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December 12th in NYC History - 1st paved street; John Jay, Sinatra, Katzenjammer Kids, Koch, Connelly, & Bike Squad Bdays

Posted: Dec 11, 2012 | 10:40 PM
by Jared Goldstein

1658:  Stone Street becomes the first paved street in Nieuw/New Amsterdam
.  It led from the Heere Graacht, Gentlemen's Canal (where Broad Street is), to Mill Lane.

1920 looking SW towards Broad St.  Somewhere in the middle of this is the Goldman Sachs tower, known as 85 Broad St.


2012  Similar vantage.

Mill Lane was the most important, and shortest street in town, where the mill was.  Bread and beer.  In less than ten years, Mill Lane was where the transfer of Nieuw Amsterdam to British New-York City was agreed upon.

After locals complained about horses kicking up dust and dirt, flat cobblestones from the shore are laid, forming Stone Street.  What a frugal town, and what a group of lushes!  It took nearly 35 years to pave a short street. 

Around three years before paving, in a basement, the first Jews in North America prayed at Asser Levy's, a prominent meat-packer and lawyer.

Stone Street is a charming place I like to take folks on Colonial NYC Tours, Nieuw Amsterdam / New Amsterdam Tours, and Downtown/Financial District tours.

Looking NE 2007.

The middle of Stone Street was overtaken by the Goldman Sachs headquarters development in the early 1980s (or so).  The lobby of the building follows the curve of the 17th Century street.  I suppose that the public is supposed to be able to saunter through, but I doubt that one can actually do that with all the security there.  Real Estate trumps landmarks in Boomberg.

There is a map of the street going through the lobby at the rear of 85 Broad Street, where Stone Street traffic veers away.


1745:  John Jay, the Supreme Court's first Chief Justice, born

He signed the peace treaty with Great Britain in 1784, and he was the Governor of NYS.


1895:  The New York City Police Department establishes the bicycle squad, protecting pedestrians from cyclists
.  There was a cycling craze in NYC then.   

Women could ride bikes, but in their huge dresses and hats.  The
introduction of speed (bikes and convertible cars) led to the sleek look of Coco Channel's flapperiffic clothing design after WW1.

NYC could sure use some more bicycle safety, for bicyclists and pedestrians.  I look 300 degrees crossing NYC streets. 1 degree for each of the serious pedestrian and bike casualties each year.  That's just a coincidence.


1897:  "The Katzenjammer Kids," Rudolph Dirks' pioneering comic strip debuts in the New York Journal.

Word balloons, boxes in a strip, characters, a long running series... innovative. 
It seems that R. Crumb was influenced by the 'Kids.



1915:  Frank Sinatra, singer and actor, born. He died in 1998. 

Sinatra was born in NYC's little brother town, Hoboken.  Let's go on a Hoboken tour.  There is a lot of history (and 24 pizzarias) in one-square-mile.  There's much more to Hoboken than Carlos Bakery from Cake Boss.  It only costs $5 round-trip to visit.


1924:  3-term Mayor Ed Koch born.  How is he doin'?


1938:  Connie Francis, singer and actress, born.


1940:  Dionne Warwick born.


1970:  Happy Birthday Jennifer Connelly.


1989:  The Queen of Mean, rhymes with Rich, Leona Helmsley sentenced for tax evasion.  Apparently taxes aren't only 'for the little people.'  She left her fortune to her dog.

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