Defying gravity: New York’s most famous daredevils

Bird in the sky: The delicate Ms. Millman makes it look easyLast night on my walk home, I observed something you just don’t always see everyday — a renegade acrobat dangling from the top of the Williamsburg Bridge! The perilous pair, Seanna Sharpe and Savage Skinner, performed this foolhardy trapeze as traffic whizzed by below them, and […]

Old Willett’s Wharf on the East River promenade

ABOVE: Looking south along a newly opened section of the East River Park promenade, which the city debuted over the July 4th holiday. It now extends down underneath the Williamsburg Bridge and continues slightly south. This section along the water has been closed for what seems like eternity, but the city projects the entire promenade […]

Manhattan Bridge: New York City’s dysfunctional classic

[from Flickr, taken by ajagendorf25] We love the Manhattan Bridge, but there’s no doubt it’s had a rocky history. For one hundred years, it’s withstood more than just comparisons to its far more iconic neighbor, the Brooklyn Bridge. Built to relieve pressure on the East River’s best known bridge, the Manhattan Bridge went through two […]

The 59th Street Bridge: Feelin’ groovy at 100 years

The Queensboro Bridge, otherwise known the 59th Street Bridge, turns 100 years old today. Is it wrong to call it New York’s most romantic bridge after the Brooklyn Bridge? At the time of its construction, it actually went by another name — the Blackwell’s Island Bridge, since it hovers above the island that would become […]

Patrick Henry McCarren: how a politican became a pool

Patrick Henry McCarren — best known today for leaving his last name to a park and a swimming pool — was a complicated figure, so it makes sense he should be considered a sort of godfather to a rather complicated neighborhood like Williamsburg. McCarren became the voice of Greenpoint and Williamsburg at a pivotal time […]

PODCAST: Williamsburg(h), Brooklyn

Williamsburg used to have an H at the end of its name, not to mention dozens of major industries that once made it the tenth wealthiest place in the world. How did Williamsburgh become a haven for New York’s most well-known factories and then become Williamsburg, home to such wildly diverse communities — Hispanic, Hasidic […]

Where are you, George Post?

Who knew a produce exchange could look so elegant? One of New York’s most important architects was George B. Post, but you would barely know it today. Only a handful of his most important buildings — the New York Stock Exchange being the most famous — still stand, the victim of a rapidly changing city […]

New York’s best film performances – Part Two

My list of New York’s best movie scenes continues with two in Brooklyn — and one that almost gets there…. Tension7. Do The Right Thing (1989)Mookie throws a trash can Spike Lee is only one of a few directors who knows how to turn New York City into a character in his films. With ‘Do […]