Category Archives: New York

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

Dignity For A Little Girl Killed By A Truck – 1904

Three-Year-Old Nettie Delaney Dies In A Horrific Accident & A Homeless Man Performs A Selfless Gesture – 1904

A kind act can transcend time. When researching our previous story about Times Square this tragic, but touching story was found.

Combining accounts from The New York Tribune, The New York Herald and The New York Times, this is what happened on August 31, 1904:

POOR, BUT A GENTLEMAN
With His Only Coat He Taught the Morbid a Lesson.

Nettie Delaney, three and a half years old, of 14 West One Hundred and Thirty-Third Street, was run over and killed almost in front of her own home yesterday afternoon by a horse drawn heavy truck carrying stone.

Every day, it is said, trucks drive rapidly westward through 133rd Street on their way to stables, and children several times have narrowly escaped being run down.

Just west of Fifth Avenue and leading a caravan of three stone trucks, Alphonso Greer of 137 Morris Street, the driver of the truck, in order to pass two furniture vans, had to turn to the north side of the street. He did not see the child running across the street until she was directly under the horses feet, and it was then too late to stop the horses.

The heavy wheels passed over the child’s head, crushing it badly.

A menacing crowd gathered quickly. Greer whipped up his horses to try and get away, but several men grabbed the bridles and refused to allow him to proceed. He probably would have been handled roughly but for the timely arrival of policeman Farley. He arrested Greer and took him to the East One Hundred and Twenty-Sixth-Street police station. A charge of homicide was made.

Keeps The Morbidly Curious From Gazing

Somebody carried the little girl’s body into a drug store a few doors away at Fifth Avenue and 133rd Street and put it on the floor. A crowd of men, women, and children crowded into the store spilling out to the doorway to view the child. Then a young man about twenty-one years old, evidently a laborer from his dress, stepped from the crowd, and, removing his coat. spread it tenderly over the mangled face of the dead child, hiding it from the gaze of the morbidly curious. Then, without a word, he turned and left the store.

About an hour later after the accident the young man, in his shirt sleeves, walked into the police Station where the body had been taken. He told the Sergeant that he would Ike to have his coat if they were quite through with it.

“It is the only one I have,” he said, “and as I have no job just now I sleep wherever I can and use the coat for a pillow.”

The young man was asked to give his name and address. He declined to give his name, and said that he had no home at present. The policemen were touched by his act, and the Sergeant made up a small purse for him. He was at first inclined to refuse the gift, but the Sergeant insisted, and he left with his coat and enough money to procure food and shelter for several days.

Postscript –

If Greer was convicted of homicide there is no online record that can be found. In 1910 the U.S. census lists the 26-year-old Greer working in New Hampshire as a laborer at a brickyard. That is the last known fact about Greer.

Unfortunately the name of this virtuous young man performing an act of decency is lost to posterity forever. Modesty aside, maybe if he later had a family, he shared this story with them.

Old New York In Photos #127 – Times Square 1906

Times Square 1906  – The New Hotel Astor, Olympia Theatre & Surroundings

Times Square New Astor HotelThis stereoview image of Times Square was taken by the H.C. White Company in 1906. Before The New York Times moved their headquarters here it was called Long Acre Square.

The view is titled, “New Astor Hotel and 20 story Times Building.” We are looking south from 46th Street towards the New York Times Tower. The flatiron-style building opened in 1905. The building was mutilated in 1965 when purchased by Allied Chemical. Today it is unrecognizable after it was altered again in the twenty first century to become a giant garish billboard.

Hotel Astor

On the right is the 500 room Hotel Astor comprising 14 city lots from 44th to 45th Street where Broadway and Seventh Avenue intersect. The 10-story Hotel Astor cost owner William Waldorf Astor over $7 million to build and furnish. The land was purchased decades earlier as farmland  by his great-grandfather John Jacob Astor for $100 an acre. The Grand Ballroom was a baroque masterpiece.

Hotel Astor Grand Ballroom interior 1904

After some labor related delays Continue reading

May Day In New York – 1936

Socialists & Communists Combine Their May Day Parade – 1936

Not Your Typical Deluded Socialist / Communist Gathering

One of Marchers In New York’s May Day Parade
New York – This marcher in the combined Socialist-Communist May Day Parade in New York today, May 1st, adopted this costume to demonstrate his point. 5-1-1936 credit: International News Photo

The original 1936 news caption writer left out one detail about this marcher: Nazi.

Theoretically, communists and socialists are not the allies of fascists. But in the mid-1930s 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

New York City Mayor Jimmy Walker Gets The Cheese

Mayor Jimmy Walker Can’t Get To Switzerland – So The Swiss Cheese Comes To Him – 1927

Mayor Jimmy Walker with big swiss cheese 1927 photo Wide World PhotosMayor Walker Gets The Cheese
New York City – Although Mayor Walker was unable to visit Switzerland during his recent rip abroad, the greeting of the Swiss people was brought to him today, along with a 168 pound loaf of Switzerland cheese, the gift of H. Lindt, Staat-Presidente of the city of Berne. The gigantic loaf of cheese, which measures three feet in diameter and is larger than the wheel of a motor truck, was presented by Robert J.F. Schwarzenbach, the Swiss General Consul here. It is the first loaf to bear the imprint of Switzerland, the new name recently decided upon to distinguish the Swiss product from the holed type of cheese now being made in many countries.

Photo shows the presentation – Charles Koch and Paul Zulling, in native Swiss costume and left to right – Consul-General Schwarzenbach, Mayor Walker and James Byrne, Borough President of Brooklyn. Photo: Wide World Photos, 10-24-27

A Swiss Surprise

The cheese was originally to be given to the mayor at a banquet in Berne, Switzerland during Walker’s European trip. The gift was for the high regard the Swiss felt for the mayor and the people of New York. As the news slug mentions, Walker never got to visit Switzerland.

Upon seeing the gigantic cheese Mayor Walker half joked to his bodyguards Lieutenants Thomas O’Connor and John Howard, “Hurry up and get me a cracker.” They scattered to search for a cracker. 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

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

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