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10 things you might not know about the Statue of Liberty

By Lucie Levine, Today, August 19, 2019

statue of liberty, statue of liberty museum, nyc museum

Photo © James and Karla Murray for 6sqft

The debate around American immigration policy has become so contentious and dispiriting that the acting director of US Citizenship and Immigration Services has actually suggested amending “The New Colossus,” Emma Lazarus’ immortal words of welcome inscribed on the base of the Statue of Liberty. But at the same time, writer Joan Marans Dim and artist Antonio Masi have brought out “Lady Liberty: An Illustrated History of America’s Most Storied Woman.”

After getting a sneak peek of the new book, it seemed timely to take a deep dive into the history of the Statue of Liberty, which represents not only our city but one of the most vital and necessary of all American values. Ahead, discover 10 things you might not know about the Statue of Liberty, from its beginnings on “Love Island” to early suffragette protests to its sister in Paris.

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Image via Google Maps

Update 8/19/19: The owner of 227 Duffield Street told Gothamist on Friday that he will build an African American museum in the basement of the property which has ties to the abolitionist movement. Samiel Hanasab, who applied for a demolition permit earlier this summer, told the website: “I have a high respect for African Americans. This project will be in the basement.” The developer did not provide any additional details for the museum.

Despite a series of last-minute preservation attempts after demolition plans for 227 Duffield Street were filed with the city’s Department of Buildings in June, the 19th-century Downtown Brooklyn house with abolitionist ties remains endangered. Gothamist reported that the owner, Samiel Hansab, has filed an application with the Department of Buildings to erect a 13-story mixed-use building in its place. The application is still under review and no permits have been issued, but as Gothamist noted, the best chance of saving the building would be an intervention by the Landmarks Preservation Commission.

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When Sheldon “Shelly” Fireman opened Redeye Grill across from Carnegie Hall 25 years ago, the term “restauranteur” didn’t exist. But by that point, he’d already gained local celebrity status for Greenwich Village’s all-night Hip Bagel and had the foresight to open Cafe Fiorello near recently completed Lincoln Center. Today, Shelly is the CEO of Fireman Hospitality Group, which operates six restaurants in NYC as well as two on the Potomac River in Maryland. And though he can most definitely be called a restauranteur now, Shelly stands out amongst the myriad food influencers in the city. Though his establishments exude an old-school New York charm and certain nostalgia, he has found the formula to withstand the test of time.

After a 2018 kitchen fire, the iconic Redeye Grill reopened in July. We recently sat down to lunch with Shelly to hear more about his story and take a tour of this classic Midtown restaurant.

Have a look around and meet Shelly

40 tenth avenue, studio gang, jeanne gang

Photo © Timothy Schenck

The Meatpacking District gained a new architectural landmark this week. Construction of Studio Gang’s 40 Tenth Avenue is officially complete, making it Jeanne Gang and her firm’s first New York City building. Nicknamed the Solar Carve Tower because the way its facade seems to have been “sculpted by the angles of the sun,” the 10-story, High Line-facing office tower is designed to allow for lots of sunlight without casting shadows on the neighboring green space.

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Rendering of Teresita Fernández’s Paradise Parados courtesy of Brooklyn Academy of Music

BAM will soon be adding a series of site-specific public artworks to its Fort Greene campus. Brooklyn-based artists Teresita Fernández and Hank Willis Thomas have been commissioned to create new works for BAM, and Leo Villareal—whose LED light installation “Stars” can already be seen illuminating the arched façade windows of BAM’s Peter Jay Sharp Building—will create two new works. One additional artist will be commissioned in the near future.

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Photo by Scott Beale

Summer in the city can be a slog, but neighborhoods like Williamsburg turn the dog days into a wealth of seasonal perfection with peerless places, rare and unique tastes, and unbeatable views around every corner. From pools and parks and ice cream parlors for family fun to chic rooftop boîtes overlooking the Manhattan skyline, Brooklyn’s trendiest neighborhood offers endless urban opportunities to beat the heat. Below are just a few ways to keep cool and carry on.

The Williamsburg summer survival guide

Kosciuszco Bridge, Artificial Reef

Images via Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Flickr

Pieces from the old Kosciuszko Bridge are now underwater off the coast of Fire Island, as part of New York State’s ongoing artificial reef expansion efforts. Governor Cuomo launched the second year of the largest artificial reef expansion in state history this past weekend. Recycled materials from the Staten Island Expressway, the Kew Gardens, and Kosciuszko bridges, as well as retired U.S. Army Corps of Engineers steel vessels, were cast into the water at Fire Island Reef, where they will create new marine habitats and boost Long Island’s fishing and diving industries.

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Maker Park, THE TANKS at Bushwick Inlet Park, Bayside Oil Depot, Williamsburg waterfront, fuel tanks, Karen Zabarsky, Stacey Anderson

Photo by James and Karla Murray exclusively for 6sqft

Ten decommissioned tanks located along the Williamsburg waterfront will get demolished by the city this week, quashing plans from organizers to transform the silos into public space. Over the last four years, a team of designers and park advocates, led by Karen Zabarsky and Stacey Anderson, has pushed for adaptive reuse of the vacant 50-foot tanks into possible performance space, greenhouses, and art galleries. But without enough support from public officials, the team’s project, The Tanks at Bushwick Inlet Park, now comes to an end as the city begins razing the oil tanks.

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east river, bronx, floating pool

Photo by Danny Avila for NYC Parks

Although it’s technically safe, you may not want to swim in the East River. Swimming on the East River, however, is an entirely different story. The Floating Pool Lady is not just a pool. It’s a floating pool located in a retrofitted barge that’s currently docked in Barretto Point Park in the Hunts Point neighborhood of the Bronx. Best of all, it’s the only floating pool in the country.

Jump in

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Photo via Flickr cc 

What do Woody Guthrie, Isaac Bashevis Singer, and Frank Schubert (the nation’s last civilian lighthouse keeper) have in common? They all lived in Sea Gate, a private community at the westernmost tip of Coney Island. Sea Gate began as a 19th-century playground for the rich, turned into a hotbed of Yiddish literature and Socialist labor activism in the 1930s, and sported at least one commune in the early ‘70s. Today, Sea Gate is home to about 8,000 residents who enjoy private beaches and expansive views of the Verrazano Bridge.

If you want to “get in the Gate,” as the locals say, but aren’t ready to relocate west of the Wonder Wheel, you can snag a summer membership at the Sea Gate Beach Club, where even non-residents can while away the hours under a cabana. Or, you can read on for the history of a Coney Island beach town you’ve probably never been to.

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