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It's Been A Long, Long Time.

Are you trying to write a period-correct Captain America story or just have questions about NYC in the 1930s-40s in general? The tumblr Steve Rogers Is Historically Accurate is here to help.
posted by The Whelk on Aug 6, 2014 - 18 comments

A Photographic Look at the Birth of Gay Pride

A Photographic Look at the Birth of Gay Pride
posted by scody on Jun 26, 2014 - 9 comments

American Museum of Natural Unlocks 1000's Of Old Photos

The American Museum of Natural History will unlock thousands of old photos from their vault, they announced this week. The new online image database (officially launching on Monday the 28th) will take you behind the curtain, delivering images that span the 145-year history of the Museum. The collection features over 7,000 images—many never before seen by the public—and includes photos, rare book illustrations, drawings, notes, letters, art, and Museum memorabilia. They say "it’s like stepping into a time machine and seeing a long ago NYC or just catching glimpses of ghosts from a forgotten world now seen only by researchers and Museum staff." Previously. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Apr 24, 2014 - 6 comments

The Broadway community has always been at the forefront of this issue

If you go to see a Broadway or off-Broadway show this June, the masthead of your Playbill will look a little different; for the first time in its 130 year history, the program, along with their digital properties and social media sites will turn rainbow during the last week of June to commemorate Pride weeks in New York City, San Francisco, Chicago, and other major cities around the world.
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Apr 19, 2014 - 4 comments

The NYPL's Open Maps Project adds 20,000 High Res Maps

The New York Public Library has released more than 20,000 high resolution cartographic works (maps!) for free, to view and download. "We believe these maps have no known US copyright restrictions." All can be viewed through the New York Public Library’s Digital Collections page and downloaded through their Map Warper. (Via) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 31, 2014 - 11 comments

The Brie People

It's 1976 and CBS reports on NYC's hot new pickup spot: the department store Bloomingdale's
posted by The Whelk on Feb 27, 2014 - 29 comments

Below West 38th Street

The lost cow tunnels of New York: truth or fiction?
posted by MartinWisse on Feb 25, 2014 - 26 comments

Grand by Design

Grand by Design is a Centennial Celebration of Grand Central Terminal. It's a looong page with a lot of nice images and facts from the history of the Grand Central Depot/ Station/ Terminal. (Previously)
posted by filthy light thief on Feb 17, 2014 - 6 comments

it's right under Trader Joes

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 - 28 comments

American Cities: Before and After

Smithsonian Magazine's interactive map series on American cities. [more inside]
posted by MoonOrb on Jan 31, 2014 - 4 comments

"The neighborhood has all gone t' hell"

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 - 51 comments

The New York Filming Locations of The Godfather, Then and Now

Because the film is a period piece, The Godfather actually presents a fascinating record of what 1940s-era New York City locations still existed in the early-1970s. Sadly, many of them are now gone. What still remains? Let’s take a closer look.
posted by timshel on Jan 27, 2014 - 27 comments

A Sonic Time Machine

The Roaring Twenties: An Interactive Exploration of the Historical Soundscape of New York City (sound autoplays). via i09, which says The map uses a combination of noise complaints and old reel footage to plot everything from what must have been an exceptionally noisy subway turnstile (complete with notes from the police report) all the way to a carnival barkers in Coney Island, and is a great way to listen in on the everyday life of a New York City gone-by.
posted by davidjmcgee on Dec 9, 2013 - 3 comments

The Thrill Of Being Airborne

A 1955 TWA promotional movie about vacationing in the glittering metropolios - SKYLINE NEW YORK!
posted by The Whelk on Nov 22, 2013 - 26 comments

They say they thought there were fewer homeless people than before.

If you declare, in a famous poem affixed to the Statue of Liberty, in New York Harbor, “Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me,” you might consider that a certain commitment has been made. (SLNYer)
posted by Rustic Etruscan on Oct 22, 2013 - 31 comments

Sex on a moving subway train

Kenneth Leedom and Peter Cott have been together for 58 years. In a NYTimes article, they discuss their lives, from encounters with other men during World War II, gay bath houses in the 1970s, the AIDS epidemic, and their 2011 wedding, at the ages of 86 and 87.
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Sep 8, 2013 - 17 comments

New York Before and After a Century or So

NYC Grid is hosting a neat photo-series which lets you slide back and forth between images of New York today and a similar shot from the early 20th century. [via]
posted by quin on Aug 19, 2013 - 10 comments

New Yawk, New Yawk

The New York City Municipal Archives Online Gallery offers over 870,000 historical images related to the 'city that never sleeps,' including maps as well as video and audio recordings. A selection of 53 images from the collection can be seen at In Focus. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jun 18, 2013 - 10 comments

Color Footage Of NYC In 1939

An amateur film shot in 1939 by French tourist Jean Vivier documents a trip to New York City, in color.
posted by The Whelk on May 31, 2013 - 44 comments

Like everything else, cocktail menus have grown decadent...

Make way for the $21 Long Island Ice Tea: The trshy summer cocktail goes upscale (The Awl)
posted by The Whelk on May 24, 2013 - 101 comments

NYC Past

NYC Past Large-format historical photos of New York City.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken on Mar 5, 2013 - 13 comments

"Mr. Koch is survived by New York itself."

"He was fiercely proud of his Jewish faith. He fiercely defended the City of New York, and he fiercely loved its people. Above all, he loved his country, the United States of America, in whose armed forces he served in World War II." - a self-written epitaph by the former 105th Mayor of New York City: Edward Irving Koch.
"Hizzoner" passed away on Friday morning at the age of 88, and the New York Times City Room blog spent the day collecting and posting stories about him. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Feb 1, 2013 - 53 comments

BRIGHT YOUNG THINGS

Spend an hour tooling around 1920s-Era NYC via the magic of video
posted by The Whelk on Nov 10, 2012 - 11 comments

Ephemeral New York

Ephemeral New York 'chronicles an ever-changing, constantly reinvented city through photos, newspaper archives, and other scraps and artifacts that have been edged into New York’s collective remainder bin.' [more inside]
posted by zarq on Oct 11, 2012 - 5 comments

TWO LIVING WHALES TWO LIVING WHALES

Did P.T. Barnum keep live whales in his museum on Broadway? When were penguins stolen from the Coney Island Aquarium? How much horse manure was deposited on the streets of New York City before the automobile, and what happened to it? Answers to these question and more at the New York Historical Society Library's short video series When did the Statue of Liberty Turn Green? [more inside]
posted by jessamyn on May 5, 2012 - 13 comments

Photographic history

NYC's Department of Records has officially announced the debut of its photo database, releasing 870,000 photos of the city and its operations to the public. Here are some of the best ones. Here is the link to the gallery itself (though good luck getting in right now). [more inside]
posted by Phire on Apr 25, 2012 - 29 comments

An Absence Present

The Titanic Guide to New York City. An exploration of traces of the disaster, revealing history still written on the landscape.
posted by Miko on Apr 9, 2012 - 23 comments

These people in the midwest, they wouldn't know a bagel from a donut. They only saw a bagel if one fell off a truck. Four professors were dissecting it before they found out what it's all about.

Hiya Freddie baby, give me a dozen...my life's blood, without bagels what is a day? Yah make it a dozen assorted. Dat's it, give me the garlic, the sesame, the onion, give me them all baby, that's it! They're still handmade eh? Hot Bagels! Wait a second let me PAY yah! Here you are, kid. Thank you. Have a good day.
posted by timshel on Feb 9, 2012 - 71 comments

Hetty Green

Best known for the (exaggerated) tales of her miserliness, Hetty Green was arguably the greatest female investor in history. During the 1907 Bankers' Panic, her loan of $1.1 million helped keep New York City solvent. Her estate - greater than that of J.P. Morgan's - was valued at more than $2 billion in today's money. [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Feb 5, 2012 - 18 comments

And so it moves from the memories of yesterday into the promise of tomorrow...

New York - The Wonder City - 1938 (SLOldTimeyYT)
posted by davidjmcgee on Dec 28, 2011 - 6 comments

The (First) Crime of the Century

June 25th 1906, was the opening night of the musical revue Mamzelle Champagne on the roof of Madison Square Garden. In attendance were Stanford White, renowned architect (Washington Square Arch, Judson Memorial Church, Madison Square Garden itself), and Harry Kendall Thaw, eccentric coal and railroad scion. During the performance of the song I Could Love a Million Girls, Thaw "left his seat near the stage, passed between a number of tables, and, in full view of the players and of scores of persons, shot White through the head." (pdf) Standing over White’s body, Thaw said “You’ll never go out with that woman again.” [more inside]
posted by davidjmcgee on Dec 22, 2011 - 14 comments

Astor Place. Two blocks. Lots of history.

In 1783, John Jacob Astor set out for the United States with $25 and five flutes. Upon his death in 1848, he was the wealthiest person in the US, having amassed a fortune of at least $20,000,000, making him the third wealthiest person in American history (measuring wealth as a fraction of GDP). [more inside]
posted by davidjmcgee on Dec 20, 2011 - 27 comments

The Rebuilding

The Memorial. "People talk a lot about the "healing process." Well, this is New York. In the aftermath of a tragedy of monumental proportions, the healing process has been noisy and rude, with elbows out, redolent of greed, power, and the darker forces that drive human existence. And most of the shouting has been about how to make a fitting monument to what happened here. But in a hundred years, all the shouting and all the politics will be forgotten. What will be remembered is what is built here, now, on these sixteen acres." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Aug 19, 2011 - 37 comments

Murray Hall of Tammany

A fixture in NYC's Tammany Hall for 25 years, Murray Hall kept a secret. Murray Hall was buried in women's clothes (PDF), and the masquerade he carried out led to a proposed rule that politicians wear whiskers so that women (who did not yet have the right to vote) could not surreptitiously cast a ballot.
posted by mudpuppie on Jul 25, 2011 - 21 comments

The Welikia Project

The Welikia Project goes beyond Mannahatta to encompass the entire city, discover its original ecology and compare it what we have today.
posted by Trurl on Jun 22, 2011 - 6 comments

The Empire of the Nickel

"For five cents Coney Island will feed you, frighten you, cool you, toast you, flatter you, or destroy your inhibitions. And in this nickel empire boy meets girl." [more inside]
posted by zarq on May 30, 2011 - 15 comments

Video Is TIme Travel

A German tourist films a trip to New York City in 1983 and 86: Times Square, The Subway
posted by The Whelk on Apr 29, 2011 - 53 comments

Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine and Fred MacMurray Not Included

For their 43rd anniversary issue, New York Magazine chose "to explore, across time, one of the things that has most defined New York life for centuries and has become a unit of measurement for our successes and failures: The Apartment: A History of Vertical Living" / Sardine Life: What a century and a half of piled-up housing reveals about us. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 17, 2011 - 33 comments

We used to get 김치 on the corner....

In the 1960's, 70's and 80's, urban decay and high crime rates caused retail chain supermarkets to flee New York City. (google books link) Korean immigrants filled the gap with corner grocery stores. For nearly two decades they were ubiquitous -- symbols of the group's ongoing quest to achieve the American Dream. But 30 years later, Where Did The Korean Greengrocers Go? [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jan 18, 2011 - 19 comments

Historic New York Photo Collection

"The Museum of the City of New York is pleased to announce the soft launch of its online collections portal [where you can] view more than 50,000 newly digitized photographs by Berenice Abbott, Samuel H. Gottscho, Jacob A. Riis, the Byron Company, the Wurts Brothers, and many others."
posted by peacay on Jan 3, 2011 - 5 comments

Into the Tunnels

The wilderness below New York City, where mysterious and wonderfully abandoned structures are explored by urban historians and adventurers.
Into the Tunnels with Steve Duncan.
posted by Taft on Jan 2, 2011 - 22 comments

Why don't people have mustaches like that these days?

A great slideshow of the nyc subway system 1910-present. [more inside]
posted by jourman2 on Oct 21, 2010 - 5 comments

(Tommy reference goes here)

11 things you didn't know about pinball. Worth it for the picture on #3 alone.
posted by shakespeherian on Jan 22, 2010 - 83 comments

Great Dad? Or Greatest Dad?

In 1940s New York, Harry Dubin and his teenage son went out every weekend to take color pictures of people doing different jobs in the city. Well, not people...Harry Dubin, switching places with people and pretending to do their jobs. [more inside]
posted by stupidsexyFlanders on Jan 3, 2010 - 34 comments

The Block

History of a New York Block. A nearly complete record of the life cycle of Eldridge St between Stanton/Rivington. Click on the buildings for details. [more inside]
posted by minkll on Nov 15, 2009 - 21 comments

400 Years Ago

Have you ever wondered what New York was like before it was a city? Find out at The Mannahatta Project, by navigating through the map to discover Manhattan Island and its native wildlife in 1609. [more inside]
posted by netbros on Jun 4, 2009 - 16 comments

The Past is Another City

Photos of 1940s New York City.
posted by Miko on May 28, 2009 - 28 comments

PortlandFilter

PDX History is a veritable treasure trove of information about (and pictures and postcards of) the history of Portland (Oregon). Department stores, streetcars, long-dead amusement parks (yes, Jantzen Beach was once much more than a dying mall surrounded by big-box stores) and more. The web design leaves a bit to be desired, but the site is wonderful nonetheless.
posted by dersins on May 15, 2009 - 15 comments

Brooklyn Revealed

Brooklyn Revealed
posted by Miko on Mar 6, 2009 - 21 comments

It's The Ones Who've Cracked That The Light Shines Through

Jeffrey Lewis brings you The Complete History of Punk Rock and Its Development on the Lower East Side (1950-1975) in eight and a half minutes. [more inside]
posted by StopMakingSense on Feb 27, 2008 - 24 comments

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