A Very Early View of Lower Manhattan Looking East Towards The East River & Brooklyn circa 1892
This magic lantern slide overlooking lower Manhattan along with the East River and Brooklyn is pre-twentieth century. Where exactly; when it was taken; and where from, was a mystery. But some things to take notice of:
Williamsburg Bridge Under Construction As Viewed From The East River 1901
From a personal photo album comes this previously unpublished 1901 view looking north from the East River.
Besides all the vessels navigating the heavily trafficked waterway, we can see the completed towers of the Williamsburg Bridge. The cables of the bridge have been completed but the roadway beneath the span is absent.
The first bridge crossing Kings County to Manhattan was the Brooklyn Bridge, opening in 1883. It would take another 20 years before the next great span, the Williamsburg Bridge was completed. Continue reading →
There’s new life in the used and rare book world. That’s the way it seemed to the many dealers who were exhibiting Saturday, September 9 at the Brooklyn Expo Center 79 Franklin Street, Greenpoint. The variety of material for sale here has made this show a go-to destination for bibliophiles seeking a great find.
It has sometimes been a challenge to interest new collectors considering an entire generation has been brought up in the digital age and do all of their reading on a screen.
Yet they they were. Younger people attending a book show and displaying interest in rare and collectible books.
Looking around the crowd it was noticed that there were quite a few people who were of Generation X , Y and even Z in attendance.
Exposing the passion of book collecting to the kids at the Brooklyn Expo Center.
This is a good sign for collectible book dealers that have been trying to reach younger people and share their knowledge and passion for collecting books printed on good old fashioned paper.
Dealer Peter Austern of Brooklyn said he tried to “exhibit things that were unusual and might appeal to the collectors who are very specific in their wants.” He added that the show being in this part of Brooklyn “tends to attract a different, younger sort of crowd.”
Regarding the venue itself, the natural light and high ceilings at the Brooklyn Expo Center are a nice change to the sometimes crowded and poorly lighted places that shows are often held in. Continue reading →
But there probably won’t be a celebration like the one shown here from 1967.
Here is the original caption from the press photo:
New York: With a ferris wheel as a backdrop lovely Arlene Shaw, the 1967 National Hot Dog Queen holds a sign proclaiming the 100th anniversary of the fabled “frank.” Arlene will reign over a champagne “hot dog” party to be held on the boardwalk at Nathan’s in Coney Island June 30th celebrating the centennial of that extraordinary edible known as “Coney Island Red Hots.” credit: UPI 6/3/1967
Central Park Was Not The Only New York City Park To Have Sheep Manicuring Its Lawn
The History of Prospect Park’s Flock Of Sheep
Sheep grazing in a meadow is something you expect to see in the countryside, not New York City. As some New Yorker’s know Sheep Meadow in Central Park once had sheep roaming in it.
But did you know that Brooklyn’s Prospect Park also had its own flock of livestock on its grounds? When this photograph was taken in 1901, Prospect Park had about 30 sheep, with three full-time shepherds to watch over the flock.
While still under design the Prospect Park Commissioners in 1866 proposed “to enclose with a sufficient iron paling and make use of as a pasture ground for deer, antelopes, gazelles, and such other grazing animals as can he satisfactorily herded together in summer upon it.”
Deer, antelopes and gazelles were not confined to the park. After the opening of Prospect Park in 1867 sheep were introduced to graze on its grounds.
Over the years the number of sheep fluctuated to as many as 110 as some sheep were sold off and others acquired.
Paddy Welch was the main shepherd of the Southdown’s and New Hampshire’s, until political influence forced him from his job in the early 1890s. In 1922 Prospect Park increased the value of its herd by introducing pure-bred Southdown’s.
By 1934 city planning titan and Parks Commissioner Robert Moses, had enough of Central Park’s sheep. The 49 pure-bred Dorset sheep in Central Park were moved to Prospect Park to join the hornless Southdown’s on February 19, 1934. The Central Park building where the sheep had been housed was remodeled and became the site of the restaurant Tavern on the Green. Continue reading →
A few of the things seen along 13th Avenue in Brooklyn on a sunny day in April 2015.
In our first photograph at the corner of 39th Street and 13th Avenue, a once elegant building has been neglected and altered to detract from its original beauty. Portions of its roofline have been unmercifully lopped off at the building’s corner. Some of the ornamental features are still there, even the original building name. You just have to look for it. Near the roosting pigeons on the faded red roof just below what was certainly once an ornate cupola: The Abels and Gold Building.
Simon Abels and Louis Gold were Brooklyn real estate developers at the turn-of-the-century. The Abels Gold Realty Company developed and controlled buildings around the Borough Park and Bay Ridge neighborhoods. By the 1930’s Abels Gold Realty were gone. This building is the sole reminder of their real estate legacy.
Next, if you look down at the street at the same intersection, you will notice there used to be a trolley running along this stretch of road turning from 13th Avenue on to 39th Street. This small section of track was peeking through the asphalt.
Now the city talks about bringing back light railway (electric trolleys) to Brooklyn in areas that have limited transportation options like Red Hook along the Brooklyn waterfront. Continue reading →
Under The Brooklyn Bridge & The Classic Manhattan Skyline At Night -1928
The Brooklyn Bridge frames this unique view of lower Manhattan at night in 1928. The Woolworth Building (partially seen behind the tower of the bridge) was still the tallest building in the world.
In the center of the photo is the third tallest building in the world, the Singer Building at Liberty Street and Broadway. The second tallest building at the time was the Metropolitan Life Insurance Building on 23rd Street and Madison Avenue.
The next skyscraper to the left of the Singer Building is the Equitable Building. Just south of the Equitable with the pyramid shaped roof is the Bankers Trust Building.
2 Historic Photos Show the Enduring Popularity of Coney Island
This is what Coney Island looked like in the 1930s:
Coney Island July 4, 1934
Million Turn Out At Coney Island
Here’s part of the 1,000,000 New Yorkers who visited Coney Island, a summer resort, on July 4 to get away from the heat of the city, as they disported on the beach, many of them shirtless. Credit line: Acme -7/4/34
Many of them shirtless, imagine that! Don’t you love the old news captions?
While Coney Island doesn’t get a million visitors a day any more, it still gets crowded during summertime. One thing you might notice: there are probably lifeguards present in their high perch chairs to watch over the throngs of swimmers, but I cannot see any in this photograph.
When wandering through historic Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn it’s easy to be distracted by the grand mausoleums and elaborate memorials and pass by the more common looking tombstones.
I was struck by this simple memorial to Edwin John Gaddis who died July 23, 1883. His grave marker in section 91 of the cemetery reads as follows:
Edwin J. Gaddis, Born October 23, 1861 Died July 23, 1883. Drowned in Peconic Bay Jamesport L. I. While trying to save life Greater love hath no man than this
That he lay down his life for his friends. John XV.13
On the top of the tombstone the following words are inscribed:
Your honor, your name, And your praises shall ever remain. Your fame shall be eternized.
Eternized, a word not used much today means, to make eternal; immortalize.
Who was Edwin Gaddis? What was his life like? What would make someone risk (and lose) their life? Who exactly were the people he tried to save and were they actually saved?
Besides what is etched on Gaddis’ tombstone, there is virtually no information online about his life. There were however three news items online about his death. This most complete story that answers many of the questions I asked was reported by the New York Tribune on Wednesday, July 25, 1883: Continue reading →