Category Archives: New York

A Great Beatles Cover Band – Blac Rabbit, Live In Central Park

A Central Park Treat

Blac Rabbit Plays The Beatles “If I Needed Someone” & “She Said”

Blac Rabbbit performs The BEatles If I Needed SomeoneIf you search on YouTube you will find many  videos of Beatles covers done by hundreds of artists. I think these guys are among the best.

Twin brothers, songwriters, singers, and guitarists Amiri and Rahiem Taylor from Rockaway Beach, NY, make up the nucleus of Blac Rabbit. The brothers have been featured on the Ellen TV show.

Here the duo play at the Mall in Central Park on September 4, 2020.

While videotaping I was flabbergasted that no one stopped to listen. People kept walking by as if this was just a normal performance. Uh, no. These two musicians are super talented, especially handling vocal harmonies.

Among the “crowd” were about 12 people sitting 50 feet opposite the brothers, politely clapping after each song.

As I watched them breeze through spot-on renditions of many Beatles classics, quite a number of people, including myself, did make a contribution in the guitar case. After 25 minutes, regrettably I had to leave.

I believe John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr would be pleased with the handling of their songs.

Blac Rabbit also compose and perform originals which are pretty good.

Though I did not start the camera quickly enough I did record a good amount of She Said.

Old New York In Photos #118 – Herald Square At Night

Herald Square At Night – 1912

This beautiful night scene of Herald Square was taken in 1912. The Herald Building between 35th & 36th Street and Broadway and Sixth Avenue is brilliantly illuminated as the presses work to get the next morning’s paper out.

Lining the roof of the McKim, Mead & White designed Herald Building are 20 gilt owl sculptures. Electricity would light up the owl’s green eyes. The two illegible lighted discs in the front of the building are a clock and wind dial.

Bennett Monument drawing sculptor Andrew O'Connor viaNY Times 1918Herald owner James Gordon Bennett Jr., was obsessed with owls. Continue reading

Rooting Against Tom Seaver

If You Rooted For The Yankees, Could You Root For Tom Seaver?

Tom Seaver pitching two-hitter in the seventh inning as he makes a bid for his 15th win of the year. August 7, 1975 photo: Paul DeMaria (Seaver wound up with a 3 hit complete game 7-0 shutout over the Expos)

Hall of Famer and baseball great Tom Seaver died Monday, August 31 at age 75 and a piece of my childhood died along with him. The accolades, recollections and recounting of stats will continue to flow for the next few weeks.

But not everyone who saw Seaver play rooted for this consummate pro. Especially kids like me.

Being a Yankees fan in the late 1960s and early 1970s was not fun. A New Yorker has to choose teams. A real New York fan can’t root for both the Rangers and Islanders or the Jets and the Giants. You certainly cannot be a fan of both the Yankees and the Mets. So you make choices.

As a New York baseball obsessed kid who collected trading cards, I examined both teams carefully. I chose to be a fan of the on-his-last-legs Mickey Mantle led Yankees. Bad choice. Mantle retired immediately upon my declaration of loyalty.

The 70s Yankees teams featured players like Jake Gibbs, Jerry Kenney, Mike Kekich, Steve Kline, and Horace Clarke.

Arguments on the summer camp bus about who was better, the Yankees or Mets ended with the words Tom Seaver.

Rooting for the Yankees meant rooting against Tom Seaver. Comparing Tom Seaver to any Yankee player was a futile exercise in partisanship.

“The Yankees have Mel Stottlemyre.”

“We’ve got Tom Seaver.” Continue reading

Old New York In Photos #117 – Corner Cornelia & West 4th Street

Cornelia & West 4th Street Greenwich Village August 25, 1900

Cornelia St West 4th Street Aug 25 1900 photo Robert Bracklow

This portrait of a group of children in the heart of Greenwich Village was taken 100 years ago today.

Photographer Robert Bracklow frequently traversed the city taking pictures of city scenes.

Today nothing from Bracklow’s Cornelia Street photo remains except the street itself. This is what the intersection looks like in 2020 from West 4th Street looking south. Continue reading

A Tour Of The Jacob Ruppert Brewery – 1939

How Beer Was Made At The Jacob Ruppert Brewery

Ruppert Brewery 3rd Ave 91st St

Massive fortress-like building of the Ruppert Brewery Third Avenue 91st St. 1940  photo: NYC Municpal Archives

Jacob Ruppert is mainly recognized as the man who bought Babe Ruth from the Red Sox in 1919 forever changing baseball. With that one transaction, Ruppert, the Yankees co-owner and his management team began a dynasty.

To older New Yorkers the name Ruppert also meant beer. The Ruppert Brewery was between 91st and 92nd Street from Second to Third Avenue. Continue reading

Old New York In Photos #116 – Fifth Avenue & 27th Street 1903

Fifth Avenue Between 26th & 27th Street – The Old Hotel Brunswick

5th Avenue 27th Street 1903 photo Detroit Publishing CoA Detroit Publishing Co. photographer got this shot on a rare day without any traffic. Every building seen here is soon to be demolished.

The Hotel Brunswick

This photograph shows the east side of Fifth Avenue from 27th to 26th Street in 1903. Continue reading

Old New York In Photos #115 – Home On The Range?

A Small Cottage On Broadway (Boulevard & 123rd Street)

At first glance this might appear to be a small home in rural New Jersey, Kentucky or maybe South Dakota. It is in fact the northeast corner of The Boulevard and 123rd Street. The Grand Boulevard or simply Boulevard is the old name for Broadway above 59th Street and a street sign is visible at the top of the light pole. Continue reading

Yankees Tommy Henrich Out At Home During A Hot Game – 1949

Henrich Is Out, But Yanks Still Win

Ed Rommel BobSwift and Tommy Henrich Yankee Stadium June 24 1949

Home…But Out

New York – In the 7th inning of today’s game between the New York Yankees and the Detroit Tigers, Yankee Tommy Henrich was out at home when he tried to score from 3rd base. Tiger catcher Swift makes the out as ump Rommel calls the play. The Yanks won the game 5-4. June 24, 1949. photo – Tony Bernato, New York Daily Mirror for International News

15,384 intrepid fans sweated out a two hour forty four minute game at Yankee Stadium on Friday, June 24, 1949.

The Yanks and Tigers were playing an afternoon make-up from a rain out on May 26. The thermometer topped out at a muggy 88 degrees. Abandoning formality, umps Art Passarella and Jim Boyer removed their coats and worked the game in shirtsleeves. Home ump Eddie Rommel stayed traditionally dressed. From 1933 until 1952 three man umpire crews were the norm for regular season games. Continue reading

Old New York In Photos #114 – Grand Street c. 1908

A Trolley Accident Draws A Crowd On Grand Street

Grand Street c 1910 photo via Columbia University Community Service Society CollectionOur vantage point is just past Eldridge street looking west on Grand Street towards Forsyth Street (the shoe store on the corner). The Third Avenue El is in the background. 

While this scene appears to be a just a typical crowded street scene on the lower east side, it is not. Schoolboys crowd the sidewalk and a big police officer keeps the peace.

In the center of the street it is clear that a trolley has had an accident and has come off its rails. Continue reading

New York Illustrated – As It Was 150 Years Ago – Part III

New York Illustrated 1870

Part III – 150 Years Later And (Mostly) Still Here

Our third installment of illustrations taken from Reverend J.F. Richmond’s New York and Its Institutions 1609-1871 (E.B. Treat; 1871) looks at what remains today. Continue reading