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March 2nd in NYC History

Posted: Mar 2, 2013 | 12:18 AM

1769:  DeWitt Clinton, Mayor of New York City, NYS Governor and Senator, founder of the New York Historical Society, and leader of the Erie Canal development, born.

DeWitt Clinton mingles the waters of the Atlantic and the Great Lakes.  His vision and leadership cemented NYC as the number one shipping city in the USA for nearly 150 years.

(Clinton married the daughter of the Quaker man who owned the house that George Washington lived and worked in, the Franklin Osgood House, on Cherry Street.  Franklin was a relative of the Bowne family that founded the oldest continuing business in NYC, Bowne & Co. Financial Printers, he was also related to the Bownes of Flushing Queens where they advocated for religious freedom during the Nieuw Amsterdam days.)

I once met DeWitt Cinton IV at a Columbia event.  The Clintons helped found Columbia College after it revived the suspended King's College after the Revolution.

We cover the Erie Canal, visit the site of the Franklin Osgood House, and Bowne & Co's antique print shop during my South Street Seaport Tour.  My Seaport tour is the official tour of the South Street Seaport Museum and the South Street Seaport Mall.

1862:  John Jay Chapman, writer, born in NYC.

1877:  Republican Rutherford B. Hayes declared the 1876 presidential winner over over New York Democrat Samuel J. Tilden, even though Tilden had won the popular vote.

1900:  Kurt Weill, the composer who adopted Broadway, born in Germany.

1904:  Writer, illustrator cartoonist and sometime New Yorker, Dr Seuss born.

1914:  Martin Ritt, director, actor, and playwright who worked in film and theater, born in New York City

1917:  Puerto Ricans granted U.S. citizenship.

1921:  Ernest Haas, photographer and photojournalist, born in Austria.  He was a Magnum photographer.

Click on the link for gorgeous pictures.

1931:  Tom Wolfe, author, born.


Big Monkey Saves The Empire State Building!

"King Kong," starring Fay Wray, premiered at Rockefeller Center's Radio City Music Hall and the RKO Roxy

The Empire State Building, aka 'The Empty State Building,' did not rent up until 20 years after construction in the early 1950s.  King Kong goosed interest in the tower with tourists who made the building profitable, flocking to its observation decks where Kong swung.

Rockefeller Center opened around the same time as the ESB, but it rented up by the mid-1930s. 

What's the difference/s?  Urban Planning and Real Estate Muscle.  

Rock Center is a multipurpose city within the city that integrates offices with pedestrian shopping, mass transit, dining, entertainment (Radio City and RKO Roxy (demolished 1954)), luxury shopping, a town square feel, and spectacle, including skaters and the Christmas Tree, and subterranean tunnels to bypass the tourists.

The ESB is an avenue block from the 6th Avenue Subway, which is like three street blocks.

Starbucks' analysis determined that New Yorkers will not walk more than 2.5 blocks for a coffee.  One avenue in the snow or heat is a big deal compared with walking through the world's first urban mall at Rock Center.

What about real estate muscle?  The Rockefellers pressured their tenants in their older properties to relocate to their new flagship.

We compare and contrast Rockefeller Center and the Empire State Building on Midtown tours and Rockefeller Center tours.

1942:  Lou Reed, rockstar, singer, lyricist, photographer, and writer born in Brooklyn.

We saw each other early one morning on the Upper West Side.  I was doing the 'walk of shame.'  He was coming from the gym.  I practically gasped in recognition, with my usual poker face.  It was a pregnant moment, the connection was telepathic: 'If you talk to me I will shove you hard; If you want to connect with me, I have plenty of albums and books that you can buy elsewhere.'  This is what flashed through my mind in less than a second.  I observed The New York Code and moved on.

I heard that if you are introduced to him, he is very kind, and that he is loyal to his friends, but "shy" to strangers.  I don't blame him.  Considering the nuts that famous people attract, and the content of Lou Reed's strung out on-the-fringes of 'the wild side' anthems in the late 1960s and 1970s, he must be The Supreme Nut Magnet.  The problem with most nuts is that they don't plant gardens, but do crazy negative things, like say stupid sh!t or stab or shoot you out of adoration.  At best it must be tiring to hear so many tirades of teenage angst.

1942:  The American Theatre Wing opened the Stage Door Canteen to entertain troops going off to World War II.  Bette Davis served desserts. Marlene Dietrich and Lauren Bacall danced. Red Skelton told jokes, and Bing Crosby crooned.  No alcohol, but free sandwiches and admission, and many happy customers forgetting about Hitler and Hirohito for a while.

1952:  Laraine Newman, original SNL cast member, born.

1959:  Jazz trumpeter Miles Davis had his first of two recording sessions for "Kind of Blue," which changed music.

1962:  Wilt Chamberlain of the Philadelphia Warriors scored 100 points against the New York Knicks, an NBA record that still stands.  For some stupid broadcasting restriction reason, the game was not televised, so no video exists.

1965:  The film version of Rodgers and Hammerstein's "The Sound of Music" premiered in New York City.


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