hot dogs, the “Freaks” in the Dreamland Sideshow, a beached whale and Donald Trump’s dad — all in one place! Its Coney Island of the 20th Century. But will it be around much longer in the 21st? Listen to it for free on iTunes or other podcasting […]