Making Green: The history of New York’s Christmas tree market

For many, the Christmas holiday in New York City finally comes to life when the sidewalks sprout evergreens. The sight and smell of curbside Christmas tree sellers ushers in the season in the most pleasing way. (Pleasing for the passerby; on a rather cold day, I can’t imagine it too pleasing for the seller.) As… Read More

Those Were The Days

Detonations and flying cheese: Annotated news from 1913

I present this little news item from the June 6, 1913 New York Tribune in its entirety: 1)  The idea of bombs exploding all over the city is shocking to us today.  But in fact the threat of makeshift bombs were sometimes employed in extortion plots such as those by the Black Hand.  Most of these… Read More

Mad Men

‘Mad Men’ notes: Swanky steaks and a market soiree

A postcard from Jim Downey’s showing a plethora of theatrical faces who frequented the place. Every Monday I’ll try and check in with the Mad Men episode from the night before and focus in on one or two historical references made on the show. Spoilers aplenty, so read no further if you don’t want to… Read More

Decked out: America’s first Christmas tree market

Outside the Barclay Street train station, circa 1903 (courtesy LOC). The Christmas tree marketplace had been well-established by then. HOW NEW YORK SAVED CHRISTMAS Throughout the month I’ll spotlight several events in New York history that actually helped establish the standard Christmas traditions many Americans celebrate today. Not just New York-centric events like the Rockefeller… Read More