A whirlwind tour of Herald Square: More than just Macy’s, the intersection of publishing, theater and debauchery

Herald Square at night, 1910, with the flurry of shoppers, the churn of printing presses, the clanking and soot exhaust of the elevated train, the rush of the streetcar. The theaters, the drinking, the dancing. (Courtesy the blog Ajax All Purpose Blog) PODCAST Welcome to the secret history of Herald Square, New York City’s second […]

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Podcasts

A whirlwind tour of Herald Square: More than just Macy’s, the intersection of publishing, theater and debauchery

Herald Square at night, 1910, with the flurry of shoppers, the churn of printing presses, the clanking and soot exhaust of the elevated train, the rush of the streetcar. The theaters, the drinking, the dancing. (Courtesy the blog Ajax All Purpose Blog) PODCAST Welcome to the secret history of Herald Square, New York City’s second […]

Categories
American History

Doctor Alice, the Saks heiress, and the accidental nanny: Fascinating New York women who survived the TItanic

The Waiting Game: Down at the White Star Line’s Broadway offices near Bowling Green, anxious New Yorkers line the streets waiting for news about the sunken vessel. 1912 Over fifteen hundred people died the night the Titanic sank, April 14-15, 1912. The early reports from the New York newspapers, of course, spent their time mourning […]

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Mad Men

‘Mad Men’ notes: The secrets of the New Yawk accent

On the upper floor — or flooah? — with the upper crust: Ladies coats at Sak’s Fifth Avenue in 1960, photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt (LIFE)WARNING The article contains a few spoilers about last night’s ‘Mad Men’ on AMC, so if you’re a fan of the show, come back once you’re watched the episode. A culture […]

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Christmas

Christmas in the afternoon: A tour around Greeley Square

I’m not 100% sure on the date of this photo, but I’ll place it in the late 1940s, as Life photographer Nina Leen did a great many photoshoots for the magazine in this period. The statue of Horace Greeley sits astride the big Christmas tree as perfect afternoon light casts shadows upon the corner of 33rd and […]

Tribute to a scrappy typewriter tower in lower Manhattan (yes, typewriters, remember those?)

I found this advertisement in an issue of the New York Tribune from one hundred years ago: Although the famous Underwood Typewriter Company had principal manufacturing plants in Hartford, it was a New York company through and through. Its founder John Thomas Underwood became so wealthy that he built a stately home in the neighborhood of Clinton […]

Categories
Podcasts

PODCAST: Saks Fifth Avenue

A podcast that’s “very Saks Fifth Avenue,” we get to the origins of the famous upscale retailer, follow its path from Washington D.C. to Heralds Square and then to “the most expensive street in the world,” and tell you a little about a glamorous milliner. Listen to it for free on iTunes or other podcasting […]

Gimbels Bridge over troubled shoppers

The blocks just south of Herald Square are pretty grim. Malls full of chain stores, bland electronic store fronts and fast food restaurants disguise a once vibrant shopping outpost, as department-store competitors of Macy’s flocked to the neighborhood in the early part of the 20th century. One strange vestige of this retail nostalgia still exists, […]