Posted: Nov 30, 2012 | 4:48 PM
by Jared Goldstein
Regarding my Santa the NYC Tour:
"Thank you so much for the nice tour." - Tracy from Tampa.
Regarding a private tour to Greenwich Village:
"... Ellen and I very much enjoyed our time with you in NYC. Your knowledge and on the fly tour decisions made it a fun and educational day for us. Your help made my first NYC experience a great one. Hopefully we will see you again on our next visit." - Peter and Ellen from Lake Tahoe.
Posted: Nov 30, 2012 | 3:38 PM
by Jared Goldstein
1835: Author Mark Twain was born Samuel Langhorne Clemens in Florida, Mo. He lived his latter years in NYC. I like to show one of his homes off, as well as his Chemist, on Greenwich Village Tours.
1901: Clyde LeRoy Sukeforth who promoted Jackie Robinson for the Major League born. Sukeforth was a BK Dodgers catcher in 1945 when he brought Robinson to Dodger President Branch Rickey to break the color barrier. Sukeforth
was also team Manager when Robinson joined the team in 1947. On my Brooklyn Heights walking tours, we go to the plaque commemorating where Robinson was signed, integrating him to the all white league.
1924: The Marconi Company wirelessly sends photographs to London in less than 1/2 an hour. What were they?
1930: Four New York area teams are in the National Football League: the Brooklyn Dodgers, the NY Giants, Staten Island, and Newark, New Jersey.
1940: Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz wed. They become a beloved and powerful acting and production team.
When you see a film production around town, you frequently see a door marked "Lucy" and another "Desi."
They did not produce that movie. My bet is that the plot involves male and female leads who interact, deal with plot complications that create tension, and then they resolve them. The doors are code words for male and female lead, not the famous stars' names, so we don't bound up the steps and interrupt them.
1952: New York Giants football's worst defeat: losing to Pittsburgh, 63-7.
1960: U Thant of Burma becomes UN Secretary General, replacing Dag Hammarskjold after Hammarskjold died in a plane crash during a peace-making trip to Zambia. There's a tiny island in the East River, below the UN, named for U Thant. It has a small metal tower and some flags on it to prevent ships from crashing into it. We see it on my Roosevelt Island tours and my New York Harbor tours.
Tiny U Thant island, home to Cormorant sea Birds. Maybe their guano is expanding it.
2009: Serena Williams fined a record $82,500 for her tirade at a U.S. Open line judge.
Happy Birthday to these New Yorkers or folks who impacted NYC: Matthew Broderick, Dick Clark (1929), David Mamet (1947), Shirley Chisholm (1924), Mandy Patinkin (1952), and Ben Stiller (1965).
Posted: Nov 29, 2012 | 12:41 AM
by Jared Goldstein
1825: Opera debuts in America. An Italian troupe performed Rossini's "The Barber of Seville" on Park Row which around there and then was the theater district.
1908: Longtime Harlem Congressman, "Mr. Civil Rights," City Councilman, and Minister of the largest Protestant Church, Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. born. We go by sites of ACP history on Harlem Tours. Imagine leading sit-in strikes twenty years before MLKjr's Civil Rights actions.
1947: The U.N. General Assembly passed a resolution calling for Palestine to be partitioned between Arabs and Jews.
1954: Director and Screenwriter Joel Coen, NYU alum, born.
1969: Yankee pitcher Mariano Rivera born.
1976: Reggie Jackson signs with the Yankees. $3 million over 5 years for a future Hall-of-Famer. Jackson's number will be the fourteenth retired Yankee number.
1990: UN Security Council authorizes force against Iraq if it does not withdraw from Kuwait.
More about today in history
Posted: Nov 27, 2012 | 8:19 PM
by Jared Goldstein
1797: 'Spacious, airy, excellent Hudson river views, an easy escape from the city!' The State prison opens in Greenwich Village, and it is a penal failure. Fed up, the State will replace this leaky gaol with Sing Sing, thirty-five miles north along the Hudson. 'Send them up the river.'
1914: The New York Stock Exchange resumed bond trading after a four month suspension due to the panics associated with the outbreak of WW1. Stocks remained closed to trade for another month.
1922: Captain Cyril Turner of Britain brings Sky-Writing to the USA above Times Square.
He writes "Hello U.S.A." over a gawking lunch crowd.
1925: (MSG 3) The third Madison Square Garden opens at 49th St and 8th Ave after costing $5.5 million and taking less than a year to build. It was the worst or second worst MSG. MSG2 was by Stanford White. MSG 3 will host boxing great Joe Louis, the Rangers, the Knicks, Dog Shows, Circuses, the setting for the Manchurian Candidate, and the last 'Birthday Song' Marilyn Monroe ever sang (to John Kennedy, "Mr. Prez-i-dent" in 1962). Pictures below*.
But on November 28, 1925 over 15,000 watched a bike race.
1951: 1st City-wide Air-Raid Drill. Nuclear terror during Cold War heights. The city goes silent and people hole up in shelters.
1949: Happy Birthday to "Late Show with David Letterman" Bandleader Paul Schaffer.
1957: Tony Perkins stars in the debut of the Broadway play Thomas Wolfe's Look Homeward, Angel, which was written at the Hotel Chelsea. We visit there on Literary New York Tours.
1962: Happy Birthday to the Daily Show's Jon Stewart.
1964: The Shangri-las of Queens go to number 1 with "Leader of the Pack."
1967: Sports impresario dies. Douglas Hertz brought dog racing to the US through Staten Island, owned the football Yankees, managed Heavyweight champions Jack Johnson 1912-1915 and Jersey Joe Walcott in the 1930s.
1974: John Lennon's Last Concert Performance at Madison Square Garden with Elton John. His first in years.
They performed 'Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,' 'I saw Her Standing There,' and 'Whatever Gets You Through the Night.'
The first song was a hit for John and the Beatles and then for Elton John as a cover. The second was a Beatles' "Paul song," and it was John making peace with his friend, rival, and frenemy. The third: It was to settle a bet.
John Lennon experienced self-doubt and watched the pop charts with dread and jealousy. It had been a few years since he had a #1.
In addition, he had spent a few years apart from Yoko, and he was pretty much spinning out of control. Whatever you say about her bad impact on her performing with him and other musicians performing with John, she was his guardrail for sobriety.
Elton John and John Lennon collaborated on Elton's cover of John's 'Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.' Elton returned the favor by singing the high notes on Whatever Gets You Through the Night's chorus.
Lennon worried that this, too, was not going to hit #1. Elton bet him it would hit #1. If the song went to #1, then Lennon would have to perform with Elton. Lennon hadn't performed in years. The song went to #1 and the rest is history.
1987: The tawdry Tawana Brawley hoax and false allegations begin. It is beyond me how Al Sharpton has any legitimacy.
"Thank you for that wholesome rendition!"
JFK, RFK, and MM at the after-party. Jackie Kennedy was home.
Was there an after-after party? She was sewn into that dress with the beads. If this were a code era motion picture we'd hear the dress rip and see the beads bounce up and down and roll on the floor.
More about today in history
Posted: Nov 26, 2012 | 11:03 PM
1646: Brooklyn is born! The Dutch West India Company grants the village of Brooklyn a municipal form of government. It is named for Breuklen, "Broken Land," a Dutch village with similarly hilly terrain.
1746: Robert Livingston "The Chancellor" who helped write the Declaration of Independence was born. Livingston is standing in the middle in front of the desk.
Columbia named one of its first dormitories after him, an early alum from the Kings College days before the Revolution. Here is what Jack Kerouac wrote about living there:
"One great move I made was to switch my dormitory room from Hartley Hall to Livingston Hall where there were no cockroaches and where b'God I had a room all to myself, on the second floor, overlooking the beautiful trees and walkways of the campus and overlooking, to my greatest delight, besides the Van Am Quadrangle, the library itself, the new one, with its stone frieze running around entire with the names engraved in stone forever: "Goethe ... Voltaire ... Shakespeare ... Molière ... Dante." That was more like it. Lighting my fragrant pipe at 8 P.M., I'd open the pages of my homework, turn on station WQXR for the continual classical music, and sit there, in the golden glow of my lamp, in a sweater, sight and say, "Well, now I'm a real collegian at last."You won't find Livingston Hall on a map of Columbia University. Even though he wrote the Declaration of Independence, he did not write a two million dollar check like Ira Wallach did, for whom the dorm was renamed in the 1980s.
Hamilton Hall, Hartley and Livingston to the right. Campus by McKim Mead and White.
1910: New York's Pennsylvania Station opens. Not only is it a McKim Mead & White architectural masterpiece, but it is an engineering marvel, connecting New York City to the mainland under the mighty Hudson River.
53 years later it will be destroyed. 56 years later it will be a combination of ugly office building and the new Madison Square Garden. We'll see some of that in the entry for 1969 Rolling Stones.
More pictures at the bottom.
1924: The first Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, but back then it had a more transparent name: 'the Big Christmas Parade.'
It featured the Central Park Zoo's animals, billed to include "simpering apes, capering clowns, and mastodonic pachyderms who could lift a taxi in their trunks and toss it about in the air." All this to welcome Santa Claus and display their new holiday windows. The parade route went from Harlem to Macy's.
1927: Giants earns the football league title after defeating the Chicago Bears 13-7 at the Polo Grounds.
1942: Rangers trade Bob Pratt to Toronto. The following season Pratt wins the National Hockey League Most Valuable Player Trophy.
1942: Jimi Hendrix of Greenwich Village born. We see his Electric Lady Studios on my tours of wonderful Greenwich Village.
Jimi Hendrix on his 27th Birthday with Keith Richards backstage at the Rolling Stones' first concert at Madison Square Garden.
1947: Joltin' Joe DiMaggio, the New York Yankee's centerfielder, wins the American League Most Valuable Player award, edging out Boston's Ted William by one point. In 1957, Williams will lose by one point to Yankee Mickey Mantle. That Boston NYC baseball rivalry.
1955: The NY Giants football team closes its stay at the Polo Grounds after 31 seasons, tying with the Cleveland Browns at 35.
1969: The Rolling Stones play Madison Square Garden. Janis Joplin, Ike & Tina Turner open for them. Cost: $8. Experience: priceless.
They played above where the great Penn Station was from 1910-1963. See towards the bottom.
More of this concert's pictures at the bottom.
1974: George Steinbrenner, the legendary, controversial and longtime Yankees owner, pleaded guilty to conspiracy for making illegal contributions to the Nixon campaign. Baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn will suspend Steinbrenner 16 months.
1990: MTV banned Madonna's Justify My Love video.
2005: $10 million bat-mitzvah at the Rainbow Room features Aerosmith, 50 Cent, Don Henley (Eagles), Kenny G, Stevie Nicks, Tom Petty, and $1000 gift bags. It was hosted by David H. Brooks who made a fortune from manufacturing body armor for the military. He also made a fortune from insider trading, tax evasion, and robbing his company, according to a 2007 indictment.
The following pictures are what it was like to enter the building at 7th Ave and 32nd Street, passing over the carriage transom, through the commercial arcade hallway, down the stairs into the waiting room, down to the concourse to the tracks by 8th Ave.
Take a free tour of Pennsylvania Station. I did and it was wonderful. The guide has so much passion.
Where all that soaring steel and light is became the stage for a prince of darkness Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones in 1969.
More about this day
Posted: Nov 26, 2012 | 9:29 PM
1832: America's first streetcar line starts construction. The following summer horse drawn stagecoaches trudge up the route which eventually stretched from Prince St (today's SoHo; it was the first Ladies Mile Shopping District) up Bowery and Fourth Ave to tony Murray Hill.
Four decades later the lines will be elevated, and then under the streets.
The subway, not the nation's first, will open in 1904.
1908,?There were 100,000 horses in NYC creating enough manure to cover a city block 17 stories tall every day! NYC was the horse poop capitol of the USA. Good thing horses don't haz cheezeburga's.
The new invention, automobiles were eagerly adopted -- as clean transportation!
1893: The Metropolitan Opera House reopens at Broadway and 39th Street over a year after fire destroyed the one built nearly nine years previously. It reopened with electric lights. Previous lighting was extremely hot.1942: "Casablanca," starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, has its world premiere at the Hollywood Theater in Manhattan.
1972: Football's Giants beat the Eagles 62-10 at home. It was their most points scored in a game.
1975: President Ford finally agrees to provide a $2 Billion Federal Bail-out to NYC, after initially rejecting it. The rejection prompted the famous NY Daily News headline: "Ford to City: Drop Dead!" The Bail-out averts NYC from bankruptcy. The Bail-out, which took a few years, enabled the City to start recovering, which took decades.1997: LIU hoops beats Medgar Evers 179-62. The 117 point victory margin is a National College Athletics Association record. LIU star Charles Jones scored 53 points, a school record.
1989: MTV Unplugged premiers.
2008: New York's Sister City, Mumbai, is attacked by terrorists for two days.
The plot was a renewed version of New York City's foiled "Landmarks Plot." Al Quaeda frequently reuses terror plots, even improving on failures after years.
For example, the 9/11/01 attacks were an evolved version of the foiled 1994-95 "Project Bojinka," which were led by Ramsi Yousef, who led the 1993 WTC Bombing along with his Uncle Khalid Sheikh Mohamned. 9/11 was masterminded by Uncle Khalid because Yousef was imprisoned.
Since foiled attacks are hardly reported, the public does not aptly call the Mumbai attacks "India's Landmarks Plot." They are known as "India's 9/11." This is accurate only in that it was a deadly Al Qaeda attack on Indian soil.
"The Landmarks Plot" involved terrorists who joined or were joining the Waldorf-Astoria's
staff. They were going to start bombing and shooting up the hotel from inside, then bomb the heliports, and finally all bridges and tunnels.
Something similar played out in Mumbai. A hotel was attacked from within with explosives and shootings. Then the attack moved onto the railroad. Both attacks involved attacking Jewish Community Centers.
New Yorkers who lost family in the 2008 Mumbai attacks recently sued the Pakistani ISI.
Like the 9/11/01 attacks, the 2008 attacks on Mumbai were assisted by elements of the Pakistani ISI, their CIA, which was trained by the CIA.
In 1993, the NYPD and the FBI infiltrated a group of terrorists (one of whom lived on my block). In June of 1993, agents stormed the hideout while the terrorists were mixing explosives, foiling the imminent "Landmarks" attack.
Emad Salem, the informant who helped foil this plot, was foiled from preventing the 1993 WTC Bombing.
Small world between Mumbai and its sister city New York City.
More about today
More about today
Posted: Nov 26, 2012 | 12:35 AM
by Jared Goldstein
Following a tour run through earlier this weekend, I did my first Santa Tour this year with Elaine and Martha from Richmond, VA. What a knowledgeable couple of guests. It was a pleasure to tour with them.
They remembered me from a 2009 Holiday Lights tour, so it was nice to do something holiday related but completely different.
I am adding a few more pages of notes and pictures and eliminating a couple of stops to keep things moving literally.
I am also thinking of changing the tour's name from "Santa Claus' NYC Birthday Tour" to "Santa the NYC Tour."
I think the 'birthday' concept is confusing. His birthday is a surprising fact that is covered on the tour. Also, Jesus' birthday has been associated with Santa since 1822, so that's literally confusing.
As for "Claus," that seems cluttering. Santa is the only Santa I know in English. No need for "Claus."
Lastly, "Santa the NYC Tour," while not elegant, it is good enough; and it is congruent with the name of my business "Jared the NYC Tour Guide."
Posted: Nov 25, 2012 | 9:21 PM
by Jared Goldstein
New and returning visitors to New York City frequently ask how to plan their tour. Some only have a few hours.
Here is a fun suggested list to help us plan the best tour for you.
Look at all three lists. Note what you want to see and how long you want to be there. Do you want just a picture, or do you want to explore it?
Don't be daunted by the number of sites. Some of them are on there twice, just with different names. For example, seeing the Time Warner Center means that you are experiencing Columbus Circle. If you still have no idea, I can create a tour for you.
If we go with an experienced driver, we can visit more sites. I can arrange this.
Three Apple Sights - are the most commonly requested, easiest to get to by foot and public transit, and sometimes can be experienced rapidly (15-150 minutes, depending on what you want):
Brooklyn Bridge - a view can be five minutes, a walk across thirty minutes
Empire State Building
New York Harbor
New York Public Library
St. Patrick’s Cathedral
Statue of Liberty view
Theater District / Broadway
Wall Street and the Financial District
World Trade Center
Two Apple Sights – commonly requested and easy to get to
by foot and public transit; may take a bit more time to experience (30-180+ minutes):
Cathedral of St John the Divine
Chinatown and Little Italy
Colonial & Early American
Dakota Apartment Building
Lower East Side
National 911 Memorial
New York University
St Paul’s Chapel
Time Warner Center
View of Manhattan from Brooklyn
One Apple Sites – Popular or wonderful sights that take
a bit more time to get to or experience:
American Museum of Natural History
Gospel Singing at a Baptist Church
Metropolitan Museum of Art
South Street Seaport
Statue of Liberty from the Harbor
View from the Top of a Skyscraper
Just because an attraction has more apples than another does not make it more worth visiting. If you are an ‘Honorary New Yorker,' a returning guest, exploring the fewer-apple-sights is a great idea. If you like visiting places off the beaten track, fewer apples are appealing.
If you like visiting the places that New Yorkers like, fewer apples are great, too.
There are two common New York
“I’ve lived here all my life and I’ve never been toIn addition, there are many sites with no apples that are not listed here that are so good but only the most intrepid travelers visit, such as sites in the ‘Outer Boroughs.’
the top of the Empire State Building,” or
“I’ve lived here all my life and I’ve never been to the Statue of Liberty!”
These are often sites that even New Yorkers don’t know about or have only vaguely heard of, and then they think ‘I really should go there...’ The Bronx’ Van Cortlandt House is an original 18th century home. In Astoria, Queens you can experience a dozen countries’ cuisines.
Did you know:
Until 1898, Brooklyn was a separate twin city to New York (now just Manhattan, which is what most people think of as New York City)?
Brooklyn or Queens each would be the third largest cities in the United States?
Brooklyn is the most populous borough, or county, of NYC?
Some think that Brooklyn is the most interesting part of New York City?
Manhattan is 8% of the area of New York City?
In addition, I specialize in themed tours listed here http://www.jaredthenyctourguide.com/destinations.htm .
Seeing or visiting a three apple sight may enable seeing or experiencing sites with fewer apples.
Taxi Cabs, if available, can allow for more sights.
Posted: Nov 25, 2012 | 2:15 AM
1783... Washington returned to NYC to liberate the City and the Nation from British occupation and rule.
(This is a very idealized picture. NYC was in ruins, and there were no Greek Revival buildings in town until the 1830s.
)The name and the celebration lasted for over 100 years: Evacuation Day.
I call it Liberation Day, which matters less than nothing since Evacuation Day started losing significance in NYC in the 1830s and stopped being celebrated by the early 20th Century.
The Evacuation Day holiday was local and Thanksgiving, sometimes on this date, was taking prominence nationally.
This replacement was not entirely a coincidence. Early in the Civil War, William Seward, a former New York Senator, as Secretary of State under Lincoln, declared a national Thanksgiving on the last Thursday in November.
For New Yorkers and Washington, Evacuation Day was joyous and sad. Seven years and one week before, the British evacuated Washington from New York. Tens of thousands of troops and New Yorkers died and suffered horribly. But in 1783 it was a great celebration.
The British retreated peacefully after they greased the flag pole on Bowling Green. They had a laugh as the Americans couldn't climb the pole to hoist the American flag, but eventually someone got cleats to lower the Union Jack and raise the Stars and Stripes.
I love showing the sites and sights of liberty, colonial times, and early America on my tours of Downtown, Financial District and Wall Street Tours, Nieuw Amsterdam tours, George Washington's New York tour, the South Street Seaport tour, and my colonial NYC tour.
1835... Andrew Carnegie, the industrialist, philanthropist and "a citizen of New York" who led the expansion of the American steel industry, was born.
1864... Confederate Rebels torch hotels, stores, wharves, and theatres around New York City towards the end of the Civil War.
Luckily, the fires fizzled and the damage was mostly limited with no deaths. There is one great loss, P.T. Barnum's American Museum burned down at Broadway and Ann Streets. One of my life's great regrets is to not be able to witness and experience the American Museum's amazing and horrific attractions, including the "Egress," for which many visitors would gladly pay twice.
1914... Joltin' Joe DiMaggio, the Yankee Clipper, born in California.
1915 was Columbia's only undefeated football season, and the first since the school banned football in 1906.
1944... Pride of Columbia Ben Stein, the actor, commentator and game show host born.
1949... Dance great Bill "Bojangles" Robinson dies in Manhattan at age 71. Crowds will line the streets from Harlem to Times Square to view his funeral procession and pay their respects to the man who perfected tap dancing, integrated dancing on film, and was a philanthropist.
1997: Former Ranger Hockey Captain Mark Messier returns to Madison Square Garden, scores for the Canucks, helping win
the game, and becoming the game's most valuable player. Mark Messier is still beloved by Rangers fans for leading them to a Stanley Cup championship in 1994, and his Jersey and number are retired, hanging from the rafters.
2006: Sean Bell killed by NY Police in Queens on his wedding day, the morning after his bachelor party. Bell and his two friends were were shot a total of fifty times by a team of both plainclothes and undercover NYPD officers, seriously wounding two of his friends. The Police thought there was some sort of criminal activity involving the party inside the club. Three of the five detectives involved in the shooting went to trial and were found not guilty.
More about November 25th
Posted: Nov 24, 2012 | 11:41 AM
by Jared Goldstein
1664: Dutch (former Nieuw Amsterdam) officials promise
James Duke of York loyalty to the British, prosperity, and revenues if they can keep the city's free trade going.
This happened on Mill Lane in today's Financial District.
New New-York keeps its free trade for about 100 years.
This is unlike the rest of the colonies which have trade restricted to London. The other colonies must go through NYC if they want to trade internationally. This causes resentment.
Later British will impose unprecedented restrictions on NYC's trade on New York's trade. This will convert many loyalists and fence-sitters to join the Revolution.
1674: Two Flushing, Queens men are reprimanded for working on Thanksgiving Day and for using disrespectful language before a judge.
1859: Cass Gilbert, the Minnesota architect of some of NYC's greatest buildings, born. He died in 1934.
His works include the Woolworth Building, tallest in the world from 1913-1930. His portrait is in its hall showing off that a 'starchitect' designed it. If we are in a small group, I can get you into the lobby, which has restricted access
, on a Downtown Tour.
Gilbert also designed the Customs House on Bowling Green, and some in between those two buildings - both in size and location - is 90 West Street.
He designed several other significant edifices around New York City. Let's go on a Cass Gilbert architecture tour!
1871: The National Rifle Association (NRA) was founded to promote marksmanship of National Guard Members' and marksmanship competition.
1897: Metropolitan Kennel Club has its new and improved Dog Show with 700 pooches, 130 classes, and 6 rings for four days in Brooklyn's old 13th Regiment Armory at Hanson Place and Flatbush Ave.
1897: Lucky Luciano born in Italy.
1905: Alfred Stieglitz and Edward Steichen found the 291 (Fifth Ave) Gallery, America's first modern art venue, premiering Picasso, Cezanne, Matise, Rodin, Weber, Mardsen Hartley, Dove, and John Marin. Artists from this gallery are part of my picture gallery
Alfred Stieglitz at 291 by Steichen.
1920: Percy Sutton politician and media mogul (Apollo Theater) born. To be developed.
1940: Paul Tagliabue, the National Football League's fourth Commissioner, born.
1950: Guys and Dolls, the great New York based musical with colorful charming gamblers and the missionaries who cared about them opened on Broadway at the 46th Street Theater. The show is based on Tales by Damon Runyon.*
My father, a Sinatra fan, was eulogized as a 'Damon Runyonesque' character.
1951: Audrey Hepburn stars in Gigi at the Fulton Theatre in New York City.
1990: St. John's University scores 43 points over Central Connecticut State 135-92.
*More about Guys & Dolls from a terrific Broadway Theater Tour Guide that I know. I didn't get his permission specifically to post this, so if you want a Broadway Tour with him, contact me.
"GUYS AND DOLLS must hold some sort of record for the most songs that made it into cabaret acts and radio broadcasts as stand-alone numbers. Yet, a fair number of great ones were actually cut from the movie.
And why was poor Sinatra saddled with the role of Nathan Detroit (traditionally played by a heavy-set comic actor) when he was BORN to play Sky Masterson?"
Paintings and artists from the Gallery 291 era:
John Marin's St Paul's Chapel 1914
More about NYC's Nov 24ths: