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Know Your Mayors

A short history of New York City mayors who ran for President of the United States

Last week former mayor Michael Bloomberg very unofficially — and somewhat belatedly — entered the 2020 presidential race by filing paperwork for next year’s Alabama primary. This over a month after current New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio entered and dropped out of the race this year, never catching fire with the Democratic electorate. […]

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Current Events

Open House New York: From Teddy’s home to a secret cottage Ten FREE historical spaces to visit in all five boroughs

An old postcard of Cass Gilbert’s U.S. Custom House, one of the highlights of this year’s Open House New York. You have no excuse now.  This weekend is the 12th Annual Open House New York, the city’s annual celebration of history, architecture and design.  Hundreds of places throughout the five boroughs will throw open their doors […]

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New Amsterdam

The story of ‘Klein Klassje’, the New World’s first Roosevelt and the surprising origin of Roosevelt Street

New Amsterdam, the home of Claes Maartenszen van Rosenvelt (by Thomas Addis Emmet, courtesy NYPL) The new Ken Burns seven-part documentary The Roosevelts: An Intimate History is underway on PBS, a sprawling look at one of New York’s most prominent families.  It began last night with the introduction of young Theodore Roosevelt, the sickly boy […]

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Health and Living

The world in glasses: Theodore Roosevelt, fictional athletes, glamorous secretaries, even the Bowery Boys!

If glasses are fashionable today, you can thank President Theodore Roosevelt, whose stylish C-bridge pince-nez diminished the reputation as mere apparel for the weak. — The Bowery Boys are featured this week on the official blog of Warby Parker, the fashionable eyewear company specialize in vintage-style prescription frames and sunglasses.  Thanks to Dixie Roberts for […]

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Museums

Art Insanity: The elegant audacity of the Armory Show of 1913, the daring exhibit that awed and outraged America

The monster within the Armory’s ‘Chamber of Horrors’: Marcel Duchamp’s ‘Nude Descending A Staircase No. 2 PODCAST The Armory Show of 1913 was the mainstream debut of modernist art — both European and American — to New York City audiences. Galleries had previously devoted themselves to the great European masters, antiquity and American landscapes as […]

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Amusements and Thrills

Art Insanity: The elegant audacity of the Armory Show of 1913, the daring exhibit that awed and outraged America

The monster within the Armory’s ‘Chamber of Horrors’: Marcel Duchamp’s ‘Nude Descending A Staircase No. 2 PODCAST The Armory Show of 1913 was the mainstream debut of modernist art — both European and American — to New York City audiences. Galleries had previously devoted themselves to the great European masters, antiquity and American landscapes as […]

Theodore Roosevelt and the Case of the Master Mind! Is it the Black Hand or something even stranger?

Theodore Roosevelt in 1908, in a rare shot with his pince-nez lowered. Checking the mailbox was a frightening experience for some New Yorkers almost a century ago. Some found extortion notes — threatening letters, demanding large sums of money or else — courtesy Italian gangsters collectively referred to in the press as The Black Hand. […]

Theodore Roosevelt and the Case of the Master Mind! Is it the Black Hand or something even stranger?

Theodore Roosevelt in 1908, in a rare shot with his pince-nez lowered. Checking the mailbox was a frightening experience for some New Yorkers almost a century ago. Some found extortion notes — threatening letters, demanding large sums of money or else — courtesy Italian gangsters collectively referred to in the press as The Black Hand. […]

Presidential: Spending your weekend with the Roosevelts

In 1973, the sliver of land in the East River called Welfare Island was given a more lofty name — Roosevelt Island — in anticipation of a grand monument to Franklin Delano Roosevelt designed by premier architect Louis Kahn.  But Kahn died in 1974 after designing the somber, angular granite memorial, set to be placed on […]

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Mad Men

‘Mad Men’ notes: The 1960s enlightenment of New York’s natural history museum leaves taxidermy in the past

WARNING The article contains a couple spoilers about last night’s ‘Mad Men’ on AMC. If you’re a fan of the show, come back once you’re watched the episode. But these posts are about a specific element of New York history from the 1960s and can be read even by those who don’t watch the show […]

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American History

Fiasco! New York’s first Republican presidential primary

One hundred years ago yesterday, New York hosted its first-ever Republican presidential primary. Not only was it an organizational failure of epic proportions, but the results handed a stunning and rare defeat to one of New York’s most iconic politicians. Making the 1912 primary a unique contest was that it was between two presidents — the […]

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Holidays

Jacob Riis’ Not-so-Rockin’ ‘Sane’ New Years Celebration

Social reformer Jacob Riis is one of the most important men to New York City history, exposing the ghastly living conditions of city tenements and using his connections to enact change that affected thousands of New York’s poorest residents. In spreading the word, he wrote a social history masterpiece ‘How The Other Half Lives’ and […]

Know Your Mayors: William Lafayette Strong

Our modest little series about some of the greatest, notorious, most important, even most useless, mayors of New York City. Other entrants in our mayoral survey can be found here. Democrats and Republicans in this year’s election who think they can roll into office on the mantel of “change” may want to look at the […]

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Know Your Mayors

Hey kids! Wanna be president? Don’t be New York mayor.

(This story was originally published in June 25, 2008) Yesterday was the opening of Campaigning For President at the Museum of the City of New York, a look at the city’s participation in some of the most famous and contentious presidential elections in history. The exhibit will focus on the city’s role in deciding the […]

UNUSUAL NYC MUSEUMS #3: Teddy on 20th

Our weekly tribute to a severely off-the-beaten-path museum or landmark that you may not know about. Instead of Moma, why not try out one of these places? Past entries in this series can be found here. President residences arent what you call ‘unusual’ by any stretch of the imagination. But the Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace Historic […]