The term sandwich bread (loaf) started circulating in the United States during the 1930s. It followed a revolution in the manner the product was presented to customers, no longer homemade but mass produced. After a decade of trial and error, the bread slicing machine was introduced and soon widely used. The sandwich was about to conquer the American and European markets. Grabbing a sandwich came to symbolize the rush of an urban society. [Read more…] about An English Gambler, A Jewish Butcher & The History of Pastrami on Rye
Lower East Side
Al Smith was many things during his political career: reform champion after the Triangle Shirtwaist fire, four-time governor of New York State, the first Catholic presidential candidate. But he was always a New York City boy at heart. [Read more…] about Redeeming Al Smith: New York’s Four-Time Governor
Dating from 1785, Edward Mooney House at 18 Bowery, at the corner of Pell Street in Lower Manhattan’s Chinatown, is one of New York’s oldest surviving brick townhouses. Built shortly after the British evacuated New York and before George Washington became President, its architecture contains elements of both pre-Revolutionary (British) Georgian and the in-coming (American) Federal style. Designated in 1966 as a landmark sample of domestic architecture, Mooney House has three stories, an attic and full basement.
The property itself and the land on which it was built are manifestations of Manhattan’s socio-political emergence. The house harbors a history of various functions that involved a diverse mix of tenants and occupants, reflecting the chaotic rise of the metropolis. [Read more…] about Chuck Connors & Slum Tourism in Chinatown
Today, the city of Frankfurt-am-Main is the largest financial hub in Continental Europe, home to the European Central Bank (ECB), the Deutsche Bundesbank and the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. The same city was at one time the epicenter of a liberal uprising that swept the German states. The Frankfurt Parliament was convened in May 1848; its members were elected by direct (male) suffrage, representing the full political spectrum. In the end, the revolution of 1848 failed and was suppressed with excessive force and retribution. [Read more…] about Justus Schwab & East Village Radicalism
The term paparazzo and its plural form paparazzi were first used in English in a Time magazine article dated April 14th, 1961, entitled “Paparazzi on the Prowl.” The piece put the spotlight on a new type of photographer that was giving Rome’s elegant district around Via Veneto an unpleasant reputation. [Read more…] about Weegee the Famous: Paparazzo of the Nameless
Since it foundation, German settlers had been present in New Amsterdam (Peter Minuit was a native of Wesel am Rhein), but the significant arrival of German-speaking migrants took place towards the middle of the nineteenth century. By 1840 more than 24,000 of them had made New York their home.
In the next two decades, when large parts of the territory were plunged into deep socio-political and economic problems, another hundred thousand Germans crossed the Atlantic turning New York into the world’s third-largest German-speaking city, after Berlin and Vienna. [Read more…] about When Manhattan Spoke German: Lüchow’s, Würzburger & Little Germany
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Scott D. Seligman’s new book The Great Kosher Meat War of 1902: Immigrant Housewives and the Riots That Shook New York City (Potomac Books, 2020) is a full account of the Great Kosher Meat War of 1902, a milestone in the history of Jewish-American women. [Read more…] about New Book: The Great Kosher Meat War of 1902
A Musical History of the Lower East Side, presented by Charles R. Hale has been set for Tuesday, June 12 at 7 pm at the American Irish Historical Society, 991 5th Avenue, New York, NY. Charles R. Hale has developed a reputation as a storyteller who blends imagery and performance art to create uniquely New York experiences.
This concert will present songs reflecting the historically rich ethnicity of the New York City’s Lower East Side. The cast will perform Irish laments, Yiddish and Ladino music, operatic and Neopolitan songs, German lied, jazz and blues, all representative of the ethnic groups who have passed through the Lower East Side. The show will also include images and historical narration provided by Charles. [Read more…] about A Musical History of the Lower East Side
There are several claimants to the title of New York’s most famous nurse. That distinction probably can be laid at the feet of Long Island native Walt Whitman, though it was not his nursing skills during the Civil War that garnered him his fame. Some might argue it is the still not positively identified nurse who was photographed in Times Square celebrating the surrender of Japan in 1945 through a passionate kiss from a sailor. Again, though, it was not her skills as a nurse that earned her recognition. Another contender was Mary Breckinridge, whose Frontier Nursing Service brought healthcare to poor rural America. While her fame came about as a result of her nursing, she was born in Tennessee and gained her fame in Kentucky, only acquiring her nursing education in New York.
I happen to believe the title of New York’s most famous nurse belongs to Lillian Wald. Though born in Cincinnati, her family brought her to New York as a girl. She would spend the rest of her life there, gaining fame for her work in bringing healthcare to the poorest of New York’s immigrant population. Even after her death in 1940 her impact on New York continued to be felt, and her legacy lives on to this day. [Read more…] about New York History’s Most Famous Nurse?
As New Yorkers still struggle without power in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, it plunges us right into the heart of a discussion about the historic waterfront. Under Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Vision for the 21st Century, proclaimed in 2002, the crumbling infrastructure along the Manhattan and Brooklyn waterfront that once served the port of New York should be harnessed for a variety of development schemes. [Read more…] about Kathleen Hulser: Hurricane Sandy And The NYC Waterfront