Feltman’s via Boston Public Library
It’s not often that you’ll go to a New York restaurant and find “hot dog” on the menu. The meaty delight is typically reserved for baseball games (in the foot-long variety) and summertime jaunts on the boardwalk. And of course, when we say boardwalk in NYC, we’re talking about Coney Island, widely believed to be the birthplace of the modern American frankfurter.
The name Nathan’s has become synonymous with Coney Island, whether it be for the annual hot dog-eating contest or the childhood nostalgia of the boardwalk. It’s also become arguably the biggest name in the hot dog world in general. But, believe it or not, Nathan’s was not the first place to serve up franks in the seaside neighborhood. That distinction goes to Feltman’s, which was begun in 1867 as a pushcart by German immigrant Charles Feltman, considered the inventor of the hot dog on a bun.
Find out how the Coney Island hot dog got its start
Photo by Nicole Mondrus for 6sqft
While hotels and parks around the city are getting ready for the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Show, the New York Public Library is going the historical route with their celebrations–by putting a rare copy of the Declaration of Independence on display. This copy, written in Thomas Jefferson’s handwriting, will be available to view for a limited time next Monday and Tuesday at their iconic Bryant Park location.
Find out when you can take a look…
The restored Belvedere at night, courtesy of the Central Park Conservancy
As 6sqft reported, Central Park’s Belvedere Castle is open to the public today after a comprehensive $12 million restoration effort. In addition to a restored facade, new clear-pane-glass windows, new mechanical and utility systems and a the re-creation of the wooden tower that was part of Olmsted and Vaux’s original design, the Central Park Conservancy has introduced nighttime lighting. As night falls, the Belvedere will be illuminated and visible from various locations in the park–most strikingly from across Turtle Pond.
Tips for visiting, this way
Via NPCA on Flickr
Millions will converge in New York City this weekend to celebrate events which took place in and outside of a Greenwich Village bar 50 years ago. The Stonewall Riots will not only be memorialized here in New York City, but those events have come to take on international significance. There are celebrations and marches in countries across the globe, with the name ‘Stonewall’ also used by countless organizations and entities around the world to signify the quest for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) equality.
But 50 years ago those three nights of protests were barely noticed beyond the boundaries of the local neighborhood and a small but energized group of activists and rabble-rousers. They garnered little media attention, and most of the attention received was pretty negative – including from the gay community. So how did the events at the Stonewall 50 years ago go from an obscure set of disturbances at the tail end of the decade marked by strife and disorder, to an internationally-recognized symbol of a civil rights movement? Ahead, learn about Stonewall’s long road to becoming a civil rights landmark.
“Banana Docks, New York” c. 1906. Via The Library of Congress
If you’ve ever grabbed a bushel of bananas at your corner bodega, then you’ve nabbed a few of the 20 million bananas distributed around NYC every week. Today, our bananas dock at small piers in Red Hook, or, more often, make the journey by truck from Delaware. But, from the late 19th century until well into the 20th, New York was a major banana port, and banana boats hauled their cargo to the city’s bustling Banana Docks on the piers at Old Slip.
Surveying that cargo in August 1897, The New York Times wrote that the banana trade thrived in New York year-round, but the bulk of bananas hit the five boroughs between March and September. “They are brought to New York in steamers, carrying from 15,000 to 20,000 bunches…There is quite a fleet of small steamers engaged almost exclusively in the banana trade, and during the busy season many more steamers of greater size are employed.”
Peel away at this story!
The restored Belvedere, courtesy of the Central Park Conservancy
After a 15-month, $12 million restoration and repair project, the Belvedere will reopen to the public on Friday, June 28th. In anticipation, the Central Park Conservancy today opened the historic structure to press, revealing its restored facade, expansive views through new clear-pane-glass windows, new mechanical and utility systems, and a recreation of a wooden tower that was part of Olmsted and Vaux’s original plan 150 years ago. Though many New Yorkers refer to the site as Belvedere Castle, “Belvedere” actually means “beautiful view” in Italian and refers to the vistas from the second-highest point in Central Park. Belvedere receives approximately one million visitors each year, and starting this month, they will also be able to see the Castle illuminated at night, as the landmark will be lit for the first time ever.
See more right here
Top, left to right: GAA Firehouse, James Baldwin Residence, LGBT Community Center; Bottom, left to right: Audre Lorde Residence, Women’s Liberation Center, Caffe Cino; Photos courtesy of NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project
Six sites significant to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community of New York City officially became city landmarks on Tuesday. The city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission voted to designate the Gay Activists Alliance Firehouse, the Women’s Liberation Center, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center, Caffe Cino, James Baldwin’s Upper West Side home, and the Staten Island home of Audre Lorde. The designations coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, as well as the city’s first time hosting WorldPride.
Find out more
Their neighbor to the west Greenwich Village may be more well known as a nexus for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender history, but the East Village and Noho are chock full of LGBT culture as well, from the site of one the very first LGBT demonstrations to the homes of some of the greatest openly-LGBT artists and writers of the 20th century to the birthplace of New York’s largest drag festival. Ahead, we round up 23 examples, from Walt Whitman’s favorite watering hole to Allen Ginsberg’s many local residences to Keith Haring’s studio.
Learn the history of all the spots
Dorrance Brooks Square Historic District, St. Marks United Methodist Church. Image courtesy of NY State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Friday that the New York State Board for Historic Preservation has recommended adding 18 properties, resources, and districts to the State and National Registers of Historic Places. The new nominations include the Upper West Side home of author and civil rights activist James Baldwin, the Dorrance Brooks Square Historic District and the former 32nd Precinct Station House complex in Harlem, and the Fourth Avenue Methodist Episcopal Church in Sunset Park, Brooklyn in addition to 14 other nominated places throughout the state.
Find out how New York continues to recognize varied historic places
“Harlem Street Scene Showing Local Businesses,” 1939, Photographer: Sid Grossman, Street Scenes Collection, Photographs and Prints Division, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture courtesy of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
“A Ballad for Harlem,” the new exhibit now on view at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, explores the history of the neighborhood and celebrates Black placemaking in 20th and 21st century America. The exhibit uses photographs, manuscripts, objects, art and sculpture from the Schomburg’s collection to revisit “Harlem’s places, people, and moments—both known and underrepresented—that capture the realities of community and hardship experienced by Black Americans.” Ahead, hear from curator Novella Ford to learn more about the show.