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On The Waterfront

A Haunting Look Inside the Lusitania

The Lusitania gets dwarfed by recollections of the Titanic.  But in many ways, the destruction of the Cunard Line’s premier ocean liner on May 7, 1915, was a deeper tragedy than that of the White Star liner. As a casualty of war — sunk by a German U-boat off the coast of southern Ireland — […]

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On The Waterfront Podcasts

Chelsea Piers: New York City in the Age of the Ocean Liner

PODCAST The Chelsea Piers were once New York City’s portal to the world, a series of long docks along the west side of Manhattan that accommodated some of the most luxurious ocean liners of the early 20th century. Passenger ocean travel became feasible in the mid 19th century due to innovations in steam transportation, allowing […]

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On The Waterfront

A short history of New York City’s various Titanic memorials

From a 1912 handbill, drumming up support for a proper memorial. (Courtesy Seaman’s Institute) In our podcast on the South Street Seaport, we forgot to mention a very interesting little landmark to the area — the Titanic Memorial, a 60-foot white lighthouse that sits in the little plaza at Fulton and Water Streets. This was […]

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Planes Trains and Automobiles

History in the Making: Double Decker Delight Edition

Ladies in their most decorative hats enjoy a sunny ride from a double-decker in the fleet of the Fifth Avenue Coach Company. Anybody recognize this street corner? There’s an advertisement for McMullen’s White Label Bass Ale, Guinness Stout, Appolinari’s mineral water on the building in the background. (Photo by Alice Austen, courtesy NYPL. Labeled 1896, but most likely […]

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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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It's Showtime

Sigourney Weaver boards an off-Broadway ‘Titanic’ in 1976

Queen of the world: Weaver sets an uncharted course on a small SoHo stage. Perhaps you are as confused as I am by the picture above, one that appears to put the lovely young Sigourney Weaver‘s face upon the body of a child. Ah, the magic of the theater! The future film star was in her […]

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On The Waterfront

Where golf balls fly: Pier 59 at Chelsea Piers

The West Side Elevated Highway zooms past Pier 59, still in operation but long past her prime. (1951) Courtesy NYPL There are very few angles on the 100th anniversary of the Titanic tragedy that aren’t being excessively covered in other places this week. So instead of focusing on the ship and its passengers, I thought […]

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Planes Trains and Automobiles Podcasts

The Bowery Boys High Line audio walking tour, featuring tales of the Titanic, the Manhattan Project and 1,000 Stevies

Cookie heaven: Trains pull into a factory owned by the National Biscuit Company, between W. 15th and 16th streets, July 30, 1950. Could those cars be filled with crates of freshly made Oreo cookies? (See comments section below for the anser.) By 1958, the snack company had pulled all production from New York’s west side. […]

The Narrows sans bridge, from the age of the Titanic

One hundred years ago: here comes the RMS Olympic, sailing into the harbor at right. The lead ship in the White Star line, the Olympic would be cruising the Atlantic several months later, on the morning of April 15, 1912, when its sister ship the Titanic sent out a distress call, having hit an iceberg […]