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On The Waterfront

Hidden Waters of New York City: Interview with author Sergey Kadinsky

Sergey Kadinsky is our city’s resident Aquaman. His Hidden Waters of New York City was the big New York City exploration guide book of the spring. In a city often characterized by glass, steel and asphalt, it’s magical to consider the metropolis almost like a human body, comprised and reliant upon water for its well-being. As though […]

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Health and Living

The first appearance of the shower or “rain bath” in New York

With major improvements in plumbing and home design, private ‘rain-baths’ or showers began to be installed in the wealthier American homes. This is a New York Times advertisement from November 11, 1914 for a Kenney Needle Shower which inundated the body with water from multiple showerheads. The modern form of shower was once referred to […]

Brooklyn’s Hell Gate: Dangerous tides off Coney Island

Above: The waters off Gravesend, Brooklyn, sketched by a British general in 1776. They too would have experienced the odd watery phenomenon known as ‘the Potato Patch’. [NYPL] You may know the legend of the East River’s Hell Gate, a rush of violent waters borne from a tidal strait near Randall’s Island, so famous for […]

Water features: New York’s first fountains, now with music

The very first decorative fountain in New York City was the City Hall fountain, unveiled on October 14, 1842 during the ceremony for the opening of the Croton Acqueduct, the sophisticated series of pipes and reservoirs that provided New Yorkers with their drinking water. The fountain, which propelled water 50 feet in the air, was […]