Cities are always changing. In architecture everything gives way and nothing is fixed. Impermanence is the only constant. Every new generation tinkers with the aesthetics of urban space (or lack of it) to create its own place. At the same time, the fabric of the city is resilient and able to harness its own transformative power which gives it a unique character. The history of Second Avenue is a vibrant example. [Read more…] about NYC History: The Stuyvesant Farm to East Village Punk
Development in northern Halfmoon in Saratoga County, NY, is rapidly transforming this once expansive area of productive farmland into an area of winding streets and attractive homes, where landscaped lawns are replacing the hay fields, pastures and woodlands of years gone by.
In the middle of new neighborhoods called Fairway Meadows, Adams Pointe and Howland Park, at the corner of Johnson and Staniak Roads, is an old building, a remnant of the town’s farming days known as Chip’s Hall. [Read more…] about Chip’s Hall: A Saratoga County Polish Immigrant Community Center
On November 18, 1928, Universal’s Colony Theatre at 1681 Broadway (near 53rd Street in Manhattan) showed a short animated film in which a mischievous rogue named Mickey Mouse takes Captain Pete’s steamboat on a joyride to impress Minnie – Steamboat Willie made cinema history and transformed Walt Disney’s fortunes. [Read more…] about Mickey Mouse: A Tale of Migration
Even before New York Governor Kathy Hochul recently cleared the way for a new village to be formed in Sullivan County — a referendum on January 18 will determine the fate of what is proposed to be called Ateres — there had been quite a bit of attention focused on villages in the state.
There are currently 532 villages in New York, but nearly five times as many have been dissolved over the past 30 years as have been created. [Read more…] about Sullivan County’s Jeffersonville Celebrating 100 Years
Some of the most enduring memories of the winter holiday season are those associated with smell.
For Santa, a whiff of reindeer dung probably brings the spirit of the season into focus, but we have loads of sweeter smells to remind us of Christmases past. [Read more…] about An Arborist Considers Christmas Trees, Evergreen Traditions
On Christmas Day 1934, just a year after ratification of the Twenty-First Amendment which repealed Prohibition, the refurbished Earl Carroll Theatre on 7th Avenue and 50th Street opened as the French Casino.
It was a glittering Art Deco showpiece with walls draped in black velvet and established a reputation as Manhattan’s most lavish nightclub. [Read more…] about Leo Fuld: Manhattan’s Star of Yiddish Song
Be it on an individual or organizational or global level, life is punctuated by times of crisis. A state of uncertainty confuses “normal” forms of reasoning and acting. Although predominantly associated with negative affect, crises serve as a catalyst for creative exploits.
Out of the Great Depression in the United States emerged two of the world’s classic family board games. Elizabeth J. (Lizzie) Magie first received a patent in 1904 for her Landlord’s Game which was designed to highlight the evils of capitalism and illustrate the ideas of Henry George, the author of Progress and Poverty (1879). [Read more…] about Scrabble: Born of the Great Depression
William Christian Bouck was born on the cusp of a new year, January 7th, 1786, but also at the cusp of a new nation emerging on the world stage. Until his death in April of 1859, Bouck was the quintessential “salt of the earth” farmer turned politician and bureaucrat – a man of the new republic.
Born in Fultonham, Schoharie County on lands settled by his Palatine German great-grandfather, Bouck emerged early in life to be devoted to labor. First, manual labor on his father’s family farm, toiling sunrise to sunset or beyond. This limited his education to that of only the local common school, but it’d be noted later in his career that his education was that of experience and observation. [Read more…] about Gov. William C. Bouck and the Erie Canal: A Friend of Labor
For more than a century, New York City was the brewing capital of America, with more breweries producing more beer than any other city, including Milwaukee and St. Louis.
In Beer of Broadway Fame: The Piel Family and Their Brooklyn Brewery (SUNY Press, 2016,) Alfred W. McCoy traces the hundred-year history of the prominent Brooklyn brewery Piel Bros., and provides an intimate portrait of the company’s German-American family. [Read more…] about Beer of Broadway Fame: The Piel Family of Brooklyn
During Prohibition – which ended on December 5, 1933 – my grandfather’s brother Denis Warren, a veteran of some of the bloodiest American battles of the First World War, was left for dead on the side of Route 9N south of Port Henry on Lake Champlain. He was in the second of two cars of friends returning from Montreal, both “heavily loaded with Canadian ale” according to a newspaper account.
Going through Port Henry, Essex County, local customs agents gave chase and the car he was in hit a rock cut and he was badly injured in the accident. Figuring his was dead, or nearly so, and worried he would go to prison, one of Denis’s best friends rolled him under the guardrail, climbed into the other car, and sped off. [Read more…] about Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition