All posts by Lucie Levine

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Features, History

10 sites in New York City connected to the Titanic

By Lucie Levine, Mon, April 15, 2019

The Titanic’s lifeboats at the White Star Lines Pier 54 in NYC after sinking, via Wiki Commons

When you hear “Titanic” you may think of icebergs, tragedy, Jack, Rose, and a two-hour fight between life and death in the North Atlantic some 375 miles off the coast of Newfoundland. You may not necessarily think of New York City. But the ship, which left Southampton, England on April 10, 1912, was bound for New York and due at Pier 59 on April 17th. After sinking during the early hours of April 15th, the Titanic would never dock in New York, but survivors of the tragedy sailed into the city aboard the Carpathia on April 20th and disembarked at Pier 54. Ultimately, New York’s connection to that fateful voyage goes well beyond its waterfront. In fact, you’ll find sites associated with the Titanic and its passengers throughout the city.

10 NYC sites associated with the Titanic

Events, Greenwich Village

Via Flickr cc

The Greenwich Village Historic District was officially landmarked in April 1969. To celebrate the district’s 50th anniversary, Village Preservation will host a Village Open House Weekend on April 13th and 14th. Throughout the weekend, more than 70 local businesses, houses of worship, theaters, educational institutions, bars, restaurants, and neighborhood landmarks will open their doors, offering walking tours, events, and promotions.

All the details

Events, Museums

A giant NYC scavenger hunt is happening next month

By Lucie Levine, Thu, April 4, 2019

via MCNY

On Saturday, May 4th, the Museum of the City of New York will host “Keys to the City: The Ultimate New York City Scavenger Hunt.” Teams of at least three, and up to 10, will have four hours to decipher 50 clues, and visit sites in the Financial District, the Lower East Side, DUMBO and Brooklyn Heights. The journey will conclude at MCNY with drinks and a prize ceremony. Winners will snag a private gallery tour of the museum, and family memberships to MCNY.

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Featured Story

Features, Harlem, History

Shepard Hall at the City College of New York via Wikimedia

Now that “Operation Varsity Blues” has shown afresh the ways in which the nation’s elite can buy admission into prestigious universities, it may be instructive to consider the history City College, the flagship of the CUNY system, and the first free institution of higher education in the nation. Founded as The Free Academy of the City of New York in 1847, City College has long nurtured brilliant students from all walks of life as the “The Harvard of the Proletariat,” and served as an engine of upward mobility for New Yorkers and other strivers from around the world. As the home of the first student government in the nation, the first student-led strike, and the first degree-granting evening program, City boasts a legacy of equity and equality that reflects the best ideals of the city it serves.

Get the full history

Featured Story

Features, Greenwich Village, History

“Mourners from the Ladies Waist and Dressmakers Union Local 25 and the United Hebrew Trades of New York march in the streets after the Triangle fire” 1911. Reproduction. The Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library, via the Luce Center at the New York Historical Society

Around 4:30pm on March 25, 1911, a fire broke out on the eighth floor of the Asch Building at Washington Place and Greene Streets, just as the young employees of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, who occupied the building’s top three floors, were preparing to leave for the day. The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire killed 146 people, nearly all of them Jewish and Italian immigrant women and girls who toiled in the city’s garment industry. Triangle stood out as the deadliest workplace tragedy in New York City before 9/11. It served as a bellwether in the American labor movement, galvanizing Americans in all walks of life to join the fight for industrial reform. It also highlighted the extraordinary grit and bravery of the women workers and reformers – members of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union, and the Women’s Trade Union League – who fought and died for fairer and safer working conditions in New York and around the country.

Find out the whole history

Flushing, History

1964 US Olympic Trials at Kissena Velodrome. From page 47 of “30 years of progress, 1934-1964 : Department of Parks : 300th anniversary of the City of New York : New York World’s Fair.” (1964). Via Internet Archive Book Images on Flickr

From the late 1890s through the 1920s, tens of thousands of New Yorkers turned out to witness the high drama of competitive bicycle speed racing. In New York, there were Velodromes (cycling tracks) at Coney Island, in the Bronx, and even at the original Madison Square Garden, where grueling six-day races called “Madisons” pushed riders to their limits. The sport fell prey to the Depression, and today there are just 26 Velodromes in the United States, including one in New York City, the Kissena Velodrome in Flushing’s Kissena Park, known to Velodrome enthusiasts as “the Track of Dreams.”

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Featured Story

Features, History

Walt Whitman (1881) courtesy of Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution

In his famous 1856 Poem, “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry,” Walt Whitman writes to future New Yorkers, “I am with you, you men and women of a generation, or ever so many generations hence, just as you feel when you look on the river and the sky, so I felt,…I too lived, Brooklyn of ample hills was mine, I too walk’d the streets of Manhattan Island.” Whitman, who so deeply captured the experience of living in this city, left his mark not only on Brooklyn and Manhattan, but also on the world as the father of free verse poetry, and one of America’s greatest artists. Since this year marks Whitman’s 200th birthday, we’re joining the ongoing celebration of his life and work by returning to the streets he walked, following in his footstep to 10 sites across New York associated with the poet.

Walk With Whitman

Coney Island, History

“Elephant Bazar Coney Island,” NYPL Wallach Division Picture Collection via NYPL Digital Collections

When Coney Island burst on the scene in the 1880s as “the People’s Playground,” becoming the last word in bawdy beachfront pleasure, every attraction was larger than life. But no attraction was as large as the “Elephantine Colossus,” a 12-story, 31-room, elephant-shaped hotel, stationed at Surf Avenue and West 12th Street. The elephant was a tin-clad wooden structure rising 150 feet high, and it was unlike any other elephant in the world: The animal’s forelegs featured a tobacco shop, its left lung was home to a museum, and visitors to the “cheek room” could look out of the elephant eyes to the ocean beyond.

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Featured Story

Art, Features, History, Museums

“Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, half-length portrait, standing with statue of soldiers,” 1920, via, The Library of Congress

When the first Armory Show came to New York City in 1913, it marked the dawn of Modernism in America, displaying work by Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cezanne, Picasso, Matisse, and Duchamp for the very first time. Not only did female art patrons provide 80 percent of the funding for the show, but since that time, women have continued to be the central champions of American modern and contemporary art. It was Abby Aldrich Rockefeller who founded MoMA; Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney the Whitney; Hilla von Rebay the Guggenheim; Aileen Osborn Webb the Museum of Art and Design; and Marcia Tucker the New Museum. Read on to meet the modern women who founded virtually all of New York City’s most prestigious modern and contemporary art museums.

More Modern Women

Bronx, Events, History

Via Doc Searls on Flickr

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, a watershed in the struggle for LGBT rights. In honor of the anniversary, Woodlawn Cemetery and the LGBT Historic Sites Project will offer a two-hour trolley tour taking visitors to the final resting places of some of Woodlawn’s most illustrious LGBT “permanent residents.”

Get tickets here

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