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Posted: Dec 14, 2012 | 12:05 AM
by Jared Goldstein

Great Day for Christmas In NYC - Bronx and Brooklyn!

The day started with an inspection of the wonderful New York Botanical Gardens' Holiday Train Show.

They combined antique toy trains rolling amidst famous NYC buildings, landmarks and bridges, which is cool enough.  Grand Central Terminal's branch of the NYC Transit Museum has a free show like that, which is great and totally worth it!

But the NY (Bronx) Botanical Gardens' structures are all made from plants!

So many pictures here of the NYBG.org Holiday Train Show.  If the link doesn't work, check out http://facebook.com/SantaNYC


After that, I went to the other end of New York City, from the northern Bronx to southern Brooklyn's Dyker Heights for their wonderful holiday lights, inspecting that for an upcoming tour that I want to get right. 

So many pictures of the Dyker Heights Holiday Light here.  If link doesn't work, check out http://facebook.com/SantaNYC
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Posted: Dec 13, 2012 | 11:24 PM
by Jared Goldstein

I dread the obnoxious SantaCon  coming Sat 12/15/2012

I am against SantaCon.

Ten years ago it was a cute, self-governing, and campy get-together for adults.  There were rules for the road.  It started at night. 

Santacon was part of an online community of performance artists who were looking for something to do to keep the Burning Man momentum going.  

Now it is like a slutty drunken theme-frat-party public pub-crawl gone amok. 

It is bad for kids to see so many Santas behaving badly.  If these ironic horny drunk Santas are going to be this way, please at least start after 8pm.

They are destroying the magic and setting a poor example.

If you wish to avoid SantaCon, then visit this site http://santacon.info to get their route and schedule.


They are not all bad.  Some of them donate money and cans of food.  Most don't seem to.
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Posted: Dec 13, 2012 | 1:49 AM
by Jared Goldstein

December 13th in New York City History
Kofi's choice, Einstein feted, Birthdays! Steve Buscemi, Bernanke, Foxx, Dick Van Dyke, and An American In Paris.


1928:  George Gershwin's "An American in Paris" debuts

at Carnegie Hall
to good reviews.



1930:  Physicist Albert Einstein honored at City Hall by Mayor Jimmy Walker, and Columbia University President Nicholas Murray Butler, who dubs him the "ruling monarch of the mind."  Lot of good that did for Columbia; Princeton got Einstein.



1996:  The U.N. chose Ghana's Kofi Annan as it's seventh secretary-general.


Happy Birthdays to actor Steve Buscemi (1957); Fed Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke; Jamie Foxx (1967), and actor 
Dick Van Dyke (1925).




http://learning.blogs.nytimes.com/on-this-day/december-13/



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

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


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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Posted: Dec 11, 2012 | 3:26 AM

Dec 11th in NYC History

1809:  New York City's Mayor, Dewitt Clinton, opens the city's first public school, on Henry Street, the site of today's P.S. 2 in the Lower East Side.


1816:  Indiana became the 19th state. 
It started as a US Territory in Federal Hall in 1789 when NYC was the American Capitol.


1882:  Fiorello H. La Guardia, the great Depression-era mayor of New York City for three consecutive terms, was born.

Fiorello Laguardia, NYC's first Italian and Jewish Mayor, and perhaps its best, is born in Greenwich Village in an impoverished Italian neighborhood.  He worked as an Ellis Island interpreter in seven languages.  You can visit where it happened on Ellis Island tours.     

He grew up in another impoverished Italian neighborhood, East Harlem, which I like to visit when I like to eat great Italian food at Rao's and Patsy's, both of which I can tell stories about, but not right now. 

LaGuardia did not have a high school degree, but he served 24 years as an elected official, including 12 years as Mayor through the entire Depression.    

I believe I already described how he read the funnies to children on the radio during the 1945 newspaper strike.  I describe this on my Lower East Side Heritage Tours. 

Laguardia was a pioneer of broadcast media in politics.      He battled Tammany Hall corruption, which I describe on my Santa and Heritage Tours.   

Through his deputy, Robert Moses, he built hundreds of parks, and cleared out slums (with mixed results).  I describe this on my LES Heritage Tours and my Community Gardens of the East Village Tour.     

America's worst airport is named for him.  Back in the day, it was a pioneer of aviation.  Previously, I recounted Laguardia's rant that impelled the airport's development.

There is a wonderful statue of LaGuardia on Laguardia Place in Greenwich Village, which I sometimes highlight on Greenwich Village tours.


1925:  The third, and previous, Madison Square Garden opens in Hell's Kitchen on the edge of the theater district with a boxing match for almost 17,000.  It will limp along through the mid-1960s.



1927:  The football Giants win their first NFL Championship, beating the football Yankees at Yankee Stadium 13-0.


1931:  Happy Birthday to honorary New Yorker Rita Moreno.


1938:  The football Giants win their 3rd Championship,
besting Green Bay in front of a record-breaking 38,000 at the Polo Grounds.


1946:  UNICEF, the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund, was founded.


1946:  John D. Rockefeller, Jr. donates 18 acres of land in New York City to house the United Nations.


1951:  Joe DiMaggio retired from baseball after bringing the New York Yankees to the World Series ten seasons.
  Say it ain't so, Joe!

Joltin' Joe DiMaggio retires from the NY Yankees, after winning 3 MVPs, and leading them to 10 Pennants and 9 World Series Championships.  He averaged .325 with 361 home runs.

1959:  Richie Guerin scores 57 points for the Knicks, a record, against Syracuse 153-121 at MSG 3.


1959:  Yanks make a good trade involving seven players between them and Kansas City, through which the Yanks garnered Roger Maris, who would then win 2 MVP awards and leading the Yankees through some good seasons for five years.



1961:  Langston Hughes' musical Black Nativity debuted on Broadway.


1962:  The LoMEx was deemed to be killed
before being revived before being killed.  See December 7th 1964 for the LoMEx' revival


1967:  Happy Birthday to honorary New Yorker Mo'Nique.


1973:  Happy Birthday to Brooklyn's Mos Def, the rapper and actor.


1975:
 In a four player trade, the Yankees get Doc Ellis, and Willy Randolph, who secures their infield for 13 seasons.



1981:  The U.N. Security Council chose Javier Perez de Cuellar of Peru to be its 5th secretary-general.


1992:  A
Nor'easter blows, destroying homes, flooding streets, and halting transportation, causing a state of emergency.  I had to walk my dogs and was nearly hit in the head by swinging debris.  That is when I realized that wind can be dangerous.


2002:  A congressional report found that intelligence agencies before Sept. 11, 2001, were poorly organized, poorly equipped and slow to pursue clues that might have prevented that day's terrorist attacks.
  Dozens of pages of the report are still classified, the part about other nations' involvement in the 9/11/01 attacks.


2008:  Bernard Madoff was arrested for running a multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme.  He is serving 150 years in prison.  This is dwarfed by the mortgage and banking crisis of the same era, but no one has been arrested.  Financial manager Bernard Madoff arrested for running a multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme that destroyed thousands of people's life savings and ruining charities. He is serving150 years in federal prison.


2010:  Bernard Madoff's son dies of suicide.  
He was under investigation.


More about Today In History
http://learning.blogs.nytimes.com/on-this-day/december-11/


Even more about Today in History
http://www.biography.com/on-this-day/december-11


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Posted: Dec 11, 2012 | 2:43 AM

December 10th in NYC History


1778:  John Jay elected president of the Continental Congress.


1851:  Melvil Dewey born.
  A passion for efficiency, he is best known for creating the decimal system and library science.


1896:  The world's largest aquarium opens at Castle Garden, now known as Castle Clinton. 


New York's great port had proud sea captains who would unexpectedly drop off at the aquarium strange sea animals that they captured around the seven seas.  The Aquarium Director, on his way to opening the Aquarium would encounter the creatures, then scrambled to figure out what they were, how to keep
them alive, and how to find a place for them.   

Previously it was an immigration center, processing 8 million immigrants before Ellis Island replaced it, processing 12 million.  I estimate that between the two of them, over half of Americans, perhaps 2/3, can trace an ancestor who passed through NYC.     

Before it was an immigration center, it was a P.T. Barnum entertainment center, Castle Garden, sometimes hosting 4000 for operettas and for concerts, such as the Swedish Nightingale, Jenny Lind.     

Before that, it was Castle Clinton, one of about a dozen harbor fortifications protecting NYC from the mighty British Navy during the War of 1812, sparing NYC the burning destruction of Washington, D.C. and Charleston, Carolina. 

Years of tensions with the British were partly the impetus for the birth of Santa Claus, which I elucidate on my Santa Claus NYC Birthday Tour.  
 
During the LaGuardia and Moses era, late 1930s early 1940s, the
Aquarium was moved to Coney Island where it still is, but it does not seem to be the largest in the world.


1905:  O Henry's celebrated Christmas story, "The Gift of the Magi," is published in The New York World.

It was  written in Pete's Tavern (18th Street and Irving Place), which is a stop on my Santas NYC Birthday tour.

The gorgeous tavern, which stayed open during Prohibition behind a florist front, was protected and enjoyed by the nearby Tammany Hall Political Machine, also a stop on my Santas NYC Birthday Tour.


1906:  U.S. President, and New Yorker, Teddy Roosevelt is the first American to receive the Nobel Peace Prize
.  He mediated the Russo-Japanese War's peace.


1910:  The first American-themed opera opens at the Metropolitan Opera House, "La Faniciulla del West" ('The West's Golden Girl') by Puccini



1946:  Sportswriter Damon Runyon dies.  He also wrote the story that was adapted to "Guys and Dolls."

My Lower-East Side father was described as Damon Runyonesque.  He had to fight his way across the avenues of the Lower East Side, and knew some colorful characters.  I should read some Runyon to see what they were talking about.  My father didn't bet on dice or cards.  He started out as a Sports writer, so he was around betting, but he didn't do that.


1948:  The U.N. General Assembly adopts the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, which is a great document, co-authored by Eleanor Roosevelt.  A good part of its 30 articles were first enunciated in the Bill of Rights, which were given to America at Federal Hall on September 24th 1789, which I have named "Bill of Rights
Day." 


1950:  New Yorker Dr. Ralph Bunche, is the first African-American to win the Nobel Peace Prize mediating for the United Nations during the Palestine War, which led to the expulsion of most Jews from dozens of ancestral Arab countries where Jews lived in peace for thousands of years, and led to many Muslim Palestinians fleeing from Israel, by choice or by force, from where their people lived for thousands of years. 


1964:  Star Chef Bobby Flay born.   


1971:  NY Mets trade Nolan Ryan for Jim Regosi.  Nolan Ryan became a Hall of Famer and was an all star eight times. Known as the Ryan Express  for his 100 mph (162km/hr) pitches.  There are many more impressive facts.  Consensus is that the Mets made a bad decision. 


1984:  NY Mets make a good trade, four players for catcher and slugger Gary Carter.   The Mets had a few good seasons in the mid 1980s, including winning the 1986 World Series.  Carter is a Hall of Famer and has many impressive awards and statistics that I won't get into right now.


1988:  Real Estate mogul Lawrence Wien dies at 83

He donated $6 million for Columbia's eponymous football
stadium.  I wrote about the link between him and U-2 not playing for Columbia after the students got the university to divest from apartheid South Africa.  Wien is related to the Malkins who own the Empire State Building.  
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Posted: Dec 9, 2012 | 2:28 PM
by Jared Goldstein

The South Street Seaport is coming back.  So far, what reopened is better than before.

The South Street Seaport is reopening.

Pier 17's businesses reopened last week.


The South Street Seaport Museum is reopening this week.


Bowne, the active antique printshop, and the ship carver are back and better than before.


I did a little volunteering and then an inspection.
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Posted: Dec 9, 2012 | 2:40 AM
by Jared Goldstein

Dec 9th in NYC History



1793:  NYC's first daily newspaper,
the American Minerva, founded by Noah Webster.

 

1934:  The New York Giants win their 2nd pro football championship, beating the Chicago Bears 30-13.  It was a cold, icy day at the Polo Grounds, so Giants' coach Steve Owen ordered the team to take off their cleats and wear sneakers to better handle the slippery field during the second half.  It worked, they
then scored 27 of their points.  The game is known as the "Sneaker Game."

 

1975:  President Ford approves a $2.3 billion loan for New York City, preventing defaulting on huge loan payments, and bankruptcy. 

People on my tours just don't seem to believe me what NYC was like in the 1970s.  At least the teens don't.  They were born when things started decades of improving.

 

Birthdays!!! 
Kirsten Gillibrand, U.S. senator, D-N.Y. only 46
Jakob Dylan, Rock musician of the Wallflowers is 43;
John Malkovich is 59 (if you jump through his head, you end up on the edge of the Jersey Turnpike),



Buck Henry, nee' Henry Zuckerman, is 82!

 

Buck with Gilda Radner and Bill Murray, SNL


Buck as the Front Desk man checking in the dubious "Mr. Smith" for his tryst with Mrs. Robinson in the Graduate.


Must've won an Emmy for Get Smart, with Don Adams on the left.




Richard Benjamin in Buck's quirky Quark, about an interstellar garbage man. I think it was a flop in all senses of the word.  When I was 11, this was the best! Especially if the Star Wars sequel won't be released for years.





Today in History
http://learning.blogs.nytimes.com/on-this-day/december-9/


More History Today
http://www.biography.com/on-this-day/december-09



More
http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/john-birch-society-founded








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Posted: Dec 8, 2012 | 12:40 AM

December 8th in NYC History

1783: American troops celebrate victory for independence.

1894: James Thurber born
.

1949: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, starring Carol Channing, debuted on Broadway and will run another 739 performances. The 1953 film version starred Marilyn Monroe.

1955:  Roy Campanella the
Brooklyn Dodgers' catcher wins his third American League MVP award.

1962: Newspaper strike.


1980:  John Lennon dies.  Much more below.


2008: Terrorists confess to planning the
9/11/01 attacks.


Details and reflections:

1783: American troops celebrate victory over the British
in the Revolutionary War.  They gathered where Parson Boulevard and Jamaica Avenue is in Queens today.


2008:  Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four others confess to masterminding the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and Washington, D.C.


New Yorker Magazine writer and cartoonist James Thurber born 1894. 
He died in 1961.


1962:  A 114-day newspaper strike starts, eventually folding several NYC dailies.  The unions won the battles, but they lost the war.



1980:  John Lennon was assassinated outside his NYC apartment house, 'the Dakota.'  A crowd of people gathered and stood there, singing songs of peace and love.


This was weeks after he came out with the successful "Double Fantasy" album, his first in about five years.  The hits "Starting Over," suggested renewal and hope, and "Watching the Wheels," about Lennon's hiatus from the rock world. 

The hiatus concluded when Lennon's son, Sean, attended Kindergarten.  John left the role of 'househusband' and returned to the studio where he had a creative flourishing.  So much that there was enough for another album, the posthumously released "Milk and Honey."


John Lennon first arrived in NYC as "John and Yoko," after the Beatles' triumphant visits in the early to mid 1960s.


He returned: a new New Yorker since around the time of his hit "Imagine" in 1971. 

He lived in Greenwich Village on a somewhat funky artsy part of
Jane Street in the far West Village.  I think it was #150.  He and Yoko were subletting from the leader of the Loving Spoonful band, known for "We lost that loving feeling" and "What's New Pussycat?"  A burglar dropped into their house, I think through a skylight!  This was alarming, so Lennon and Yoko bought into
the Dakota to be safer, since it has doormen and a heritage of hosting stars such as Judy Garland, Roberta Flak, Ingrid Bergman, Leonard Bernstein, Boris Karloff and others. 

It was also the setting of "Rosemary's Baby," about what it is like to share a wall with Satan.

Lennon loved the manic all-night energy of New York City and the relative bonhomie of the "New York Code," which means that fans are supposed to react coolly, but friendly, when sighting stars. 

John Lennon in many ways was a typical New Yorker.  He came from somewhere else to seek freedom, opportunity and his own identity.  In his case, freedom from the British press, and creating his own musical heritage independent of the wildly successful Beatles that he pretty much founded.  He was also
an immigrant.

As persecuted as he was from the British press, he faced another ordeal after joining in with political leftists opposing the Vietnam War and CREEP, the Committee to Re-Elect the President, Nixon, along with rightist Senator Strom Thurmond, the FBI,
and the Immigration Service. 

(Andy Warhol was persecuted by the IR$ t@x men after he did a poster for Nixon opponent George McGovern, which led to a severe @udit. "The Andy Warhol Diaries," started out as t@x expense diaries for his cab rides in case he was severely audited again.  Gradually he chronicled the social scene he was in, and probably threw in a few lies to cause conflicts from the grave, as he did in life.)

As bad as an @udit was for Warhol, the wrath and persistence of the Federal Government was focused on John Lennon for long painful, terrorizing years.  The FBI's file on Lennon was larger than it had on all the Nazi fugitives in the United States.  There's a movie about it, The US versus John Lennon .  His
immigration persecution lasted about four years, and it was lifted in the mid-1970s on 10/9, his birthday and son Sean's, too. 

This only bolstered Lennon's belief that 9 was his lucky number, which explains three of his songs with 9 in the title.  I wish he made it to 9 December.

Lennon sure earned his right to live in the US, and New York loved him. 

Check out the cheers of the Madison Square Garden crowd in his surprise performance on 11/28/1974 with Elton John.  I linked to some videos of it, but they don't compare to some of the recordings I heard.  It seemed like the roof was going to take off.

But the immigration ordeal stressed him out, as well as being a huge rock star for 15 years.  Missing the childhood of his first son, Lennon took on the day to day responsibilities raising his new son. 

Every day they would play in the grassy area inside Central Park across from his apartment. On the news of Lennon's death, thousands of fans brought candles, sang songs, and held vigil there for days.  Five years later his widow Yoko Ono organized donors from half the world to renovate that part of the park as a peace garden, Strawberry Fields, visited by millions a year.


Central Park was always a highlight of New York City, but it went through decades of abuse and neglect.  John and Sean
played in a park full of dust, broken benches and glass, graffitied
trees and rocks. 

Five years after Lennon's death, his widow Yoko Ono led people from around 100 countries around the world to renovate
the part of Central Park where he and Sean played daily for years.  It was landscaped like a tear drop and beautifully planted. It was named "Strawberry Fields," after a John Lennon hit song during the Beatles days. 

The central focus of the garden is the Imagine mosaic. My
sense of John Lennon's legacy in NYC's fabric is that millions of
people visit Strawberry Fields, and therefore Central Park every year.

Strawberry Fields was one of the first parts of Central Park that was renovated by a public-private partnership, giving those who step further inside to experience it much more wonderfulness. John Lennon would be amazed if he could see Central Park today.  And he was the inspiration for the renovation of hundreds of acres of Central Parkland.

For me, whose favorite band has been the Beatles since I was a boy, around when John Lennon went into seclusion, the death of John also meant the final true death of the Beatles. 

I remember being ten in 1977, having been a Beatles freak since 1975, and listening one night to a cassette. One side was Sergeant Pepper and the other Abbey Road, and after it was over I cried that they broke up.

Little did I know that around that time John Lennon and his
Beatles song writing partner and frenemy Paul McCartney were once laughing, bantering and playing guitar and singing at Lennon's apartment one late Saturday night. 

The Beatles members had recently refused Sid Bernstein's offer to reunite for millions of dollars for a single performance, which was then and now a huge amount of money. 

To parody this, Lorne Michaels got on his new hit show, Saturday Night Live, and offered the Beatles $3000 (Ringo for free) to reunite. 

John and Paul were about to get into a cab and surprise the world but they laughed and forgot to go.  Not a surprise considering that the two of them were notoriously huge pot heads.  One of the great moments that never was.

How do I know about Lennon in NYC?  I created a John Lennon's New York tour for a family in 2009.  I am pleased to be running it again this month. 

Here's something else that taught me a lot about John Lennon: Recently PBS released John Lennon's American Masters biography of his New York years: LennoNYC    It is quite good! Lennon lived in NYC from age 31 to 40.  Since Lennon's death, 1 million deaths in the USA involved handguns.




More about this date
http://www.biography.com/on-this-day/december-08


Yet more about this date
http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/james-thurber-is-born


more
http://learning.blogs.nytimes.com/on-this-day/december-8/


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Posted: Dec 6, 2012 | 10:21 PM

December 7th in NYC History -



1842:  The New York Philharmonic gave its first concert at Broadway and Canal Street. 

They performed Beethoven's Fifth Symphony .  The Philharmonic was founded as a musician's cooperative; the musicians bought in and shared the profits.

120 years later, the Philharmonic will get a home of its own at Lincoln Center.  It is the oldest continuing philharmonic in the USA.


1902:  Thomas Nast the icon-making, defining, and influential political cartoonist died


The late 19th Century Cartoonist invented or defined images including: 'Uncle Sam,' the Democrat Jack-ass (Donkey), the Republican Elephant, and Santa Claus as a fat jolly old elf giving presents to children or scurrying down chimneys.

Nast's pen, imagination, originality, wit, boldness, skill and directness was feared by politicians and the corrupt.  NYC's Boss Tweed detested Nast's nasty depictions of him.  When Tweed was on the lamb in Spain, he was recognized apprehended because of Nast's portrayals.

Some oligarchs set up a phony foundation which offered him $100,000 for him to study art in Europe.  Tweed, ever the wag, bid the bribers up to $500,000 and then he declined the fellowship, stating: 

"Well, I don't think I'll do it. I made up my mind not long ago to put some of those fellows behind the bars."

Probably a good idea not to accept the offer.  Bumping him off in Europe would be one way of extending his study abroad.  On the other hand, when Harper's magazine's politics changed, and so did America's tastes, Nast lost his platform and much of his income. 

Here is Santa Claus helping out the Union cause.

Nast promoted the Civil War, and although the outcome was what he desired, his urgency  then waned.

His legacy remains.

Nast's work is a big part of my Santa the New York City Tour.

Santa's Birthday is the day before Nast's deathday.
 

1941:  Japanese national are rounded up and detained at Ellis Island in response to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.  They will be transferred to other facilities for the remainder of WW2.


1963:  Instant replay used for the first time in a live sports telecast for the Army-Navy football game on CBS.


1964:  LoMEx gets the green light.  The contentious highway development battle lasted through most of the 1960s.  It would have cut through what was to become SoHo and TriBeCa, and one of its exit ramps would go through Washington Square Park.

Margot Gayle used tours as a form of activism to save SoHo sticking magnets on the cast iron columns to make her point.  That's the tour guide story. 

The unofficial story is that the other neighborhood facing demolition, Little Italy, also had some influential constituents who convincingly weighed in against the highway.

It took many other neighborhoods fifty years to recover from elevated highways cutting through them.  What would Manhattan be like without the Lower East Side, Little Italy, Chinatown, SoHo, and TriBeCa?  On the other hand, Canal Street and Delancey Street's terrible cross-town traffic might be a bit lighter as cars flew from Brooklyn to New Jersey over the dusty abandoned streets below.

 

Birthdays
: Hamilton Fish, American politician  1888 - 1/18/1991; Tom Waits, Rock singer, and actor, and Eli Wallach.

 
1993: Colin Ferguson opened fire on a Long Island Rail Road commuter train, killing six, wounding dozens

His defense was black rage.  The context of that era was severe identity politics, especially fiery among blacks.

He was later sentenced to hundreds of years in prison.

One of the victim's wives, Carolyn McCarthey, started a movement to counter gun violence, and then became a US Congressperson in 1996.


1994:  Howard Stern talked a radio caller out of suicide.


2002:  Iraq denied it had weapons of mass destruction in a declaration to the United Nations.  It seems that they were more correct than the Bush administration on this point.


More today in history
http://www.biography.com/on-this-day/december-07


More Today in History
http://learning.blogs.nytimes.com/on-this-day/december-7/





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