Joe Gould died well over half a century ago after having been gone from his haunts in Greenwich for half a decade. He had been a fixture in the Village for decades, friend to famous writers and artists, living in penury while saying he was working on a massively long work called Oral History of Our Time (coining the term [pdf] "oral history" in the process) from which only a few short pieces were ever published. In the 40s he became famous thanks to a profile called "Professor Sea Gull" written by star New Yorker writer Joseph Mitchell. After Gould's death, Mitchell wrote another profile in 1964, "Joe Gould's Secret", where Mitchell said that the Oral History only existed in Gould's mind. After that article, Mitchell never published again in his lifetime despite being on The New Yorker's staff until his death in 1996. Since then, various further secrets have been unearthed about Gould, diaries from the 40s, the identity of Gould's mysterious patron, and now New Yorker writer Jill Lepore has written about Gould's whereabouts in the last years in his life, and much else, in a sad profile called Joe Gould's Teeth. [Joe Gould previously]
Editta Sherman was a portrait photographer who shot celebrities from Elvis Presley to the young Angela Lansbury to Andy Warhol to Joe DiMaggio to Tilda Swinton. [more inside]
Photographer Bill Cunningham has moved out of his a rent controlled apartment right above Carnegie Hall after living there for 60 years. He offers some pictures and memories of his time there. Andrew Carnegie intended the space above the hall to be occupied by artists and since 1896 the list of occupants has included Isadora Duncan, Marlon Brando and Leonard Bernstein. The last 5 residents (more details about them here) are being cleared out to make way for a music school. [more inside]
"In 1500 the first Bohemian Land Ordinance was completed, and within it was an article that forbade anyone from hunting with a firearm. However, only twenty-four years after the 1500 constitution firearms had apparently been involved in so much social violence that a specific firearms Ordinance was promulgated in 1524. Ultimately, the handgun had shifted from a rural nuisance, to a violent, social problem." Between Menace and Utility: Handguns in Early Sixteenth-Century Bohemia [PDF]. (From Bad Behaviour in Medieval and Early Modern Europe)
The Thirty Years War is a website covers that ginormous kerfuffle that consumed Europe in the first half of the 17th Century from the Second Defenestration of Prague to the Peace of Westphalia. It has a handy map with a place locator which will help you tell your Schweidnitz from your Schweinfurt. Here are some other maps, The Religious Situation in Central Europe about 1618, Principal Seats of War, 1618-1660 and Europe in 1648 - Peace of Westphalia.
The Art & Life of Annie Truxell [via mefi projects]: Annie Truxell is a well known painter who has lived a long and fascinating life. Her adventures have been legendary, encompassing Greenwich Village in the 50s, London in the 60s and India in the 70s. She was friends with Franz Klein, Bill de Kooning, Truman Capote, Terry Southern, Mati Klarwein & many other wild & woolly people.