The original home of the Forverts, now the Jewish Daily Forward, on the Lower East Side
Does newspaper have a sound? Is it the rustling of paper? The pop-up ads of the digital world? The short films on the New York Times website? Or might it also be articles and editorials read aloud to old-country parents or to grandmothers and grandfathers that can’t read?
At the turn of the twentieth century, Yiddish newspapers were material documents of life on the Lower East Side. They were guidebooks to old-world communities and to new-world assimilation. They taught immigrants how to be American, but they did so in foreign languages. They tied people together, tied people who didn’t know one another together in the common experience of reading about the day’s affairs. You didn’t have to be face-to-face with your neighbors to feel connected to them.
West Side Story, members of The Sharks.
Musicals are intimately connected with New York City. Though many Broadway shows are set in far off places or fantastic lands, many have been set here, in our own backyard. Beginning with On the Town, some of these New York set musicals have used the City to provide a realistic backdrop to their filmed versions. (more…)
The exhibitions at the Museum of the City of New York seem to just be getting better and better, and Roz Chast: Cartoon Memoirs is an engaging, fun exhibit inspiring for both adults and kids. Even if you don’t know Roz Chast by name, you’re likely familiar with her prolific illustration work for The New Yorker – after all the Brooklyn-born artist has been producing cartoons for the magazine since 1978. The new exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York has a wondrously New York City bent with sections in the exhibit entitled “When You Live In New York” and “You Are Now Leaving New York,” among others.
At the end of March, we were lucky to have witnessed Chast producing the piece “Subway Sofa” live at the museum in preparation for the exhibit opening and we’re excited to share the above timelapse video of the process.
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.
“There’s one Babe Ruth in baseball, there was one Einstein in science, and one Nathan in the food business,” someone interviewed in the new documentary film Famous Nathan, about the Coney Island hot dog chain founder, says. This film is a personal journey for director Lloyd Handwerker, a grandson of founder Nathan Handwerker, who interviewed family members, Nathan’s workers, and put together archival film and audio and family home videos, to share this story on the centennial anniversary of the hot dog company.
Southern tip of Manhattan in the 1730s just before the Battery Wall was built, painting by John Carwitham/William Burgis. Image via MCNY Blog
Since the 1990s, the increased amount of construction work in New York City has allowed previously unseen markers of the city’s colonial past to be unearthed. We’ve brought you highlights from the NYC Archaeological Repository and 5 notable archaeological sites unearthed in Manhattan. But beginning in 2005, the Museum of the City of New York‘s archaeological team started excavating for the South Ferry Terminal Project. Those excavations have yielded thousands of artifacts along with structural remains of the colonial New York’s Battery Wall and Whitehall Slip. (more…)