NYC History & Such

Discussion in 'New York Area' started by From NYC, Jul 23, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. From NYC
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    I and jbcarioca thought it might be worthwhile to have a thread that covers aspects of NYC History (all the boroughs) here, from articles/books to exhibitions to historic sites.

    So, I'll start it off with 2 recommendations:
    1 - "The Island at the Center of the World" by Russell Shorto, a terrific book about the history and people of Dutch New Amsterdam, based on long-forgotten Old Dutch documents in the NY State Archives, and in Holland.
    2 - An article in the NY Times today on the descendants of one of the 1st 200 people to settle in New Amsterdam - http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/24/n...dusen-family-one-of-manhattans-oldest.html?hp

    I'll follow up with addresses and such for The Grange, Alexander Hamilton's country home; the Jumel Mansion, Aaron Burr's last country home; both in upper Manhattan; and the 2 porched wooden sided houses in the middle of apartment buildings and brownstones on a block in the mid-90's between Park and Lexington Avenues.
     
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  2. cordray2643
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    Great idea! My family and I are taking a few days trip to NYC in November and would love to hear some reccommendations for reads before the trip and where we should focus some time on the trip!
     
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  3. Dovster
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    By all means read New York by Edward Rutherford. It is an historical novel, but while it is fiction its background was researched excellently and will give you both an informative and enjoyable overview of the city from the days of the Dutch through 9/11.
     
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  4. Canarsie
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    I have been wanting to do a Canarsie Reality Tour someday; that is, a tour of the neighborhood of Canarsie in Brooklyn.

    Although it is one of the newer neighborhoods in Brooklyn in terms of development — as some portions of Canarsie were not developed until as late as the 1960s and 1970s — it does have as rich a history as some of the older neighborhoods in Brooklyn...
     
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  5. From NYC
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    STLI-058.jpg
    The Grange - Alexander Hamilton's Country Home
    This was the only home he ever owned. Though closed for renovation following the move from its original location right by City College of NY (CCNY), you can still view the exterior in a more rural setting in its new location in St,. Nicholas Park. In his time, it used to take several hours to get to from the center of City life.
    http://www.nps.gov/hagr/index.htm
     
  6. From NYC
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    3259_6-6-1934_m73_morris-jumel-mansion-lr1.jpg
    [​IMG]
    Morris Jumel Mansion
    http://www.morrisjumel.org/
    General Washington used Morris-Jumel Mansion (MJM) as his headquarters during the fall of 1776. It was during this period that the General’s troops forced a British retreat at the Revolutionary War Battle of Harlem Heights
    The house was built eleven years before the revolution, in 1765, by British Colonel Roger Morris and his American wife, Mary Philipse. The breezy hilltop location proved an ideal location for the family’s summer home. Known as Mount Morris, this northern Manhattan estate stretched from the Harlem to the Hudson Rivers and covered more than 130 acres. Because they were loyal to the crown, the Morrises were eventually forced to return to England.
    During the war, the hilltop location of the Mansion was valued for more than its cool summer breezes. With views of the Harlem River, the Bronx, and Long Island Sound to the east, New York City and the harbor to the south, and the Hudson River and Jersey Palisades to the west, Mount Morris proved to be a strategic military headquarters. Shortly after the Battle of Harlem Heights, Washington and his troops left the Mansion and, for a time, it was occupied by British and Hessian forces.
    President Washington returned to the Mansion on July 10, 1790, and dined with members of his cabinet. Guests at the table included two future Presidents of the United States: Vice President John Adams and Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson. Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton and Secretary of War Henry Knox also attended.

    Also, the last home of Aaron Burr, the Vice President who fought the duel with Alexander Hamilton.
     
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  7. jbcarioca
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    I am very happy to see this thread. Soon I'll add NYC trivia that has always been fascinating for me. I lived in NYC four different times and have never ceased to be astounded by the entertaining and odd history, including aviation trivia. Thanks for starting this From NYC.
     
  8. jbcarioca
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    Anybody choosing to navigate NYC learns to use the subway system. the history of the system is fascinating all by itself. This site:http://www.nycsubway.org/ has a lot of interesting information and photos.

    One thing any self-respecting aficionado of NYC will do is vist the NYC transit museum. It is open every day except Mondays and holidays. The link is here: http://www.mta.info/mta/museum/#hours
    It is located in a disused IND station in Brooklyn Heights.

    The IRT was the first major subway, opening in 1904. However there was an earlier one. "Alfred E. Beach created a 312-foot tunnel under lower Broadway and ran a subway car from 1870-1873. The train was operated by "pneumatic pressure" - blown by a giant fan". The MTA website is a good source for more information about public transportation history in NYC. http://www.mta.info/nyct/facts/ffhist.htm
     
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  9. Canarsie
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    If you look carefully when traveling on the 4, 5 or 6 trains between the 14th Street and 23rd Street stations, you will see the abandoned and closed 18th Street station, dark and covered with graffiti...
     
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  10. jbcarioca
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    The IRT history is itself entertaining, with the first cars being a major technological issue at the time. Engineers thought steel cars would disintegrate with vibration, so demanded a wooden frame. Here are some photos and the lik to the Wiki story of the "composite car":
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Composite_(New_York_City_Subway_car)

    Interior of the first IRT car
    250px-IRT_Composite_Interior.jpg
    Drawing of the first IRT car
    300px-NYCS_IRT_composite_drawing.jpg
    Photo of the Wall Street Station, the highlight of 1904
    first IRT station.jpeg
     
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  11. rwoman
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    Ah, so many reasons to love NY! :)
     
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  12. From NYC
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    There’s also another ghost station on the #1 line between 86th & 96th. I’m sure there are others.
     
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  13. From NYC
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    If you have the time, a great bus trip is to take the #4 bus. Goes up Madison Ave, then turns west along Central Park North, then goes uptown at Broadway and drops you off at the entrance to The Cloisters. Heads downtown via 5th Avenue when it crosses over to the East Side. You go through such a change of neighborhoods, past CCNY, the Trinity Church big graveyard (still has a few places left, according to a recent unsolicited mailing I got), into upper Harlem and Washington Heights.

    The Cloisters has a beautiful set of tapestries about the hunting of a unicorn. Companions to the set at the Cluny Museum in Paris. It’s a terrific place to visit.

    http://www.metmuseum.org/cloisters/
     
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  14. jbcarioca
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    There are many of them:
    The transit Museum is in one of them, as i noted above.
    Here is the official statement on the subject:
    http://www.nycsubway.org/abandsta.html
     
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  15. Dovster
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  16. jbcarioca
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    Well chosen, sir. I clearly remember going to McSorleys in 1966, soon after I arrived in NYC. I had a spectacular time, mostly because I was with a stunningly attractive young lady. Because ti was a few years before they lost their men-only battle, she could not enter. She, and the girlfriend of my friend, waited outside while we bought our beers and met them outside. My friend had a Shelby 727SC Cobra, but had lost his license so I was driving. When we left McSorleys were drove around Tompkins Square Park with the two pulchritudinous young ladies riding on the tonneau cover. They, wearing men's t-shirts on the upper half of their bodies, were highly visible. I policeman who had observed our perambulations pulled us over and, after some conversation gave me a citation for "parts of body protruding", a genuine violation in New York. I still have the citation. It was dismissed because the officer did not appear in court.

    McSorleys contributed to much of the dissipation of my young adult life. "we were here before you were born", indeed!
     
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  17. rwoman
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    rwoman Gold Member

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    The timing of this thread is great...been itching to go to NYC lately! :) I'm trying to convince my best friend she wants to meet in NYC for her bday! :D I have plenty of miles for her flight (25k) and a hotel...was thinking of splurging the 40k at the IC Barclay
     
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  18. jbcarioca
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    The Barclay itself is part of NYC history. Not only does it still have the birdcage, but it was the Vanderbilt family flagship when it opened in 1926. As befits Frequent Flyers, it was built originally by the New York Central Railroad, and was one of the earlier hotels that later became typified by airlines and hotels, a trdition taht continued when Intercontinental took it over while IC was still a PanAm property. Here is their brief history:http://www.intercontinentalnybarclay.com/manhattan-historic-hotel.aspx
     
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  19. rwoman
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    That is awesome! :)
     
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  20. From NYC
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    Feel free to ask any questions you want about a journey here. What time of year were you thinking of coming?
     
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  21. sobore
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    If you look through this site there is actual video footage of New York (and other locales) from the 1890'S on.
    .criticalpast
     
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  22. rwoman
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    It'll be October 1-2. There will be three of us - I booked the Crowne Plaza Times Square for 25k points vice the 40k for the IC Barclay. Does anyone have any thoughts regarding the CP versus the IC? I have points or could do points/cash?

    As far as what we'll do...still working on that. We've been to NYC previously so no need to do a lot of the touristy stuff. We may take advantage of the Bank of America Museums on Us in order to see the Metropolitan Museum of Art for free. I'm sure there well be tons of walking. :D My other goal is to (finally) walk across the Brooklyn Bridge.

    Thanks for any input!

    :)robin
     
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  23. jbcarioca
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    I would pay the extra for the Barclay since you're looking at a bit of history. In addition when you walk across the Brooklyn Bridge you should see the Brooklyn Museum. It has a permanent collection regarding the bridge. That will give a great perspective about what Brooklyn was like before it was incorporated into New York City. After that if you'd like a spectacular view of lower Manhattan while having a romantic evening, try the River Cafe.

    If you can give us some other ideas about your preferences and interests we can make other suggestions too.

    The Bank of America museum passes are one of the major reasons I keep one of their cards. That is a very nice benefit, indeed.
     
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  24. From NYC
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    Well, you’ll certainly be right in the Brooklyn Heights area after the walk over the Bridge, and the Promenade there gives some great views of lower Manhattan. Some very good Middle Eastern restaurants right nearby on Atlantic Avenue. Alternatively, there’s the area on the other side of the bridge that’s up and coming, DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Brooklyn Overpass), where more artists are settling.

    I’m not sure if it’ll still be running when you’re here, but you might also consider, if it is, taking the free ferry to Governors Island, where the Coast Guard used to have its outpost. The ride itself is 5 minutes, and you have more terrific views of Manhattan and Jersey, and, across Buttermilk Channel, Brooklyn. The old officers’ quarters area is bucolic, and they do have various concerts and such there in different parts of the island.

    An alternative to the big Met Museum for you might be to take my suggestion above of riding the #4 bus up Madison to The Cloisters, part of the Met. Great ride thought parts of Manhattan you might not’ve seen before, going to a marvelous museum. See the link above. You could then head through Ft. Tryon Park to Dyckman St. and a nice restaurant called Mamajuana Cafe. You could then safely take the A train, a la Duke Ellington, two blocks from the restaurant, back to your hotel. http://www.mamajuana-cafe.com/

    So much you could do, so little time, no?
     
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  25. Dovster
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    I didn't know about the USCG but Fort Jay, located on Governors Island, was First Army Headquarters until 1964.
     
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