How an obsessed explorer found and lost the world's oldest subway.
"The Atlantic Avenue Tunnel was sealed in 1861, shortly after Brooklyn banned steam locomotives within city limits. Legend has it that the tunnel was reopened in the 1920s when it was used for mushroom growing and bootlegging, and in the 1940s when the FBI opened it looking for Nazis. But soon after, it was lost. In the 1950s two historians attempted to find it and failed."
posted by moonmilk
on Feb 7, 2014 -
Visiting the Big Apple? "Don't ask a pedestrian where a certain street is. He is usually too busy to stop, and if polite enough to stop, won't know. No New Yorker knows anything about New York."
And another kind reminder: "Don't gape at women smoking cigarettes in restaurants. They are harmless and respectable, notwithstanding and nevertheless. They are also smart."
Advice from Valentine’s City of New York: A Guide Book
, published in 1920. [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Jan 29, 2014 -
In the history of roads, pedestrians have long been the dominant user class. In the early 20th century, the use of automobiles was increasing, and with it, the conflicts between cars and people on foot. This conflict came to a head in 1923 in Cincinnati
, when people were outraged about the number of children killed by autos, and a there was a petition that "would have required all vehicles in the city to be fitted with speed governors limiting them to 25 miles per hour." In response, the young automotive companies organized and started a move to give dominance to cars in the streets. The petition failed, and pedestrians had lost. This was a key moment, marked with the invention of jaywalking
. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief
on Jan 26, 2014 -
The number of homeless New Yorkers in shelters has risen by more than 69 percent since 2002, when Mayor Bloomberg took office. Each night as many as 60,000
people -- including more than 22,000 children, the highest number since the Great Depression, -- experience homelessness in NYC, and during the course of each year, more than 111,000 different homeless New Yorkers, including more than 40,000 children, will sleep in the city's municipal shelter system. Meet Dasani, one of the city's 'invisible children.' [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Dec 9, 2013 -
Movin' On Up:
A skewed history of New York City as depicted by the opening themes of 1970s TV shows
posted by scody
on Aug 23, 2013 -
Once the home of the Weckquaesgeek tribe
, and more recently, William Shatner
, Hastings-on-Hudson might sound like the next village over from Downton Abbey, but according to the New York Times, it's "a village, in a Wittgensteinian sort of way
" seeing an influx of ex-Brooklynites fleeing to the suburbs in the face of creeping real estate prices. Sure, these new hipsturbanites may miss the creative density of urban New York, but at least the river setting matches their Filson/woolrich heritage-brand aesthetic
. Read on
if you set your cultural compass to the Brooklyn Flea, or your NYT Style section appreciation to ironic twee.
posted by deludingmyself
on Feb 18, 2013 -
The Jumper Squad.
"Each year, the New York City Police Department receives hundreds of 911 calls for so-called jumper jobs, or reports of people on bridges and rooftops threatening to jump. The department’s Emergency Service Unit responds to those calls. Roughly 300 officers in the unit are specially trained in suicide rescue, the delicate art of saving people from themselves; they know just what to say and, perhaps more important, what not to say."
posted by zarq
on Oct 9, 2012 -
Black and White and Hebrew All Over. The Village Voice
profiles the Hebrew Language Academy
, a dual-language charter school in Brooklyn. Is it a rare success story for the big-city ideal of educational innovation simultaneously serving rich and poor communities? A clever way for Jewish New Yorkers to get their kids Hebrew instruction on the states's dime? A little of both?
posted by escabeche
on Aug 8, 2011 -
Once upon a time, cows were milked in Brooklyn's Prospect Park
. The city dairy provided a safe, affordable source of nutrition for children in 19th-century New York, and was an important bulwark against one of the city's most insidious killers: swill milk. The dairy and its cows have disappeared, but the story of the swill milk scandals
lives on. [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes
on Sep 15, 2010 -
Signs that point to both a tenuously emerging future, as well as the dusty fingerprints of the neglected past. Brooklyn Signs.
posted by netbros
on Aug 30, 2008 -
Bizarre child support battle in Brooklyn
A Brooklyn, New York man who stopped paying storage fees for his frozen sperm after divorcing his wife has filed suit against the sperm bank, his ex, and a notary public after learning she picked up the payments and used the sperm to get pregnant. Deon Francois, who now must pay child support, says he didn't want a child and never gave consent for the use of his sperm.
posted by halekon
on Jul 27, 2005 -
Brooklyn Tenant Is Charged With Murdering City Marshal
"As the marshal, Erskine G. Bryce, lay injured and disoriented, the police said, Ms. Jones bounded down the steps, beat him with an aluminum rod and stripped him of his .380-caliber pistol. The attack ended, the police said, only after she splashed him with a flammable liquid, took out a cigarette lighter and set him afire." (Free NY Times registration required)
posted by dayvin
on Aug 23, 2001 -
If anyone is (or will be) in New York and have nothing else planned for this evening, may I suggest a trip to the Brooklyn Museum of Art
. BMA is free on every first saturday of the month
(from 5 PM - 11 PM). Today's theme for the evening entertainment revolves around their special exhibition, Hip-Hop Nation: Roots, Rhymes and Rage
. There will be an outdoor dance party (at the BMA parking lot) starting at 9 PM featuring samples from 20 years of Hip-Hop music. You can also walk through their current exhibitions
, of which the Robots and Space Toys
posted by tamim
on Oct 7, 2000 -