Revelers will once again gather in Williamsburg this week for a festival full of food, dancing, and live music. The Our Lady of Mount Carmel and San Paolino di Nola Feast is based on a tradition that got its start in Italy over 1,000 years ago, with its centerpiece a four-ton 72-foot tower. As part of the neighborhood’s nearly two-week feast, the tall, ornately decorated structure, known as the “Giglio,” is carried through the streets by over 100 men. The Giglio Feast–which officially returns Wednesday after last year’s event was canceled–has been held in Williamsburg every July since 1903, nearly two decades before the better-known Feast of San Gennaro was celebrated in Manhattan’s Little Italy. Ahead, learn about the roots of the unique festival, how it’s evolved over the last 118 years, and what to expect this year.
New York City gained its first landmark related to Chinese American history and culture on Tuesday. The Landmarks Preservation Commission voted to designate the Kimlau War Memorial, a tribute to Chinese American veterans located in Chinatown. Designed by architect Poy Gum Lee, the memorial honors Americans of Chinese descent who died during World War II and has served as a gathering place for veterans.
The New York City flag, photo via Wikimedia Commons
The United States celebrates Flag Day as a way to remember the adoption of the country’s first official flag on June 14, 1777. Later in 1916, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation that established June 14 as Flag Day. While all of us honor the American flag today, each borough in New York City has its own flag that can be celebrated. The city of New York also has its own flag, which features the colors of blue, white, and orange and has the city’s seal on the front. The colors are derived from the flag of the Dutch Republic as used in New Amsterdam in 1625.
All listing photos courtesy of Ryan Lahiff/Rise Media
The Park Slope mansion owned by the Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture for the last 75 years has hit the market for $30 million. If sold for the asking price, the property would set a record for the most expensive home sale in the borough. Located at 53 Prospect Park West, the grand four-story building boasts 5,724 square feet of interior space and a landscaped outdoor space nearly double that size, which the listing describes as the “largest private garden in Brooklyn.”
138 years ago today, throngs of New Yorkers came to the Manhattan and Brooklyn waterfronts to celebrate the opening of what was then known as the New York and Brooklyn Bridge. It was reported that 1,800 vehicles and 150,300 people total crossed what was then the only land passage between Brooklyn and Manhattan. The bridge–later dubbed the Brooklyn Bridge, a name that stuck–went on to become one of the most iconic landmarks in New York. There’s been plenty of history, and secrets, along the way. Lesser-known facts about the bridge include everything from hidden wine cellars to a parade of 21 elephants crossing in 1884. To celebrate the anniversary of the Brooklyn Bridge, 6sqft rounded up its top 10 most intriguing secrets.
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. (1915). Seamen’s Church Institute of New York, 25 South Street
The campaign to landmark and restore the Titanic Memorial Lighthouse, a monument in New York City built in 1913 to honor those who died aboard the Titanic, continues. Designed by Warren and Wetmore, the architecture firm behind Grand Central Terminal, the 60-foot-tall lighthouse originally sat atop the roof of the Seamen’s Church Institute and featured a working time ball that dropped down the pole each day, along with a green light. Preservationists are now raising funds that would help restore the lighthouse, currently located at the entrance to the South Street Seaport, to its original condition.
While visiting the major, most popular attractions of New York City can be fun, it can also be stressful, overwhelming and full of selfie-taking tourists. However, the great thing about the Big Apple is that plenty of other attractions exist that are far less known or even hidden in plain sight. To go beyond the tourist-filled sites and tour the city like you’re seeing it for the very first time, check out 6sqft’s list ahead of the 20 best underground, secret spots in New York City.
Photo via banjo d’s Flickr
In a city full of symbolism, from bright yellow taxis to black-and-white cookies, New Yorkers also find comfort and nostalgia in a certain cardboard coffee cup. Known as the Anthora, the blue-and-white drinking vessel first became an icon of New York City in 1963 when Leslie Buck, a Czech-American immigrant, designed the first-ever to-go coffee cup to appeal to Greek-owned coffee shops and diners. With its customer-friendly “We Are Happy to Serve You” inscription and Greek-style letters, the Anthora has now become an important part of the city’s identity.
1912 World Series at the Polo Grounds. Image via Wikimedia Commons
Baseball may be a long-standing tradition in New York City, but not so very long ago that seemingly innocent pastime was illegal on Sundays. As one of the infamous “blue laws” on the state books–that other beloved NYC pastime, shopping, was illegal as well–the ban was part of a sweeping statute from colonial times called the Statute for Suppressing Immorality. Enacted in 1778, it was the first state “Sabbath law.” Section 2145 of the revised New York State Penal code of 1787 outlawed all public sports on Sunday–so as not to “interrupt the repose of the Sabbath”–and wasn’t repealed until 1919.
“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 National Archives, via Wikimedia Commons
Around 4:30 p.m. 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.