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On The Waterfront

Troubled Waters: The story of the Grand Republic steamboat, the cursed sister ship of the General Slocum

Above: The Grand Republic steamship. As you can see from its paddlewheel, it was a twin to the General Slocum [source] This could not have made New Yorkers feel very safe about even the briefest of river excursions. Days after the General Slocum excursion steamer caught fire and sank in the East River, killing over 1,000 people, […]

PODCAST: A snapshot of Hurricane Sandy, Nov. 2, 2012

Above: Aftermath of a massive blaze in Breezy Point on the Rockaway Peninsula (Picture courtesy AP)  PODCAST A brief encapsulation of what’s happening in the city as of Friday afternoon, November 2, reviewing some of the events associated with Hurricane Sandy, the catastrophic storm which hit the Northeast this week. Featuring some of the historical […]

“Not since the Great Blizzard!” “Bigger than 1821!” Hurricane Sandy inspires historical superlatives

When things get really, really bad, history provides validation and context.   The aftermath of Hurricane Sandy has already inspired newscasters, meteorologists and journalists to reach to the greatest disasters in New York City history for comparison. These can seem very hyperbolic at times and even a little weird. (‘7 Devastating Hurricanes: Where Will Sandy Rank?‘ […]

Notes from the podcast (#140) Rockaway Beach

Behold the insanity: (Above) A lithograph of the Rockaway Beach Hotel, one of the most notorious failures in American history A Song About Brooklyn: I gave you a little taste of a poem about the Rockaways by balladeer Henry John Sharpe. Yes, that’s right, this is actually a song, with music by Henry Russell. Click […]

The Rockaways and Rockaway Beach: The strange fortunes of New York’s former resort oasis and amusement getaway

The entrance to Rockaways’ Playland in the 1960s, one of the more nostalgic reminders of an era in the Rockaways gone by. (Image courtesy the blog Sand In Your Shoes)PODCAST The Rockaways are a world unto its own, a former resort destination with miles of beach facing into the Atlantic Ocean, a collection of diverse […]