Andrew Alpern, author of Posh Portals: Elegant Entrances and Ingratiating Ingresses to Apartments for the Affluent in New York City (Abbeville Press, 2020), says first impressions count when it comes to the luxury buildings of the city, which is what inspired him to write Posh Portals. [Read more…] about Posh Portals: Elegant Upper West Side Entrances
New York City
On April 6th 1917 America declared war against Germany. It was the first time in the nation’s history that the United States sent soldiers abroad to defend foreign soil. In May 1917, General John Joseph “Black Jack” Pershing was designated Supreme Commander of the troops in France. He assembled the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) in July 1917 and its involvement on the battlefield tipped the balance in favor of Allied Forces towards the middle of 1918. [Read more…] about ‘Black Devils’ At War In Europe & At Home
On April 30th, 1939, President Franklin Roosevelt opened New York’s World’s Fair with an address in which he praised the commercial festival as a “symbol of peace.” An idea dreamed up at the height of the depression, the theme of the Fair was “The World of Tomorrow.” Its opening slogan was an inspiring “Dawn of New Day.” [Read more…] about Arthur Szyk: The Artist As Soldier
In 1824, the French aristocrat Lafayette (Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de La Fayette), who had played a key role in securing victory over the British during the American Revolution, was invited by President James Monroe to visit the United States, then about to celebrate its 50th anniversary.
As an advocate for democracy in both the American colonies and in France, and a proponent of abolition, the Frenchman was warmly welcomed on a thirteen-month tour of the United States. His visit spanned a highly controversial 1824 presidential election season in which the House of Representatives selected John Quincy Adams over the highest vote-getter, Andrew Jackson. Lafayette has been seen by historians as a uniting force, whose presence served to remind Americans of their mutual bonds. [Read more…] about Lafayette’s 1824-25 Farewell Tour Commemoration (A Virtual Talk)
The online project New York 1920s, 100 Years Ago Today (When We Became Modern), sponsored by New York Tech (the New York Institute of Technology), features near-daily posts based on events of the day that occurred 100 years ago in the city of New York. The posts highlighting the culture and zeitgeist of 1920s in the city. [Read more…] about New Project Highlights New York City in the 1920s
The city of New York was at the center of the illegal trans-Atlantic slave trade during the 1850s and early 1860 conveying kidnapped and enslaved Africans from the coast of West Africa primarily into Cuba where there was an expanding sugar industry.
In The Last Slave Ships: New York and the End of the Middle Passage (Yale Univ. Press, 2020), John Harris, a professor of history at Erskine College in South Carolina, estimates that between 1853 and 1867, 474 shipments carrying almost 200,000 men women and children were brought to Cuba. Most of this was brokered by transplanted Brazilians and Portuguese known as the Portuguese Company, who shifted their operation to New York because of the decline of the Angola to Brazil slave trade in the 1850s. Harris argues they were supported by the pro-slavery faction of the city’s Democratic Party and its chief financial institutions. [Read more…] about New Book Considers The Last Slave Ships & New York
In the latest episode of Empire State Engagements Dr. Alyssa Maldonado-Estrada talks about her ethnographic study of Italian-American men’s Catholic devotion, Lifeblood of the Parish; Men and Catholic Devotion in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (NYU Press, 2020). She discussed her experiences over six years of work engaging the parish community; reading tattoos as devotional texts; playfulness and devotion in masculine spaces; the rich history of Italian-American Catholicism in Williamsburg; and the endurance of this parish, tradition, and community – despite decades of challenges ranging from reactionary clergymen to Robert Moses to gentrifying hipsters. [Read more…] about Parish Lifeblood: Italian-Americans In Williamsburg (Podcast)
For a long time Rotherhithe was London’s natural port, gaining its name from the Anglo-Saxon term for “landing-place for cattle.” There were shipyards in the area from Elizabethan times until the early twentieth century, and working docks until the 1970s. [Read more…] about Engineering Theatre: The Brunel Legacy in London & New York
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In The Floating Pool Lady: A Quest to Bring a Public Pool to New York City’s Waterfront (Cornell University Press, 2021) Ann L. Buttenwieser recounts her triumphant adventure that started in the bayous of Louisiana and ended with a self-sustaining, floating swimming pool moored in New York Harbor. [Read more…] about The Floating Pool Lady: Bringing A Public Pool to NYC’s Waterfront
Episode two of “Empire State Engagements” features a conversation with Dr. Catherine O’Donnell of Arizona State University exploring her book Elizabeth Seton, American Saint (Ithaca, NY: Three Hills/Cornell University Press, 2018).
O’Donnell discussed young Elizabeth Seton’s formative years in New York City, the intellectual forces and family tragedies that informed her spiritual journey, the evolution of American Catholicism, and Mother Seton’s remarkable journey from despair to serenity and, ultimately, sainthood. [Read more…] about Catherine O’Donnell Discusses ‘Elizabeth Seton: American Saint’