Last week, New Yorkers were sad to hear that New York City’s famous Ziegfeld Theater is finally closing over the next few weeks for financial reasons. Rumors of its closing have circulated for years in recent times, and last week, news that the theater would officially close and be replaced by one of the largest ballrooms in New York City came out. With its plush red walls, luxurious gold curtains and huge screen, the Ziegfeld Theater, located on West 54th street, hosted many important events and has had countless celebrities pass through its doors. Thus, before this opulent, iconic venue finally closes, here are ten secrets you should know about the Ziegfeld Theater.
Houdini’s monument in Machpelah Cemetery. Image via houdini.org
In Glendale, Queens, near Cypress Hills Street and the Jackie Robinson Parkway lies a small, isolated Jewish burial ground called Machpelah Cemetery. Despite Machpelah Cemetery’s somewhat abandoned state, one of the most famous men in the world is buried near its entrance: Harry Houdini.
Over the years, especially recently, New Yorkers might have noticed some odd structures and art installations popping up along the streets of New York City. These objects have ranged from giant rats and buttons to feathers, bagels, different kinds of animals and tiny replicas. Though some no longer exist, we thought it would be fun to highlight some of the abnormally large or small objects that have sprung up. Thus, here’s a list of some objects that have appeared throughout New York City with the wrong dimensions, some of which might surprise you if you’ve never run into them.
Image via Library of Congress
Today, Coney Island is home to attractions like the famous Cyclone roller coaster, the Wonder Wheel, some haunted trains, bumper cars, and several kiddie rides. However, if you were to walk around Coney Island over a century ago, you’d notice some bizarre attractions that you might find hard to believe even exist. While all of the attractions on this list are a bit odd, a few wouldn’t even be acceptable today. From its “midget villages” to questionably safe rides and outlandish sideshows, here are some of the strangest attractions in Coney Island’s history, reflecting differences in New York City’s cultural values and technological abilities compared to today.
Luna Park and Surf Avenue in 1912. Image via Wikimedia Commons
While theme parks like Disneyland, Universal Studios, and Six Flags are known for having some of the biggest rides and for being the epitomes of technological advancement, an approximately four-mile long peninsula in south Brooklyn helped pioneer all of this: Coney Island.
Coney Island, once called nicknames like “Nickel Empire,” “America’s Playground,” “Sodom By the Sea,” “Electric Eden,” and “Poor Man’s Paradise,” is much more than its entertainment side. Millions of tourists venture out here all the time, but most don’t realize the tremendous social, technological and economic impacts Coney Island has had on areas even outside of New York City. It was hard to narrow down Coney Island’s top secrets, but here are the most interesting ones we felt you should know about.
A bench in Central Park (now free of charge as well). Image via Flickr user Phil Roeder
From historic labor union protests to ones about vital economic and political issues like human rights, climate change and the wealth gap, New York City has seen many serious protests that have incited large-scale change. Protesters have gathered in famous rallying sites like Union Square and Times Square to passionately fight for their liberties and beliefs and foster permanent change. But there has been at least one striking exception to these serious, life-changing rallies: a 1901 protest in Madison Square Park over rocking chairs.