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Citywide Ferry System-NYCEDC-New Website-Portal-Mayor Bill de Blasio-NYC

In March, we took a deep dive into the Citywide Ferry system that will open (partially) in the summer of 2017, the first citywide ferry in one hundred years. Yesterday, the NYCEDC and Hornblower, the selected operator of the ferry system, launched an official website in advance of the launch. The Citywide Ferry system will have a total of six routes, which will run in addition to the existing East River Ferry. The price however, will be the same as a Metrocard swipe ($2.75). Through the new website, you can explore the routes and see how long segments will take.

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Deep below Grand Central Terminal, there’s a hidden power station known as M42 that does not appear on a single map or blueprint. In fact, its very existence was only acknowledged in the late 1980s and its exact location is still not public information. Nonetheless, unpublicized special tours have allowed the curious to head down there in the last five years or so. We can’t share all the details of how we landed on the coveted visit, but we were given the opportunity to explore this and other off-limits places in Grand Central Terminal recently – and took photographs.

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Citizen Bridge-Nancy Novacek-Governors Island-Red Hook Brooklyn-Buttermilk Channel-Pedestrian Bridge-Kickstarter-NYC

Maybe it’s a natural human tendency to want to build bridges, at least in New York City. There have even been plans to infill the Hudson and East Rivers so we could just walk over to New Jersey. Then there was “Lolo,” a proposal to fill in the land between downtown Manhattan and Governors Island. Thankfully, in real life, particularly after Hurricane Sandy, we’re learning that it’s better to let nature reclaim our waterfronts.

On a more temporary scale, Citizen Bridge, a project by artist Nancy Nowacek, hopes to raise enough money via Kickstarter to create an ephemeral pedestrian bridge between Governors Island and Red Hook, Brooklyn.– a reference to a 19th-century land bridge used farmers to move cattle at low tide across the Buttermilk Channel.

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detail-rko-keiths-theater-queens-nyc-untapped citiesImage via After The Final Curtain

Once upon a time, opulent theaters built for the masses and the elite alike were the main destinations for entertainment. The theaters showed more than movies – it would be an all-day entertainment extravaganza from live music, dance performances, vaudeville, comedy to films. As we wrote in a previous exploration of the Loews Wonder Theatres, the most grand of them all in the New York City area, “in an era before television and with radio just a novelty, Americans could spend upwards of five hours or more in these theaters.”

Many theaters in New York City and New Jersey began as live performance theaters, and when vaudeville was on the decline, conversion into movie theaters became a more profitable option. But maintaining these grand film palaces was expensive and proved difficult to keep operational.

We bring you now 10 movie theaters in the New York City area that have stood abandoned for decades, falling into disarray as they became nothing more than warehouse spaces and retail store fronts.

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[Bethesda Fountain.]Bethesda Terrace, 1870s. Photo by Augustus Hepp via Museum of the City of New York

A few years after Central Park was completed, Augustus Hepp, the head gardener for the park was commissioned by the U. S. Secretary of State William Maxwell Evarts to create a portfolio of images – which appear today in a striking blue color. These images, available in the collection of the Museum of the City of New York, were originally used to American politicians to “convince their Continental counterparts that New York was not just an industrial powerhouse but also a mature and cultured city that could create great urban parks on par with those in Europe,” writes Sean Corcoran from the Museum. These photographs were even given as a gift to the French government in 1879. 

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Lost Charles Thorley Mansion-562 Fifth Avenue-Vintage Photograph-NYC-002The old House of Flowers in the Thorley Building (left), Fifth Avenue and 46th Street.
Image via New York Public Library Digital Collections

In 1874, at the age of sixteen, Charles Thorley opened his first flower shop on West Street in New York City. Over the next few years, he moved his shop several times, until finally settling down in 1909 at 562 Fifth Avenue, in the former mansion of Mrs. Caroline S. Harper, a four-story with basement building on the northwest corner of Fifth and 46th Street.

Over the next few years, Thorley made extensive renovations to the Harper home, adding French architecture, painting the building white with green trim, and placing green vines and shrubs all along the Fifth Avenue side. He also placed window boxes high up on the 46th Street side, which he filled with evergreens, and iron pots suspended from tripods on either side of the front door, which he filled with rubber plants and other foliage.

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