Author Archives: B.P.

New York City School Lunch Menu – 1914

New York City’s Morris High School In The Bronx Lunch Menu 1914

A Wide Variety Of Choices…As Long As You Like Bread and Butter Sandwiches

One  hundred years ago the Bronx’s first and most prestigious public high school was Morris High School.

Among the pages of the 1914 Morris Annual yearbook are advertisements. Morris was such a great school that William Molbeck, a Bronx caterer supplied food to the students and advertised that fact. For the era, the food was moderately priced. Beverages were three cents and food ranged from a nickel to a dime.

There was only one catch – you better like bread and butter.

Every item on the menu except two has bread and butter sandwiches as its anchor. Continue reading

If The Strand Bookstore is Not Doomed, Then What’s Going On?

The Legendary Strand Bookstore Sure Looks Like It Will Soon Be Out Of Business

The Writing Is Not On The Wall, But On The Shelves

Outside Strand Bookstore April 2021

Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 was playing over the sound system at the Strand Bookstore on Broadway and 12th Street this week. It’s a classical composition heightened with drama and a dirge-like quality. And unfortunately it suits the current state of Strand.

The atmosphere of Strand now resembles a morgue. It’s a shell of what it has been to generations of New Yorkers.

A Store In Trouble

While the pandemic has put thousands of retail shops down for the count permanently, the 94-year-old Strand has tenaciously hung in there. Labor disputes at the store have been featured in the news and an appeal to buyers to support the Strand made International news headlines in the autumn.

But from what I’ve seen, it appears that saving the Strand will be difficult. Continue reading

Classic Hollywood #110 – Jayne Mansfield Selling Cigarettes For Charity

Jayne Mansfield, Saleslady – 1957

Jayne Mansfield charity 1957 Photo: APLos Angeles – February 11, 1957: Jayne Mansfield Hit As Cigarette Girl
Jayne Mansfield sells customer David Rosslaw a pack of cigarettes during charity banquet here last night and apparently, judging from expressions of unidentified spectators, was a success in her temporary role. About a dozen girls including Zsa Zsa Gabor and Marie Wilson, roamed the floor for about ten minutes during the evening but giving no change as profits went to local charity. Hundreds, including many Hollywood celebrities attended. photo: AP wirephoto

The news slug does not identify the charity Jayne was collecting for. Continue reading

Old New York In Photos #126 – Transportation Center At Brooklyn Bridge

Afternoon Rush Hour At The Manhattan Entrance To The Brooklyn Bridge Transportation Center / Terminal Shed c. 1903

While the structure no longer exists the scene still does- commuters heading back to Brooklyn after work.

This structure unfamiliar to modern New Yorkers is the transportation center also called the terminal shed at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge on Park Row.

The building not only provided pedestrian access to the bridge but to the elevated and trolley lines. We tell the story of the transportation center here. It was demolished by the city in the 1940s.

The photo titled Manhattan Entrance To Brooklyn Bridge was taken about 1903 by the Detroit Publishing Company.

Let’s zoom in and take a brief close-up look at our photo.

People

I particularly like the two men in the foreground standing near the railing of the uncovered section of the second story. They are both aware of the photographer and stare directly at the camera.

The young man on the left in bowler hat and bow tie does not seem to be in a hurry. There is something endearing Continue reading

5 Bands With Songs That Sound Like Led Zeppelin

Hey Is That Led Zeppelin?

Bands That Can Sound A Lot Like Led Zeppelin

Maybe this article should be titled “bands that sound like Robert Plant” as it is Plant’s unique vocals that are being channeled.

Plant himself has never been a big fan of others trying to sound like Led Zeppelin. Plant called Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page’s 1993 pairing with Whitesnake / Deep Purple lead singer David Coverdale – David Cover Version.

If you heard any of the following songs without knowing who it was, you might think it’s Led Zeppelin.

Unsurprisingly the lead singers of these bands can do pretty good cover versions of Zeppelin. We’ll have two samples from each band – one original composition and one Zeppelin cover if they have ever covered the mighty Zep.

Great White

To me, Jack Russell of Great White naturally sounds more like Robert Plant than any other professional singer.

This song Save Your Love is from the 1987 album Once Bitten.

This 2011 live version of Led Zeppelin’s Ramble On is spot on vocally even if the rest of the band doesn’t capture the Zeppelin magic. Russell’s intonations on certain lyrics like “I’m much o-bli-ged, such a plea-sant stay,” sound exactly like Plant. A great cover.

Zebra

The next band is a label-mate of Led Zeppelin. Continue reading

Rare 1971 Tonight Show Clip With Johnny Carson & The Hilarious Bob Uecker

Johnny Carson Looks At Press Photos With Bob Uecker, Going Over Bob’s Legendary Baseball Career

In the mid-90s actor Leslie Nielsen was doing publicity for a comedic book “Bad Golf My Way.”  The radio stations who set up interviews with Nielsen expected the star of “Airplane” and  “Police Squad / The Naked Gun” to be as witty as the man who was in those movies.

While Leslie Nielsen had a sense of humor he was not a funny man. The public seems to forget that writers write those funny lines for actors to say.

Nielsen did his best, doing four hours of back to back interviews with FM stations across the country. But the radio hosts mostly got a reality check. Just because you’re a comedic actor does not translate into being a funny guest.

On the other hand Bob Uecker was a professional baseball catcher for six seasons in the 1960s who had a career .200 batting average. While Uecker was by his own estimate not a particularly good ballplayer, he was very funny. Uecker parlayed his natural sense of humor into a fifty year career as a baseball announcer and talk show guest, and he is still going strong, The 87-year-old Uecker remains the radio voice of the Milwaukee Brewers.

Here is Uecker’s seventh appearance on The Tonight Show, September 23, 1971.

What makes this clip rare is that for the first 10 years that Carson hosted The Tonight Show from New York, almost every tape was subsequently erased. Continue reading

A Superstar Who Knew The Yankees Bobby Brown Was A Special Player

Yankees Bobby Brown Dies At 96

Chose To Be A Great Doctor, Over Being A Great Baseball Player

Bobby Brown 1946 photo: Acme

Bobby Brown 1946. photo Acme

Bobby Brown (Oct. 24, 1924- March 25, 2021) the golden boy Yankee star whose brief career in pinstripes bridged two star-studded Yankee eras, died Thursday March 25 in Fort Worth, TX.

After batting .341 in 148 games at Newark in his only minor league season, Brown was a late September 1946 call-up to the Yankees, playing in only seven games for the big club that year. In this brief stint, Brown made quite an impression with his sure fielding and batting .333 by going 8 for 24.

There’s probably few players more qualified than Red Sox superstar Ted Williams to point out a rival’s strengths .

After playing the Yankees, Ted Williams honed in on how good Brown and another Yankees call-up, Yogi Berra were. In the September 26, Boston Daily Globe Williams wrote:

“Of the new Yankee players I’ve seen the last couple of days, the one who has impressed me the most as a bright prospect, is Bobby Brown, the shortstop. And I’ve seen quite a few of their new players: pitchers Al Lyons and Karl Drews, catcher Larry Berra whom the call “The Yogi,” and he has the facial appearance to fit the name; third baseman Joe Bockman and outfielder Frank Coleman.

Berra is a little man who seems to be all muscles. He looks like he can hit a ball a long way if he connects. The others didn’t show too much, except for Brown. He looks the part of a ballplayer. I thought so when I first saw him in uniform before he even made a play or hit a ball.

The thing I liked best about Brown is that he will make the right play all the time. He showed me something in two games I haven’t seen all season. Twice he came up with a hard hit ball and threw out one of our runners trying to make third from second base. That is one of the most difficult plays for a shortstop to make and he did it twice in as many games  as though he had been doing it all his life,

Bobby has a swell pair of hands. He can run well. Up at bat he reminds me of Red Rolfe. I think he hits at a ball the way the Yankee coach and old third baseman did. He takes a sharp cut at the ball.”

Bobby Brown played alongside the 1930s-40s  era Yankee greats; Joe DiMaggio, Continue reading

Old New York In Photos #125 – Singer Building At Night

A Sight You’ll Never See – The Singer Building At Night – 1913

Here is the Singer Building Tower in 1913 with its office lights ablaze in a photograph taken by Underwood and Underwood. The adjacent smaller towers to the right belong to the City-Investing Building.

For less than a year between 1908 -1909, the Singer Building, designed by Ernest Flagg, was the tallest in the world. The Metropolitan Life Insurance Building completed in 1909 took the tallest title away.

This magnificent New York City skyscraper vanished less than 60 years after its completion. Continue reading